The Joomla! Community Magazine™

Website Case Study: Joomlagov.info

Written by | Monday, 01 August 2011 00:00 | Published in 2011 August
Never afraid of a challenge, a team of dedicated Joomla! Developers decided to document how Joomla! has conquered the world. The result is joomlagov.info, which lists Joomla! powered government websites across the globe. In this case study, the creators share their plan for world domination - and how the site was built.

Basic Overview

Title: Explore Government Websites built with Joomla!
Live website URL: http://joomlagov.info 
Development Time: 2 weeks -
Category: FOSS CMS

Development Team

Matthew Philogene

Raramuri Design

"Offline, I enjoy travelling, hiking & camping, rock climbing and 'off-the-beaten-track' travel to remote parts of South Africa (no internet!). All of this is offset by the hard work we do online in Web Strategy Development & Design from our offices, located in Cape Town, South Africa.

I have been in the Online Industry for over 10 years. Obtained a diploma in Marketing and Advertising before going into the Online Industry. My main passion lies in Solution Development for clients, using popular open source systems and seeing our clients businesses grow to success as a result of the Websites which we develop.

I am also Co-organiser of the Joomla! Day Events in South Africa and over the last three years we have organised six events around the country."

Marcos Peebles

Piezoworks

"All-rounder, 'jack-of-none trades' as I describe myself. Been in the web since the late 90s. Born in Chile, raised in Belgium. Creative guy, I like having ideas and as I always say - that is the easy part. Making them happen is where I feel the best. Firm believer in collaborative projects and giving back. Working between Brussels and Santiago de Chile.

I am proud to have friends in a lot of countries and languages. Sometimes grumpy, trying to be nice online as in life. I enjoy my scooter and going out with friends whenever and wherever."

Dwight Barnard

go2cya

"I specialise in the design and implementation of custom Joomla! templates. Striving for that pixel perfect finish that is sometimes difficult to achieve when balancing functionality, usability and design."

Jarred de Beer

Raramuri Design

"A web developing animator. I am a qualified animator with experience in web development and have a keen interest in blending the two skills with up and coming web technologies. In my work I use Blender, GIMP and Inkscape for design or graphical work and develop websites using the Joomla! CMS platform."

Team Talk


The developers, Matthew, Marcos, Dwight & Jarred chat to Team Joomity and share some secrets about the site development. They also share their thoughts on 'giving back' to the Joomla! Community and a little about the South African Joomla! Community.

Which version of Joomla! did you use and why?

Joomla 1.5 - K2 was not available for Joomla 1.6/1.7 at that time.

How did you bring in all the Google Map locators?

explore

We had huge help from a small team who helped verify the GEO locations into a central Google spreadsheet. Once they were all there we bulk automated the adding of the GEO locations using a script that runs through a browser. (more details in the Podcast and on the Website).

How is the site automated?

All new data is added using a form, which populates into K2. All that needs to happen is that the data is checked, a screenshot created and posted live.

Why is it so fast?

All code is minified and compressed - css and html. Javascript is not as this causes issues. It is on a load-balanced server. All data is cached for two weeks. The total size of cached data is around 60MB so this speeds up the site. We also ran a script to remove all white space and tabs from all of our code. This helped the minify as the code was optimized already from this level

Average load speed for us in South Africa on the http://joomlagov.info/explore/ page is 9 - 12 seconds. This same page loads between 1 and 5 seconds in Europe.

How did you decide on the design, colour scheme, look/feel?

Joomla Gov Home PageJoomlagov Home Page with flyout

The inspiration came from another map based web project that had an attractive colour palette and good use of space to compliment the Google Maps as the core focus.

Although the design was hatched from concepts and colour schemes in use elsewhere on the web, the implementation and integration into Joomla! and K2" was 100% custom. A limited time frame and a definitive deadline for the project did to some degree dictate boundaries but it all worked out well in the end.

Finishing touches like google webfonts and Disqus comments helped.

How is the website doing since launch?

1,172 people visited this site in July 2011:

  • 1,478 Visits
  • 1,172 Unique Visitors
  • 4,668 Pageviews
  • 3.16 Pages/Visit
  • 00:02:55 Avg. Time on Site
  • 40.66% Bounce Rate
  • 75.51% % New Visits

 

The initial launch was very good. Articles and twitter created a good buzz. We do notice when there is an update, twitter really does generate the traffic. There are good trends to see in the stats, for example the keywords being used to find the site and also the countries which are popular.

Top 7 countries viewed:
  • Poland
  • USA
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Israel
  • Chile
  • Russia
Top 7 search queries:
  • government joomla websites
  • joomlagov
  • estonian government website
  • joomla submit website
  • joomla gov info
  • joomla government websites
  • joomlagov sites

 

Joomla! Extensions

In-house Extensions

Joomlagov dashboardJoomlagov components

  • Custom Admin
  • Slide-out help module - front page
  • All Google API integration coded into K2
  • Custom Maps in Submit forms and method of posting data into K2 content

Summary

The Joomlagov website is a great ambassador for Joomla!'s capabilities. The website itself is a showcase of how flexible and powerful Joomla! can be in the hands of capable developers. On top of that, it lists thousands of websites built in Joomla! making it the perfect showcase to convince enterprise and government procurement departments that FOSS Joomla! CMS is a viable alternative to traditional 'locked-in' bespoke systems.

Whether you are looking for inspiration, a powerful marketing tool or just a cool site to browse, this is a site you'll want to visit. And finally...

Lost in Space?

A special hidden little part of the site - a scrolling 404 animation to help you find your way home! Click the image to view the animation. Don't forget to contribute: if you see a government site powered by Joomla!, or if you develop one, please submit it: http://joomlagov.info/submit

joomlagov 404 page

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Tagged under Sitebuilders
Team Joomity

Team Joomity

A flexible team of Joomla! Community Members currently consisting of Stephen Zeegers, Bo Astrup and Hilary Cheyne