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Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: CSS Hacks to fixing your Joomla design issues in different browsers

clock October 29, 2015 18:51 by author ben

If you are being tired of fixing your Joomla design issues in different browsers, then it’s time for moving on to some safe and permanent CSS Hacks. We usually face difficulties to implement designs or fixing css issues in the IE( with specific versions ), Chrome, Safari, Opera browsers etc. We can solve them with the help of CSS Hacks, though they also create problem sometimes. So without wasting any time we should proceed with the trust.

Let’s start with a simple part of CSS mentioned as below. We want the below CSS( make the color to white ) to be worked on all the browsers with most of the current/previous versions.

/* Dummy CSS to work with */
#selector {
  color: #000000;
}

For IE( Internet Explorer ):

/* IE 10( specific ) */
@media screen and (-ms-high-contrast: active),
(-ms-high-contrast: none) {
  #selector {
    color: #FFFFFF;
  }
}

/* IE 9( specific ) */
#selector {
  color: #000000; /* Ingeneral, for all browsers */
  color: #FFFFFF \0/IE9; /* Only for IE 9 */
}

/* IE 8( specific ) */
@media \0screen {
  #selector {
    color: #FFFFFF;
  }
}

/* IE 7( specific and below version ) */
#selector {
  *color: #FFFFFF;
}

For Google Chrome and Safari:

For Chrome and Safari we use same hacks with some little tweaks

/* Google Chrome */
@media screen and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio:0) {
  #selector {
    color: #FFFFFF;
  }
}

/* Safari( in MAC ) */
@media screen and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio:0) {
  ::i-block-chrome,#selector {
    color: #FFFFFF;
  }
}

For Opera:

/* Opera( 11 and earlier version ) */
@media not screen and (1) {
  #selector {
    color: #FFFFFF;
  }
}
@media not screen and (orientation) {
  #selector { /* for the earlier versions of Opera */
    color: #FFFFFF;
  }
}


As it’s said that all these work fine but sometimes they also fail. So be happy to keep trying and find your solutions. Also your suggestions are acceptable. Happy knowledge sharing.

Best Joomla Hosting Recommendation

ASPHostPortal.com provides our customers with Plesk Panel, one of the most popular and stable control panels for Windows hosting, as free. You could also see the latest .NET framework, a crazy amount of functionality as well as Large disk space, bandwidth, MSSQL databases and more. All those give people the convenience to build up a powerful site in Windows server. We offers Joomla hosting starts from $5/month only. We also guarantees 30 days money back and guarantee 99.9% uptime. If you need a reliable affordable Joomla Hosting, we should be your best choice.



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com : Adding Javascript snippets to Joomla

clock October 29, 2015 00:19 by author ben

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a programming language used to make web pages interactive. It runs on your visitor's computer and doesn't require constant downloads from your website. JavaScript is often used to create polls and quizzes. JavaScript support is built right into all the major web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. Provided that the visitors to your site are using web browsers that support JavaScript (most do) and have JavaScript enabled (it is by default), then your JavaScript will run when they visit the page.

Module position basics

If you've been working with Joomla, you know that a Joomla template consists of HTML and some PHP snippets.

For one, it contains a component area where the output from the different components are shown (articles, blog lists, third-party components etc). A Joomla template also contains several PHP snippets, which are called module positions. You can assign modules to these positions and they will appear in the given position in your template.

Easier way to insert scripts

Of course, you can use an extension for each third-party script you want to enter. Probably there is one available (isn't there for almost anything?). The problem with this approach, though, is that you need to keep track of X number of extensions and their updates. And for each extension you add to your site, the chance of being hacked increases. After all, code is made by humans, and humans make mistakes.

For those reasons, I prefer using the 'Custom HTML' module when I need to insert code snippets. For best results, you should have special module positions for the JavaScript snippet modules. That way, you can control where in the source code the snippets appear, something which can be crucial for the workings of the snippet.

The method is simple, but effective.

You will need three module positions, and as many Custom HTML modules as you need (one for each snippet).

Inserting the module positions in your template

In order to make this as flexible as possible, you need three module positions:

  • endhead
  • topbody
  • endbody

Now you're ready to insert the module positions. You will need to enter the following code into your template index.php file. You'll find it here: /templates/yourtemplatename/index.php.

Make sure to create a backup of your index.php file before messing with it.

Enter this just before the </head> tag.

