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Old 09. Dec 2009, 11:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Chris.p recommendations in a nutshell?

Chris, I found you via other sites whilst searching for info on Joomla.
Your knowledge is amazing and thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions.
I've actually spent close to 2 hrs just about reading every post of yours. All very interesting.
First off is there a page you have somewhere which just gives your recommendations so you don't have to continuously rewrite?
If not heres the questions.
Background. I'd like to write my first website. My passion is rugby and the decorative arts.
So, I'd like to incorporate video.
Its not a commercial site, although would you still recommend Joomla if one wanted to add ecommerce?
a) You recommend Joomla but one needs a helping hand.
Can you recommend a source...maybe video tutorials.
Which version is good and which apps should one definately add.
b) Domain name via namescheap.
c) Web host squidhost but buy extra upgrades. As I'm in the US I should opt for the US server?
d) Any others? My notes also have atbhost.net?
e) Will Joomla be reasonably search engine optimized or should I think again about which tools to write website if this is important.
f) Any opinion on sitebuilder and Ken Evoy, although I really can't afford the money right now. This project needs to work on a small tight budget...economy still sucks!
Any other words to the wise?
I saw you murder one guys site who was trying to illicit business. I'm in Houston Tx and I didn't do my site. It was done many years ago and hasn't been updated but would you mind taking a quick look to see how much is out of date in terms of the mechanics of writing a website please. I'm not trying to get business...no one here would be interested in the decorative arts. kandpinteriors dot com?
No sweat if you don't have the time mate. BTW we both come from the same part of the world..Kent. School was Duke of Yorks in Dover.
Regards Pete
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Old 09. Dec 2009, 03:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey, thanks for the puff. This old head's full of a load of garbage but some of it is useful.

In this area, what I know about is how to build and run successful websites, so with luck we can help you out.

You ask about somewhere to read more on this - maybe try my web resources site, go there via my sig link.

Your site is a commercial site, as its function is business, to make money via orders that come through it. Sure you could tack some sports pages on the back, why not, but the site is a commercial one. Any business website is commercial. Now, we call online business 'icommerce' as that encapsulates it all perfectly. An ecommerce site is one with a checkout backend and products for sale with prices. I guess that's the archetypal online business site but it's just one of many.

A brochure site, like yours, is just as much a commercial site. You need a 'brochure CMS' to run it, and the best visual one for your purposes is Joomla, as you rightly state. Your current site can have its content transferred to Joomla very easily.

You can go to this site for templates and some good tutes:
www.joomlashack.com

We've finally changed over to Joomla 1.5 now as it's got the templates and plugins at last. Security is still dependent on fast patching though, so you need to be on the Security Bulletin and patch it immediately a new upgrade comes out. It's nowhere near as secure as the old 1.0 version yet but that will come.

Here's another site for templates, these are the best if you have advanced plans:
http://demo.rockettheme.com

Spin the jump menu at the top that currently says: Dec 09 - Reaction.

You can easily put video in Joomla, it has about 100 plugins just for streaming video. The most important plugin of all, that you install first, is the SEF URL plugin. I prefer sh404 but everyone has a different view. One good reason to choose sh404 is that adds some very good security features, and that is currently a good idea with J1.5, until it matures.

Yeah, Namecheap is a good domain registrar, the best I know. You need spotless ethics and an excellent control panel from a registrar, and they are OK on both counts. Some of the big name guys there have 'flexible' ethics and poor-quality panels.

For hosting, you can search eg 'joomla hosting'. That will get you the best results because you'll find hosts that have some chance of knowing what they are doing. Hosting CMS and ecommerce is in no way related to hosting HTML sites, and there are a ton of hosts who still don't have a clue. I never recommend hosts as your mileage may vary. Put some names up here and I'll tell you what I think of them.

Joomla is about the best / easiest CMS for search engine optimization. It depends, of course. If you don't know what you're doing or whatever then it can be tough - but other CMS are worse. Ask here and we'll put you right. Anyway, Joomla gets Google #1 against the toughest opposition so I guess that tells you what you need to know. Just make sure to use the right SEF URL and meta plugin, that part is crucial.

For all web quality / search engine optimization / income / web standards / accessibility issues (which are the same thing), your first step is always to validate your pages, before anything else, at:
http://validator.w3.org

So after installing Joomla you check there. After installing a template you check there. After installing a plugin you check there. After installing page content you check there. If you get a fail at any stage you go back and fix it. Quality is the #1 guide here as in most things. If you accept trash then you put yourself on the slippery slope downhill, there's no getting back. Like JJ Cale said, "Just remember this: you can't get back."

Sitebuilder stuff: I just use database-driven dynamic webapps, that's the way of the future. No need to use anything else, everything you need is in there.

"No one here is interested in interiors..." Well, maybe so. But if you put up a good site you get to a wider audience. To make a site work well commercially, there are 3 core factors to work on: code, content, links. The code is sorted if you use Joomla and keep it clean. Server stuff is part of the code factor but if you get a proper CMS host then you'll probably be OK.

In the content factor there are 2 important things: volume and keywords. A site with 4 pages doesn't really cut it, you need to be writing articles or paying someone else to do that. You need 20 pages at least on your topic. Any aspect will do, from history to materials. This is for a ton of reasons but the best way to look at it is, you need to provide a useful resource for people, or why should they come to your site?

None of it works if you don't get the keywords right. The search engines will send you free traffic if you provide good resources and use the right terms.

They don't send traffic to sites with no links, though. You need to go out and get 200 links as a minimum.

Put that all together and you have a reasonable chance in the icommerce stakes.
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Last edited by chris.p; 09. Dec 2009 at 03:05 PM.
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