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Blog Doubles Site Conversion, Learn To Add Blog in Joomla Using K2

Blog Doubles Site Conversion, Learn To Add Blog in Joomla Using K2

Whether your business is large, or bootstrapping with your startup, naturally you want to reach your customer applying all your marketing strategies. But today's customers have been prudent enough to decode your marketing traps. Now a days, they are seldom got allured to click on your online advertisement and even they don’t believe in product ratings. But don’t worry, people still believe in quality contents. A statistic shows 57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog. If you want to boost your website conversion, you should include it right away.

Adding a blog in a website is pretty easy, but each CMS follows different ways. My today’s job is to show you how to add blog in a Joomla powered website. There are couple of Joomla blogging component and extensions are available online, some are free and some are premium. I have chosen K2. K2 is powerful, Free, and choice of millions of Joomla webmasters as a content extension.

 

For quick demonstration, I have selected Bolt template from ThemeXpert template directory. Bolt is responsive supported Joomla 2.5 to Joomla 3.x. I can assume you have downloaded the template, if you're new to Joomla, here is the in depth details of Joomla installation. So, lets get into details K2 blog installation.

Step 01

To install a blog in your Joomla website, you have to download K2 first from K2 official website. and then install K2 component via Extension > Extension Manager > Install > Upload Package File link from the Joomla Back-end.

01_20141017-121710_1.png

Step 02

 After installing K2, the first task you must do is to create a category in K2 component. Because each blog must publish under a category, if you don’t define category first, no blog post (K2 Items) can be published. To create a category, head over to the K2 category manager following Component > K2 > Categories link.

03_20141017-123217_1.png

Step 03

You can see in the above image, there is no category available in the K2 category manager. To create a category, click on New button from the category menu bar. New button will open up Add Category panel with numerous option handles. In this tutorial I will not go into details explanation of these options. I will only create category with default option comes with K2. Make sure, you checked Yes for Publish  and select public from Access Level drop down. Just add title of category(I titled K2 Cat) and click Save and Close.

04.png

When you click save and close, you can see your created category is available in K2 category manager. You can see in the image below, K2 Cat category has been added. 

05.png

Step 04

Now we will create K2 items (blog Items). Get into K2 item manager from Component > K2 > Items link. You can see, there is no items available in K2 items manager. To create new items click on New button from top menu.

Now Add item/ blog title in Title field, select K2 Cat Category from category dropdown, add item description under content tab (You can add images from Image tab and tags from Tags Field). Here In Add Item panel various options are available but I will not go for explanation for the options. I will only create new item with default settings, but make sure you have checked the Yes for publish settings, and selected public option from Access Level drop down. When you done with all desired setting, click Save and Close.

08_20141019-055455_1.png

Now in K2 Item Manager you can see an item has been added.

07_20141019-054616_1.png

Step 05

We have almost done our process, but could not access our created item from front-end. To access item from front-end, we will add a new item in main menu and access K2 item under K2 Cat category. To add new item in main menu, click on Add New Menu Item via Menus > Main Menu link.

Now add Menu Title (I titled Blog), and click on Select button from Menu Item Type.  Unfold  K2 tab. It will open up some options, select Categories from the options and click Save and Close.

09.png 

Step 06

Now head to the font-end of Bolt template, you can see a item call Blog added in the main menu. Under the Blog menu item you can see, our created K2 item has been published with full-fledged blogging system. 

10.png

Suggestion  For K2 Integrated Template 

Conclusion 

Here in this tutorials I've only shown the basic installation of K2 Blog, I haven’t gone for blog styling. But don’t worry in coming tutorials, I will show the extensive details of K2 options and its possibilities. If have any suggest for our upcoming tutorials or any question to ask. Please feel free to add in comment, we really appreciate for your response.

How To Add Google Fonts On Your Joomla Website

How To Add Google Fonts On Your Joomla Website

When you have an initiative to launch your website, the conversion goal becomes your bread and butter. You might have invested your utmost endeavor to attract your visitors. But your catchy headlines and descriptions still fail to pin visitors on your website. If you're desperately striving to reach to your conversion goal, then I have a well-researched solution. The solution is Typography.

