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News and Updates of all ThemeXpert products and activities.

Introducing XEF for new, improved and powerful extensions

Introducing XEF for new, improved and powerful extensions

If you install recent release of our Xpert Scroller and Xpert Caption module you might have seen a new installer saying module installed along with our brand new Extension framework. We've spent last couple of week discussing how to improve our extensions functionality and seamless maintenance.

We've revised our codebase and found that we are not following DRY(Dont Repeat Yourself) principals which is very fundamental principle for software development. So we decided to follow the principle strictly and extension framework idea derive form it.

 

Why a new framework?

Joomla is providing a rich API to develop extension for it, so why new framework? well let me give you an example, our every module which deals with Joomla article need to do some common task like: pulling Joomla article from database, filtering introtext, resizing image etc. So when Joomla change its API like it did from 1.5  to 1.6,1.7,2.5 and 3.0 its become a nightmare to update all our extension to latest Joomla version. So we decided to separate the common code from original module codebase and made an toolset library which will boost up our development.

Is that important for me?

The benefiting part from user end is that, you will get faster update of our extensions also for 3rd party support like we give for K2, EasyBlog, Flicrkr. But it is more important from our end because, now we have unified codebase which allow us to update and fix as quickly as possible. Making new module is just matter of few codes, yes you heard right!

Is that Joomla 3.0 Ready?

The framework is fully compatible and tested with Joomla 3.0 so all extension based on the framework will compatible with Joomla 3 as well. To give you a better experience we bring some UI elements from Joomla 3 into Joomla 2.5. You can see it in picture below:

j25_ui.png

Unified Installer

installer.png

From now all our extension will come with a unified installer which will install the framework and extension itself. If the framework already installed it will check for update in the current module package and update the framework if necessary.

What about other extensions?

Right now we are working on our others modules to update with this framework. Once we've made the transition we'll release it. To get update notification follow us on TwitterFacebook or keep your eyes open on our update page

Is it free?

Unlike Expose Joomla template framework we've no plan to release it now, this framework is solely developed for our uses and need a lot of improvement. Once it graduate from our lab we'll think about to release it under GNU/GPL license.

ThemeXpert hacked and survived

This Saturday I found some suspicious activities on our server, everyday we monitor a lot of suspicious activities on server but this time we found something special, some file injected to our server root directory. Story just began, I immediately contact to our host and instruct them to deny all incoming connection to our cPanel, WHM, FTP and sFTP.

 

Sunday morning, I started scanning all files using with Admin Tools Pro and found lot of c99 shell script injected here and there. Then immediately run server scanner and mean time started deleting all c99 shell script found by Admin Tools, took backup of our documentation site, forum and affiliate software and deleted every files from server, so we can examine each and every file of these sites and upload again.

Steps we've taken to save our site

I'm documenting the steps we've taken to save our sites so others can be benefited from here.

  1. We disabled this functions 'exec, shell_exec, system, passthru, myshellexec, popen' on our system.
  2. Blocked all incoming access to cPanel, FTP, sFTP so no one can access the site, also accessing via cPanel proxy.
  3. Examined all files using Admin Tools Pro and replaced/deleted suspicious files.
  4. Backup all child sites docs, forums, affiliates and demo to examine in local pc and deleted from server.

We do not store any sensitive data such as credit card number, payment details on our server. All data are protected and save.

Current status

 tx-site-status.png

As i mentioned earlier our forum and documentation site are down and we are only providing ticket support to our customers. We really appreciate your patients and support. I want to make sure we are working hard to fix all sites and glitches on our mainsite. We are almost done checking all the files individually and manually you can see from above picture.

Here is our priority list for bringing the sites up

  1. Documentation site - Done
  2. Demo site - 50% Complete
  3. Forum - Done
  4. Affiliate site

We'll update this post to keep you up to date with our recent activities.

Update-5: We restored our forum and phpBB get update to latest version.

Update-4: We bought Amazon SES service to deliver the email, so you will never see an email goes to spam box!

Update-3: Demo site site is UP and running with 2012 templates only. We've migrated to a new server and working hard to restore all our template demo. Extension demo is down also.

Update-2: Documentation site is UP and running on a new powerful server.

Update-1: We open some Paypal IP address to connect our server, now auto subscription creation process is back to normal for paypal payments.

A crispy responsive template - sneak peek

This August we've been quiet for a long time where we tend to release 2 templates each month. Rest assured, we’ve been toiling away behind the scenes, preparing for a very big template, which will be Responsive in manner with HTML5 markup!

In our previous blog post, we mentioned that Expose 4 is coming with fully responsive implementation and it just took a little more time to cook with HTML5. Finally we managed to cook them all together and going to serve a delicious crispy template called 'Crisp'.

