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The benefits of using Joomla for a Small Business Website

Why your Small Business or Non-Profit Needs Joomla

I've seen it far too often. Small local businesses having a "friend" or family member create their website. Sure, it helps to keep costs down, but unless friends and family do data architecture for a living, the small business owner is often left with a static Dreamweaver HTML site or a thrown-together Wordpress blog that was done in a couple hours with free templates and plugins.

Don't get me wrong: Wordpress is a great platform for blogs. When used as a blog, it can be a great starting point and powerful platform for what it is designed to do. Small business owners usually have just a handful of staff, have to be everywhere and all the time, so the website has to work right and get the job done.

The Joomla! CMS is ideal for local business websites, and I've created a few of these now. It works equally well for non-profits and larger entities, so scaling up won't be an issue as your business grows.

Looking at the Business requirements for a website

This is one of the critical steps in having a site. You have to figure out what the purpose of the website will be. Is it just a site that is supplimentary? This means that it might be on your business card, and you'll tell a few people about it, but other than that, will you be ignoring the site's existence?

Is the website going to become part of a marketing strategy? Will your site be on not only the business cards, but on your telephone outgoing message, creatives for mailers, posters and flyers? Will you be referring to your site through social media channels? In essence, is your site going to become a part of gaining new business and communicating with your existing clients and customers?

The Joomla CMS can run quite well on conventional shared hosting through web hosting companies such as GoDaddy, Host Gator and 1&1. A site that is used just to serve static content to your customers (like hours, prices and about us page) can be set up quite quickly and with even an un-altered template, can look great and get the message across.

Joomla's full capabilities are truly realized (on a small business and non-profit level) when you have a couple people who's job duties include writing/editing web content, blogging about daily business (are you doing this? If not, you should!) and actively communicating with the customers. Features such as Access Control (ACL) and extensions such as K2 really come into play, and Joomla is transformed from just being a way to render a website and content, but a robust web authoring and publishing tool that far surpasses what other software can do out of the box.

The important thing to understand is that while platforms such as WordPress are great for what they are designed to do, Joomla is far more flexible and extendable right out of the box, but is easier to use and handle than the "Developer-Friendly, User-Alienating" Drupal Platform.

Also, Joomla can usually be handled by any teen who uses Facebook, Pintrest and Tumblr (I should know, my daugther is one of them) so it really doesn't take higher skills to maintain. You don't need to have a full time developer to take care of the site for you, saving money and increasing your return on investment (ROI). If you don't have web building skills, then having a developer build the site initally is a great idea, but plan to do the content editing yourself if you have to find ways to save money.

Lastly, Joomla is available for free, and many web hosting companies offer an automatic installation from the web hosting account's control panel.


Joomla Detroit's Top Ten Joomla Extensions for 2013

10 Essential Joomla Extensions for any Joomla Site

The question has come up a few times during the meetups this year, "what are the best extensions for my website"? And we're dedicating a whole blog post to the answer!

The question is more complex that you might think, first of all. Finding the best Joomla extensions for your website can really differ between the types of sites you might be building. As you might imagine, using Joomla as a small business site versus using it for an ecommerce website would require two very different sets of extensions in many ways. For the purposes of this blog post, I'll be listing the top 10 Joomla extensions that I have used on production websites over and over, plus a couple recommendations for very specific types of sites too.

Joomla itself, as you know, is an awesome CMS right out of the box, and it's possible of course to build a complete site on just the default installation. Most of the time, integrators and site owners will extend Joomla's power through the use of Joomla extensions, available through the Joomla Extensions Directory (Referred to as the "JED") and from various vendors through their sites.

Let's get started!