In 2006 Oliver Reichenstein wrote Web Design is 95% Typography. Some people love it, some get amazed. So, be focused on. If you're focusing mostly on other element of your website rather than typography, you might be on wrong traction. There are a number of elements of typography, but choosing an incredible font is considered most important of them.

Finding a font sounds time consuming and costly, But don’t worry Google has been supplying the community with a large collection of web-based fonts for quite a few years. At the time of this writing there are 651 font families available at Google font Library . You can filter all fonts by specific categories and font characteristics.

 

The included Categories:

  • Serif
  • Sans-Serif
  • Display
  • Handwriting
  • Monospace

The included characteristics:

  • Thickness
  • Slant
  • Width

There are numerous CMS over the web, and each of them comes with their own philosophy. You might follow unique way to add Google font for each and every CMS. Now the question is how we add Google font in Joomla websites? So, don’t worry just follow, I answer in steps below.

Step 01

For Joomla we have to import Google font stylesheet in the website backend. To do this first we need to get a stylesheet link from Google Fonts. I’ll be using Open Sans for this quick tutorial. Let’s head over to the Google Fonts library, search for Open Sans, and click on Quick-use icon to your desired font.

 01_20141015-050818_1.png

Step 02

When you click on the Use button, It opens up a details of your individual font with couple of control handles. On font details screen you can choose what weights and types of the selected font you would like to make use of on your website. The more interesting thing is documentation of the load time with the Page Load graphic seen in the image below.

02.png 

Step 03

After selecting the weights and styles of your fonts, scroll a bit down and copy the line of code from list number 3 under import tab which looks like this:

@import url(http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Open+Sans:300italic,400italic,600italic,700italic,400,700,600,300);

Step 04

When you copy the import link, head over to the Control Panel => Template Manager. click on the default template from Template column.

After clicking of default template (My default template Protostar), you will land on Customise Template page. Open template.less file form LESS folder , paste the copied code in template.less file (you can paste the code on any other LESS file) and click Save button. Make sure you have complied LESS clicking on Compile LESS button at the upper right corner of the screen. follow the below image.

musa-copy.png

You will probably also notice the familiar font-family of CSS styling like this, Copy this code from Google font details page underneath the imported code that we pasted in template.less file. font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif;

When you copy the following code, back to template.less file again and paste the code (font-family ) in the CSS element where you need to include the font. The code could be like this:

body{
      font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif;
      font-weight: 300;
      font-size: 14px;
}

or

h1,h2,h3,h4,h5 {
      font-family: 'Open Sans', sans-serif;
      font-weight: 400;
}

The process has been shown above could be different based Joomla Framework, If you are using Expose Framework or ThemeXpert template, you can include imported and font-family code in the scaffolding.less file. Just like this.

google05-1.png

If you think the above process is difficult, don’t worry Expose Framework has an awesome core feature to change Google font from Joomla Admin. Head into the Template Manager. Click on the default template(my default template is bolt) from style column, and click on Typography from the left sidebar of the screen. Here in this panel you can choose almost all Google font from Check Google Font Directory for Body, Menu, Heading and Module. After selecting your desired font click save and close.

oneoflast.jpg

Conclusion

Adding Google font in the core Joomla file almost similar to all Joomla websites, But each template clubs with their personal framework could provide easy and unique technic of adding Google or any other fonts in a Joomla website. You can see ThemeXpert Expose Framework made easy to add Google font for their users. So, feel free to comment, how you change or add Google fonts in your websites?

How To Find And Fix Broken Links in Joomla

Joomla_broken_link_checker

A website represents your business identity and hold the prestige of your brand. You invest your most of the time and hard labor to make your website trendy, slick and user friendly. But when a visitor clicks on a link, and if it directs him to a page or files that is deleted or no longer existed, you might not reach to the goal that you deserve.

So, it's harmful for your business. Even it could be reason of losing a handful of customers and slow down your whopping conversion rate.

Generally, most of the website contains broken links. But don’t worry, it’s avoidable. You might be thinking how to avoid it, right? Before heading to the solution, you have to find out the reason why the broken links occurs. There are numerous reasons that could occur this troublesome. Here are some.

