What is Joomla??

Boy, I struggle with this question to this day..   Joomla’s standard answer from their website is:

Joomla is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables you to build Web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla the most popular Web site software available. Best of all, Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone.

But what does that mean??

They go on to say:

A content management system is software that keeps track of every piece of content on your Web site, much like your local public library keeps track of books and stores them. Content can be simple text, photos, music, video, documents, or just about anything you can think of. A major advantage of using a CMS is that it requires almost no technical skill or knowledge to manage. Since the CMS manages all your content, you don’t have to.

And then:

What are some real world examples of what Joomla! can do?

Joomla is used all over the world to power Web sites of all shapes and sizes. For example:

  • Corporate Web sites or portals
  • Corporate intranets and extranets
  • Online magazines, newspapers, and publications
  • E-commerce and online reservations
  • Government applications
  • Small business Web sites
  • Non-profit and organizational Web sites
  • Community-based portals
  • School and church Web sites
  • Personal or family homepages

But then they leave it up to you to figure out the hows.  They include sample data in their installation but this data is limited to propaganda about Joomla and really only stands to confuse the average user.

From what I’ve gathered over the weeks of using it and trying to make it work for client’s websites, is that is is made very flexible so that it acn accomplish anything with the proper plug-ins..

With that being said, my opinion is why would anyone need software that is all things to all people..  If i wanted to create a blog, why would i use the popular WordPress.  It’s easy to install, easy to use, and is very sophisicated.  If i wanted to create a ‘store’, why wouldn’t i use Zen Cart?  After a short learning curve, it’s pretty slick to use and works with all kinds of stores.  If i wanted to create a classified ads site, why couldn’t i use any of the hundreds of classified ads scripts, like PHPads, that work great and are simple to use.

So until I am hear from others and am convinced of it’s useability, I’m going to stay away from Joomla.

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Review: BlueHost

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Instructions for upgrading Openads 2.0 to Openads 2.6

OK, after spending 3 days trying to upgrade from 2.0 to 2.6, and following the directions to the ‘T’, i discovered a few bugs in the Openx documentation on the subject and a few directions that are misleading – I’m posting their directions below with the corrections in BOLD. Hopefully Openx will update their documentation – but if not, you can use these directions and they work.

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Step 1: Check the system requirements

Important: Check the full list of OpenX 2.6 system requirements here. They are different than Openads 2.0 requirements.
Step 2: Download the latest version of OpenX

You can download the latest version of OpenX here.
Step 3: Backup your files and database

We recommend you backup your filesystem and database before upgrading.

Backing up your database is very important as upgrading from 2.0 to 2.6 has many database changes. If there are issues you will want to have a backup which allows you to quickly restore your old settings
Step 4: Extract new files to a temporary folder

Extract the new installation files into a temporary folder on your server. This temporary folder needs to be accessible from your browser in order to run the upgrade wizard. For example, if you use html_docs/openx, extract the new files to html_docs/openx_new. This will allow your current installation to stay running live while you upgrade.
Step 5: Copy over the config files and banner images

You need to copy your old config file and banner images into your new temporary folder.

Copy the config.inc.php to var/config.inc.php in your new folder.

* Copy the configuration file (config.inc.php) to the html_docs/openx_new/var directory of the new version.
* If you have set up local banner images copy them to openx_new/www/images.

Note: The Local banner (Webserver) configuration is set under Settings->Main Settings->Banner Settings in the admin interface. It may be that you have not set local webserver banner path and only use SQL banners – in this case you have no local banner images to copy over.
Step 6: Disable Maintenance

You want to disable maintenance so that the database changes during upgrade are not effected by maintenance running on the database.
For more information please see:
http://www.openx.org/faq/how-do-i-disable-maintenance
Step 7: Check Server Settings

Upgrading from 2.0 to 2.6+ is a major upgrade which involves many database changes. You will want to review your server settings to make sure the upgrader has enough time to complete such changes.
For more information please see:
http://www.openx.org/docs/tips-for-large-database-upgrades
Step 8: Run the upgrade wizard

To start the upgrade wizard, open a web browser and navigate to the /var directory (this is NOT true – don’t use the /var where OpenX is stored, for example http://www.example.com/openx_new.

In most cases you will be able to follow the prompts without changing any deafult settings until the Configuration checklist (last tab). On the Configuration page will be a list of paths to use for your installation. Important: It will be using the ‘openx_new’ folder which you are upgrading with — you most likely want to change this to use the ‘openx’ folder of your current installation.  VERY IMPORTANT You won’t be able to change the path to admin however because it is locked and this is very important. you have to go into the updated config file – called www.yoursite.com.conf.php and manually change the path of the admin section to your ‘old’ folder.. e.g. ‘openx’

See the adminstrator guide for details of each step of the upgrade process.
Step 9: Replace the old folder with the new one

The final step is to move the temporary folder in place of the old one.