Akeeba Backup
Compatibility: Joomla 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.5 & 3.0
Websitehttps://www.akeebabackup.com/products/akeeba-backup.html
Free/Paid comparison: https://www.akeebabackup.com/products/46-software/405-akeeba-core-vs-professional.html
Cost: Free (Core) | 40Eu

Backup, restore and transfer your site in seconds - This is without fail, the first extension that is installed on any site I work on. A solid backup solution is critical if you don't want to be tearing your hair out later on should something go wrong (and things do go wrong!). Generally, I will install Akeeba Backup before doing anything else with the site, and since I use the PRO version, I setup a backup schedule and also use the "system restore points" feature to set a restore point before I install every other extension to come. Lastly, I have every backup sent to a special @gmail.com email used just for backup emails so that I always have a previous version available, and on many sites, send a backup off to one of my (Amazon) S3 Buckets. Call me paranoid, right?

Read more...


How to change a page URL using SH404SEF

So today, I had a scenerio where I had to change a few URLs on a production website. The Old URLs weren't SEO'ed, and it was time to practice what I preach, so I'm doing optimizations on a couple sites.

 

Here's how to Change your Page URL for better SEO using SH404SEF

(SH404SEF can be purchased from Anything-Digital.com)

I want to change the following URL:
domain.com/category/nonSEOpage

to:
domain.com/category/SEOed-page

 

Going into the SH404SEF dashboard, I go to the URL Manager:

sh4041

In the search field, I type a part of the old url in to find the SEF url in the columns. Using the example above, I'd type in "nonSEOpage" to filter out most of the other pages for easier finding of the page I wanted to do the edit to. I click on the SEFurl and make the changes in the box shown below in the "New SEF URL" field. I just click save and I'm done!

sh4042

 

This is how easy it is to change your URLs to something optimized for SEO!

But Wait! There's More!

In the image above, you see the "Title and meta tags" tab? This is where you should fill in the SEO'ed description of the page that's going to show up on Google search results in the description:

joomladetroit-description

 

 


Around Joomla!

  • Attending the Joomla World Conference #JWC17 as a team member

    Displaying items by tag: English Dec 5, 2017 | 16:41 pm

    Last month I attended the Joomla World Conference #JWC17 in Rome, Italy. Since my first JWC visit to Vancouver last year, I've joined a couple of global teams including Showcase, Certification and the Joomla Community Magazine (JCM), where I help out with things like moderation, English-language proof reading and documentation. This year, in addition to the actual conference, I also got to attend some team meetings prior to and during the conference.

    Read more...
  • The December Issue

    Displaying items by tag: English Dec 5, 2017 | 15:33 pm

    Another year is coming to its conclusion and the Joomla Community has a lot of great news to share in this issue!

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  • Volunteer to Learn

    Displaying items by tag: English Dec 5, 2017 | 13:02 pm

    Help a non-profit while helping yourself! Broaden your CMS horizons and give back to the community at the same time. I’ll share how I learned the Joomla! CMS and how I continue to expand my capabilities. Just getting started with Joomla? Read on. 

    Read more...
  • Episode IV - A new User Interface for the Joomla Backend

    Displaying items by tag: English Dec 5, 2017 | 11:01 am

    On November 17, the first Alpha for Joomla 4 was released. Whilst this release was intended for developers to check their extensions as soon as possible for their compatibility the Joomla 4 User Interface Team has something nice in store for you. In the last few years, we have been planning, discussing and drafting different concepts of the Joomla 4 backend. First of all: the chance to work on the overall backend user interface is a really big honour for us and we say thank you to all those that welcome us to such a great team. It’s a pleasure to work with such passionate people. Our challenge was to design a backend that mostly fits into the given technical structure of Joomla and to change as much as needed, but as little as possible. We want to invite you to take a ride through the draft of the Joomla[…]

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  • GSoC at the Joomla World Conference 2017

    Displaying items by tag: English Dec 5, 2017 | 08:06 am

    GSoC 2017 was also Joomla’s 10th anniversary in the program. At the Joomla World Conference, 5 students and their mentors came together, meeting for the first time in person. The event also offered the opportunity for Students, Mentors and Admins of the program to share their experience with the program to the Global Community through a panel hosted by Nick Burch from the Apache Foundation.

    Read more...
 

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Joomla User Group Detroit

Organizer,

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