  • The website owner changed the post or page alias (Probably to improve SEO).
  • The website is restructured: resulting in page having a different URL.
  • The website is transferred to a new domain and owner forget or did setup a redirect.
  • The website may go offline owing to hacking, a firewall, limited bandwidth, or the website owner not paying their hosting bill.
  • The website owner has removed the page or post
  • Website no longer exists
  • External website that have gone offline.
  • Misspelling in the link

A common technical errors are noticed to forget to include http:// at the beginning of a link. When you make this mistake, the browser assumes that you are trying to link to a location that is relative to your current location. For example, If you incorrectly linked to www.psdhub.com from this article instead of https://www.psdhub.com the URL would be published as a http://www.themexpert.com/blog/www.psdhub.com

Are broken links harmful for SEO ?

An important aspect of Search Engine Optimization is making your website easy for both users and search engine robots to understand. Majority of SEO experts say that fixing broken links, missing images, and 404 page errors, will improve your overall search engine ranking. But Google states on their website that 404 errors will not impact a website’s ranking.

Even though Google has confirmed that 404 errors will not hurt a website’s rankings, they do encourage all website owners to fix links on their website for a better user experience. So, when someone lands on your website and finds something unexpected, it really impacts on visitor's first impression in the long run.

How to find 404 and broken links ?

Now we know the reasons behind the broken links and how important to fix it. They are numerous Joomla broken link checker software and services available that will can scan your website and report broken links to you. Let’s have a look on Joomla broken link checker software’s around the web.

Google Webmaster Tools (FREE)

Google Webmaster Tools is a FREE web service by Google for webmasters, analyzes your website from the perspective of the Google search engine rather that visitor activity that occurs directly on your site. It not only provides critical information that can help you drive more traffic to the correct pages on your site, but also help to find out 404 errors and broken links.

You will find 404 errors and broken link information on the Crawl Error page; which is located in the Crawl section of the main menu.

To find the errors and broken links, add your website the Google Webmaster tool and verify your website ownership from from the recommended or alternative method.

google_webmaster_tool_verify_ownership

The below page displays site errors and URL errors for desktops, smartphones, and feature phones. URL errors are categorized, with server errors, soft 404 errors, and normal 404 errors (not found), all being presented separately.

display_site_errors

The not found page lists all of your 404 errors. Scroll a bit down to get into the list and check individual error. Some errors will point to pages that you have removed from your website, however others will be genuine broken links that should to be fixed.

list_of_404_page To bring up details about the broken link, click on the url from the list. It will popup a modal window with the full URL of the broken link and the first time the error was detected with first and last browser crawling date.

error_detection_details

If you want to know the linked source, click on the “Linked From” next to the “Error Details” tab, will help you to see exactly where the broken link was found.

linked_source

Joomla Redirect Manager

The Redirect Manager is a component, accessible from the Joomla back-end of. It was introduced in Joomla! 1.6 and its main function is to provide a mechanism to give an administrative ability to redirect the URL of a web page which no longer exists to a working web page.

To Head into the Joomla Redirect Manager, Select ComponentsRedirect from the drop-down menu of the Joomla! Administrator Panel. Here in this panel you will find the list of enabled, disable, archived and trashed 404 as well as broken links. Even your search for specific link your assumed to be broken.

Joomla_redirect_manager

[ Note: Make sure you have enabled an extension System - Redirect from plugin manager which remain by default disabled, otherwise Joomla Redirect Manager will not come into function]

Link Valet (FREE)

Link Valet is a WWW Link checker. When you enter the URL of an HTML page on the Web, it will scan your whole website, and print a report of broken links in various colors. But Link Valet is not an easy way to see all broken links together at a glance.

Link_valet

How to fix broken Links ?

When you have done with the listing of broken links of your website, you can move forward to repair and redirect them. Now you can do one of the following to fix your broken links on your website.

