Joomla Expert

Joomla Expert

JoomlaExpert offers a full range of specialist Joomla website packages coupled with professional Joomla advice & long term support. With clients based in the UK, Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the United States, Canada and and Australia we work with a diverse range of businesses providing world-class Joomla solutions. With specialist partners in Marketing, Graphic Design, Video Production, Hosting & Development, we manage your Joomla projects from end-to-end. 

Dr. Ultan Sharkey (BBLS, MBS, Ph.D.) is an ecommerce consultant specializing in online shopping businesses. He holds a Masters degree in Ecommerce and a PhD in Online Shopping Experience from National University of Ireland Galway where he is also an Adjunct Lecturer in the business school. He also owns www.barefoot.ie, a Joomla based online shop for top-brand fitness equipment. He is also a founding member of the eCommerce Association of Ireland (www.ecai.ie).

Ultan and his team have over 10 years experience with Joomla having worked with it since it forked from the Mambo CMS back in 2005. 

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Spring Cleaning your Joomla website

Recently we were asked by a client how best to go through their Joomla CMS website and clean out old content that might be lingering from previous iterations of their website, or unfinished blog posts, and even some older content that was showing up on google search that they no longer wanted appearing. Here is a run down of what we suggested they do to spring clean the content from their Joomla website, and the same strategy can be applied for cleaning out old menu items, modules and content from 3rd party Joomla extensions too.

Managing Joomla Trash

A good strategy I find is to delete anything currently in the trash on the assumption that if it's been sitting in the trash for a while and nobody has complained or there have been no issues then it is very likely these items are actual trash and are no longer needed. That gives us an empty trash as a base point for spring cleaning. In Joomla, there are separate trashes for Content items, Menu items, and Modules and it's very useful to have these separated out like this but the clean up strategy is the same for each. I'll call all of the things in each of these areas 'items'. Before you proceed remember it's always a good idea to manually run a Joomla backup before embarking on any significant changes in your Joomla website.

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Removing the 'No additional Charge' or price addition from a custom filed cart variant dropdown

Joomla's popular ecommerce extension, Virtuemart allows us to add variants of products and charge extra for those variants. You may have products that carry no additional charge such as different colors available, and by default Virtuemart will display a 'No additional Charge' message in the dropdown where your customer selects that variant. In this article we show you how to not display those extra prices or messages.

Removing the 'No additional charge'

The best way to achieve this is to add a langiage override. Language overrides allow us to replace any string constant declared in any of the language files with a custom version. In this case we want to replace the string value of 'No additional charge' with a blank, empty value.

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Solving the vmError: Warning, the Safe Path is not accessible (does not exist or no permission)

When transferring Joomla Virtuemart software between servers, the Safe Path location listed in the Virtuemart configuration does not automatically update. Because of this, you see an error 'vmError: Warning, the Safe Path is not accessible (does not exist or no permission).'

The Safe Path is a location Virtuemart uses to store the PDF invoices and delivery notes it generates. Ideally you create this below the root of your website and provide the server path to that folder in the configuration, often it looks like '/var/www/vhosts/mywebsite/safepathfolderhere'. In many cases, shared hosting does not allow access below the root so Virtuemart suggests using a randomized folder name places above the root, below the administrator area, because that has a little extra security generally. In these cases the path looks something like:

'/var/www/vhosts/mywebsite/administrator/components/com_virtuemart/HyHf5ahdJuty96/'

You simply add your version of that to the Virtuemart configuration at Virtuemart > Configuration > Configuration > Templates (Tab) > Media Files Settings (Area) > Safe Path. Permissions should be 755.

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What is the default password reset link for Joomla 3?

Sometimes users forget passwords and rather than manually resetting them in Joomla admin, you can simply provide them with this link to reset their passwords themselves.

The default link for the password reset page in Joomla 3 and many other versions is:

index.php?option=com_users&view=reset

You simply add that to the end of your website name to navigate to the Joomla user password reset page

Joomla 3 password reset link

http://www.example.com/index.php?option=com_users&view=reset
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Fixing the "JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: XX" Warning

Whenever a Joomla article or category is created, the system records the account that created it. This is useful for content items where we also want to display a link to the user who wrote the article, or for displaying content authored by a specific Joomla user.  The warning message "JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: XX" is telling us that the user with the XX id number could not be loaded, typically because that user has been deleted.

Note that this message is a warning rather than an error, so while it can be annoying and may show notices or warnings it won't break your site. In the future, when users leave your organisation it is better practice to disable their Joomla account rather than to delete it. That prevents this issue from arising again.

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Troubleshooting a Joomla Update problem

Troubleshooting a Joomla Update problem

A few things can go wrong when updating Joomla though later releases tend to have fewer and fewer issues. We describe some common issues and provide solutions here as well as examining tools to diagnose the root causes.

1. One-click didn't work. The one-click update basically grabs the update files from the Joomla code repository and installs them similar to the way extensions get installed. If you're behind a firewall or on a weak connection this can fail. In this case, you have the option of downloading the upgrade package ZIP file manually and installing it via the Joomla update extension. If that fails there is a third option where you extract the contents of the upgrade package and overwrite the files on your Joomla installation. If you use that method you'll also need to follow our next troubleshooting tip to apply the database update.

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Updating Joomla - the expert guide

Joomla! is a fully-featured Content Management System that runs about 3% of the world's top one million websites. Like any software, updates are released from time to time to help keep it secure, squash some bugs; and advance the feature set. In this article, we show you what steps to take when Joomla updates are pending, before and after you apply those updates.

Disclaimer - This advice will be all you need for most sites, but do feel free to contact us if you need specialist Joomla update help

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Joomla! 3.4.4 and 3.6.3 exploit unauthorised users and escalated privileges hack

On October 25th, 2016 the Joomla team issued a security release for the 3.x series of Joomla. Joomla 3.6.4 fixes a high-severity security vulnerability that can allow remote users to create new accounts, modify existing accounts, and elevate their privileges to that of a Super Administrator on any Joomla site not patched. These issues combined potentially give attackers enough power to get complete control of your Joomla website. The affected Joomla versions are from 3.4.4 through 3.6.3.

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How to make custom search engine friendly URLs in Joomla

How to set Joomla Search Engine Friendly URLsThe Joomla CMS provides a neat little way to turn the standard ugly urls from their long, unfriendly format to a much more human readable 'Search Engine Friendly (SEF)" version.

Follow these two simple steps in order to make your Joomla system show friendly URLs!

Change this:

http://www.example.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=44&Itemid=918

to the much more readable and search engine friendly:

http://www.example.com/blog 

There are just two things you need to do to achieve this. In the Joomla administrator area, navigate to System > Global Configuration. On this screen the first tab is Site. On the right hand column, under the title SEO Settings set Search Engine Friendly URLs to Yes. A new field will appear 'Use URL Rewriting' which you can set to Yes also.

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