New Cotswold Photo Website

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Editor’s Note: The post below was taken from our previous Joomla website and is shown here to enable users to access older posts (since this was first written we have moved server type and CMS platform; from Joomla! to WordPress):

This has been a long time in the making and is the first step towards our own online shop, to run alongside our shop on eBay.

We now have our own web server (obviously). We have actually had one for many years to serve our email and provide hosting for images used in our eBay listings, with a variety of web hosts, but they have always been shared servers with dubious uptimes and slow data speeds. So, with this new site in mind, we have forked out for a Managed VPS, from Big Brain Global Networks, using a voucher deal from Web Hosting Talk VPS Offers. The folks at BBGN have been absolutely fantastic in helping us get started.

After much dithering on my part, we decided to use a CMS system called Joomla!. As we were unlikely to be up and running until into 2014, we decided to go with the new Joomla! V3 (currently at V3.21), even though this will not be stable until V3.5 is released in Spring 2014.

And with the choice of CMS comes the choice of templates. After much trialling, we have decided to go with Cleanlogic from Crosstec. We bought a lifetime membership (via a deal on Facebook) so that we can use other templates and tools without charge, so hopefully that will work out. We changed from the default green/grey schema to a blue/white one. This gave rise to our first (of many) hurdles. The Cleanlogic template needs PHP with the GD Library installed. Happily, all we had to do, when we figured the problem, was to rebuild Apache server on our web server, which VPS host owners can do.

One problem that we had was that the Cleanlogic template had no provision to show our copyright ownership of the site content. Most Joomla! V3 templates have the site copyright shown in the page footer. But Cleanlogic has the footer split into four parts. Rather than edit the Cleanlogic template code, which is not advisable, we created a new Custom HTML module named Copyright (with the title not showing) and put it in the Cleanlogic template’s footer_1_1 position. The problem was, how to automate the site name and year? The standard Joomla! editor doesn’t make it obvious how to include code (in this case PHP) in the text editor. So, we installed an extension called Sourcerer. This is the code that displays the copyright notice you see at the foot of all our web pages:

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echo "<p>&copy; ".JFactory::getApplication()->getCfg('sitename')." ".date('Y')."</p>"

As our server is an Apache server, we also had to rename the root htaccess.txt to .htaccess and then enable URL re-writing in Global Settings. Finally, we had to make a custom css file, and add the php to the Cleanlogic template index.php file to load this. For example, the code snippet above uses our custom css code.

Categories: Joomla.