That's right - UNPLUG your web site. If your web site is run on Joomla or .NET Nuke, Drupal, or WordPress CMS platforms you are probably using at least one plugin.
Plugins, are little software add-ons to a central content management system that enable certain features like calendars, shopping carts, product ordering, driving directions, even contact forms. Most plugins are free and/or open source. Usually the only expense in using them is to pay your web design firm to install them. Doesn't sound too bad huh? Read on.
I am going to pick on Joomla here, but almost any CMS that has plugins could be used as well.
Let's say I built a Joomla web site using version 1.5.3 a year or so ago. A few months later I added a plugin for a calendar say version 1.2 from Company XX. Then a few months later I also add a blog plugin version 2.3 from Company YYY. Joomla does NOT promise plugins will work when an upgrade to the Joomla software occurs. So, the web firm updates their Joomla code base with the latest verison - and my 2 plugins break. Now I have to pay that web firm to upgrade the plugin and pray it still works - but wait Comapny XX went out of business and there is no update. Great now I have to pay for a NEW calendar all over again to be installed.
To make this sceanrio even worse - since Joomla requires PHP to run, the PHP engine must be upgraded, if my site was upgraded from Joomla 1.5.x to 1.7.x. Installing the wrong PHP engine version will make the web site unsecure and prone to being hacked or it may even break your web site to where it has to be re-written all over.
Heres the skinny on Joomla - current verison 1.7.x REQUIRES 1 of several versions of PHP from 5.2.4 to 5.3.x, MySQL database version 5.0.4 (meaning the 3,23 to 4.1.x which was originally installed will no longer work), and my server OS software of Apache 1.3 now needs to be upgraded to 2.x. (with special mods) - and OH here are some other notes directly from Joomla's web site (*Do not use PHP 4.3.9, 4.4.2 or 5.0.4. These releases have known bugs that will interfere with installation. Zend Optimizer 2.5.10 for PHP 4.4.x also has serious bugs and you should ask your host to upgrade to a newer version. Joomla! versions 1.5.15 + are compatible with PHP 5.3. Note that the OpenID library is not yet compatible with PHP 5.3.
**Joomla is not yet compatible with MySQL 6.x.
***In order to use SEO URLs, you will need to have the Apache mod_rewrite extension installed.)
Let me save you some headaches. Drop your web firm that uses Joomla to run your web site and come onboard with Snowball - we use the TruDepth Content Management System. Here's a feature list of it's built in capabilities:
- Customizable URLs for SEO friendly orgainic searches
- Build dynamic navigation menus
- Manage menu text
- Manage order of display
- Unlimited pages
- Comprehensive meta data capabilities
- Embed scripts or 3rd party meta data
- Either globally or individual pages
- Home Page
- Contact Page with interactive form
- All submitted form data is both emailed to a custom list of receipiemts and stored in the CMS)
- FAQ Page
- Directions page (handles multiple locations, uses Google maps)
- News (includes homepage teaser, central listing, and detailed articles)
- Automatically creates RSS feeds
- Calendar (multi-day capable)
- Automatically creates RSS feeds
- All pages are geo-located automatically
- Enhanced meta data using Dublin Core
- Document Centers
- Photo Galleries
- SmartPhone Friendly
- Images optimized on upload
- WYSIWYG editing capabilities
- W3C validator built-in for hand-coding
- Multi-lingual translations
- Social Network sharing and feeds are built into every page
The big benefit is that everything we do is .NET based, which means no major updates will break code. We operate Microsoft SQL servers for enterprise security and capabilities. The life cycle of your web site is 3-5 years WITHOUT any major updates - hows that for cost saving? By the way, a typical life cycle of a web site is 3-5 years.
Take the TruDepth CMS for a free test drive - contact us or call 304-255-2230 to request a free online demo. we'll walk you through every feature.