Joomla! 3.x.x upgrade or not?
Current version 3.5.1 20th May 2016
If you have version 3.2 or above then upgrade is strongly advised due to security patches.
23rd July 2012, Update: Joomla 2.5 is the current version level and 1.6 is NOT recommended.
1.5,1.6 and 2.5 do not have any ongoing security fixes. It should not be considered a question of 'if' but 'when' you need to upgrade to 2.5.x 3.5.x.
Commercial e-commerce websites or websites with user forums such as EasyBlog, or JomSocial, MUST upgrade ASAP.
Failure to upgrade may break your gateway or merchant agreement e-commerce terms.
Firstly, if you want a business website then you should choose Joomla. You can rest assured that Joomla is often your better long term decision. Joomla is stable and mature.
The marketplace for Joomla extensions is moving more and more into paid only extension offerings. You will find fewer free extensions or only free cut-down versions.
Why is this happening?
The overheads to offer extensions in Europe and anyone selling to Europe have increased. This is due to VAT rule changes being imposed at local rates. This does not sound like a big problem but it is. Software such as ShopFiles does a good job calculating locally applied VAT rates. The rules also say that you must keep two parts of evidence to your customer's location. In addition, you must report VAT to each country of use the local one stop shop for reporting your added VAT.
Many developers are turned off by the burden of administration. They recoil to their country region based clients. Sales beyond their country location being pocket money and are largely conducted for reputation reasons.
In short: the supply of developers in this market is falling.
Quality code sources and their assessment?
I would strongly recommend that you purchase or obtain your Joomla extensions from the JED directory. This is because of the standards and rules being applied and checked when a developer submits their Joomla extension for JED listing.
When choosing a new extension, be it plug-in component or module,It is generally better to be second place and let others, with more experience and development tools, discover any problems with the software. Do not look too harshly upon a higher price. Price is closely matched to quality because every developer needs motivation. If the price is too low then the component tends, over time, to be abandoned. Keep an eye on the reviews and ignore some reviews which imply that some people choose the wrong component for their needs. You just need to apply some common sense and look at the level of support to apply of fix the component.
Trial test platform recommendations:
My advice is simple: If you have a small level of funds then purchase a Synology Linux box and test/trial and even develop on that. The cost is very minimal and you get extra handy features for a very low overhead of time to install the system. If you do not have funds then you can sign up for one of the many free Joomla hosting accounts. You should always have in mind that 'nothing in life is free':
- Open Source is powerful and is 'freedom' not 'free' so you use it freely under licence with responsibilities and benefits.
- Free hosting normally comes with links and page rank draining features which give away your search engine relevance to others and leaves a trail of your unique content on the web. This trial 'free' use may block your true long term goals when using the Internet. The trial content would be duplicate content. You may end the trial but by then the content has been copied and ripped so you have no effective control over your trial content. It stands as your original duplicate content. Let's just say 'I would never publish what I would want to say unless I can also have control over it.'
Why not use Windows WAMP?
Don't do a Windows trial install because it makes your development system more foreign to the live hosting platform you may end up choosing. Linux is better loved by Google than Windows servers due to overall reliability. Did I just open up a can of worms? Everything in life is relative so if you are a good windows hosting administrator and can keep your server really stable, high performing and free from viruses then great - it will rank well else get it wrong you will suffer. Back to the main point 'getting your Joomla website hosted and the stages to deploying it....'
Real trial hosting is even better!
If you are technically minded then the cost of a real trial platform is very low. I use a Virtual Private Server from RamNode and you can then install Joomla as a TurnKey Linux install. You may need to go through a few install procedures such as: server security patches, WebMin upgrade, Amazon S3 backup settings, PHP upgrades, Fail2Ban install, Mod_Security install etc. The real benefit of all of this is the close match to the real live server settings.
You can do all of this for under $30 a year and I think that RamNode support and their systems are just totally fantastic. This website is sitting on their servers right now.
Get a VPS RamNode account today!
Quality code sources and their assessment?
What you need to do is get the hosting sorted then implement a backup to transfer from local trial to live. This is so easy with Joomla and normally it amounts to one file change after the data has been ported/replicated in your live server.
This Milton Keynes JUG group stands as a point of help for anyone in Milton Keynes who wants to use Joomla and get themselves on the web.
You can choose to avail yourself of my 25+ years IT, in the deep stuff of IT contracting, or gain from the advice of others regarding the practicalities of Joomla installations and small business websites. Some local business owners have benefited greatly from using Joomla on their business websites.
You are only a small step away from being published on the web when you use Joomla.
Come along to a meeting or simply give me a call and I often can help people with 'just that little nugget of knowledge which makes things clear and easy for you...'
Anton Hinxman, Tel: 01908 880777