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How to Setup A Raspberry Pi Webserver (LAMP)

A Small Dedicated Server Running At Home

512MB Raspberry Pi Model B Project BoardThe Raspberry Pi is a small SBC (Single Board Computer) perfect for learning programming or using as a small desktop PC. It supports both HDMI and composite video. 
[Type B, 512MB RAM]

$35 BUY NOW!

Raspberry Pi is simply a small computer node that is a touch larger than a box of cigarettes. There are currently two models, Model A with 256MB RAM and Model B with 512MB's. Raspberry Pi is a very versatile little computer that can be used for many different projects including running as a webserver as this post is about. If you want to learn more about the Pi, head over to the official website.

raspberry pi LAMP webserver

I have three Pis, two of which are webservers, and the third is currently a front door security IP camera (For $35, how can you go wrong, right?). The nice thing is that it doesn't cost a lot to run these Pi's full time as they're only powered by microUSB phone chargers with a 1amp output. My Joomla site running of the Raspberry Pi at home is at raspberrypihosting.com

We're using an 8GB MicroSD card (Class 10, 55x write) loaded with Raspberian OS. We are also connected to the home internet via 3 foot Network Cable. Port 80 has been port forwarded in the router from the external IP address to the Raspberry Pi on port 80.

First things first, we enable the root user

sudo passwd root

...and enter a new password for the root user.

Next, we update and upgrade:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade -y

Next, we install Apache and PHP

apt-get install apache2 php5 libapache2-mod-php5 -y

When that completes, we install MySQL:

apt-get install mysql-server php5-mysql -y

And Setup the Database where "password" is the password you set when MySQL was installing:

mysql -uroot -ppassword

Create the database name where "dbname" is the name of the database:

mysql> create database dbname;

And then it's time to create the webhosting space.

chown -R pi:pi /var/www
chmod -R 0755 /var/www

Now we install an FTP Client, VSFTP:

apt-get install vsftpd -y

After it configures, start it by typing:

service vsftpd start

and restart Apache2:

service apache2 restart

At this time, you'll be able to load Joomla! either via command line or FTP the files up to the server.


Lost Joomla 2 Factor Authentication

Cannot Log In? Here's what you need to do if you loose your 2 factor authentication and you have 2 factor turned on in Joomla

This has been a major issue for many Joomla 3.2 users. It primarily happens when you have to wipe your Android or iPhone. Google won't allow you to back up the saved accounts in the app, so you have to start all over. Problem is how to login to your Joomla site if you don't have the 2 factor authentication?

The Procedure is actually very simple:

  • FTP to your Joomla install Directory (usually public_html or httpdocs)
  • Go to the plugins folder at public_html/plugins
  • Find the folder called twofactorauth and rename it to something else (I just put an underscore in front of the folder name "_twofactorauth")
  • Now go your Joomla login at yoursite.com/administrator and log in as usual!

That's it! It's really simple. This gets you into your site, but you should disable the Google Two Factor Authentication for good measure if it is still on for some reason.

  • Click on the Extensions menu at the top and come down to plugin manager, and click that.
  • Search for "two factor" and the plugin will show up in the list.
  • Disable it by clicking the green check so that it turns to a red "X".

Google Two Factor Authentication is now off.

Have a Great Day!


The Admin of Administration

Making a New Site Easy for Users to Update

Things look peachy! The new web site has been meticulously designed, configured, installed, training has been started, help documents have been written and updated. The grand celebration on the first day it goes live has been scheduled. It looks fabulous and everybody is happy! A month later the celebration is a fond memory and an article needs an update and in spite of the meticulous training that you so diligently executed and the written instructions you so diligently wrote, the office gal “Doreen” is confused. Passwords are exchanged (again), emails fly and finally it gets updated.

Doreen is the “Administrator” assigned to learn how to keep the site updated. Her other duties are a myriad including answering the phones, coordinating meeting rooms, being resident expert of Word docs, email, and navigating the internet. Doreen is competent and skilled from the standpoint that she knows her way around a computer and the internet.

The question is how can we, as Joomla! web designers, help Doreen get up to speed quickly and make the administration intuitive?