<jdoc:include type="modules" name="endhead" />

Enter this just after the <body> tag:

<jdoc:include type="modules" name="topbody" />

Enter this just before the </body> tag:

<jdoc:include type="modules" name="endbody" />

Save your template.

The next step is to add the actual modules that will hold your JavaScript. But before that, we need to do some adjustments to the text editor settings.

Allowing JavaScript in your editor

To be able to add the JavaScript to the Custom HTML module, you need to allow Javascript in your text editor. If you use TinyMCE, you find this setting in Extensions -> Plugin Manager -> Editor - TinyMCE 2.0. Make sure you have the setting for 'Code Cleanup on Startup' set to 'Off' and the 'Code Cleanup on Save' to 'Never'.

If you're using JCE, go to Groups -> Default (or other group you're using) -> Editor Parameters. Make sure the 'Allow Javascript' setting is set to 'Yes'.

Adding the script to the Custom HTML module

Now, you need to add the actual Javascript snippet to a Custom HTML module and assign it to the appropriate module position.

I'll use Google Analytics as an example. Go to the Module Manager and click New. Choose the 'Custom HTML' module type. You will see the module parameters.

Enter a title for the module, for instance 'Google Analytics code', enable the module, choose not to show the module title.

For the Google Analytics code, we assign the module to the newly created 'endhead' position. This has the Google Analytics snippet appear just before the closing HEAD tag (</head>). As you have not entered the new module positions to the template XML file, they will not appear in the module position drop-down. Not to worry: You can simply enter the position name 'endhead' in the field directly.

Lastly, enter the HTML mode of your editor and paste the Google Analytics code into the window. You can now save the module.

Best Joomla Hosting Recommendation

ASPHostPortal.com provides our customers with Plesk Panel, one of the most popular and stable control panels for Windows hosting, as free. You could also see the latest .NET framework, a crazy amount of functionality as well as Large disk space, bandwidth, MSSQL databases and more. All those give people the convenience to build up a powerful site in Windows server. We offers Joomla hosting starts from $5/month only. We also guarantees 30 days money back and guarantee 99.9% uptime. If you need a reliable affordable Joomla Hosting, we should be your best choice.



ASPHostPortal.com Announces New Data Center in Canada

clock October 27, 2015 21:34 by author ben

ASPHostPortal.com is a web hosting provider dedicated to providing high quality web hosting at an affordable price. We care for the clients, ensuring each and every client is more than just satisfied day in and day out. We only use the best hardware, super fast network, covered by 24/7 Support Team. Today, we launch new high quality data center in Toronto, Canada.

Our Canada data center is equipped with raised floors, climate control, 24/7 security, fire suppression systems, water detection systems, UPS & generators to ensure that all customer data is safe and secure. You can be rest assured that your websites or dedicated servers are secured, managed and monitored in a state-of-the-art facility, and a customer have access to our engineers and the most reliable Support team.

As a leading small to mid-sized business web hosting provider, we strive to offer the most technologically advanced hosting solutions available to all customers across the world. Security, reliability, and performance are at the core of their hosting operations to ensure each site and application hosted on the servers is highly secured and performs at optimum level. Unlike other web hosting companies, we do not overload the servers.

ASPHostPortal.com is trusted web hosting provider since 2008. Our data center is located on 4 continents (US, Europe, Asia, and Australia). If you need custom build server configuration, please visit our website and contact our Sales team. We will work with people to create a custom quote at best possible price. To learn more about our new data center, please visit http://asphostportal.com/Hosting-Data-Center-Canada

About ASPHostPortal.com :

ASPHostPortal.com is The Best, Cheap and Recommended ASP.NET & Linux Hosting. ASPHostPortal.com has ability to support the latest Microsoft, ASP.NET, and Linux technology, such as: such as: WebMatrix, WebDeploy, Visual Studio 2015, .NET 5/ASP.NET 4.5.2, ASP.NET MVC 6.0/5.2, Silverlight 6 and Visual Studio Lightswitch, Latest MySql version, Latest PHPMyAdmin, Support PHP 5.x, etc. Their service include shared hosting, reseller hosting, and sharepoint hosting, with speciality in ASP.NET, SQL Server, and Linux solutions. Protection, trustworthiness, and performance are on the core of hosting operations to make certain every website and software hosted is so secured and performs at the best possible level.



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: How to change default SEBLOD Joomla message form

clock October 22, 2015 18:08 by author ben

By default, after a submission of a form, SEBLOD display the message below :

Message


Successfully Saved

This message can be changed in the tab configuration of the form. Sometime, you need to change this message, depending on the informations that the user has submitted. For that, you must use the plugin field " Code", on the event "Afterstore".

