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How to Install Magento Modules

Learn how to install new modules and extensions in Magento
Magento has the built-in functionality to automatically install additional modules for your online store. Basically all you need is the extension’s key and the script will install it for you in just a few clicks. In this tutorial we will explain in details how to install additional modules/extensions for Magento via Magento Connect. Also, we will provide instructions how to upgrade existing modules/extensions for Magento.First, you need to log in to the Magento administrator area. Then go to System -> Magento Connect -> Magento Connect Manager.

A new page will open for the Magento Connect Manager and you will be asked to provide your administrative credentials again.

Once logged in you will see 2 sections: Extensions and Settings. It is recommended to verify the options chosen in the Settings section first.

In the Settings section there are several options you can configure if you need to do it and if you know what you’re doing. It is safe to leave those options to their default values.

The Preferred State option controls the state of the extensions you install. There are 3 states – Stable, Beta and Alpha. For live sites the Stable option is recommended. Setting it to Beta/Alpha gives you the possibility to check the latest versions of the extensions, but this is generally not recommended as extensions in Beta and especially Alpha state might have bugs and could disrupt the functionality of your online store.It is of utter importance to create a backup before downloading extensions or extension upgrades. You can check this part of the tutorial for more information how to create a backup. This way if an issue occurs after downloading and installing an extension you can revert the changes by restoring a working backup.Once you create the backup you can access Magento Connect Manager -> Extensions tab. Click the link to Magento Connect.

This will open a new window for Magento Connect and let you browse the available extensions. There is a search functionality included and modules are separated in different categories.

There are various extensions. Some are free and others are paid. In each case the download from Magento Connect requires registration in order to get the extension key. Instructions may vary depending on the specific extension.Once you have chosen an extension click the Install Now button and choose the Magento Connect version matching your current Magento version. If you are using Magento 1.5 or newer, you need to select version 2.0, otherwise leave Magento Connect 1.0. Read the extension license agreement and then check the box for “I agree to the extension license agreement”. Finally, click the Get Extension Key button.

You will be provided with the Extension key:

This is the key that you need to copy and paste in your Magento Connect area. Then click Install and then Proceed.

The new extension will be automatically downloaded and installed. If there is a problem with the installation, there will be information about it so that you know what should be done to resolve it. After the extension is properly installed.

Once the extension is installed it is important to go back to Magento admin and adjust its options according to your needs. Also make sure that your online store is properly functioning and there are no errors.

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Update Magento Modules

Learn how to update your modules and extensions using Magento Connect
In order to check for upgrades for the Magento extensions first you need to login to your administrative area. Then, go to System -> Magento Connect -> Magento Connect Manager. On the Extensions Tab click on Check for Upgrades.

The Magento Connect manager will automatically connect to the server and check for available upgrades. If you have an extension that has a published upgrade they will be colored in yellow and you will be able to apply the upgrade to your Magento module. Note that it is again extremely important to backup your Magento online store before applying the upgrade. From the Actions drop-down menu you will be able to select the desired upgrade version. Then click Commit Changes to proceed with the upgrade.

The chosen upgrade will be automatically downloaded and applied.

Once the extension is upgraded you can refresh the page via the Refresh button. Then check the current status of your extension. You will find the yellow color has been removed for your Upgraded Extension and the Installed column has changed to the version number you just installed.

You can now click Return to Admin and check if any new Configuration Settings for your Extension are available. Also make sure that your online store is properly functioning and there are no errors.

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How to Update Joomla Extensions

Detailed instructions on how to keep your Jooma 3 extensions up-to-date
In most cases updating your components, modules and plugins is an easy task. First, you need to access your Joomla 3 admin page and go to Extensions -> Extension Manager.

Once you load the Extension Manager, click on the Update link in the left column.

Next, Joomla will show you a list of all extensions that have a new version.

For the purpose of this tutorial we will update the jHackGuard security plugin developed by us to its latest version. To do this, place a check next to the plugin name and hit the Update button at the top left part of the page.

Well done! You’ve updated the jHackGuard plugin to its latest version!

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How to Improve your Joomla Speed

We know that speed is amongst the most important factors for the success of your website. By default, Joomla isn’t slow but you can do a lot to optimize it and achieve great speed for your site. Here you will find the most essential actions you can take to speed up your Joomla 3 website.

