Joomla White Screen After Update

The whole site was broken. The front end was fine and working. While updating some extensions it would go through part of the update and then I would just get this screen.

I refreshed the page and had to “resend” the information and the update finished. It was the JCE Pro component that got hung, but I had others such as Akeeba Admin Tools that also go hung.

I have tried just refreshing the page before it didn’t fix the issue. I was glad it worked this time. I am not sure what the issue is. I seems to have just started happening this week.

I hope this helps someone else out there…

Redirect Website Using .HTAccess

While building a new site I set up a new hosting account to gain access to PHP 7, because the old hosting package didn’t upgrade past PHP 5.6. Once everything was close I wanted to set up the new hosting so the main site and each sub-domain is in a separate directory making it easy to maintain.

I was told by Godaddy to we could either create an add-on domain or handle the redirection with .HTAcess file. I have messed with these through the years and they are very powerful. I found this very nice write up on some simple ways to use this and thought I would share it or a least post it so I can find it again.

https://mediatemple.net/community/products/grid/204643080/how-do-i-redirect-my-site-using-a-htaccess-file

I hope this helps someone else out there…

Updating Joomla 2.5 Site To 3.X

Wanted to take an existing Joomla 2.5.19, update template, and then bring in the new content that is being created as I am updating the site overall. They were using JEvents heavily and made weekly posts to the site. Here are the overall steps I took.

  • Make an Akeeba backup and downloaded it.
  • Created a place to restore the site in my local WAMP.
  • Upgraded the site to Joomla 3.X. First I had to go from 2.5.19 and update to 2.5.28 (3.9 meg download). This was straight forward through the backend. In the Joomla! update screen change the options to “short term support”, and “save and close”. You will now have the option to upgrade to 3.5.1 (9.7 meg download).
  • Update components. I had the JCE, Akeeba, JEvents, Sourcer, and a few others. Only the JCE needed an update after the 3.5.1 upgrade. I was able to upgrade the Joomla! core to 3.6.5 and then 3.9.3 (11.7 meg download). The front end of the site was still working almost perfectly.
  • Build the new template on the local copy.
  • Make a backup of this site and restore it in another directory. I needed to do this because I added a few pages and changed the format on others.
  • Download the old site again, install it locally in another directory and upgrade it to 3.x again.
  • Export the assets table, content, and in my case JEvents.
  • Import the these tables into your upgraded site.
  • You should be very close at this point. This is where I used the restored version of the first site I upgraded and made the new template.

The tables I had to export were the following:

  • j25_assets
  • j25_content – j25_content_types ( _content_types are not in Joomla 3.X )
  • prefix_content – prefix_content_rating

Since this site was using JEvents I exported all the “_jevent_” tables, deleted those tables from fully upgraded new template site’s database, and imported the exported tables.

I hope this helps someone else out there.

Modules Anywhere –> In Joomla

While working a site where I wanted the home page to made of time sensitive information and some permanent, so I wanted to use Modules for each section on the home page. I used Modules Anywhere but the formatting was wacky, and there was a undocumented “–>” on the screen.

I was able to fix this from within the Modules Anywhere Plugin. Go to the plugin and on the “Behaviour” tab turn “Place HTML comments“.

I hope this helps someone else out there…


Roksprocket 4 Column Grid In Gantry Hydrogen

While working a Joomla! site built with Gantry 5 Hyrdogen template I was having an issue when switching between different column quantities. If I had the columns set to 3 everything was fine; however, when I tried to switch between 3 to 4 columns everything was in one column.

I got around this issue by going into the basic CSS file. This file is located on root/components/com_roksprocket/layouts/grids/themes/basic/basic.css. On line 23 I changed the following:

.sprocket-grids-b-columns-3 > li {width: 33.333333333333336%;width: -webkit-calc(100% / 3);width: calc(100% / 3);}

to 

.sprocket-grids-b-columns-3 > li {width: 33.333333333333336%;width: -webkit-calc(100% / 4);width: calc(100% / 4);}

Once I knew this would work I added the CSS to my custom.css, and set the original “basic.css” back. My override was working fine.

I hope this helps someone else out there…

 

SEO In Joomla 3.X

I often start SEO from an existing website. Here are steps I always perform when starting the task.

  1. Start an Excel spreadsheet with 9 columns
    Page/article, Current URL, Current Title,Current Description, New URL, New Title, New Description, and Notes
  2. Then I go to Google and in the search box itself you type:   site:thedomain     Then hit enter.
    This will bring back the pages that Google has indexed. This will be critical to know so can later remove old URLs in Google’s Webmaster Tools, recrawl the site, and be up-to-date. This part can take a while so you have to consider this could double your time spent on the job, so be prepared to bill for it or you will be sorry.
  3. In Joomla you will need to set up the URL to be Search Engine Friendly. In the Administrator area go to Global Configuration >> Site >> Search Engine Friendly URLs ( turn this on), Use URL Rewriting ( turn this on). These changes will require you to change your htaccess.txt and change it to .htaccess. I don’t have it set to “yes” in my  image below, but turning on “Add Suffix to URL” will give the page the “.html” at the end.
  4. I prefer to do a lot of the rest in the menu item. The “Browser Page Title” and the “Alias” is where item #2 from the above image will show.
  5. Staying in the Menu item I move over to the “Metadata” section to add my “Description”. This is part #3 in the upper image.
  6. Here I would rework my Excel spread sheet my making sure my new titles are less than “54” characters long and the description is less that 134 characters long. The name of the page should include the service or search term you want to use for that page. I use Wordcounter.net to determine how many characters I have in my new titles and descriptions.
  7. Next go into Google Webmaster Tools and remove the old URL’s that you won’t need anymore. Click the “Temporary Hide” button, put in the URL, and Google will do the rest.
  8. I don’t always add Sitemaps, but here is where you can do this in Google’s Webmaster Tools.

I meet with NOVA JUG recently and the presenter Dorothy had a bunch to offer. Some of the plug-ins she mentioned.

She also really talked up this book by Simon.

This site for analysis of a website. https://en.ryte.com/

For a security update the group discussed changing a setting to not send the password to a user in plain text.

https://www.joomlashack.com/blog/joomla/passwords-emails/

I hope this helps someone else out there…

 

Getting Customers To Leave A Google Review

Listing a business with Google is a no-brainer. Google is such a one-stop-shop for looking something up. Of course you always want your business listing a close to the top a possible, so making sure you have your Google listing as complete as possible is to get some reviews.

I have some customers that are low-tech, but want to use tech to get more business. I wanted to make it as easy as possible for a customer to be able to solicit their customers to leave a review. The customer did more landscape work; however, the business listing was under “construction”. Searching for a landscaper in his area wasn’t yeilding results. This is relevant in case he wanted to tell the customer to look him up and review him.

I found this great article about creating a tinyURL that will link the customer right to the screen they will need to review that business.

How To Ask Your Clients For Google + Business Reviews

The basics are as follows:

  1. Log into Google
  2. Bring up that business listing.
  3. Click on the “Write a review” button.
  4. Now copy the URL and paste it into a URL shrinker like “TinyURL”

That’s it. Your client can send this TinyURL for the customer to quickly leave a review.

I hope this helps someone else out there…