Here’s a couple of things:

  1. Front end updating: Create a “staff login” allowing an administrator to gradually learn to navigate the site and change content in small steps. The option to go to the administrator is available but the Joomla! administrator can be intimidating to someone getting familiar with a new site. As long as they can login and find the editor button they can start to feel effective.
  2. Install a Staff Menu: A staff menu includes custom links to specific articles like “update the Newsflash article” for example, or “edit the Announcement box”.
  3. Limit the Options in the Editor: I use the JCE Editor almost exclusively because I can tailor the editor icons to just a few items.
  4. Include an “editor.css” file for the styles dropdown. Create custom styles like “image-on-the-right” or “highlight-in-red” so it's not necessary to understand any CSS or HTML properties and to accommodate those exceptions to your color rules.
  5. Links to Joomla help articles: Using the menu type of “wrapper” you can link to external Joomla documents to find articles like “How to insert a menu item”.
  6. Link to a “styles” page: Have a page that describes the effects basic tags and styles.

By providing the capability to update an article easily from the front-end and a great staff menu that's intuitive and helpful, Doreen will find the new site easy and fun to maintain. Soon she'll be asking for more information and more options to tailor the new site and keep it active.

Do you have any good suggestions to add to this article? I'd love to hear what you do to make a site easy for your users!

connie-lippert-profileConnie Lippert is a freelance Joomla! web designer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has more than 10 years' experience in Joomla and is an authorized Joomla Developer. Her company has done custom work for over 150 sites in Joomla! She is a regular contributor to the Joomla forum. For more information, please see http://www.twolipps.com.


Joomla CDN with JomCDN by corePHP

jomcdn corePHPImprove Site Performance with Joomla Optimization Plugin, JomCDN by 'corePHP'

It's no secret that a slow loading website hurts not only increasing bounce rate but also your Joomla SEO efforts, and makes it very hard to get a high rank in Google Search Results. Adding a Content Delivery Network, or CDN is the fastest and easiest thing to do to Boost Joomla Site Performance. Just by adding a CDN, your site will load faster, lowering bounce rate, encouraging your visitors to stay on your site longer than before and result in higher conversions and better engagement overall!

What is a Contet Delivery Network, or CDN?

Quite simply, a content delivery network is a system of multiple servers across a geographic area (could be the USA, Europe or even the whole world, for example) that delivers webpages, images and other content to a user on your webiste based on their geographic location and the closest server to them. Effectivly it allows for faster content delivery and less requests to your website itself, saving precious resources.

Learn more about a Content Delivery Network here

What is JomCDN?

JomCDN is a Joomla Plug In that will instantly improve the overall performance of your Joomla Website!

JomCDN is a location based server load tool that makes your site load faster for the user by serving files from the nearest location to them. It helps the visitor's browser cache the files (images, css files and other static content) for near instant load times!

One of the coolest things it has is integration with Yahoo's Smush.it service. Your images get optimized to the smallest sizes without losing quality and thus making it quicker to deliver to your site visitor's browser!

Because JomCDN speeds up your Joomla site, Google and Bing will favor your website as they take website speed in to consideration in generating search results. While it's not the only factor, every little bit helps, right?

JomCDN is available for Joomla 2.5 & 3.x, PHP 5.2+, MySQL 5.0.3+, cURL required, Works with Amazon S3, Cloud Front, Rackspace Cloud Files or MaxCDN.

Best of all, this is a set and forget solution! You never have to think about it again!

Learn more about JomCDN here

Installing JomCDN Tutorial with Amazon S3 & CloudFront

We did this installation on the JoomlaDetroit.com site, hosted on CloudAccess.net. CloudAccess.net is setup and optimized for use with JomCDN, so no server configurations or upgrades are necessary. You just install the plugin, configure and forget about it!

Installing JomCDN in Joomla

You just install the plugin by uploading through the extension manager as with any other extension. See image below:

Read more...

Joomla Newsfeed RSS Disappearing?

One of the nice things about Joomla is that you can pull RSS newsfeeds in to your content area by use of the newsfeed component. I am currently using this feature to list the CloudAccess.net Webinars as I just don't have enough hours in my day to run webinars as frequently (and as well) as CloudAccess.net. I ran into a big issue with the RSS newsfeed though when it came to display on the front end. 

