This episode we're having an extension round up for the episode. Going through a bunch of great extensions that have been newly listed on the Joomla! Extension Directory.
With currently over 7563 extensions out there, I'll be looking at a few highlighted and useful plugins, modules and extensions that you may have missed.
I'll be looking at 10 different extensions including:
- NS FontAwesome
- CoalaWeb Contact
- JB Article SEO Checklist
- Responsive Slideshare
- Exit Popup and Article Popup on Load
- Unite Showbiz
- Performance Booster for K2
- Joomla! Captcha - NoCaptcha! by eKerner.com
Marketing Team is Forming
Joomla is just on the edge of forming its new marketing team. Over the past few weeks there have been nominations being taken for members to join the marketing team to help with the promotion of the Joomla CMS and the official announcement will be made in a week or so.
Joomla! Trademark Police
Joomla has put out a call for a trademark team manager and is accepting nominations for that. If you're interested in being a Joomla! trademark police officer, jump into the article and nominate yourself or someone else that you think is worthy or has the skills for the position.
Other Recent Happenings and Things in the Pipeline
- Brian (Brain) Teeman launches his new website. http://brian.teeman.net.
- JoomlaBamboo also launches a new website for 2014 http://joomlabamboo.com
- Bang2Joom lovely new website and resources at http://bang2joom.com
OSM or Open Source Matters website will finally get a new coat of paint as well with a new site design being worked on.
The Joomla! Brand Manual is getting a refresh and update for the public to use. Jessica Dunbar, Duke Speer, Chiara Aliotta and Jacques Rentzke are all working on that project and should be release over the next few weeks.
Beginner Tip from Richard Pearce
Richard Pearce joins me on the podcast this week to talk about passwords! Hints and tips on getting the most out of secure passwords for your website.
Check out 1Password by Agile Bits. It's a great way to store and manage your passwords.
Richard has also written up the notes in regards to passwords on his blog over at BuildAJoomlaWebsite.com
10 New Joomla Extension Review - January 2014
1. NS FontAwesome
FontAwesome is the new way of adding in scalable vector graphics into your website. There are hundreds of different icons that you can add to your site.
Check out the examples from the FontAwesome website: http://fontawesome.io/examples/ Now FontAwesome was created to work with BootStrap which is what a lot of the new Joomla 3 series is based on in terms of templating.
- 369 Icons to choose from
- Fully CSS controlled (color, size, shadow, etc)
- Perfect on retina displays
- Compatible with Bootstrap
- Screen reader compatible
- Easy to use
The plugin allows you to easily pull in and use FontAwesome on your website. Matt Baylor has done a wonderful job of packaging this one up and making is free for the Joomla community. I have an interview with him coming up in a few episodes so make sure you subscribe to listen to that interview with Matt and Tessa who both work on the Joomla Extension Directory.
2. CoalaWeb Contact
This has to be one of the simplest contact forms I've ever come across. It does the trick with out all the other complexity some of the other form builders have out there. CoalaWeb Contact is a neat and simple contact form component with the bare essentials that you need. Definitely worth checking out for sites that need just that.
It features the standard fields that you'd expect in a contact form which include, name, email, message as well as a few custom fields and multiple options for Captcha to block spam from coming in on the form. Of course it still can't stop human spam but this will greatly reduce the amount of spam out there.
Check out the demo of the form: http://demo.coalaweb.com/joomla-extensions/contact where you can see it embedded as a component and as a module on the demo site.
3. JB Article SEO Checklist
Now this is a nifty little tool that will help you optimise all of your articles that you place on your Joomla website. It gives you a little check list as your add in your content to make sure your article is optimised for search engines.
It appears on bottom or right hand side of the article page as you add or edit an article in Joomla.
Great tool and makes sure you keep to a good standard.
4. Responsive Slideshare
I love Slideshare, I use it to upload all of my presentations that I do as well as learning from other presentations from around the world. It is also where Packt Publishing found Tim Plummer and asked him to author the latest "Learning Joomla! 3 Extension Development" book.
This plugin allows you to embed Slideshare presentations into your website and make them responsive. The default code that comes from Slideshare is hard coded to a size so this makes it just a little better.
Some of the documentation for the plugin is in Thai but it makes perfect sense when you look at the demo and the video documentation on how to install and use it. Great little addition.
5 & 6. Exit Popup and Article Popup on Load
This is a feature that a lot of our own clients as for a lot and that is a popup when a user exits a website or a popup when a user accesses the website for the first time.
These two nifty extensions do just that. I thought I'd combine these both into the posting as they both are by the same developer.
Exit popup for Joomla does just that. When a user exists the website it will popup and ask if the user really wants to leave or not. It gives them one last chance to stay on the site before closing it down. For many users this could be very annoying but alternatively can be very useful for others.
Article Popup on Load does a similar thing but of course loads when the page or site is first accessed by the user. This is great for email sign up pages or recommending the user to join on social media. I think I might even try these on the Joomla Beat website to see how it goes.
Readmore.js is a neat little plugin that adds in some hidden read more text into your articles.
It kind of works like an accordion slider but with a button on your editor to make the process easier.
8. Unite Showbiz
I love the stuff that comes out from UniteCMS. Lots of their stuff is just very slick and very nice. This new Showbiz slideshow carousel doesn't disappoint. The multiple slider options and skins for this slider are pretty cool. I have to say my favourite skin for this slider is Modern.
It comes with a whole bunch of other templates as well and they're very easy to tweak and modify if you want them to
Check out the demo: http://unitecms.net/joomla-extensions/showbiz
9. Performance Booster for K2
Now I haven't tried this extension just yet but the potential for it is amazing. It can potentially speed up your K2 site by up to 80% which is a HUGE saving in performance.
Performance Booster is plugin specially designed to increase the loading speed of K2. Settings, extra fields and other information is stored in JSON format, this plugin force K2 to use the native JSON support of PHP5 or higher. This means that it will only work on environments or servers that are running on PHP5.
To boost your K2 you just need to install & enable the plugin - that's it, just 3 clicks and your site will be up to 80% faster.
This is also a commercial extension for $15. I'll have to give this one a download and a performance test just to see the speed difference.
10. Joomla! Captcha - NoCaptcha!
Now late last year we created a Captcha plugin for Joomla called Textcapcha and I thought that was pretty cool. It would as you a question of some sorts and you have to answer the question. It isn't perfect as if you don't understand english or have issues problem solving or have cognitive issues then it will stop you as well.
This NoCaptcha method has to be the most interesting as it blocks the spammers with no visable captcha to the user at all. It employs a method by a developer named Eugene Kerner. It is the same method, as he claims, that is used in Google web forms. If Google is using it it must be good right?
Thanks for getting rid of those difficult and ugly Captcha fields.
If you want a free copy of NoCaptcha for Joomla, just leave a comment below in the show notes. The first 10 people to leave a comment stating that they want a copy with get one! Thanks Eugene!
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