Add a field Code Afterstore in the form. In this event, you have access to 2 variables :

    $fields  => the array of each fields in the form
    $config  => an array of various parameters :
        $config['message'] => the message to display
        $config['message_style'] => the Joomla! style of message (message, notice, warning,...)
        $config['pk']  => the id of the new content created
        $config['isNew']  => 1 : creation  /  0 : edition
        ...


For example, setting the $config like that :

$config['message'] = 'Thank '.$fields['first_name']->value.' '.$fields['last_name']->value.'for join us,<br />';
$config['message'] .= 'find here your ID : '.$config['pk'];
$config['message_style'] = 'message';


will display the joomla mesage :

Message

Thank Ben Thomas for join us,
find here your ID : xxxxxx

Best Joomla Hosting Recommendation

ASPHostPortal.com provides our customers with Plesk Panel, one of the most popular and stable control panels for Windows hosting, as free. You could also see the latest .NET framework, a crazy amount of functionality as well as Large disk space, bandwidth, MSSQL databases and more. All those give people the convenience to build up a powerful site in Windows server. We offers Joomla hosting starts from $5/month only. We also guarantees 30 days money back and guarantee 99.9% uptime. If you need a reliable affordable Joomla Hosting, we should be your best choice.



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com : How to Customize Joomla CSS?

clock October 21, 2015 23:47 by author ben

How to Customize Joomla CSS?

CSS

  • CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets
  • CSS describes how HTML elements are to be displayed on screen, paper, or in other media
  • CSS saves a lot of work. It can control the layout of multiple Web pages all at once
  • External Style Sheets are stored in CSS files

CSS in Joomla Template

Some templates use only one CSS file (called template.css, mostly), others have several. For optimal page performance, you should keep the number of CSS files to a minimum. This reduces the number of server requests necessary to show the page. You may sometimes see that the template uses a main CSS file which imports all of the other files by the following syntax (example):

@import url('reset.css');
@import url('joomla.css');
@import url('typography.css');
@import url('modules.css');
@import url('custom.css');

Don't repeat styles if you don't need to

When styling elements with CSS it's important to be specific. And to keep your stylesheet lean. What I mean is you don't need to repeat styling just because you want to restyle an element. Let's say, for instance, that you have the following style for the H1 tag in your main CSS file (template.css or similar):

h1 {
font-size:24px;
color:#d7d7d7;
margin-bottom:1em;
text-transform:uppercase;
}

The normal styling for H tags are bold. Maybe you want to add the styling to make the header tag use the normal and not the bold style of the font. And, at the same time you don't want to have uppercase letters in the H1. Of course, you could do it like this, adding the following code to your custom.css:

h1 {
font-size:24px;
color:#d7d7d7;
margin-bottom:1em;
text-transform:none;
font-weight:normal;
}

This works, but it's not good code. You repeat all of the styling even though you just want to alter one style and add another. This is a better way:

h1 {
text-transform:none;
font-weight:normal;
}

In this case, you only add the styles that are different from the original. The other styles are left untouched.

Use Firebug to Test Your CSS

One of the tools I use to test my CSS is called Firebug. It's an add-on to Chrome which gives you a lot of information about the CSS and HTML structure of a web page. When you have Firebug installed, you can right-click on an element and choose 'Inspect element'. The Firebug window will open at the bottom of the screen. Now, you can see the HTML structure (left) and the CSS (right).

Now the fun begins! You can start experimenting with the CSS directly in Firebug. Want to change the margin of an element? The background color? Remove the border? Every tweak you would like is available to play with, and the result is instantly shown in the browser. Of course, if you refresh the page the changes are lost. When you're happy with your changes, copy the CSS into your custom CSS file and upload to your server.

You can also use the Inspector or Firebug Lite in Google Chrome or Safari.

Take a look at my previous post about 8 Free Firefox extensions every Joomla user should have.

Take some time to learn CSS

I believe every Joomla user / web site developer should learn some CSS and know HTML by heart. It makes it so much easier to modify your templates and to achieve what you (and your client?) wants.

It's not like learning PHP. I hardly know more than a handful things about PHP. HTML and CSS, however, are like second nature to me. That's because I've invested time into learning and practicing the use of these skills. This is especially true for CSS.