The RSS Newsfeed in Joomla was simply disappearing!

I'd get everything set up, check the front end and see that the RSS feed was displaying properly. I'd come back a few minutes later, and lo, and behold, it was gone! I searched for the answer, and found a solution that worked for this site on the JoomlaCode website, "Single newsfeed doesn't display when caching is enabled

Here's what I did that fixed the problem on this website:

1. Opened Filezilla (FTP Client) and logged into my server. I went to httpdocs/libraries/joomla/factory.php as in the solutions provided by the bug squad.

2. With a text editor, I went to line 341 - public static function getFeedParser($url, $cache_time = 0)
and replaced it with the code provided here:

public static function getFeedParser($url, $cache_time = 0)
{
jimport('simplepie.simplepie');

$cache = self::getCache('feed_parser', '');

if($simplepie = $cache->get($url)){
return $simplepie;
}else{
$simplepie = new SimplePie(null, null, 0);

$simplepie->enable_cache(false);
$simplepie->set_feed_url($url);
$simplepie->force_feed(true);

$simplepie->init();

if ($cache_time > 0)
{
$cache->setLifeTime($cache_time);
$cache->store($simplepie, $url);
}

return $simplepie;
}
}

3. Next, go to your Joomla admin and clear the cache by going to the top menu and clicking > SiteMaintenanceClear Cache

joomla-clear-cache

Now your RSS feed will not disappear anymore!

 

 

How to install Joomla 3.1 on Cloud Access

Installing Joomla on CloudAccess.net takes only ONE click!

(I'm not kidding on this one guys! Watch the video for proof!)

Cloud AccessI have fallen in love... with how easy it is to deploy Joomla on CloudAccess.net. Sure, they're the Joomla User Group Detroit Platinum Hosting Sponsor, but frankly, the reason that they are is because no other hosting company can compare to what CloudAccess.net offers to the public, as well as our usergroup. They've come up many times in our meetups, but this blog post is just another example of why I'm glad CloudAccess.net is in our corner!

How to install Joomla 3.1 in one click!

Yup, that's right! One click is all it takes. No fiddling with server configurations, no lost time waiting for files to FTP, and best of all, a flawless Joomla installation every time! I've installed four Joomla instances as of this writing, and every single time, I have not had a single issue.

As a JUG Detroit member (or Joomla Affectionado, if you found this page in your search results), you owe it to yourself to try out the install process so you know how easy it really is. Rather than lose time with the installation, now that is taken care of in less than 2 minutes (No Joke)! I can get started on installing the essential extensions I always use, and the theme of choice as well. For the official Joomla Detroit recommendations for extensions and templates, make sure to visit our resource page!

Probably the best part about having Cloud Access is the fact that I can develop before the site ever goes live, and when it's done, the migration is also rediculously simple (just a couple clicks). In this case, I don't even need to run akeeba's kickstart on the production environment -- it's all done by the CloudAccess.net hosting environment!

Read more...

Index.php Error 500 with .htaccess [solved]

index.php error 500 internal server error solvedOne of the more frustrating things admins seem to encounter with Joomla is trying to get rid of the "/index.php/" from Joomla URLs. There are some server configurations that will throw a Error 500 Internal Server Error / Server Misconfigured page when you move htaccess.txt to .htaccess, but fear not!

Rather than go into *WHY* this is happening, here's how to solve the issue:

After changing htaccess.txt to .htaccess, open the .htaccess file in the root folder of your Joomla install with a text editor.

Close to the top, you should see this part:

##
# READ THIS COMPLETELY IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE THIS FILE!
#
# The line just below this section: 'Options +FollowSymLinks' may cause problems
# with some server configurations. It is required for use of mod_rewrite, but may already
# be set by your server administrator in a way that dissallows changing it in
# your .htaccess file. If using it causes your server to error out, comment it out (add # to
# beginning of line), reload your site in your browser and test your sef url's. If they work,
# it has been set by your server administrator and you do not need it set here.
##
## Can be commented out if causes errors, see notes above.
Options +FollowSymLinks

## Mod_rewrite in use.

RewriteEngine On

Go to the line "Options +FollowSymLinks" and add a "#" to comment it out as below.

