DPCalendar version 3.1We’re pleased to announce a major new release 3.1 this week for DPCalendar, which is designed to give users an improved and more responsive experience.

Not only are all views of DPCalendar now more responsive, but we have also added a Facebook Event integration plugin so that you can easily share events between the social network and your Joomla calendar.

The date format can now also be changed in the input window and we have made improvements to the monthly scheduling feature.

Limited characters in calendar view

The new mini module function is now capable of showing single events, and live update functionality has also been added. You can also limit the characters in an event description in calendar view.

The update is the latest in improvements that we are constantly adding to DPCalendar, as we strive to ensure that you have the best events calendar on the market today. Not only is DPCalendar simple to use, with a low learning curve, but it’s jam-packed with high-end features that really make it stand out from the competition.

This includes functions such as ACL, social network integration, which has made even more powerful with the Facebook events addition, as well as front end editing.

Simple upgrade

Upgrading to the new version is just as simple too, using the Joomla extension manager to ensure that you can implement new features easily and without any fuss.

However, should you experience any difficulties at all, our support is second to none and our Joomla developers are always happy to help subscribers to our standard and premium subscriptions.

Trying DPCalendar for the first time, or thinking of giving it a shot? We’re convinced that you will love our product so we offer a full, 30 day money-back guarantee, with no hidden fees and a simple subscription service for your peace of mind.

Easy integration with external calendars

It’s easy to integrate existing, external calendars too, such as Ical, Jomsocial and Google calendar, so you needn't worry that switching to DPCalendar has to mean you lose your data.

Add to this the simple drag and drop interface, the event browsing feature that means you never have to refresh the page and all of the brand new features and we challenge you to find a better events calendar anywhere else.

Here at DPCalendar, we love developing new stuff to make your life easier and release regular updates to improve our product. We also welcome feedback from our users so don’t be shy, let us know what you think of DPCalendar.

We hope you love the new release as much as we do!

Joomla 3.1 tagsAs one of the more popular Content Management Systems (CMS) in use today, Joomla’s power lies in its versatility and extensibility. Whatever function or feature is not contained in its core set of capabilities, you can either find from the vast library of extensions both free and paid, or you can build your own. However, one might wonder why something as fundamental as tagging support was not natively incorporated into Joomla, and left to extension developers to implement on their own.

Well, as of 24th April 2013, the release date for version 3.1, Joomla now has support for tags baked into its master codebase. Support for several basic (and some more advanced) tag operations is now integrated and available to Joomla users (and extension developers) from the get-go. This article looks at how Joomla views, treats and works with tags.

Basic tag functions

Standard use cases for tags in other CMS include in blogs, where bloggers highlight key aspects of any specific blog post, as well as in news sites, content aggregation sites, essay sites and job hunting sites, amongst others. Tags are a simple and powerful way of adding – and searching – metadata to various types of content.

Previously, Joomla had a limited support of these scenarios with its category assignments. With Joomla 3.1, all of these use cases are catered for. Joomla allows its tag support to be used in any extension by the addition of a new field with the ‘tag’ type. In the default AJAX mode, end-users can create new (or custom) tags ‘on-the-fly’, or select from a list compiled as the users type it in. Alternatively, in the nested mode, users can select from a hierarchically-presented list of tags, which deny the creation of custom tags. Denying custom tag creation is available for the AJAX mode as well. What truly separates tags from categories in Joomla is that multiple tags can be associated with a single piece of content, any tag can be associated with multiple types of content, and of course, tags are not containers for other kinds of items.

In addition, searching for and sorting specified tag(s), and content associated with these tags, has been implemented. Joomla 3.1 now allows ‘most popular tags’ and ‘related articles’ (articles with similar tags) to be displayed to the users. And probably best of all, tags can be made as a menu item that works almost identically to categories.

Advanced tag functions

With the integration of the ajax-chosen plugin and the built-in tag support framework, site developers can now create their own custom-built tag system. You can implement your favoured tag system by building on and extending the basic tag field, providing all the necessary functions to go along with it.

The implications of this is that current extensions providing tagging support to earlier versions of Joomla can be updated to use Joomla 3.1’s native tagging system without any loss of functionality. In addition, future versions of Joomla itself will include a more complete feature set for dealing with tags, e.g. allowing the end user to create a new, custom nested tag tree.

Joomla 3.1’s new tagging system promises to make an already-good CMS even better, and is an answer to many user requests. Give it a go – you may never need any other tagging extension.


miscAs one of the most popular CMS’ in the world, with more than 20 million sites using the platform, Joomla has a lot to offer even the least techie type who wants to develop their own website.

Bearing this in mind, we’ve come up with a list of 5 things that can really help your Joomla installation to give it more functionality and even perhaps, earn you some spare cash!

So without further ado:

#1: DPCalendar

It would be rude not to give DPCalendar a mention wouldn’t it? DPCalendar is a sleekly designed, high quality and super-responsive Joomla calendar and event management system. It has all of the usual features that you would expect from a high-end Joomla calendar and can even be integrated with social networks.

Add SEO functionality and you have one of the most powerful calendars on the market today.

#2: JCE Editor

This extension is the most used alternative to the Joomla default editor. It brings endless features to your writing experience like additional background colours, extra fonts, enhanced multimedia controls and much more. Ideal for those who really want to make their posts stand out, JCE Editor is a great addition to your Joomla site.

#3: Choose secure admin login

This week has seen a huge botnet attacking Wordpress sites and with this in mind, it’s worth bringing to your attention that passwords really should be very strong. Joomla sites, just like any other, are attacked every day by automated scripts which try “dictionary attacks” on passwords. If this password is simple, you may as well just hand it over to the hacker and have done with it.

