Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Joomla on GoDaddy

I have been using Joomla for a while now and I have found it to be quite an easy Content Management System (CMS) to use. Almost every aspect of the CMS can be modified and while this allows for flexibility, it also leads to a situation where developers may struggle to identify when it is time to stop tinkering around.

I have developed / redesigned a few templates (mainly by modifying existing ones rather than creating one from start). Also, Joomla allows for core module functionality to be over-ridden. This enables portability of the template when a newer version of Joomla comes knocking around. These changes are contained within the template itself. Various modules can be placed strategically within the template allowing for an uncluttered look while providing information in an easy / clear / targeted manner. It is also possible to edit the contents (write new articles) from the front end itself provided the login module is enabled.

There are always a few niggles. The SEO (search engine optimisation) option doesn't work straight out of the box. It requires the Apache web server root files to be edited and this problem has persisted despite a few new releases coming out of Joomla. To get this working, do the following steps:

  • rename htaccess.txt to .htaccess
  • Uncomment "RewriteEngine On" (remove the '#' sign)
  • Uncomment "RewriteBase /" (again remove the '#' sign)

If your website is hosted on GoDaddy server, allow for up to an hour to pass before the changes are registered. After that enable the SEO option on the Joomla backend. The above steps will only work if your site is placed in the root dorectory. You may need a few tweaks to get it working if the site is hosted on one of the sub-directories.

The template currently used by this site was freely available and I just made a few tweaks, particularly with respect to the header images and font colors and sizes for the various page titles.

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