#Options +FollowSymLinks

Your Joomla site should now work correctly without the "/index.php/".

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How to install Joomla 3 on XAMPP (LocalHost)

Install Joomla 3 XAMPP Windows 7

Run Joomla 3 on Windows 7

Having a development environment is essential to minimize the risk of breaking your live website. It also makes sense to do for testing of new extensions and templates. Since we'll be installing Joomla 3.03 (latest at the time of this writing), there's a real need to test extensions when you're using the latest short term releases!

You'll need to download XAMPP for Windows (also available for Mac, Linux and Solaris)

Note: If you have Skype installed, you have to take the preliminary steps outlined here:

  • Go to Tools > Options > Advanced (left menu) > Connection
  • Uncheck "Use port 80 and 443 as alternatice for incoming connections"

 

Read more...

Joomla 3 Magic Quotes Off Issue

Joomla Michigan was created using Joomla 3.03. While trying to migrate off of my development environment to production, I encountered something I'd not forseen happening.

Apparently, Joomla 3+ requires Magic Quotes (it's a server setting) to be turned off before installing. If they're on, you have to turn them off to get to the next install step.

magicquotes-off-set-on

Here's how to turn Magic Quotes Off for Joomla 3 and later

First, open up notepad or similar editor (I was using Sublime 2). create a document with the two lines below and save as php.ini.

magic_quotes_gpc = Off
session.save_path = "/tmp"

 Now you will want to FTP it to your webserver in the public_html/installation folder, or whereever your installation folder resides.

Retry your installation and you'll be able to fully install that awesome Joomla 3+

 

Joomla introduces Tags in version 3.1

joomla 3.1.0 tag fieldsThe Tags are Coming, The Tags are Coming... to Joomla 3.1.0

Just a quick link today:

One of the most talked about additions to the next version of Joomla! is the addition of tags. Tagging is a great way to organize similiar articles within a given category (think Content Siloing) and having the ability to create whole new menus based on a specific tag!

The Joomla Community Magazine just published an article that introduces and walks you through the new tagging field in Joomla 3.1.0.

Read the Joomla Tagging Field Article here

How to Create A Sitemap.xml in Joomla 2.5

A Joomla Sitemap.xml file is no different than any other sitemap really. What a sitemap.xml file does is hold critial information about your Joomla website's URL structure and articles. It might contain short descriptions and image links as well. 

A Sitemap.xml file helps Search Engines Crawl your site.

The above description pretty much says it all, but how do you set up a sitemap.xml file in Joomla?

I just added one to one of my projects, and documented the process to share with all my Joomla User Group Detroit Friends!

Set Up a Joomla Sitemap Tutorial

First of all, I really recommend "XMap" by Guillermo Vargas. Xmap is a generator component for Joomla, and is available for J2.5 & J3.0. Xmap makes it easy for you to create a sitemap of your website using your menu(s) structure. Xmaps re-generates the sitemap automatically, so you don't have to keep going back to it to do updates. You can also visit the change frequency for each menu. Xmap on the Joomla Extension Directory

 


 

Setting up the Xmap Component

I'm going to make the wild assumption that you know how to install extensions in Joomla, so skipping to the good stuff, you first have to activate at least two plugins that were automatically installed with the component:

Go to Extensions > Plugins and type "xmap" in the filter to give you this list:

activate-xmap-plugins

Make sure you have both the content and weblinks plugins activated (green checks), and if you use any of the other mentioned extensions, activate those as well.

Next, you will want to go to Components > Xmap and click "New" to create your first sitemap.

xmaps-new-sitemap

You can name your sitemap anything you want, but your first one could be nothing more than "sitemap". Fill in the description if you want, make sure that the "status" is set to publish, then on the right, open the "menu" dropdown if it's not already open:

 xmap-menu-selector

Choose your main menu for your first sitemap, plus any other menus that are publically accessable that have content that you want the search engine spiders to crawl. In my case (using JoomlaDetroit.com as an example), I would choose "main menu" and "footer menu". Both have content that I want crawled. I then would change the frequency on the home menu to "daily" as I write blog content almost daily. If you only do updates once a week or less, leave it at "weekly" or even set it to "monthly".