Choose a complex password and avoid creating or leaving the administrator login name as “admin” for the best results (event better delete the default admin user with the ID 62 and create a new one). If you’re not sure, choose a password manager that will create a complex password for you.

#4: Ads & Affiliates

Want to add another revenue stream to your site? Then simply select the ads and affiliates that Joomla helpfully provide, select the code and past it into your site wherever you want it to appear!

Let’s face it, in the current economic climate, we all need as much help as we can get!

#5: Mobile Joomla

We live increasingly in the smartphone age and as such, it would be a mistake to not make a mobile version of your Joomla website. There are plenty of extensions that can help you with this or you can choose a responsive design that adapts to whatever device is displaying the site.

As we mentioned last week, there are a limited number of Joomla themes for this at the moment, but the Joomla dev community will soon catch up and offer a lot more choice.

responsiveAnyone who has anything to do with web design will no doubt already have heard of, or even used, responsive web design.

Responsive web design means that when a webpage is opened on a mobile device or tablet, the page is displayed perfectly, with everything appearing as it does in a PC browser. This does away with cramped mobile websites, with tiny writing and constant scrolling, which is very difficult to navigate.

As we’re living in the connected age, where there are more smartphones in the world than toothbrushes and PC sales are in a steep decline due to tablets, it’s easy to work out why being responsive is a vital part of a modern website.

How does it work?

To begin with, responsive designs auto-scale to fit the destination device perfectly, without altering the content of the site. This is done automatically and doesn’t require any user intervention to make it work properly.

The technology works by using @media queries in order to discover the size of the target device, then present a layout based on that. It’s a reasonably new technology but has been around since about 2011.

Do I need special coding knowledge?

Not necessarily, one of the beauties of having a Joomla website is the use of templates or themes, which have been pre-coded and optimised so that you simply install and go. There are already a large number of responsive templates available in the Joomla templates library, so it should be relatively simple to find one that suits.

However, if you have a simple site, then by all means install a responsive design template, but beware as Joomla sites that have a lot of extensions are likely to cause a problem when it comes to installation.

Site structure

For the most part, it’s likely to be images and video that gives a problem in some templates and so it’s worth looking at your site structure in order to decide how you can simplify it.

This isn’t a bad exercise to undertake anyway, as problems that you previously had been aware of will inevitably present themselves when undergoing a full site audit.

The lack of support so far for Joomla extensions and responsive web design is due simply to the newness of the technology, so it shouldn’t be too long before the Joomla community respond and begin to publish compatible extensions and plugins.

In the meantime however, if you come across this problem, then it’s wise to either abandon the project for now, or give your site a good overhaul in order to make it compatible.

Why should I bother?

Well, those who don’t have a responsive website are more likely to find themselves trailing the opposition, as so many people now access the net via a smartphone or tablet. This means that you have to offset the potential cost in terms of time and money in order to decide whether it’s worth it right now.

Researching rival sites will help you with that, if all of your competitors already have responsive sites, then it’s time to act. Likewise, if none of your competitors do, then it’s worth asking yourself if you will benefit significantly from getting a head start.

The fact is, at some point you are going to have to adapt to modern technologies so it’s worth getting ahead of the game, in order to stay that way.

What do we offer?

The next DPCalendar version will offer some cool configuration options to optimize your calendar and events for all kind of devices. Of course every view will be repsonsive using the state of the art framework bootstrap.

shopping-cartFor the novice especially, choosing the right shopping cart extension to use on a Joomla ecommerce site can be a daunting and confusing affair. Like other extensions, there’s a bewildering array to choose from and this can result in a lot of time wasted on trial and error.

Bearing this in mind, we’ve put together some of the better Joomla 2.5 shopping cart extensions to help you to make a choice. These are free solutions and have a number of common features, including:

  • Ease of use – easy to install and configure with a configuration dashboard for simple management.
  • Feature rich – with options for offering customers discounts, vouchers, etc.
  • Multi-language and currency support to offer sales to customers around the world
  • Payment options to ensure that customers have a good choice

So this is what you want as basics in your shopping cart and those that don’t contain these options should be discarded immediately.

Some suggestions

J2Store is ideal for beginners, thanks to its simplicity, and your ecommerce shop can be up and running very quickly. There is an easy-to-use interface which allows for configuration, but doesn’t complicate things too much.

However, payment plugins have to be downloaded separately and this could put some users off.

Similar to J2Store is JoomShopping, an open-source solution which is feature-rich. This includes product ratings and testimonials, which is great for additional product details and can even be used for sale items and so on.

Menus and configuration are fairly straightforward and it can be found as a free extension, or you can purchase a Pro version. However, there is only support for three payment methods, so this may not suit everyone.


This extension comes in a choice of three different editions: HikaShop Starter, HikaShop Essential and HikaShop Business.

The starter edition gives plenty of features that are likely to keep you happy, such as coupon and discount options and customisable options for global sales, taxes and currencies.

HikaShop also supports social and RSS for products, so that it’s a simple matter for your items to be shared on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This has numerous configuration options and is a powerful ecommerce solution for anyone.


Has long been billed as the best online shop solution for Joomla, but has fallen down slightly with more recent builds and come in for a fair amount of criticism. The sheer amount of options it has makes it an inadvisable choice for the novice and this is recommended for more advanced users.

Of course this is far from an exhaustive list, so it’s always worth doing your research and having a good look around at what else is available. Experimentation is also a good idea so that you can familiarise yourself with Joomla shopping extensions in order to help you choose the best one to suit you and your business.

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