Keep Joomla and its Extensions Updated
Having the latest version of Joomla is important for your site speed because in each version there are multiple code improvements. Even if the changes are small – new Joomla versions are generally performing better than previous ones. For more information on how to update Joomla to the latest version check out our Joomla Update Tutorial.
Keeping your Joomla extensions up-to-date is as important for the speed of your website as the Joomla itself. For more information on how to keep your Joomla 3 components, modules and plugins up-to-date.

Enable Joomla Caching
If cache is not enabled, every time your visitors load one of your pages, Joomla has to do few things – fetch the content from its database, load all the plugins, components and modules, you have installed, load your template file and combine all that into a single page. Needless to say this process takes time. This is where the internal Joomla caching system comes to help. When you enable the cache, the first time someone loads your page, the result from the above mentioned actions is stored. Then, all the following visitors will directly get the stored version of that page as if it was a simple, plain HTML file which is much, much lighter and loads faster. This is why caching is one of the most important things to enable in order to have a fast Joomla site.
To enable the Joomla caching, first go to System -> Global Configuration.
Next, you need to click on the System tab to get to the caching settings.

On the right part of this page you will find the Cache Settings. Find the Cache label and click on the drop-down next to it. From the list, please select the ON – Conservative caching option. The other available option – Progressive Caching works a bit different – it stores cached version of your site per each one of your visitors. It is useful in some particular cases and we don’t recommend you to use it unless you’re absolutely sure you need such caching enabled.

Once you set the caching to Conservative Caching, click on the green Save button at top of your page.

There is one final step that you need to make before the Joomla caching system actually starts working – to enable the System – Cache core Joomla 3 plugin. To do this go to Extensions -> Plugin Manager.

Here you will see a big list of all the plugins, currently installed in your Joomla application. The easiest way to locate the caching plugin is to use the search field. Just type in cache and press the magnifying glass button next to the search field.

Once you do that, you will see the System – Cache plugin and a red cross button next to it indicating that the plugin is disabled. To change its status to enabled press on the red button.

Finally, the status button next to the caching plugin will turn green and you’ll see a message, indicating that the plugin has been enabled successfully.That’s it! Your Joomla caching system is now enabled and functional!

Enable Joomla Compression
Another thing that will greatly improve the performance of your Joomla website is the compression. If you enable the internal Joomla compressions system, the page that your visitors will download will be compressed before it is transferred to them. When your webpage size is reduced through compression, it will load much faster. To enable the Joomla compression, first access your admin area and go to System -> Global Configuration.

On this page you will see numerous settings. Click on the Server tab to view the server-related options you can change.
Here, locate the Gzip Page Compression label and press the Yes button next to it to enable the Gzip compression for Joomla.
You will notice that the indicator will turn green showing that the compression is enabled. Finally, press the green Save button in the top left part of the page to commit your changes.

That’s it, the compression of your Joomla 3 site is enabled. You can use one of the many free online tools for testing the Gzip compression such as http://checkgzipcompression.com for example. If everything is alright, you should see a notification that the compression is enabled successfully as well as some information about the change in size of your pages. As you can see from the screenshot below, we’ve reduced the size of our sample page three times simply by enabling the compression.

Add .htaccess Optimization Rules
Htaccess files handles the way your webservers process your site. There are few rules you can add at the end of the .htaccess file that will improve the performance of your Joomla site:

ETag – tells browsers when one image has already been downloaded and can be fetched from the local browser cache instead from the server
Expires headers – similar to ETag but allows you to set different expiration times for different file types
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE – minifies the source code of your compiled HTML files by removing empty lines, breaks and spaces

Reduce Your Images Size
Images are big part of your website. In most of the cases images can be optimized. There are several tips that you should follow when you use images in your pages:

Never use large photos and then scale them using HTML – it takes the browser time to scale the images and they look worse than the original.
Always optimize your images. Applications like Adobe Photoshop and online services like Smush It for example offer easy to use tools that will reduce the size of your images without lowering their quality greatly.
Don’t add too many images to a single page. If you have an article with many photos for example, try splitting it into pages.

Remove unused and unoptimized extensions
Each Joomla extension you add to your website requires system resources, database and disk space to operate. Having many extensions will increase the overall size of your website and make it slower. This is why, it is important to make sure that you have only extensions that you’re actually using installed on your Joomla site.

People often test different plugins, component and modules and forget to remove them once they finish working with them. It’s great idea to do a clean-up of such extensions once in a while just to make sure there isn’t any unnecessary content added to your site.

Last but not least, when you choose the best extensions for the functionality you want to add to your Joomla site, always check for user reviews regarding the load it creates. Some components are poorly written and can affect the performance of your entire site.