A word about the "Priority" setting

The priority setting tells the search engine that certain pages are more important than others. This does not mean your pages are more important that pages on other websites, but rather, just your own site.


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So next is the Xmap options tab

The only two things that you need change are the Compress XML and Beautify XML settings. These should be set to "no". Google errors out when trying to craw a beautified and compressed XML page, so just for safety's sake, set these to "No". Click Save & Close, and you're done creating your sitemap.

Go back to the "Sitemap Manager" page if you aren't taken there automatically. It can be found by clicking Components > Xmap. You will now see your new sitemap:

xmap-sitemap-manager

The next part is a little tricky... Open up your FTP client and connect to your site. In "public_html", "www" or "htdocs" folder (world accessable folder), you will have to change the .htaccess or htaccess.txt file.

At the bottom of the file, using your favorite text editor, add the following lines:

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/sitemap.xml
RewriteRule .* /URL-to-sitemap-here

 

The URL to the sitemap will be found next to the start in the image above. copy the link and paste into the text editor, stripping out the domain and beginning and ending slashes:

http://joomladetroit.com/index.php?option=com_xmap&view=xml&tmpl=component&id=1/

becomes

index.php?option=com_xmap&view=xml&tmpl=component&id=1

So the second line of the rewriteRule should look like this:

RewriteRule .* /index.php?option=com_xmap&view=xml&tmpl=component&id=1

Save the file and re-upload to the server.

You should now be able to access the sitemap by going in your browser to:

http://YOUR-DOMAIN.com/sitemap.xml

or, if that fails or you do not have access to the .htaccess/htaccess.txt,

http://your-domain.com/index.php?option=com_xmap&view=xml&tmpl=component&id=1

That's it! you are ready to have your website crawled, and best of all, the map automatically updates itself!

EXTRA CREDIT: Initiating a Site Crawl with Google Webmaster Tools

 Go to your site's webmaster tools account and from the left navigation, go to Optimization > sitemaps. There will be a little red box in the upper right that says "ADD/TEST SITEMAP". Click on the box, and add "sitemap.xml" or the long URL string and click test.It's always best to test the sitemap before you actually submit so you can verify that there's no errors with the map.

webmaster-tools

add-sitemap

If the test was a success, you should see something like this:

 

sitemap-complete

Now close this, and do the same thing, adding the sitemap button > enter sitemap's URL exactly the same as you did for the test, but this time, click the submit button and it send Google the sitemap for submission.

Initiate the Crawl

Now you will want to tell Google to Crawl your site. Since you installed the sitemap, things should be pretty worry-free. On the left navigation, go to Health > Fetch as Google.

You can only do a full site crawl 10 times, so be frugal (I used one up for this tutorial too)

fetch-as-google

For a full site crawl, don't enter anything in the box to the right of the domain name. Just click fetch. Fetching won't cost you anything. When you submit is when they dock you for a submission.

fetch-as-google-complete

Just click the "submit to index" button, and you're done. It's rather anti-climatic because you wont see any changes to your site, nor will you see anything happen on your Google ranking or search display for a while. It can take a couple days for changes to happen. Just be patient, though. You can sit back and rest assuredthat you did it correct.


Looking for other Joomla Resources?
Don't waste your time searching for hours on the JED! Check out our trusted Joomla Resources page!
 

 

How to set up a blog in Joomla!

Are you Blogging? You should be, and here's how

On March 24th, I published a blog post called "Proof that Blogging Really Works" showing you that just by adding a blog, you can increase traffic, boost SEO and gain more visibility in Social Media. What I didn't show you was how to set up the blog to begin with!

I'm correcting that faux pas right now in this post, "How to Set Up a Blog in Joomla!"

Creating your main blog (top level) category

Log in to your Administrator Section, and go to the "content" menu > "category manager" > "Add new category"

For purposes of this tutorial, we'll call this category item "Blog". This is your top level category. We will now create the sub categories. I will use this Joomla Detroit blog as an example. Since a large part of the reason I'm doing this is for SEO, I know I want the site to rank even better for the term "Joomla User Group", so that will be the first subcategory that I'll create, and in this category, I'll put all the posts that concern our user group.

