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Technology

Technology Tuesday – Website Upgrade

Finally finished upgrading my main website. I did a clean install of Joomla 1.7 after testing on localhost, and finding compatible extensions. My main problem has been the family trees – the script I was using on 1.5 doesn’t work with the latest GRAMPS, which is why I decided to upgrade. I tried Joaktree, and although it works brilliantly on localhost, it’s too resource-hungry for my (free) web host. I’ve been hosting at Byethost for several years, and don’t want to change, as they are reliable and helpful, and have no ads on the website itself. I finally decided to move my family trees to WorldConnect at RootsWeb.

I haven’t looked at WorldConnect recently, in fact I’d forgetten it completely, but during the move I’ve found others who are researching the same families as me, so I’ll look into that some more.

For my galleries I’ve switched to FW Gallery, which is basic but does all I need, and is easy to configure and use. It does need registration, but this is free, I’ve had no spam so far, and their website has excellent tutorials for this extension.

I’ve also installed Favicon. Favicons in Joomla usually need to be installed in the template – so if you change your template, you need to remember to move your favicon file. Favicon lets you install them outside the template folder, and choose which favicon you want on a particular page, or simply have one favicon on all pages.

I have also added JE Footer, which makes it easy to display a customised credit or copyright notice, plus additional text with with a link. On plain HTML websites I use javascript to display a start and end year in my copyright notices, and with this extension it’s easy to do the same on a Joomla site.

My contact form is the same – S5 Quick Contact. All of these can be found in the Joomla Extensions Directory.

I tried several templates, including one that I loved but which was too complex for what I needed, and finally settled on one from Joomla Themes.

The upgrade was made much simpler with two excellent little extensions, j2xml and j2xml importer. These copy articles from 1.5, in my case to my PC, and then import them to 1.7 – I imported first to my localhost, and then to my live site. It doesn’t copy menus, but if you haven’t got too many it’s not a serious problem. It does include pictures, sections and categories, plus ratings and trashed articles if you need them.

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