Wizardry rarely comes cheap – in my business everyone wants to charge for everything – well nearly everybody…Now I am happy to pay for most things, including support for open source products, in this particular instance: Joomla. Love it or hate it, Joomla is a useful platform for building a good website, although not my own preference.
I get to work on other people’s CMS regularly to add content, design pages and introduce new elements as graphics, slideshow banners and images etc. but although I am proficient at HTML, I am not a programmer per se and Joomla in particular is not HTML based anyway. Joomla is built from a series of units, some are extensions such as modules within the CMS for example a slideshow presentation module. Others are “Components” which extend the functionality of your Joomla installation through add-on programs. these might include membership programs, newsfeeds or in the case covered here, Google analytics.
One particular component called sh404SEF was added to a client site by the original site developer to counter the poor Analytics in Joomla. Anyone who has come across this software might have marveled at its functionality by adding proper analytics services to a Joomla site. The trouble in this case was that the site had been copied from another by the developer, copying all the categories and Sections with it. So the new site had nearly 100 articles (parts of pages) all with incorrect categories. The sh404SEF also took the URL’s for these pages, which were created from the category/section names and created permanent URLs for them all in the Joomla database. Unfortunately when the sites (original + copied) were on the same host, the wrong pages would come up. Even when the site was moved to a different host, the URL’s were ridiculous as they were from 2 different industries – one was a massage industry website which was copied to a website that sold a water ionising machine. A typical resulting URL was “www.superiorh2o.co.uk/massage/hot_stone/how_to_use_your_ioniser.html”
This looked confusing to site traffic and I had problems resolving it; after much hair-pulling and the distinct feeling that this time I was out of my depth I went looking for a Joomla wizard. After a short search I was able to find a website from a Joomla expert who seemed to understand the whole thing so I emailed him with a short description of my issues and he responded pretty quickly with a summary of what could be wrong. After I gave him access to the admin at the site I was working at within a few hours the problem was resolved. Apparently sh404SEF was the culprit in this case; although the original culprit was the designer who copied the site without deleting the categories/sections before adding new content. All is well now and I have to thank John Muehleisen for his rapid assistance. Dare I mention he would not charge me when I offered to pay? That is certainly not an invite to bombard him with free support requests but merely a nod in his direction that “open sourcery” is alive and well with wizardry available not solely in the the realm of the paying client.
John is a man of God so might not appreciate me suggesting that he uses sorcery, but a Joomla wizard he certainly is! Check out the great information for Joomla users available here at John’s free Joomla site which has tons of info and resources! http://www.welcometojoomla.com/