Read more...

Help! My Joomla Site is Broken!

Having a Broken Joomla Site is No Fun

head handsAnyone who develops websites knows from experience that being faced with a broken site is no fun at all. Depending on how broken it is, you could be faced with just a minor hiccup or a full on lobotomy. In either case, it detracts away from development time, and can delay the website deployment indefinately. This article is dedicated to helping you fix your broken Joomla! site as fast as possible.

First rule of thumb: Backup often!

Akeeba Backup is a wonderful Joomla Extension that I use on every site I develop and deploy. Besides for just creating a backup, it can take snapshots before you install new extensions and templates automatically. With Backup Pro, you can schedule backups, backup via FTP/SFTP/Cloud Storage, restore from within the component, and so much more. At the very worst, you can revert to last night's backup, or the one prior to installing that Foobar'ed extension :P !

Google Search is your best friend!

Almost every case that I've run into has been posted on the net, and Google knows where it's at! Besides, the first thing people will ask you in a help forum is "have you Google'd that?" And just to rub it in, they give you the links that you should have found yourself. Try it. Google doesn't laugh at anyone.

Join your Local User Group and present your problem

At Joomla Detroit, we are commited to helping each other out. Previously to now (time of this writing), members have brought issues to the group and we solve them! Now, if you can't wait for the user group meetup, we have deployed a Google Groups Discussion Board where you can post your issues to, but Joomla Detroit members receive priority :D

Ask the Joomla Community

The Joomla Community Forums are the #1 spot to get some help. Keep in mind that if you're going to ask a question here, you'd better tell the whole story, including what version of Joomla, and all the vital information needed to get some help. Usually, if you ask the question correctly and supply what is needed for the assist (No Passwords or Usernames), then response is pretty good.

Hire a Joomla Developer

Recommended for production sites only, If you do not have the time, or you're losing money because the site is broken, hire a developer to do an emergency fix. Make sure that you get a developer that knows the CMS! Vitally important because Joomla is complex, and one who is not familliar with the CMS might break your site even more!

Fixing your broken Joomla site can usually be circumvented if you have a good backup, and crash plan (you do have a plan if your site goes down, right?). Again, Akeeba Backup comes into play as I can take the most recent backup and deploy the site within minutes to another web hosting account and be up and running again in under 20 minutes (including setting DNS and a meta redirect as backup). If it's non critical, backup a copy of your broken site, deploy to your development environment and begin testing and figuring out what happened and how to fix. You'll learn a lot if you fix a broken Joomla site on your own!

Proof that Blogging really Works

Many small business website owners never think about blogging on the business site, but its an essential part of a good solid SEO strategy, plus it keeps you in the front of your clients and customers.

Blogging is one of the best ways to increase your search engine optimization quickly. You'll be able to provide unique and fresh content as often as you like, and it can be structured for SEO quite easily. Blogging on a business site can also reach out to your prospects who are looking for more information about similar products and services you may offer, and is quick and easy to do. A blog, most of all, helps to build branding and your reputation as an authority.

For more about blogging on a Business Site, Savvy Panda has a "Must Read" article titled "A difficult decision; is a blog right for you?" that you have got to check out!

So, in the last couple days, you've seen activity skyrocket on Joomla Detroit, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. I did a test. I started blogging on Joomla Detroit to prove that having a blog on your website really works, and the results are surprising!

First of all, I wrote each blog post with care. I made sure that my content was unique, especially since there are hundreds of thousands of blogs that also cover the topics. To do this, I wrote from a first person point of view... me!

As soon as the post was up on the site, I sent it to Facebook and Twitter primarily. Look at the increase in traffic!

Traffic Increases in Google Analytics

So you can see a rise in traffic. Sure, it's not a huge increase, but it does go up. With each post, I gain just a little more authority, and with traffic coming in, Google is going to notice it.

 

Read more...

Around Joomla!

 

Posted By:
Joomla User Group Detroit

Organizer,

Donations and Gifts

Donations that go to keeping the Meetup 100% Free are welcome!