Easy to get started with CSS and Joomla

The easiest way of starting to learn CSS is to look at your existing template.css. Look at the structure of it and try changing some of the styles. Do a backup of the file first.

You could try and change the header tags first. Want the H2 tag to be smaller? You got it :) And now it's a site-wide change, valid for all instances of the H2 tag. Other tags to change are the a (link) tag, the p (for instance adjusting the line spacing) and the UL and LI tags (bullet list).

Best Joomla Hosting Recommendation

ASPHostPortal.com provides our customers with Plesk Panel, one of the most popular and stable control panels for Windows hosting, as free. You could also see the latest .NET framework, a crazy amount of functionality as well as Large disk space, bandwidth, MSSQL databases and more. All those give people the convenience to build up a powerful site in Windows server. We offers Joomla hosting starts from $5/month only. We also guarantees 30 days money back and guarantee 99.9% uptime. If you need a reliable affordable Joomla Hosting, we should be your best choice.



ASPHostPortal.com Announces New Data Center in India

clock October 20, 2015 09:30 by author ben

As the commitment to customers to provide global hosting solution, ASPHostPortal.com is now operating servers that are located in the prestigious, state-of-art India Data Center. Their data centers are strategically located around the country to provide customers with the highest levels of availability, service and support on the market.

Located in Chennai (India), our data center has a capacity to hold about 40,000 servers. Backed by well-trained, experienced system engineers, network specialist and electrician, you can be rest assured that your site on this data center is maintained professionally. All our servers are equipped with minimum Intel Dual Processor Multi Core, 8 GM RAM and the fastest 1,000 Mbps connection backbone. This is to ensure that all sites hosted on their server has an access to the best performance, reliability and connectivity feature.

We operate the Screaming-Fast Network™, featuring multi-homed bandwidth with connections to over 40 networks. The route traffic over major Tier 1 Internet backbones such as UUNet/MCI, Level 3, NTT/Verio, and AboveNet, with no low-quality bandwidth and plenty of network capacity for maximum reliability and scalability.

With 10 years combined experience in ASP.NET, PHP, Network Administration, System Integration and related technologies, ASPHostPortal.com are an expert in the hosting market. We provide shared hosting, cloud hosting, reseller hosting, Sharepoint hosting, etc. with cheap price, complete features, uptime and 30 days money back guarantee. In addition, we have been awarded as one of the fastest hosting companies in the industry because of the good hosting performance this web host provides. To learn more about our new data center, please visit http://asphostportal.com/Hosting-Data-Center-India

About ASPHostPortal.com :
ASPHostPortal.com is The Best, Cheap and Recommended ASP.NET & Linux Hosting. ASPHostPortal.com has ability to support the latest Microsoft, ASP.NET, and Linux technology, such as: such as: WebMatrix, WebDeploy, Visual Studio 2015, .NET 5/ASP.NET 4.5.2, ASP.NET MVC 6.0/5.2, Silverlight 6 and Visual Studio Lightswitch, Latest MySql version, Latest PHPMyAdmin, Support PHP 5.x, etc. Their service include shared hosting, reseller hosting, and sharepoint hosting, with speciality in ASP.NET, SQL Server, and Linux solutions. Protection, trustworthiness, and performance are on the core of hosting operations to make certain every website and software hosted is so secured and performs at the best possible level.



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: 6 Steps to Make Different Category Layout in Joomla

clock October 15, 2015 06:39 by author ben

If you’re reading this post, then this means that most likely you have reached a level, in Joomla, where you know that you can override the default layout of any view in any component by copying template files to the html directory of the template and then modifying these files. For example, if you want to override the default Category Blog layout, you will need to do the following:

  • Download, through FTP, the files blog.php, blog_item.php, and blog_links.php from the /components/com_content/views/category/tmpl directory.
  • Make some changes to your taste to the above files.
  • Upload them to the /templates/[your template name]/html/com_content/category folder (you will need to create this directory structure if it doesn’t already exist).
  • That’s it! You have now overridden the default layout for the blog layout. Joomla will now use the files in the html directory to display any page using the Category Blog menu item type.

But, what if you have a certain category that needs to have a unique, different blog layout than the others. What will you do?

Unfortunately, the above method will not work because the overridden template is applied across the board: all the Category Blog pages will have the same look and feel. Thankfully, there is another, even more powerful method, that can accomplish exactly what you want. You just need to create a new layout and then assign the menu item to that layout. In other words, you will have another menu item type (which is similar to the Category Blog menu item type)!

