(Reading time: 11 - 22 minutes)

The excuses people make …

2312 hits Updated: 17 January 2018 Blog

Why people don’t update Joomla

Every website is a business in some form or another[1] and how you manage your website determines the success or otherwise of your business.  If you spend time cultivating your website, investing in developing new content, new software and general maintenance, your customers—the people who visit your site—will notice the difference and will return again.  If you treat your site like a “field of dreams”—if you expect your business to flourish simply because you created a website (and that was the total extent of your time and energy)—then you’re in for a wake-up call.

Every website is a business in some form or another and the first order of business is to cover your operating expenses.  You can (a) charge people to pay to view your site, (b) encourage people to donate their time and/or money to help with your running costs and/or (c) obtain revenue via in-site advertising.  The success of your business depends on how well others enjoy doing business with you, whether they’ll visit your site, buy your products or refer others to your site and do the same and, hopefully, give you some profit at the end of the day.  This website is no different.  There are a couple of advertisements that appear on the pages—I certainly appreciate the tiny click-rate revenue they give me—but, I hope, they’re not too invasive.  How a site owner designs their site and runs their business is entirely up to them, of course; I’m not suggesting otherwise.

There are three kinds of people in this world:  those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.  The success of your business is in your hands and is dependent on the kind of person you are.  Are you an entrepreneur, a passive observer or a victim of circumstances?

The one constant we can rely upon is that everything changes and, depending on the type of person you are, people manufacture a variety of excuses to rationalise why they’re unable to deal with inevitable change—the blame game.  This article will help you identify whether you’re at risk of playing the blame game and how to rid yourself from the burden of using outdated, unsupported and vulnerable software.

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(Reading time: 4 - 7 minutes)

To cache or not to cache?

1965 hits Updated: 07 December 2016 Blog

What is web caching?

Types of caches

Caching:  bene­fits and dis­ad­van­tages

There are many myths about caching—for example, some people believe that HTTPS does not cache web pages—but there’s a lot of ignorance about how to use caching effectively.  This article doesn’t have all the answers but it may help people learn about web caching and some of the benefits, costs and risks associated with how you use it.

A web cache (or HTTP cache) is an information technology for the temporary storage of web documents, such as HTML pages and images, to reduce bandwidth usage, server load and perceived lag.[1]  Because generating web content over the internet is both slow and expensive and, in today’s fast-paced and time-constrained world, most people’s attention span barely survives one or two seconds, one of the main purposes of caching is to improve the user experience.  Large responses for information can involve many roundtrips between the client and server which delays when they are available and when the browser can process them, and also incur data costs for the visitor.  In other words, caching helps reduce the cost involved between when the user clicks a mouse/presses a key/taps a screen and when an “event” (such as displaying a new web page) occurs.

The ability to cache and reuse previously fetched resources is a critical part of optimising for performance.  The wrong use of caching, on the other hand, can also be counter-productive as we shall discuss.

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(Reading time: 10 - 20 minutes)

The last word about Kunena

6286 hits Updated: 18 January 2018 Blog

Latest Kunena uses your website to solicit donations to the Kunena project

Tips to protect your forum from exploitation

Removing the “Powered by Kunena” text

Some people may be curious about the title I’ve chosen for this article.  Before people become concerned about my state of mind—am I really not going to write about Kunena anymore or is this the end of my {kun´ēzē} business—I have a few words to say about recent changes in this popular Joomla extension.  There are a couple of hidden surprises in the latest versions of Kunena that may make you think twice about wanting to install them.

At the outset, you do not need to be alarmed or feel nervous that the latest version will make your websites any more vulnerable than what they currently are.  The changes in Kunena version 4.0.12 [K 4.0.12] and 5.0.2 [K 5.0.2] will not make websites any more or less secure than the previous releases.  There have been a couple of minor technical improvements—those are the facts—but there have also been changes that may upset some people:  one change, in particular, that challenges the reasons people choose Kunena in the first place!  The good news is that the “last word” in this article will help reduce those fears.

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(Reading time: 3 - 6 minutes)

To “localhost” or not to “localhost”, that is the question

1588 hits Updated: 06 December 2016 Blog

Building your website in a PC-hosted environment:  is it the best idea?

Perhaps you may want to re-think your strategy.

I confess that I’m a forum junkie but I get frustrated with requests for help from others with their I-have-a-problem-with-my-Joomla-on-a-PC-hosted-website problems that I encounter on an almost-daily basis.  Discussion forums are great places to obtain assistance or vent one’s personal opinion but, although the more seasoned members of such communities offer their support, assisting people with problems that exist in their own private universe is an incredibly difficult thing to do via a forum.

Wherever I travel—whether my local JUG or attending Joomla events around the country or the world—our community seems to be divided on the necessity of designing, developing, building and testing websites on a PC-hosted platform before deploying it on the “real” server.  I meet people who are more than passionate about their use of PC-hosted sites; they’re almost obsessive-compulsive about it.  Whenever I challenge their beliefs—sometimes bordering on fanaticism—about the requirement to undertake their craft in a one-person “world” (usually one solitary personal computer that’s not networked to others), I’m met with the resolute response, “This is the only way and you can’t tell me otherwise!”

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