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Design Serves

Define the Purpose of Your Website

This is the most important step. Chances are, that purpose will need some type of software solution or extension that will have to be installed into your Joomla website through the administration panel, also referred to as the back-end. Perhaps the best thing about Joomla is the huge community of developers who provide literally thousands of extensions in dozens of categories with hundreds of subcategories. Many of these extensions are free and none are truly expensive. The Joomla Extensions Directory, or JED, is the place to start when choosing extensions.  E-Commerce alone has so many things to offer - shopping carts to paid downloads, subscriptions, auctions and more. We like to use VirtueMart for most of our shopping carts, but sometimes we need something different. Click the thumbnail below to see the categories at the JED.


You Know What Extensions are Needed

This is because you have tried out the demo pages for each extension and you are familiar with what it can do and how it does it. Now all you have to do is install them and get started, right? Nope. Sorry, but there is lots more. This is when it starts to get fun.

Remember that template theme and framework that you chose? As awesome as it may be, it may clash with these extensions. Extensions are designed to deliver functionality first. Sometimes their layout is not easily modified to fit your dream theme. Sometimes the extension is not mobile-responsive, per se, but it may be made to fit in mobile and/or desktop with some good old fashioned know-how and some HTML/PHP.

Design Serves Purpose

It falls to the website developer to make these different programs all work together in what appears to be a seamless system of mobile-responsive, SEO-enhanced, beautiful web pages. Compromise is the order of the day. That really cool widget that slides in may have to sit on the bench if it interferes with Purpose. I recently had to add a specialized mortgage calculator to a website, and its uniqueness required that I write it myself in javascript and HTML; so I gave it a pretty background, sized it at 250x250, and placed it in a module position that also worked for mobile devices. Problem solved. Responsive calculator. I had to abandon a really cool responsive product scroller, however, because it caused java conflicts with a more needed feature of the website. Rock, paper, scissors.

Extension Modification

The better-ranked extensions behave better and are generally easier to modify because they follow Joomla programming standards. Language files are used instead of hard-coding text into the extension itself. That way, the language origin of the program does not matter as long as someone (maybe your web guy) copies its language library to an English one and fills in the foreign word values with English words. This is why Joomla is a world-wide community. Some of my favorite extensions come from non-English sources.

And then there are template overrides, which override a programs behavior and appearance without actually hacking that extension. Hacking an extension is never the best way to go because any updates to that extension will most likely overwrite your core hacks. Custom overrides exist in the template and are assigned to individual extensions by the template designer. Some templates come with overrides built-in for many popular extensions like Virtue-mart, K Forums and Event Manager. We can do overrides. It does add to cost.

At PCBest We Have Your Back

My name is Wayne Peeples. I started PCBest in 1990. I have over 20 years experience in building websites. I started writing HTML with MS Notepad. I have been working with Joomla since 2005, when it was called Mambo. I can find the extensions your site needs. I can tell the good from the bad. I can make them cooperate with one another in your mobile-responsive website. Claire Case came on board in 2002. This is what we do. This is how we roll.

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