Here’s how to do this:

  1. Download the files blog.xml, blog.php, blog_item.php from the /components/com_content/views/category/tmpl directory.
  2. Rename the downloaded files to mylayout.xml, mylayout.php, and mylayout_item.php respectively.
  3. Open the file mylayout.xml in a text editor and 1) change the string “COM_CONTENT_CATEGORY_VIEW_BLOG_TITLE” to “My Layout”, and 2) change the string “COM_CONTENT_CATEGORY_VIEW_BLOG_OPTION” to “My Layout” as well.
  4. Make the appropriate layout modifications to mylayout.php and mylayout_item.php to accommodate the unique look & feel for that particular category.
  5. Upload the renamed files to the /templates/[your template name]/html/com_content/category directory.
  6. Now create a menu item of type My Layout and you should see that the layout that you have just created is applied!

Wonderful, huh? And the best thing is that you haven’t made a single code change to Joomla’s core (or any Joomla file for that matter – core or non-core), which means that your newly created layout will not be overwritten/removed by a future Joomla update!

Now, at first glance, the above process might seem a bit complicated, but it’s not – it’s really straightforward. It takes just a tiny bit of time if you follow the instructions.

Best Joomla Hosting Recommendation

ASPHostPortal.com provides our customers with Plesk Panel, one of the most popular and stable control panels for Windows hosting, as free. You could also see the latest .NET framework, a crazy amount of functionality as well as Large disk space, bandwidth, MSSQL databases and more. All those give people the convenience to build up a powerful site in Windows server. We offers Joomla hosting starts from $5/month only. We also guarantees 30 days money back and guarantee 99.9% uptime. If you need a reliable affordable Joomla Hosting, we should be your best choice.



ASPHostPortal.com Announces PrestaShop 1.6.1.1 Hosting Solution

clock October 13, 2015 09:40 by author ben

When launching a PrestaShop website, there are very many web hosting services that you will have to consider. But, you are not going to settle on any service carelessly. You must first determine the nature of services to be offered by your website and then proceed to make that important decision. Additionally, there are other factors to consider including the budget available and the type of server being used. The most important thing will be settled on the right web hosting services to suit your business. To provide the best quality hosting for your PrestaShop website, ASPHostPortal.com offers PrestaShop 1.6.1.1 hosting with responsive service, faster connection, and cheap price.

PrestaShop provides more than 250,000 online store owners with the most powerful, dynamic and international eCommerce software enriched with hundreds of innovative tools to build and manage a successful online store at no cost. PrestaShop is simple, efficient and intuitive with unmatched power that enables users to thrive in a competitive market regardless of size, industry or revenue. By offering both, a flexible Open source and a user-friendly cloud-hybrid eCommerce solution completely for free, PrestaShop has removed the financial and technical barriers of starting an online business.

Used in over 200 countries and partnered with the most renowned names in the industry, PrestaShop continues to revolutionize online retail with technology that increases sales and maximizes visibility. To create an online store with PrestaShop you need reliable web hosting services. If you are looking for the right Windows ASP.NET hosting that support PrestaShop 1.6.1.1 hosting provider, ASPHostPortal.com is the right choice for you.

ASPHostPortal.com is a web hosting provider dedicated to providing high quality web hosting at an affordable price. We care for the clients, ensuring each and every client is more than just satisfied day in and day out. We only use the best hardware, super fast network, covered by 24/7 Support Team. We have locations in 8 world class data centers, located USA, Europe, Asia and Australia. Each of locations will provide with amazing performance. With us, your PrestaShop website will run fast. To learn more about our PrestaShop 1.6.1.1 Hosting, please visit http://asphostportal.com/PrestaShop-1-6-1-1-Hosting

About ASPHostPortal.com :
ASPHostPortal.com is The Best, Cheap and Recommended ASP.NET & Linux Hosting. ASPHostPortal.com has ability to support the latest Microsoft, ASP.NET, and Linux technology, such as: such as: WebMatrix, WebDeploy, Visual Studio 2015, .NET 5/ASP.NET 4.5.2, ASP.NET MVC 6.0/5.2, Silverlight 6 and Visual Studio Lightswitch, Latest MySql version, Latest PHPMyAdmin, Support PHP 5.x, etc. Their service include shared hosting, reseller hosting, and sharepoint hosting, with speciality in ASP.NET, SQL Server, and Linux solutions. Protection, trustworthiness, and performance are on the core of hosting operations to make certain every website and software hosted is so secured and performs at the best possible level.