  • Correct the link with redirect manager: The easiest way to fix the broken links of joomla powered websites, is from the Joomla Redirect Manager. Just head over redirect manager, click on broken link from the list. It will take you to the Edit Link panel. Set destination in the Destination URL input box, tunt the status into enable if it is disable and click save and close.

correct_link_with_redirect_manager

  • Correct the Link: If you missed to link a website incorrectly, The only thing you have to do is edit the URL and replace it with the correct value. For example, one of the most common reasons a link becomes broken is because the author forgot to put http:// at the beginning.

  • Unlink the Link: Suppose you linked to a page that is no longer exists, or no longer relevant or available, you may want to completely remove the link from the article.
  • Mark as Fixed in Google Webmaster Tool: The idea of Mark as Fixed in Google Webmaster Tool is just to allow webmasters to clean up their previous report when you have fixed errors. Eventually Google will get informed that the broken links have been fixed.

mark_as_fixed_in_redirect_manager

Conclusion :

You invest your time and money to make your website full of contents. But if they go beyond the visitors access, you might lose your visitors as well as reputation. So, be careful with it. They are numerous way to find broken links on your website.

I have shared my preference with Google Webmaster Tool and Joomla Redirect manager. If you follow another method to fix your broken URL feel free to share in the comments.

How to Create New Language Override from Joomla Admin

How to Create New Language Override from Joomla Admin

Language always matters for a website, Joomla provides all specific pros and cons to run a website in any supported languages. According to Joomla community portal, 57 language pack is available in the Joomla extension directory at the time of writing. So, it can be said, Joomla is running almost in 57 languages.

Creating multilingual sites have become a lot easier with the new core integration of supporting more languages. In some case, you may need to choose a pack for your native languages. But only installing a language pack or using Joomla core languages may not give you satisfactory translated string.

Suppose you have installed a language pack for your native language or you have chosen an extension, it may produce some translation that may not appropriate for you. So, in this circumstance, you want to override the language string that doesn't suit your motto.

The overriding language string is comprised of few steps, you do not need to head over to the server to modify your language files. You can change the language text right from inside the Joomla Admin.

Step 01

Select the language string, that you want to override. Login to the Joomla admin panel, head to the Extensions > Language Manager > Overrides. Click on New button, search for selected word. Make sure you have selected Value for Search from the dropdown field.

You can see in the image below i have selected and searched for ”Written by” string.

image01.png

Step 02

Search Results can be appeared in maximum number, click on the relevant search result connected with your desired text. After clicking, you will notice, clicked element will be appearing on the override panel with its constant and text.

 image00.png

Step 03

Replace the text with your desired string from Text field. And press the save button.

In the image below. You can see, we have replaced the Written by with Published by text.

language-override.jpg

Conclusion :

One thing, you should have been covered. If you want to revert back to your default language changes, simply delete created language changes from Language Overrides section

How do override languages in your turn ?

How To Add Favicon In Joomla Website

How To Add Favicon In Joomla Website

Favicon stands for favorite icon, is also known as a shortcut icon, website icon, tab icon or bookmark icon. The favicon is an icon adjacent to a URL displayed in a browser’s address bar or subsequent to the site name in a bookmark list. When a visitor adds a website to his bookmarks list, the favicon is appeared before the website link.

Favicon is just an small icon makes your website more memorable and professional. Usually famous websites are known by their Favicon. Your favicon is like a trademark. People associate it with your "brand". If you're working to build brand name recognition, it is a mandatory, It helps its users to easily distinguish your site when it's opened on crowded browser.

crowded.png

Sometimes, little things make a big difference. So, we decided to write an article how to add favicon in Joomla website. Don’t panic about process, the whole process will take you only five to ten minutes. The process is comprised of two steps. In first step, we will create favicon and subsequently we will add the favicon in a Joomla website.

 

Creating a Favicon Image

According to W3C favicon must be 16x16 pixels or 32x32 pixels, using either 8-bit or 24-bit colors. The thing should be noted favicon.ico image should be simple and can be displayed in 16x16 pixels or 32x32 pixels format. Use your website logo or symbol that represent your brand. Apple use their iconic symbol of an apple. If your logo does have a symbol, you could use it as favicon following the intended steps.