* Add the _backup suffix to the end of the name of your existing working directory, to rename it as openx_backup.
* Rename openx_new by removing the _new suffix.

Step 10: Additional configuration steps

In some cases additional configuration steps will be required, these are covered in other documentation.

Upgrading character encoding

If you have been using a the user interface in a non-English language, in particular one which uses a non ASCII character set, then you many need to upgrade your character set encoding.

Securing your ad server

It’s good practice to lock down your file permissions to reduce the risk of a security vulnerability. In particular, make sure to set the permissions on your configuration files to be read-only.

Note: After upgrade if you have an issue with your admin path and you did not edit the Configuration tab settings as described above, this means you must edit your config file so it uses the correct paths.
After you upgraded using ‘openx_new’ and then renamed the folder to ‘openx’ you must edit your openx/var/www.example.com.conf.php config file so that the paths use ‘openx’ folder name rather than ‘openx_new’.

Blogging for Beginners

1. First things first, decide on what you want your blog to be about. It could be just about anything. Music, food, literature or history simply choose one and get the ball rolling. A great tip for choosing a blog topic is to make it as specific as possible. The idea is to grab the attention of your target audience. For example, you want to write about poetry but poetry is such a general subject. So instead, opt to write about the works of your favorite poet to further narrow it down. In turn, other people who are fans of the same poet would surely visit and read your blog posts.

2. Choose between free hosting and hosted blogs. There are plenty of websites that host blogs for free. The most popular blogging service would be blogger but there are plenty of others that are just as great. Check out Livejournal, WordPress and Xanga. You can also opt to use a paid blog service which you would have to pay for every year. There are relatively cheap blog hosts out there such as WordPress that offer great flexibility as well as freedom to customize it however which way you want to.

Once you have your chosen between a free service and a paid one, its time to take things further and try making money off your blogging. The easiest way to do this is by joining pay per click ad networks such as Google Ad sense. All you need to do is sign up, copy the code which would be given to you, paste it somewhere on your blog’s layout and advertisements would soon show up. Every time a person clicks on said ad, you earn a bit of money depending on how much the advertiser is paying. It may not be a lot at first but the more traffic you get, the more clicks you get and you basically earn more money. Now, what’s better than that? You get to write about what you like and earn money as well.

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How to Edit Text in Photoshop

This is for all the Photoshop newbies or beginners out there, like myself.

Finding good detailed simple instructions for Photoshop has to be harder than having your tonsils taken out.  So after struggling to find how to edit text in Photoshop, I thought I’d simplify it here for you.

It really is EASY – if only the instructions were.  🙂

Open Photoshop.  Open the PSD document that you want to edit.  Click on the ‘T’ icon in the left side bar (that is the text icon).  If the toolbar is not on the left side, click on the tab at the top called ‘Windows’ and check ‘Tools’ and it will appear.

Now, move your cursor over the text area that you want to edit and ‘right click’ and it will be highlighted.  Now you start typing the text.  You can also move this text around by moving the cursor just below the text until an arrow with crosshairs appears.  Right click and move your mouse until you have the text where you want it.  Then left click and it is now moved.

Simple.   If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Making Money with BANS, the Ebay Affiliate Software

I’m going to start this post off with the qualification that I’ve heard a lot about Ebay not liking the BANS software and banning people who use it.  This may or may not be just a viscious rumor but user beware.

With that being said, the Build a Niche Store (BANS) software is fairly easy to sue and very easy to master after you work through your first store.  I’d give their user’s manual a C grade.  There’s just enough there to get the beginner started but not enough to solve problems or for the experienced programmer.

The concept is to build a store around Ebay listings and when user’s click on the listings and then sign up with Ebay or bid and win an item, you get paid a commission.

We’ve made some very good commissions with the Ebay affiliate program but have also seen many people get banned by Ebay for unknown reasons, so I wouldn’t stake my food budget on this program.  But the potential is there for very large earnings.

The BANS store takes about 10 minutes to install and set permissions.  To get a basic store with products up and running takes about 10 more minutes.  Customizing can take anywhere from 10 minutes to hours depending on how unique and how complex you make your store.  I think the basic templates that come with the software are adequate but you’ll want to look around for more unique templates after a while.  Some are free and some have a premium price.

Overall, I’d give the software a B grade compared to other affiliate program software.  To order your copy, click here.

I’d love to hear from others using this.