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: Increase Your Joomla Speed With These Tricks

clock October 8, 2015 06:38 by author ben

The speed at which your site loads is very important. Firstly, a fast loading site will have your readers stick around longer. If they are served content fast, it is more tempting to click on another link to read more. Nobody wants to wait for a slow site.

Secondly, speed has become a major issue when it comes to SEO. Search engines, and particularly Google, now take the loading speed of a page into consideration when ranking the page for result pages. In particular, slow loading sites will be pushed down in the search results. The reason is that Google wants to serve its users with the most relevant content available, and in the shortest time possible. Giving people links to slow sites is not a good idea, so fast-loading sites will now appear higher in the search engine result pages.

There are several things you can do to optimize your site for speed. One way is to limit the use of installed extensions. In this post, you’ll learn some more ways to improve the loading speed of your blog.

Optimizing images

In my opinion, images make up an important part of any blog. A good image can underscore and improve the content of your posts. I believe you should use images in every post you create. Perhaps not overuse it, but try to use illustrations where it can improve the content. For instance, I'm using charts, tables and screenshots a lot on joomlablogger.net. It is sometimes easier to understand a concept when it's illustrated as well as explained with text.

On the other hand, using too many images can slow down the loading of your blog. If your reader's are mostly in countries with high bandwidth internet access, it's normally not a problem. However, if your site is accessed by people living in low bandwidth areas, you might need to think differently.

I have a good friend who runs a couple of blogs in India. He uses almost no images in his posts. His readers mostly have low bandwidth available to them when browsing. If it came down to a choice between a slow site and hires images on my blog, I would choose speed. More about that in the SEO chapter.

Using CSS sprites

The technique of using CSS Sprites is a great idea. It can save your site from a lot of HTTP requests, which in turn will save load time.

A CSS sprites are images shown on your site, that are actually one large image. The browser will load the large image once, and then use CSS to show parts of the image only in different parts of the site.
Some sites take this technique to the extreme, using one image for the entire template imagery. One such example is the extremely fast-loading free template Afterburner from RocketTheme.

Sprites are not little images like in an 80’s video game. A sprite is actually one big image. Have you ever seen the CSS technique where the «on» and «off» states of a button are in the same image? That is done by changing the background-position for the image container. That saves time, as the image is loaded only once.

CSS Sprites is a more advanced application of that technique. The difference is that instead of just two or three images being combined into one, you can combine an unlimited number of images into one. The origin of the term "sprites" comes from old school computer graphics and the video game industry. The idea was that the computer could fetch a graphic into memory, and then only display parts of that image at a time, which was faster than having to continually fetch new images. The sprite was the big combined graphic. CSS Sprites is pretty much the exact same theory: get the image once, shift it around and only display parts of it. That saves the overhead of having to fetch multiple images.

In this example, we set the linked list items of an unordered list to have a background image:

#nav li a {background-image:url('../img/image_nav.gif')}

Then, we set the portion of the background image to use by shifting the background position for each menu item. In Joomla, you can easily use these menu item classes as they are added in the mod_mainmenu module by default.

#nav li a.item1 {background-position:0px 0px}
#nav li a:hover.item1 {background-position:0px -72px}
#nav li a.item2 {background-position:0px -143px;}
#nav li a:hover.item2 {background-position:0px -215px;}


This way, you can add icons to your menu items or similar. Or you can use the technique to set icons or background images for modules. You can also use sprites for common items on your blog like social media buttons and more. Only the imagination limits what you can do on your quest to less http requests.
As mentioned, some templates use this technique. For instance, the Focus template by Joomla Bamboo utilizes sprites extensively to reduce load time.

No browser resizing!

Among the most common errors that Joomla users fall victim to is to resize images in the text editor. Basically, they insert a (large) image into the text editor of Joomla, and then resize it there. Bad idea!
The reason this is a bad idea is that, depending on your editor, the image will be resized using the Height / Width HTML parameters or CSS. Regardless of method, the image will be loaded full size by the browser, and then resized before being shown to the reader. Imagine an image being 10 times as large as it is shown in the browser. That means 10 times the data being transferred to the reader before the image is shown. And imagine you have 10 images on your page. That means 100 times more data than you need..!

Additionally, images resized in the browser can appear blurred and low quality. The browser is oftentimes not able to render the images clearly when resized. Internet Explorer in particular does a terrible job of rendering images resized with the height and width parameters.

