Website Case Study: Polish Joomla! Magazine
Co-founder and former First Chairman of the PCJ Open Source Foundation Council (the Polish OSM). One of the organizers of the first JoomlaDay™ Poland, Radek Suski is bringing Joomla to his home country once again with a new community magazine and website at Joomla.net.pl.
Creation of the Polish Joomla Magazine
At the end of 2012, a few members of the Polish Joomla Community had an idea to create a community-driven magazine in which members of the community would contribute (like the US version, Joomla Community Magazine). Although Radek and his team wanted the new magazine to be included on the existing official Polish Joomla website, but this was not possible. So, as Radek stated, "We decided to proceed with this project under our own URL."
Developer: Radek Suski
Development of Joomla.net.pl
The team wanted to give members of the Polish community an opportunity to share their experiences with Joomla in their own language.
Goals for the community website include:
- Inclusive Blog where members contribute
- Administrator who is properly informed about new articles and approves them
- Featured authors section
- Q&A for friendly support
- Website Showcase Directory for members to add their Joomla!-powered websites
Solutions to Challenges
They envisioned a section for short news articles about new updates and releases, but these didn't really fit into standard Joomla articles very well. Therefore, Radek created a separate section called "Newsflash" using a small modal window and powered by the SobiPro component. The latest news is presented on the frontpage in a module which receives feeds from a particular section and uses a customized template. The reason for the template override was to use the bootstrap carousel functionality and the bootstrap modal window (shown below).
Bootstrap Carousel Newsflash Module
Bootstrap Newsflash Modal Window
The team also wanted to give potential Joomla! users an opportunity to try Joomla! 3 easily. For this purpose, he created a small component allowing registered users to create a full featured demo website which is available for 24 hours. The demo site is on a separate subdomain and, for security reasons, is protected by .htpasswd to avoid any kind of abuse.
Every registered user can also install Joomla! 3 and receive an email with the URL and automatically generated login data.
Another idea of the team was to create a Reviews Directory (similar to "cnet.com", a popular reviews website) to enhance input from the community. In the Reviews section, an author can write a guided article about particular Joomla! extension or software. Within the article, the author rates the subject based on seven different criteria and can write an explanation for their ratings. All ratings are combined to calculate an average rating of a particular extension or software. Additionally, every reader can leave their own rating and opinion about the same subject.
As these reviews are an important part of the website, they are also displayed in an RSS module which uses a specially customized template for feeds in SobiPro. The reason for customization was to display the rating "stars" inside the title.
Aside from content requirements, technical goals for Radek included site speed, current CMS, enhanced microformats, and Bootstrap.
"I think we can call this site a success," Radek states. "Thanks to Joomla 3.1 and SobiPro 1.1, the site loads in under 2 seconds, and runs the latest version of Joomla 3.1.5. He even implemented schema.org microformats in most important sections of the site. And, as Radek puts it, "We are enthusiastic about using the awesomeness of bootstrap in Joomla!"
To create a seamless user experience for the site editors, SobiPro was used for all Content with the aid of the JCE Editor. Easy Discuss, Akeeba Backup and Admin Tools are used as well to help manage support and backup. See below for a breakdown of the site:
- Main articles - SobiPro Component - http://sobipro.sigsiu.net
- Newsflash - SobiPro Component
- Members section - SobiPro with Profile Application
- Reviews directory - SobiPro with Rating and Reviews Application
- Support - Easy Discuss Component - http://www.stackideas.com
- Security - Akeeba Backup and Akeeba Admin Tools - http://www.akeebabackup.com
- JCE - Joomla Content Editor - http://www.joomlacontenteditor.net/
- Demo Site creator - Custom Component
Along with the site build, Radek was able to recruit a talented group of authors for the site, and they are regularly publishing the latest news from the Joomla! universe. "We are sharing the Joomla! love", says Radek.
While the development of the magazine and website is still ongoing, Polish Joomla users are finding the new online community to be a very useful tool for learning and collaborating.