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Mundaring Ecostay Website Launched

Mundaring Ecostay

New Joomla 2.5 Website

We recently launched a website for Mundaring Ecostay strawbale chalets. Online bookings using Rentalot Plus has since been added.

Web Design and Development

For the web design, the awesome "Momentum" template from RocketTheme has been installed and customised for this particular client with a seamless strawbale background image and a background image of the cottage itself. The main body and modules have been made transparent so that the cottage is visible in the background.

C6 Media Solutions created the logo.

Other features include:

  • location map using "GMapFP" also includes surrounding facilities and activities
  • social networking "share" and "follow" buttons
  • "JoomPlace Testimonials" for clients to leave feedback
  • the local weather
  • galleries using "SigPlus" image gallery which is fast becoming one of my favourite Joomla extensions

Nibbler Test Score

Out of the box, this website is already achieving a Nibbler test score of 8.0 which is excellent for a brand new website.

The strawbale chalet is very peaceful and is a great place to stay if you are looking for accommodation for yourself, friends or family or business in the local area. Contact Ross or Jenny Mars for details or to make a booking. Contact details are on the website.

Feedback is welcome!

Upgrade or Migrate to Joomla 2.5!

Joomla 2.5.0 was released on schedule on January 24th and since then has been updated to Joomla 2.5.1. Initial teething issues have been addressed and the new version is very appealing with several new features and time savers.

Akeeba Admin Tools to the Rescue

Updates from Joomla 1.7.4 to 2.5.0 that I tried using the built-in Joomla update utility failed but these issues were anticipated by Nicholas Dionysopoulos and addressed in his excellent Akeeba Admin Tools. Even the free version handles the upgrades flawlessly. Nicholas has offered to help incorporate his code into the core of the next Joomla 2.5 release so let's hope that his offer is accepted.

Update: As of Joomla 2.5.4, Nicholas's code has now been incorporated into the Joomla core update feature.

It's Safe to Migrate or Upgrade to Joomla 2.5 Now

Assuming all your favourite extensions are Joomla 2.5 ready, now seems to be a good time to upgrade from Joomla 1.7 or migrate from Joomla 1.5.

I have been busy updating my personal and business websites to Joomla 2.5 and have completed my first client migration from Joomla 1.5. It was easier than I thought.

ChronoForms Even Better Now

The trickiest part has been relearning all the cool tricks I had learnt in ChronoForms v3 as ChronoForms v4 has been completely rewritten and is even better than before!

Joomla 1.5 Security Updates

Remember that Joomla 1.5 security updates will only continue to September 2012 so Joomla 1.5 website owners should be thinking about migrating at some point this year. Joomla 1.5 websites will, of course, still operate after September but may be more vulnerable to hackers.

Happy updating / migrating!

The Importance of Website Updates

There have been some repercussions for some of my Joomla clients after VentraIP updated their server fleet to PHP version 5.3.9 this week. Clients with older versions of JCE Editor found that some features (e.g. spell checker, insert image) would not work until JCE Editor was updated to the latest version.

Domino Effect

To further complicate matters, once JCE Editor was updated to the latest version, this caused issues with older versions of AcyMailing. This too was easily fixed by installing the latest version of AcyMailing.

Regular Reviews and Updates

If there is a lesson to be learned from events this week, then it is worthwhile conducting a regular review of your website and ensuring that extensions are kept reasonably up to date. This is also the best way to keep your website safe from hackers.

Let me know if you'd like a free review of your Joomla website showing your extension versions compared to the current extension versions.

Joomla Monitoring Update:

I now have a JMonitoring master console set up with slave agents installed on all the Joomla websites I look after. I am subscribed to the Joomla Vulnerable Extensions feed and when a vulnerability is announced, it is very quick for me to check which websites are affected and to update them.

Joomla Best Open Source CMS Again!

Joomla has won the 2011 Packt Publishing Open Source CMS Award ahead of Drupal and Plone. This is the third time that Joomla has been honoured with an award since the Packt awards started six years ago.

Joomla released new versions 1.6 and 1.7 this year and has been downloaded over 26 million times since counting started in 2007. It is estimated that Joomla now accounts for 2.7% of the world's websites from small personal websites and blogs to government and multinational corporations.