 

Crisp is a business/corporate template boiled nicely with EasyBlog, K2 and Kunena extensions. K2 has 2 in built templates for blog style and portfolio, which we already implemented in Untitled template.

Desktop view

crisp-desktop.jpg

Tablet view

crisp-tablet.jpg

Mobile view

crisp-handheld.jpg

Expose Get Responsive!

Expose Get Responsive!

It has been just 1 month since we released Expose framework 3 with FREE bootstrap template. We immediately moved ourself to a new branch to bring responsive awesomeness into Expose. We are really excited to announce that our next major version of Expose framework 4 will be totally responsive!

 

Smartphone and Tablet users are increasing rapidly and everyone wants to fit there website on all devices. This is where responsive really shines!

In this blog post we will give an inside look of Expose 4 responsive features and what we've done to achieve this.

Before Expose 4.0, we used our own CSS framework for our templates but once we started thinking about responsive design we looked all the popular css frameworks including Boostrap , Foundation, Less framework, 1140 Css grid and many more. We finally settled on Bootstrap framework by Twitter.

There are 2 reason behind this choice:

1. Bootstrap is now the most popular framework among all choices and backed by some very talented developers from Twitter

2. Joomla! 3.0 is coming with bootstrap integration.

Responsive Breakpoints:

We've implemented Bootstrap 12 grid system in Expose 4 but with modifications for backward compatibility with our prior templates. We removed gutter spaces from grid and the negative margin from row and re-calculated the grid values.

LabelLayout widthColumn width
Smartphones 480px and below Fluid columns, no fixed widths
Smartphones to tablets 767px and below Fluid columns, no fixed widths
Portrait tablets 768px and above 62px
Default 980px and up 80px
Large display 1200px and up 100px

Media queries:

  1. /* Landscape phones and down */
  2. @media(max-width:480px){...}
  3.  
  4. /* Landscape phone to portrait tablet */
  5. @media(max-width:767px){...}
  6.  
  7. /* Portrait tablet to landscape and desktop */
  8. @media(min-width:768px)and(max-width:979px){...}
  9.  
  10. /* Large desktop */
  11. @media(min-width:1200px){...}

Also Bootstrap provides a very handy and useful utility class set which allows you to easily show/hide modules from your template. You will able to add this class in the Module Class Suffix Class table.

ClassPhones 480px and belowTablets 767px and belowDesktops 768px and above
.visible-phone Visible
.visible-tablet Visible
.visible-desktop Visible
.hidden-phone Visible Visible
.hidden-tablet Visible Visible
.hidden-desktop Visible Visible

Features and Improvements:

  • Fully responsive
  • Dropdown menu for mobile devices
  • Separated all Less files into less folder and compiled in Css directory
  • Removed all mobile platform checking code for better performance
  • Built in Update Notification System
  • Removed vender prefix from all areas (tx/ex)

Backward Compatibility

The Expose 4 HTML is re-written to match with the Bootstrap grid system which means updating your Expose 3 based site to Expose 4 will break your site. With that case in mind we decided to release an updated version of all our Expose 3 based templates so that it can take advantage from Expose 4 and also responsive at same time, wohoo!

We are little behind our schedule for 1st template of August because of this responsive feature and we think it is worth it. We will release our 1st August Responsive Business Template next week named 'Crisp'.

We are expecting to release all updated versions of our templates in the last week of this month and we really appreciate your patience. We'll release an update version of our Bootstrap Template based on Expose 4 next month.

Expose Framework finally in air

Expose Framework finally in air

Wohooo! finally we are pleased to announce our most awaited Expose framework v3. We've been working on it since October and started releasing our template based on this version from March. Since then we produce 8 high quality joomla templates and fixed a lot of bugs. Now the framework is stable enough to goes public!

 

We are releasing Expose framework with Bootstrap based responsive joomla template (aka base template) which is great starting point to start your own template. Bootstrap takes full advantage of all the latest Expose features and blue print for your next web project. Bootstrap template fit for your all purpose just need a proper vision.

More good news is, we are allowing you to fork the framework, means you can fix any problem by yourself without waiting for us to fix. Also you can contribute to the bug fix or enhancement you made.

Documentation is heart of every software and we are really working hard to finish the Expose documentation. We will appreciate your patients in that case because our documentation is not finished yet and it is our next major milestone to reach.

To get support of the framework or Bootstrap template join our Google Group and don't hasitate to ask any question.

Milestone:

Our next milestone version is 3.5 which consist:

  • Implement Responsive design pattern
  • Bringing more widgets in core
  • Utilize Joomla 3.0 goodies
  • Field chaining in admin, so all the subsets remain invisible when the widgets turned off

We are thankful to 'corePHP' team specially 'Jonathan Shroyer', who comes to us with great positive attitude and suggestions. They help us to test the framework and fix the bugs.