The solution is simple: Resize the images to the correct size before uploading. Or, if you use the JCE Image Manager, you can resize the images on upload or using the Edit image functions (you can also crop and add effects using that tool).

The point is - the images should be exactly the pixel size that they will be shown in the final page on your site. That will save load time and improve the quality of the images.

If you're using a CCK or content plug-in, most of these will take care of some of image resizing for you. Typically, they will resize the first image of the article. Or, in the case of K2, the image you have chosen as the main image for the item. Still, there can be images in the main text that won't be touched by the extensions. So be very careful about using browser resizing. As a friend of mine would say: It's the devil's work (he was talking about hot dogs, though…).

That said, sometimes your users simply don’t understand what this is about, and resize images as they wish. To avoid the horrible effect this has on images in Internet Explorer, you can add a little piece of code to your CSS file:

img { -ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic; }

Spotting images without height and width
Here’s a tip for spotting unsized images during development. Add this CSS rule to your template's stylesheet:

img:not([width]):not([height]) {
border: 2px solid red !important;
}


This will highlight any images without width and height attributes with a red border so they’re easy to spot.
Finding the correct image compression

Most of the content plug-ins and CCKs have built-in image compression. Typically, you can set the JPG compression. If you have a large number of images on your site, this setting can drastically impact the load times of your site.

In K2, you'll find the compression setting in the «Options» modal box.

You should test the settings and use the lowest acceptable value. Lower values means you compress the image more, which will save data. Depending on the type of images you have on your site these settings can vary from site to site. A site using images with a lot of details might need less compression (to keep the detail). Whereas a site with lots of landscape imagery or similar can get away with using a tougher compression (lower value), because larger areas of the images are similar in color etc.

Joomla Cache

Before launching your site, you should activate the Joomla cache. This will increase the load speed of the pages a lot. You set up the cache type in the Global Configuration. Then, you should check if the cache plug-in is activated by navigating to the Plug-in Manager. I have seen that the plug-in sometimes is disabled, even though the cache is enabled in the Global Configuration screen.

Make sure the plug-in order is correct, as mentioned in this blog post by Peter van Westen. Speaking of Peter, he has also created a very useful (free) plug-in that creates a «Clean Cache» button in the administrator. That’s very handy when you do changes to your live site and need to see those immediately.

Testing for speed

When you are setting up your blog, you should test it for speed. Particularly after installing new front-end modules or content plug-ins. I use the Page Speed plug-in for Firefox and Google Chrome. It will give you a list of improvements you can make on your page. You will also get a score (X/100) which is an indication of how well the page performs. Higher numbers are better.

Looking at the results, you should follow the instructions provided and re-test your site. That way, you will lower the load time for your site, shown by an increased Page Speed Score.
TIP: Remember to delete any cache files after adjusting settings, in case some of your old settings are kept in the Joomla or browser cache.

Using a CDN

According to Wikipedia, a content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is:

A system of computers containing copies of data, placed at various points in a network so as to maximize bandwidth for access to the data from clients throughout the network. A client accesses a copy of the data near to the client, as opposed to all clients accessing the same central server, so as to avoid bottleneck near that server. Content types include web objects, download-able objects (media files, software, documents), applications, real time media streams, and other components of internet delivery (DNS, routes, and database queries).

There are currently three main CDN extensions available for Joomla. You can learn about CDN in next chance.

Best Joomla Hosting Recommendation

ASPHostPortal.com provides our customers with Plesk Panel, one of the most popular and stable control panels for Windows hosting, as free. You could also see the latest .NET framework, a crazy amount of functionality as well as Large disk space, bandwidth, MSSQL databases and more. All those give people the convenience to build up a powerful site in Windows server. We offers Joomla hosting starts from $5/month only. We also guarantees 30 days money back and guarantee 99.9% uptime. If you need a reliable affordable Joomla Hosting, we should be your best choice.



Joomla Hosting - ASPHostPortal.com :: Easy ways to protect your Joomla site against brute-force attacks

clock October 1, 2015 19:24 by author ben

Brute-force attacks on Joomla sites are common these days. The reality website owners must face is that hackers are in control of large farms of hacked computers. These computers can be used to coordinate massive brute-force attacks on a website.

As a website owner, in fact I'm hosting several sites, I'm constantly getting these types of attacks on my servers. In this post, I look at a few ways to reduce the chance that someone gains unlawful access to your Joomla websites by way of brute-force attacks.

So, what is a brute-force attack?

