Website Case Study: Joomla! Community Magazine
The Joomla! Community Magazine is a monthly collection of Articles, News, Reviews and Tips about the award winning content management system, Joomla!. The JCM is staffed entirely by volunteers in the Joomla! community who are passionate about this open source software.
Basic website information
Website: Jommla! Community Magazine
Organization URL: https://magazine.joomla.org
Developer: Komrade, a web development agency based in Athens, Greece, creates cutting-edge websites and web applications that balance usable, effective content presentation with strong visual style.
Developer URL: http://www.komrade.gr
A New Beginning
One of the keys to the Joomla! Community Magazines resurgence is the community volunteers who have spent over 6 months planning and preparing for the relaunch. The idea resurfaced in a group discussion at All Together As A Whole, and really took off from there. Community Leadership Team member Paul Orwig was asked to step in as Lead Editor to revive the magazine, and then set out on a course to make that happen around October 2009.
When asked why the need for a magazine when there is a blog in place, Paul had this to say: "The JCM provides a structured platform to regularly deliver a variety of content of interest to the Joomla! community. Much of the type of content delivered by the JCM is not regularly available elsewhere in the joomla.org family of websites. In addition, the JCM provides an opportunity for all members of the Joomla! community to share what they have discovered, experienced, and accomplished with Joomla! in ways that will inform, educate, challenge, and inspire other members of the Joomla! community."
From the very beginning, Fotis Evangelou of Komrade volunteered to head the design and development of the new site. Regarding initial conversations about the new site design, Paul said, "Komrade was able to view and participate in public preliminary general discussions about all aspects of the JCM which took place on All Together As A Whole. Komrade created a screenshot mockup based on these preliminary discussions. Komrade then revised the mockup a few times based on feedback from the joomla.org style and navigation standards." This second design was used to produce what you see here now.
As the topic of the discussion turned to work-flow, it was determined the magazine might be better suited with a 3rd party content component, and Komrade suggested the K2 component, which fits the bill perfectly. It offers multi-author, front- end article submissions with author bios, built-in tagging, unlimited nested categories and custom content fields. All of which are used extensively on the Joomla! Community Magazine Website.
Under the hood
This build is pretty solidly a vanilla Joomla! install with a few extensions that add some necessary features for this project: flexible content construction, a robust content editor, backup and some customization JCM needed to accommodate bringing new authors on board.
Some of the extensions used on JCM include:
- K2 Content Component
Out-of-the box integrated solution featuring rich content forms for items (think of Joomla! articles with additional fields for article images, videos, image galleries and attachments), nested-level categories, tags, comments, a system to extend the item base form with additional fields, a powerful plugin API to extend item, category and user forms, ACL, frontend editing, sub-templates and a lot more.
- JCE Advanced Link Plugin for k2
Use JCE's advanced link feature in order to seamlessly link to K2 content items.
- Joomla! Content Editor
Add a set of tools to your Joomla!® environment that give you the power to create the kind of content you want, without limitations, and without needing to know or learn HTML, XHTML, CSS.
- K2 Custom Plugins
Komrade and Akeeba Backup both stepped up to provide custom plugins for the Joomla! Community Magazine Website. Komrade integrated a custom mail feature for editors to get notices when an article is submitted to their specific topic, while Nicholas Dionysopoulos helped with a JCE-K2 link building plugin.
- GTranslate Module
Edvard Ananyan's GTranslate module is used to help translate the Joomla! Community Magazine into several different languages using the power of Google Translate. With the ever-growing international community that is Joomla!, it only made sense to make sure the magazine is presented in as many languages as possible.
While the K2 component went through a rigorous security audit by Joomla! lead developer Andrew Eddie, the Joomla! Community Magazine set up a sub-forum at http://forum.joomla.org/viewforum.php?f=573 to enlist a group of editors to staff the magazine. Topics were discussed and decided upon, and editors volunteered to staff the 18 different sections of the site in a matter of weeks.
With just over 8 months of planning, design, development and content creation to get the project off the ground, that's a perfect example of a volunteer community coming together with the Joomla! project and it's 3rd party developers to bring a free and useful resource to Joomla! users everywhere.