Celebrating our 2nd Birthday: Its discount time

Celebrating our 2nd Birthday: Its discount time

We didn't expect someone to keep track on this, but its great to announce that yesterday was our second birthday. It wouldn't possible without our loyal user and today we want to celebrate our birthday with you. We've learned a lot of things in this short journey and we love to thank all of our users, bug reporter, support member and who contributed us with there valuable suggestion.

A few highlight from past year includes:

  • We released 11 Premium joomla templates and 1 Free joomla templates
  • We developed next generation template framework for Joomla called Expose
  • We released 9 extensions and some of theme are top in its own catagory at JED
  • We have added 3 members to our team.
  • Grown our community to over 40 000 members.
  • We started affiliate programe from this year.
  • Launched 2nd version of our website.

Please understand that this statistics are not to show our ego, rather to remember our responsibility to our community we have.

In this short time we faced some difficulties which lead us to delay the template release but shortly we recovered it and releasing 2 templates per month from March 2012.

Hope you enjoy this birthday with us… Whilst you get your teeth into some extra ThemeXpert at amazingly low prices. Subscribe now with a 30% discount, valid until 13th July, 2012. Just use HAPPYBIRTHDAY as your coupon code during checkout.

Untitled release party - enjoy total 40% discount!

Untitled release party - enjoy total 40% discount!

We've just released our 2nd April theme Untitled and we are excited to share some thought about this template and goodies with you! This template is built with our next generation theme framework Expose and we are really close to release this GNU/GPL framework to public.

 

Untitled designed you with in mind and its best suite for personal blog, portfolio or even your corporate business site. We did some usability research on a lot of personal blog or corporate site and ended up with a blog, portfolio, support forum, contact form and a well organized home page.

So we decided to go though every elements and tried to present an elegant versatile theme to community. We carefully picked the best extensions for our need and decided to go with mighty K2 for portfolio, EasyBlog for blogging and Easydiscuss for support.

So what is EasyBlog?

You can now start a blog in your Joomla site with a complete blog system! EasyBlog works instantly upon installation and you and your users can start blogging right away. Whether you are a single blogger or a group of bloggers, EasyBlog has features like social sharing, RSS, built-in comment system, multiple templates support, private blogging and even team blogging.

It is highly configurable and works in most community websites like JomSocial and Community Builder. The best part is, EasyBlog blends into your ThemeXpert templates smoothly!

And what is EasyDiscuss also?

This is a versatile questions-and-answers tool that works in Joomla to boost better interaction between users. EasyDiscuss provides a platform to gather user experiences and feedback, which also can be shared in social networks. It could work like Yahoo! Answers or StackOverflow, EasyDiscuss becomes a valuable 'fountain of knowledge' powered by content contributed by users.

If you are using themes from ThemeXpert and wanting to start a discussion forum, EasyDiscuss is all set for it.

More reasons to start NOW as you can get EasyBlog, EasyDiscuss and Untitled 
at 20% off each, for a limited time.

BUY EasyBlog and EasyDiscuss with coupon THEMEBLOG20

BUY Untitled template with coupon code         THEMEBLOG20

This offer valid till 30th April GMT +0. Grab your copy before it expire!

Untitled april's 2nd joomla template - sneak peek

Untitled april's 2nd joomla template - sneak peek

We are about to release our Aprils' 2nd template called 'Untitled'. This template is suitable for all your business and personal needs. From blog to portfolio we've taken care every details and tried to combine everything is good fashionable way.

 

'Untitled' will come with many great 3pd extension support such as K2, EasyBlog, and EasyDiscuss to give you better blogging, portfolio and support experience.

Sneak peek of Untitled

As we are releasing 2 template per month, so this template will come to this week with all its goodness!

You can check the full preview here: Untitled - Corporate business template for Joomla!

Introducing XpertSupport : A new level of technical support

Introducing XpertSupport : A new level of technical support

Support is always high priority for us and we strive to provide the best support experience our users can get. Everyday, we get a lot of support request from our forum, old Joomla! contact form and ticketing system.

 

Old ticketing system bugged us a lot and we missed ton of features in it to provide best support experience to our users. We've checked all support extensions from JED and finally decided to go with HelpDesk software by iMaqma.

Joomla contact form is not good enough to handle sales or support request and we failed to provide support in due time. Now everything will handle via ticket request and we don't want to miss any message come to us.

From now we've enabled a extra support layer for our Standard club subscriber! so they can easily create a technical support request through our new support system.

Last but not least

iMaqma is giving 25% discount on all there product to our members, so don't miss the chance and grab the coupon code from our promotions page.