Use Optimization Extensions
There are many extensions that try to improve the performance of your Joomla website. During the years of experience we’ve gathered while working with Joomla sites, there are few that we can recommend:

JCH Optimize – Combines JavaScript & CSS, combines images into sprites, minifies and compresses JavaScript
Jbetolo – All the functionality that JCH Optimize has plus CDN support
JotCache – Improves the built-in Joomla caching system
Cache Cleaner – easily clean the cache from the Joomla admin panel

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Drupal Upgrade

Here we will explain in simple steps how to upgrade your Drupal application to the latest stable version.

Step 1 :-
The first step is to visit the official Drupal site and download the latest stable release of Drupal.
Once the download is complete, you need to upload the new version of Drupal on your website. The safest way to do that is to create a new folder in the public_html directory of your website, e.g. drupal_new, and upload the new version package there. Then you need to extract the archive file through cPanel -> File Manager.
If you don’t have cPanel, you can extract the archive on your computer and upload its contents to your account using your favorite FTP client.

Step 2 :-
Once you have the new version uploaded in the drupal_new folder, you should copy the necessary files and folders from the old version of Drupal to the new one.

Here we assume that you already have a full backup of your live Drupal site. Navigate to the backup folder of your Drupal site and copy the .htaccess file, the sites and the files directories and upload them into the drupal_new folder by overwriting any existing files.

Now, go to your cPanel -> File manager -> public_html -> drupal_new/sites/default folder and open the settings.php file for editing.
Edit the following line:
$update_free_access = FALSE;

and change it to:
$update_free_access = TRUE;
The changes above will allow you to run the update.php script from your browser.

Step 3 :-
The next step is to update the database of your Drupal.
Go to
http://yourdomainname.com/drupal_new/update.php
where yourdomainname.com is replaced with your actual domain name.
Click on the Continue button and follow the instructions.

A list with the pending updates will be published. You can check them. Click on the Apply pending updates button to perform the update.
If there are no errors reported, your Drupal application is successfully upgraded.

Due to security reasons you should turn the $update_free_access variable back to false in the settings.php file:
$update_free_access = FALSE;
Open a new window in your browser and point it to the site you have just upgraded. As we performed the upgrade in a test folder drupal_new you should point your browser to: http://yourdomainname.com/drupal_new/

Once you are sure that the upgraded version of the site works properly you can delete or rename the old folder to drupal_old and rename drupal_new to drupal in order to put the new version live.

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Drupal Requirements

Drupal is fully compatible with SiteGround servers. Here are the server requirements as listed on Drupal’s official web site.

Recommended Web Server:

Apache 1.3, Apache 2.x or Microsoft IIS

Apache

Drupal will work on an Apache web server hosted on UNIX/Linux, OS X, or Windows platforms. SiteGround hosting servers are all Linux based and running the Apache web server.
Apache is configured with mod_rewrite by default on SiteGround servers. Thus you can use it with the Drupal’s clean URLs functionality.

The total file size of your Drupal installation will depend on what you add to your site but Drupal core files alone will take up approximately 15 MB uncompressed. The exact size depends on the version of Drupal you have installed.

PHP

Drupal 5: 4.4.0 or higher (5.2 recommended)

Drupal 6: 4.4.0 or higher (5.2 recommended)

Drupal 7: 5.2.5 or higher (5.3 recommended)

SiteGround servers provide multiple PHP versions setup.

PHP memory of 16 MB or higher for a default Drupal 6 installation (8 MB or higher may be sufficient for default installations of earlier versions). Depending on your site’s use of custom or contributed modules, your PHP memory limit may need to be increased beyond 16 MB. On SiteGround servers the memory limit is set to 96 MB.
The PHP extension for connecting to your database must be installed and enabled. Drupal’s currently supported database connectors are: mysql (the original MySQL extension), mysqli (an improved connector for newer MySQL installations). Both are enabled on the SiteGround servers.
PHP XML extention (for blogapi, drupal, and ping modules). This extension is enabled by default on all SiteGround servers.
An image library for PHP such as the GD library is needed for the images manipulation (resizing user pictures, image and imagecache modules). ImageMagick is also supported. Both are installed and enabled by default on the SiteGround servers.
PHP needs several configuration directives (such as register_globals = off and safe_mode = off ) for Drupal to work. All are enabled by default on the SiteGround servers.