Step 1

Open your company logo or brand symbol in your favorite graphics program, for example Photoshop. and resize your logo to 16x16 pixels or 32x32 pixels.

Step 2

Save your newly resized logo as a PNG, GIF or JPG image. The best is to save your file as a PNG or GIF with a transparent background. In the image below you can see, how we have resized our logo.

b2ap3_thumbnail_1966746_735998189766153_2078754392_t.png

Step 3

Your logo now needs to be converted to the .ICO format. There are many favicon generators available in online. My favourite is the Dynamic Drive generator. Go to their website, click Browse and find the resized image on your computer. Click Create Icon and press click Download FavIcon button.

output.jpg

Adding Favicon In Any Website

Upload favicon.ico image to your project root or template root folder. Open your index.php/html file and add this code before section.

 


Replace IMAGE_PATH to your favicon.icopath file.

How to add favicon in Joomla Template

Once created, upload favicon.ico to your JOOMLA TEMPLATE folder. In live server the path might be ‘public_html/templates/YOUR_TEMPLATE_NAME/favicon.ico’. If there is not ‘public_html’ folder check for ‘www’ folder instead. Joomla will autoload your favicon image.

Conclusion

Though favicon does not provide direct benefits of SEO. it leads to increase brand recognition and higher crt in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Higher SERPs ctr is arguably a very important SEO element.

Did you used favicon for your website?

How to Create One Page Joomla Template

How to Create One Page Joomla Template

One Page Website is one of the hottest and newest trend in web Design. The fascinating trend are getting popular for number of factors, but the most important is: All the necessary contents of a business can be displayed on the same page instead of using lot of pages.

We received numerous requests from our client about how to turn ZenithII joomla template as one page template. Here is our process to turn a standard Joomla template to one page template. Creating one page website in Joomla is pretty easy. To learn this process, you required basic understanding of CSS and Developer tool such as : Chrome developer tool or Firebug. In this tutorial we'll use Chrome developer tool.

If you wish, check our latest post for creating one page template -A Complete Guide to Create Marketplace Ready Onepage Joomla Template

Before digging deeper we need to know what is the key elements on any one page template:

  1. Sticky Header
  2. Scrollspy - It is for automatically updating nav targets based on scroll position.
  3. Smooth Scroll - It is for scrolling between section smoothly
  4. Some animation on scrolling ( optional )
Continue reading

How To Customize Joomla Template

How To Customize Joomla Template

Customizing any of our joomla templates is very easy. It requires only very basic knowledge of CSS. If you do not have knowledge of basic CSS, don't panic - there is an easy way to customize CSS for non-developers. Here are some examples of how easily you can customize a template, both easy and advanced.

Continue reading

How to change Joomla! Contact form layout?

How to change Joomla! Contact form layout?

A lot of our users don't like Joomla's default contact form accordion layout and question us how to change it. It's really very easy to change the layout without writing any code! In this tutorial i'll show you how to do this.

Go to Contact component and click the Options button on the top right. You can see an option Display format. Now click the list and it will show 3 options:

  1. Sliders
  2. Tabs
  3. Plain

tut-contact-layouts.jpg

1. Sliders: This is the default accordion layout.

2. Tabs: Tab style layout

3. Plain: Basic plain layout

If you want the old fashioned Joomla! form then plain would be your choice.

How To Fix A Hacked Joomla Website

how_to_fix_a_joomla_hacked_website

Do you know what is a webmaster's biggest nightmare? You're right. It's the hackers. Every now and then, website administrators get to deal with hackers. It's not possible to make your website 100% hack-proof.

A small security hole in your entire website's coding can give an experienced hacker access to the backend of your website. And if they manage to crack it down, you may have a hard time figuring out what to do if you didn't have a backup.

However, if you do have a backup, you can restore the site. But what's the guarantee that it won't be hacked again? How do you exactly determine which security hole gave the hacker access to your server in the first place?

There is one tool that can do the job of finding out what's the security hole and what other weak points there are on your website. The tool is called My Joomla. If you remember, we faced the same Joomla hacked experience a while ago at ThemeXperts.