Let’s see what Wikipedia says:

In cryptography, a brute-force attack, or exhaustive key search, is a cryptanalytic attack that can, in theory, be used against any encrypted data (except for data encrypted in an information-theoretically secure manner). Such an attack might be used when it is not possible to take advantage of other weaknesses in an encryption system (if any exist) that would make the task easier. It consists of systematically checking all possible keys or passwords until the correct one is found. In the worst case, this would involve traversing the entire search space. When password guessing, this method is very fast when used to check all short passwords, but for longer passwords other methods such as the dictionary attack are used because of the time a brute-force search takes.

In short, a brute-force attack is trying to force itself into your website administrator by trying every combination of username and password it can come up with.

There are two main problems with this for you as a website owner. Obviously, it’s not good having people snoop around in your Joomla admin with super administrator rights. That’s a given. The other thing to be concerned a about is the fact that such attacks take away a lot of capacity from your server.
How to protect yourself from brute-force attacks

There are several things you can do to make things harder for those trying brute-force attacks. Longer and more complex usernames passwords is one, blocking access to the site is another.

Strong usernames and passwords

You’ve heard it time and time again: Make sure you have strong passwords! Usernames are important, too.

I have made it a habit to never use ’admin’ or ’administrator’ or anything like it as usernames on my websites. I choose a unique username for each site.

When it comes to passwords, I always use 20 random alphanumeric characters or more, in a combination of lower and upper case, and with some symbols thrown in. And I never use a password for more than one website.

20 characters, you say? How on earth do you remember that?

Three words: Password Management Software.
Manage your passwords with ease

Personally, I use LastPass.com to both generate and manage my passwords. I’ve heard lots of good things about 1Password as well, so if you’re on a Mac you might wanna try that out.

Using these tools, there is no problem managing hundreds, or thousands of passwords with ease. Just make sure you have a solid master password, and you might consider investing in a Yubikey for a two-factor authentication with Joomla.
Blocking access to the site

Another method of avoiding the perils of brute-force attacks is to restrict access to the website or server based on the attackers IP or IP range. There are several ways to do this:

    Using a Joomla extension
    Using .htaccess blocking
    Blocking the IPs in your firewall

Joomla extension

I recommend AdminExcile as an excellent plugin for Joomla 2.5 or later. It lets you block IPs after a certain amount of failed password attempts, and you can set how long the block will be in effect for. This has proven very effective for me, as I’ve avoided some very nasty attacks.

I recently had an attack on a website where over 4000 machines tried to brute-force their way into a Joomla site. It didn’t succeed, and we managed to block the IPs permanently rather quickly. Another day, I had 25000 brute-force attempts on another website. That’s when I adjusted the AdminExcile plugin to block the perpetrators after fewer attempts and for a longer period of time. That definitely helped.

The main reason the attack didn’t succeed was strong passwords. AdminExcile, however, can prevent your site from going down by blocking the IPs after X failed attempts.
Using .htaccess blocking

On Apache servers, you can add IP addresses to your .htaccess file. This will prevent those IP addresses from even reaching your Joomla administrator page or any other page on your website.

Here’s a tool that makes it easy to create the snippets you need for your .htaccess file:

http://www.htaccesstools.com/block-ips/

Example code:

    Order Deny,Allow
    Deny from 199.442.33.32


Read more about using .htaccess to block visitors with various methods.
Blocking the IPs in your firewall

If you’re on a dedicated server or your own network, blocking IP ranges on the firewall might be a good option. Be advised, though, that this may block some valid traffic to your site. For some sites, this won’t be a problem. If I have a local site that has no clients from outside my country, I can block IP addresses from a whole country if I so wish. It won’t affect my business. If you’re business is international, you need to consider this more carefully and pinpoint specific IP addresses or limited ranges.
Conclusion

To conclude, brute-force attacks is probably something we need to live with. There are, however, quite a few things you can do to limit the chance of someone succeeding with such an attack. The first thing you should do is increase the complexity of your admin passwords.

Best Joomla Hosting Recommendation

ASPHostPortal.com provides our customers with Plesk Panel, one of the most popular and stable control panels for Windows hosting, as free. You could also see the latest .NET framework, a crazy amount of functionality as well as Large disk space, bandwidth, MSSQL databases and more. All those give people the convenience to build up a powerful site in Windows server. We offers Joomla hosting starts from $5/month only. We also guarantees 30 days money back and guarantee 99.9% uptime. If you need a reliable affordable Joomla Hosting, we should be your best choice.



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