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Democratizing the Web – Adventures in Joomla

While within the shower, lightning strikes, and you have an exquisite idea for an internet site (my first-class notion usually seems to expose itself in the shower). The problem is 1) you do not have the abilities or realize a way to create it, and/or 2) you do not have the price range to have it constructed what an acquainted conundrum; your great internet site idea is all dressed up with nowhere to move. This summer season, I bumped into an identical situation.


I am self-professed news, statistics, and understanding junkie. I continually want to know what is going on inside the international, and I always need to research. In the past, that meant lots of time hammering away on my keyboard with the T.V. On inside the historical past. These had been essentially hour after hour toggle-thons of Olberman, Maddow, Matthews, O’Reilly, Hannity, Colbert, Stewart, SportsCenter. You get the photograph.

I was given married. That’s what started this whole journey. I was once a bachelor with lots of available time for my man channel browsing. When I got married, I had to go away with these pals, now not to say most of my stuff that didn’t cut my old rental, in the back of. The interesting factor is, my wife is greater of a T.V. Watcher than I am. The problem is, it’s a wholly extraordinary line-up of programming: Bones, House, CSI something and LOTS of truth suggest. While the venture provided itself: How am I imagined to realize what’s taking place in the world if I cannot watch my shows? Taking away my programming is like asking Derek Jeter to hit a sport triumphing domestic run without thumbs. These have been darkish times.

And the focus was usually -fold: 1) How is information delivered on the internet? And a pair of) What are the great systems to supply it? I had to discover a manner to create a dynamic web page that would acquire the information, however, and present it in a way that turned into clean to use, clean to navigate and might give me direct admission to the websites I included. Of route, I had no idea how this was going to be completed; however, after a considerable amount of searches, I found that there had been numerous alternatives, inclusive of open source software, that might meet my needs.

The open-source software program, in a nutshell, is software that offers out-of-the-box usability, is completely customizable, and is, except all, unfastened. You may also have heard of a few: Ruby on Rails, Drupal, WordPress, Joomla. They offer wealthy functionality features for web page development, content control, and online publishing. If you’re involved approximately the cultured, heaps of themes (the website’s look) are available for free download or buy. When it involves capability, masses of plugins and modules also are available. If you can think of it, there is probably a module or plugin for it. These downloads are also to be had for gratis. Basically, you may build a website for your very own that could price thousands if you hired a developer.


It totally relies upon what cause you need your website online to serve. What do you need your website to do? Who is your target market? If you want to build a network, you would need to go to the Drupal or Joomla path. Looking to do some eCommerce? Both offer solid options for eCommerce integration. Want to publish your work online? WordPress is a terrific solution. The bottom line is that you have to take the time to do searches, locate a reference, and determine which alternatives will first-rate serve your wishes. For my wishes, I chose Joomla. If you choose Joomla, you can rest assured you won’t be left in the bloodless. The community of customers and developers is big and maintains to grow. It is relevant software, and from everything I’ve study, it should be for quite a while.

The subsequent step

So I had decided on the software program. I set up it, chose a subject matter, configured the database and backend, and chose some modules and plugins that furnished the functionality I wished Besides the information. This was the next massive step—the reason why I got into this mess within the first region. I wanted information to be introduced, updated, and published in actual time. With a few more searches, I found my solution.

RSS Feeds

RSS, maximum generally translated as “Really Simple Syndication” or “Rich Site Summary,” are web feeds used to publish often up to date works such as blogs, information headlines, audio, and video. Sites provide these feeds so that, instead of checking in at the website often, the updates can be delivered to you robotically. Basically, they “keep you within the loop.” Numerous programs are available so that they will supply these feeds on your desktop. In my case, I had to find a manner to deliver them through my website. This changed into a challenge because most people of alternatives I located handiest supported a small number of feeds (1-3). Past that, they weren’t open source, which intended although I got the feeds to run thru my website online, I wasn’t going as a way to configure them. Rumpf! More searches led me to.

Google AJAX Feed API

At first, it didn’t look very safe. The name on my own kind of made me go “Hun?”. Basically, AJAX (shorthand for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) allows creating interactive net packages. This service, furnished by Google, lets the person effortlessly create hard and fast custom feeds and combine them into their site with the aid of, without a doubt, copy and pasting the Google-generated code. This became the ideal solution. And once more, it was free.

After some extra looking, I located that a module becomes to be had for Joomla that might without difficulty translate this provider into my website’s pages. So I mounted the module, noodled it (keep in mind, you can do this with open supply), and completed my favored effects. My website became fed the information that I desired; however, instead of the default 3 feeds, I was receiving 12. My easy news web page has become an information supersite—aahhhh, Fulfillment at closing.


I have to say it feels good. It would be remiss of me not to present an honest warning where caution is due. This assignment was a massive assignment and took severe persistence, tough paintings, and LOTS of hours. But in the long run, a small metropolis youngster with no programming enjoy became able to create the site that he dreamed of 1 morning inside the shower. There is a revolution occurring right now on the world’s extensive web: if you may dream it, you can make it take place. All the gear is available, and all it will value is a while. The open-supply software program is certainly democratizing the web. Be brave and properly good fortune.

About author

Social media trailblazer. Analyst. Web evangelist. Thinker. Twitter advocate. Internetaholic.Once had a dream of deploying jungle gyms in Gainesville, FL. Spent several years getting to know psoriasis in Prescott, AZ. Was quite successful at analyzing human growth hormone in Ohio. Spent 2001-2008 donating cod worldwide. Developed several new methods for supervising the production of country music in Edison, NJ. Practiced in the art of developing strategies for UFOs in Naples, FL.
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