From the kick start of ThemeXpert, we are posting all the articles that you find helpful and useful. We keep you updated with latest finding of Joomla community and ins and outs of ThemeXpert HQ. But we don’t want to confine our relationship in posting Joomla tutorials, resources, tips and tricks only. We want to give some inspiration and want to introduce to those guys who are doing great in Joomla industry. To head start with this roundup, we are going to post series of interview of Joomla industry leaders. For a wonderful head start, today we are going interview Jisse Reitsma.
Jisse Reitsma is one the famous figure in Joomla development community. He has been with Joomla since the very beginning days. Jisse has marvelous talent in Magento development as well. He has developed around 60+ Joomla and Magento extension in his extensive career. He also wrote a tremendous book on Joomla plugins development called Programming Joomla Plugins.
Jisse Reitsma is co-founder and developer in charge at Yireo, the Dutch company mainly renowned for its Magento-Joomla bridge extension call MageBridge. MageBridge allows you to serve as a bridge between the Joomla CMS and the Magento e-commerce shop. It allows for displaying Magento content within Joomla through a component. We had a chance to get in touch of with Jisse Reitsma and asked the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Jisse Reitsma, co-founder of Yireo and since the end of 2014 an author. The main focus of Yireo is building extensions - extensions for both Joomla and Magento. One of the main extensions is MageBridge, which bridges Joomla and Magento (and which actually consists of 80+ extensions in total). However, currently we have over 50 different extensions - there are a lot of small handy extensions that fulfill many needs and some extensions for vertical markets. I’m the lead developer of each one of them.
What led you to write Programming Joomla Plugins book? Joomla components play most vital role in Joomla, so why did you pick plugins as a topic?
Of all the extensions I have ever built - I guess it is a number of about 300 extensions or more - the extension type that I have built the most is plugins: Joomla plugins are very diverse. You can extend Joomla with custom authentication types, SOAP integration, additional form fields, quick hacks, content additions, search abilities, etcetera.
Because there are so many things to do with plugins, it has always amazed me that Joomla programming books dealt with this topic in only a single chapter or even just a few pages. I decided that the topic deserved an entire book - a book dedicated on Joomla plugins. It allowed me to write down everything there is to know on plugins:
Every single plugin event in the Joomla core is covered, plus various events of third party extensions and a lot of background knowledge. Currently, many devs already are using the book as the main reference guide when building plugins. It is impossible to know everything about plugins, so this book is really there to help you out with the details.
The Joomla market is getting smaller compared to WordPress. What's your thought to improve this situation?
To be honest, I’m not a marketer and I don’t keep a close eye on statistics - I’m mainly into Joomla for the fun. The fact is that WordPress is the most popular CMS and Joomla only comes second. I think the main focus should be on making Joomla simpler to use. That’s exactly where WordPress has won ground.
For instance, there are various tasks that are very simple in WordPress. While with Joomla that same task requires multiple steps - like writing an article and adding it to the menu.
There are multiple Joomla extensions that solve those issues already. Either those extensions need to become part of the core, or we need to be heading to some kind of distribution-like model where hosting providers or implementors can easily roll out their own type of Joomla (core plus preferred extensions).
Simply by copying the things that WordPress excels in could make Joomla win ground again. Joomla still offers a far better architecture and code base, so I trust that when users are looking for something more advanced, Joomla still wins.
Do you have plans for writing next version of this book, tell us a little about it?
Actually, I’m already planning for a new book, but that book will focus on Magento instead. The topic is not really set yet, but most likely it will cover Magento hosting environments. Again, a very specific topic, but I guess that’s how Yireo does its thing.
After finishing that book, I’m really eager to write another book on Joomla again. Perhaps a programming title, but I’m not sure which area would be the most interesting. When starting to program Joomla, most people struggle with some of the basics of PHP: Objects, scope, references, design patterns.
So that could be an interesting topic. That being said, it’s still something of the far future (2017/2018). I don’t plan that much ahead.
You are running a business. If you had a chance to start it from scratch today, which steps would you prioritize first, from which steps would you refrain yourself?
What I have definitely learned over time is that you should automate as many steps as possible. However, you can never automate all steps - I really believe in semi-automation. Setting up a business means that you focus on a specific skillset, a specific expertise. That skills and expertise could be templating, web design, building entire sites, developing extensions.
Whatever you do, you have to make sure that you can do that as “smart” as possible. By setting up things properly in the beginning, automating the necessary tasks, you can save time, and that time can then be put again in growing your business.
For me personally, this means releasing extensions as quickly as possible with any manual interaction. For most other people, that could mean setting up your website properly first - with a nice web design (for instance, based on templates from you guys), proper contents and good conversion funnels.
Without a good website, you won’t be able to drive your business either. The same counts for your administration, your daily tasks. Try to win as much time as possible by avoiding long tasks.
What is your advice for Joomla newbies to have good start with customizing Joomla sites?
My book covers programming, so to most Joomla newbies it won’t be that helpful. True, the book serves as a good guide when you want to learn more about Joomla and PHP. But still, when you are starting with Joomla, it is probably best to start learning the CMS first, and next, move to learning CSS and HTML.
While customizing Joomla to your needs, you will notice that some tasks are simply impossible to do from within your WYSIWYG editor. Having knowledge of CSS and HTML will allow you to modify things in a better way - either by adding code to your content (ugly) or by combining HTML-classes in your content with CSS-rules in your template.
Having a well-thought template like the ones from ThemExpert will definitely save you a lot of time.
Fill in the blank with a name of Joomlers: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.
Peter van Westen, the proud founder of NoNumber.
Grab a copy of Programming Joomla! Plugins!
We learn Jisse is experienced figure in Joomla development. If you want kick start your Joomla plugins development in the guideance of proficient head, We recommend you to grab Programming Joomla Plugins and start your development right away.
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