Whether you’re completely new to the art of building websites, or you’re migrating from a different content management system, such as WordPress or Drupal, getting familiar with Joomla can take time. It has many unique elements and requires time and effort to become a Joomla expert. With that being said, there are some common mistakes that I personally see all the time that Joomla newbies frequently make when first learning how to navigate different issues. You can save yourself a lot of time and frustration by avoiding them altogether.
Here are three of the most pervasive – and avoidable – Joomla mistakes that new users frequently experience when first learning the ropes:
1. Not Having a Migration Plan
If you’re migrating your WordPress site to Joomla, there are many different steps that need to be taken in order to ensure nothing is lost. Failing to have a migration plan is a major mistake.
By using a migration checklist, you can follow a specific roadmap that will keep you moving in the right direction. You should start by evaluating your existing website and identifying all of the different content types you have. This will allow you to recognize any areas that need special attention during migration. You’ll then set up Joomla and hone in on a migration service that streamlines the process for you.
After migration, you’ll need to think about content, redirects, design elements, themes, data, and more. As you can see, there’s a lot going on. If you try to approach migration on your own, you’ll fail miserably. Don’t make the mistake of not having a step-by-step migration plan.
2. Uploading Images the Wrong Way
As the importance of visual elements in web design increases, more and more Joomla sites are investing in quality original images in lieu of cold stock photos. This means people are uploading original images from their cameras and computers and putting them on their websites. While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, original images can be several megabytes in size – which can slow down a website.
Joomla beginners will usually attempt to fix this problem by changing the dimensions of their images. While this fixes the physical size, the actual file size still remains the same. One large image may not affect your website, but you’ll notice a change in site speed when you begin adding dozens of images. Considering the fact that a one second delay in page loading time can result in a seven percent reduction in conversions. This is a serious problem.
Thankfully, there are a number of free and paid tools that can help you compress image files before you upload them to your Joomla site. TinyPNG is one, but there are certainly plenty of other options.
3. Pasting Text Directly from Word
This is a less obvious mistake, but an error, nonetheless. You should avoid writing content in Microsoft Word and then directly pasting it into Joomla. There may not be any noticeable issues the first couple of times you do this, but you’ll eventually face some problems.
The reason is that Word documents use special code to format lists, fonts, and other elements. This special code needs to be fixed before it goes into Joomla, or it will cause issues with your published site. The good news is that you don’t have to stop using Word.
First, you can copy your Word selection, paste it into a standard text editor, and then copy that selection and paste into Joomla. This can get a bit annoying when you have a lot of text to insert, but it works. The second common solution is to use a tool like the TinyMCE plugin, which automatically fixes formatting code issues from Word.
Don’t Learn the Hard Way
People often say it’s best to learn things the hard way – experiencing trials and hardships, that is – but that’s not true in this case. When it comes to Joomla, you shouldn’t just jump in blind and see what happens. It’s best to prepare yourself for what lies ahead.
When you first start out with Joomla, you won’t get things right 100 percent of the time. However, by eliminating these common mistakes, you can curb your frustrations and stay focused on building immersive websites that properly reflect the time and work you’ve invested.