Database server

Recommended: MySQL 4.1 or MySQL 5.0. Currently SiteGround is using both MySQL version 4.1 and MySQL version 5.0. PostgreSQL and SQLite are also installed and supported on the SiteGround servers.

Drupal 5.x and earlier supports MySQL 3.23.17 or higher. MySQL 4.1 or higher is strongly recommended.
Drupal 6 supports MySQL 4.1 or higher.
Drupal 7 will only support MySQL 5.0.15 or higher, and requires the PDO database extension for PHP.
Drupal uses the following MySQL commands (all available on SiteGround servers): SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, DROP, INDEX, ALTER. These are sufficient to run Drupal core.

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How to optimize Drupal?

There are several steps that you should follow in order to improve the performance of your Drupal-based website:

First, you should enable the caching system of your Drupal application. In order to do this, login as administrator and go to the Administer -> Site Configuration -> Performance menu. In it, set the values of Caching Mode to “Normal” and Block Cache to “Enabled”. Then, click on the “Save configuration” button at the bottom of the page.

Next, you can disable all the modules/blocks that you are not actually using. To do this, go to the Administer -> Site Building -> Modules menu. Note that the enabled modules have a check in the “Enabled” column. Remove this check for all the modules you want to disable and then click on the “Save configuration” button at the bottom of the screen.

In addition, you can try reducing the content you are displaying on your front page. Too much links/images/scripts on your main page can signifficantly increase the time your website needs to load.

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Change The Drupal Themes

How to change the default Drupal theme?
The default Drupal installation comes with several themes which can be changed from your administration area. Log in as an administrator,click on Administer -> Appearance and choose which theme you want to use for your website.

How to install new Drupal themes?
Drupal keeps its skins in the themes subfolder. To install additional themes, you can get the archived theme from theSiteGround Drupal themes gallery (these themes are compatible with Drupal 6.x) or from the Drupal official theme resource. Extract the files under the themessubfolder. This can be done through cPane l -> FileManager.

If you don’t have cPanel or you prefer using an FTPclient, you can extract the archived theme to your comp uter and thenupload the theme’s files to the themes folder in your Drupal installation directory.

You should now be able to see the theme at your Drupal Administration Area -> Appearance. Enable it and set it as default.
The Update t ab allows to view the outdated themes and get the new versions.
In the Settings section you can manage the global visualization settings for your web site. You can also overwrite them per each theme.

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Top 20 Plugins To Extend WordPress CMS Capabilities

1. Simple Fields
Simple Fields acts as a replacement to custom fields and adds textboxes, text areas, checkboxes, radio buttons, dropdowns, and a file browser to the post admin area to make it easier to use. It also adds the ability to group fields together into logical, reusable groups.

2. CustomPress
This plugin from WPMU Dev makes it easy to make multiple post types, each with their own custom taxonomies, and unique custom fields. Your new, full-blown CMS will also enable you to easily create a theme file, use custom menu items, customize post type labels, and create and assign custom post types.

3. CMS Tree Page View
This plugin adds a CMS-like tree overview of all your pages to WordPress – like the view often found in a page-focused CMS. Within this page tree you can edit pages, view pages, add pages, search pages, and drag and drop pages to rearrange the order.

4. White Label CMS
This is a great plugin, that will help you fully brand WordPress as your own CMS and edit the navigation menus and dashboard to suit your site’s needs.

5. CMS
A collection of plugins to make WordPress feel more like a CMS. It has some small adjustments and some bigger ones. Also includes some other plugins I’ve made like Multiple content blocks, Page manager and a FAQ plugin.

6. CMS Dashboard
This plug-in creates a dashboard widget with clearly labeled large buttons of the most common tasks one would perform when using wordpress as a content management system. This helps new WordPress users get to where they want to go much more quickly than hunting through the menu system.

7. Dashboard Heaven
Dashboard Heaven offers Widget to User-level/role customisation so that you can control which user levels see which widget.

8. CMS Press
CMS Press opens up the ability to create and manage custom content types and taxonomies for your WordPress site. It adds the flexibility to have more than just posts and pages for content by allowing the user to register their own post_types that can use their separate theming from the post and page template along with its own permalink structure.

9. Front Page Category
This plugin lets you easily choose posts in one or more categories to appear on the front page. You can exclude any categories so that they show up only in the archive pages and not on the front page.

10. Multiple Content Blocks
With this plug-in you can use more than one content “block” on a template. You only have to insert one tag inside the template, so its easy to use. It allows you to specify content blocks on your pages that can be easily edited by clients.

