Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Website redesign: a peek into mental

I have used Joomla for the past 4 years for work and for hobby.  I first started with Joomla 1.0.12 and was hooked on the ease of use of the system.  I could, with relative ease, create a custom template and with a few keystrokes be able to change the entire website design.
Not long after I started using Joomla, version 1.5 was released and because I was addicted to using extension, I had to wait for some of my key extension to be updated for version 1.5, although, there was some backward compatibility, it wasn't as smooth as I wanted it in some cases.  It was Joomla 1.5.2 when I was finally able to release my district website for public consumption.
The webpage now currently sits on version 1.5.23 and I have been pleased with it 100%.  Right after the community of great developers release 1.5 they immediately began working on version 1.6.  I read updates, followed developer blogs, listened to community feedback and from what I was reading I was very excited to begin working with 1.6.  I didn't jump on the beta release, which I should have to help with development.
Finally version 1.6 was released.  I downloaded and installed on to a test server.  Installation was easy and painless, just like any installation of Joomla has been for me.  Then, nothing, I did absolutely nothing with for nearly a month while I was busy with work, home, and hobbies I had completely lost all time to work with the new version.
Now here I am 3 months removed from 1 month hiatus and I have been working slowly on developing the template for the new webpage and I have been tediously working on transferring old files and folders that will need to be uploaded on the new website.

So now that I have sat down and been able to work with Joomla 1.6. (currently 1.6.3), what do I think?  I am really happy with the design and the way it works.  It is fast and flexible.  Extension use has gotten more solid, although some developed extensions can leave a lot to be desired, but I am still happy and thankful for those developers who make the extensions.
I would recommend installing the latest version of PHP and MySql when installing, but supported versions should still work ok.

So far I am very happy, I am trying to get it ready for a June 1st debut, but I am already thinking that isn't  going to happen.  I think the actual day of release will be closer to July, but at least that will be before the start of the next school year.

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