This is the tool that made our website's security stronger and protected. But before we talk about how to audit your website with this tool, let's first look at some of the basic features the site comes with.

Features

  • My Joomla scans your entire website in just a few moments. You have to first sign up with them and you will be provided with a downloadable extension that you need to upload and install on your Joomla site. The tool then scans for all potentially harmful contents in your website and shows you possible reasons of Joomla hack.

  • During a Joomla hack, a hacker may leave a backdoor on any of your website's core files so that they can gain access later. My Joomla will instantly scan and recognize those changes in the file that are suspicious.

  • If you're using too many extensions and your site is very large, you might be wondering which files are untouched and which files are affected. With My Joomla, you can easily revert the core files to their distributed state making sure everything is at their default.

  • Like I already said, you will never know where the security holes are. My Joomla can look them up for you on you Joomla hacked site and you can make very technical changes in your Joomla quite easily with the tool.

  • You can also get suggestions for best practices by using this tool and prevent chances of future Joomla hack. For example, if you are using root username to connect the database, you're at risk. The tool My Joomla will suggest you to change that username to something more complex so that hackers can never guess what it is.

What to do after a Joomla site is hacked

You can use the tool to secure and fix hacked website of yours and NOT to backup or restore the content. My Joomla offers two types of auditing. The easiest way is to let them do the job.

But if you're a little familiar with Joomla administration interface and how these things work, you can do the audit by yourself. You need to register with a username and add your website before you can audit it. Just so you know, the first audit is totally free of charge. From second audit onwards, however, you will have to pay which is worth the service.

So, let's fix and secure your Joomla site for free!

Install and Activate

After you add your first website, you'll see a screen idential to the one below. You must click the Generate new connector for the extension to be ready.

generating_ready

Within moments, the download button will show up and you can download and install the extension to your Joomla website the usual way.

download_install

As you can see, you can also use the button on Step 2 go to go the Joomla administration panel on your website directly.

upload_install

Once the plugin has been installed, you'll see a message saying that there isn't anything more you can do from your Joomla administration. You need to go to the first tab and continue with the following.

The buttons to test endpoint are self-explanatory. Click accordingly. test_endpoint

If connection was established, you will see the word “endpoint” upon clicking the button. Remember to click the right button. If you are using Joomla 1.5.x, use the 1st button. If Joomla 2.5+ is running on your site, use the second button. Now, click the Connection Test button to make sure that the connection has been established. If connection is established, you'll briefly see the success message.

You will then be redirected to start audit page. You will have to confirm that you want to start auditing now. The page here will look identical to the one below:

start_new_audit

As soon as you click the start button, My Joomla will start its magic on your Joomla hacked site. You will see a live screen of what the plugin is doing on the next screen. Be patient, though; this may take a while if you have a very large website.

audit_progress

As the audit finishes, you'll see a screen with all the details of audit results. From there, you will be able to view what problem fond on your Joomla hacked site. If it has found any problem, there will be blue button that reads “next steps” next to the configuration name.

joomla_audit_next_step

audit_result_analysis

If you click the next steps button, you'll see all the details of what the problem was and what the tool recommends you to fix the issue of your Joomla hacked site.

If you scroll through the audit results, you might be a little bit overwhelmed. The tools developer writes,

Remember, the object is NOT just to get green OK for each item, the aim is to understand more about your site and its integrity at this moment in time. In fact it's impossible to resolve all items in this list as some checks have knock on effects to others.

If you've got enough time or a dedicated developer, you can have them check the entire result and take action to better protect your website from hacking attempts. If you'd rather leave it to the tool's developer, you can always pay and get their service right over to you. Fees for the service can be found here.

As you might have already realized, the service is really amazing. The tool takes deeper-than-any-human-can-do look into your Joomla's core files and comes up with an incredibly detailed result and possible fixes within minutes. This is some serious stuff that every serious web developers and administrators should have on their Joomla website.

Just as a reminder, the first audit is free. But you cannot audit your website again without paying the charges.

Your Turn

What security measures have you taken to protect your Joomla powered website? How do you find out after your site has been hacked where the problem or security hole lies? Let us know if you have come across any other tool that does better job than My Joomla!