11. Pods CMS
Pods is a CMS framework for WordPress. It works with WordPress and allows you to easily add and display your own content types, among a host of other handy features.

12. Menus Plus+
Create multiple customized menus with pages, posts, categories, and URLS. For CMS applications of WordPress, organizing a menu list can be a pain; this makes it easier. Drag and drop to order them as you like.

13. Inline Editor
Adds the capacity to edit your content from the front end of your WordPress blog using the styling of your blog.

14. Flutter
Flutter is a feature rich WordPress CMS plugin that focuses on easy templating for the developer and simplifies content management for the admin by creating custom write panels that can be fully customized (radio buttons, file uploads, image uploads, checkboxes, etc).

15. WP-CMS Post Control
Post Control gives you complete control over your write options for every user level/role. It not only allows you to hides unwanted items like custom fields, trackbacks, revisions etc. but also gives you a whole lot more control over how WordPress deals with creating content.

16. Core Tweaks WordPress Setup
This plug-in completely automates the proper setup of your WordPress blog for search engine optimization. Almost everything is covered, from changing the permalink structure to deleting the Hello World sample post and comment, and all the options are accessible from one single page.

17. Blog-in-Blog
Blog-in-Blog allows you to use the WordPress platform more as a CMS system, but still have a blog page on your site. Posts in a specific category can be used to feed the ‘special’ blog page, and can optionally be hidden from the home page. You can have more than one category hidden from the homepage, and subsequently more than one page full of posts.

18. Magic Fields
Magic Fields is a WordPress CMS plugin, focuses in simplifies content management for the admin creating custom write panels.

19. Edit Flow
the Edit Flow plugin improves the WordPress Admin interface for a multi-user newsroom’s editorial workflow with custom post statuses, post metadata and editorial commenting, and user groups.

20. Page.ly MultiEdit
This plugin allows you to create multiple editable content blocks on page templates. It uses custom fields to create simple tinyMCE editable regions on page templates.

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8 Essential Settings after Installing WordPress

I tried to put all the basic settings, which you need to do after installing WordPress.

1:-WordPress Permalink
Very first thing, which I recommend is to change default permalink to custom permalinks. As default WordPress permalink is like http://yourdomain.com/p=123 This permalink is short but not friendly for search engine. So the first thing you should do is change your permalinks.

At ShoutMeLoud I use /%postname%.html but according to me, best permalink setting is to just use post name. Earlier there used to be some performance issue with custom permalinks, but with latest WordPress it’s easier. Simply go to settings >Permalink and select the post name option, and save.

This ensure that your permalink when appear in search engine, it will contain some keywords and will ensure better ranking.

2:-Change Admin user for Security
By Default WordPress login Id is admin. This put you in little risk because any intruder can make a brute force attack to take down your wordpress blog. To ensure the security of your WordPress blog create a user and give him the admin right. Login with that ID and delete the default admin account. Make sure you use a complex password which contains mix character. Like instead of using password try something like p@ssw)rd.

3:-Disable users registration
It’s always a good idea to keep your registration open if you are creating a WordPress site like ShoutMeloud or any other Websites which allow guest posting, but spam registration will be a pain. But, if you are sole writer and don’t need people to register, I recommend you to disable the WordPress registration Disable it under Settings > General.

4:-WordPress time zone
Under Settings> General , Change the time Zone to match your country time zone. If you schedule your blog posts, changing time zone to your time zone will ensure your blog posts will be published in your desired schedule time.

5:-WordPress Threaded comment
Threaded comments make your blog comments discussion keep going. With the latest versions of wordpress, you can enable Threaded comment from

Settings> Discussion. Check Enable Threaded comment and uncheck Break comments into pages to avoid page duplication issue.

6:-Update WordPress ping list
By default wordpress ping only one ping service, you can notify many more services by extending the ping service. Change the settings under Settings> Writing. Here is my wordpress ping list .

http://rpc.pingomatic.com
http://www.blogpeople.net/servlet/weblogUpdates
http://ping.myblog.jp
http://ping.bloggers.jp/rpc/
http://bblog.com/ping.php

7:-WordPress Comment Gravatar
Under Settings > Discussion, you can change the default image to be shown for people who have not signed up for Gravatar.

Quick Recap

WordPress permalink Structure.
WordPress Security.
Disable user registration.
WordPress time zone.
Threaded comment.
WordPress ping list
WordPress Gravatar.

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