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Top 10 Joomla CMS Mistakes

Top 10 Joomla CMS Mistakes

We at Joomla Showroom have been developing Joomla websites since Joomla was first incepted back in 2005 and we used its predecessor Mambo from back in 2003. And through all the years of developing sites for our clients and supporting thousands of our own extension customers we have seen a lot of very common mistakes that happen even today. Here is a list of the most common mistakes we see Joomla website owners making on a very regular basis. 90 percent of these mistakes are easily avoidable and when your Joomla website is maintained it can run fast and perform its duties and serve you well for many years.

 

1. No Backups or backup testing

Backup are one of the easiest things to have available if things go wrong. We have so many new clients come to us with hacked websites or other critical issues only to realize that they do not have backups of their website. A backup can be used to quickly restore the website to a working condition after such an incident and allow your web developer to more easily assist you and keep your costs down.

On the other hand we see lots of customers that have backups or they assume that their hosting company is creating daily backups on their behalf. This is great as long as you know for a fact the backup are available and not corrupted. We have seen over and over where a hosting company’s backups had failed, been corrupted, or not happening at all. Testing your backups occasionally and doing “spot checks” on a monthly basis will be an easy way to verify that you have solid backups in case you need them.

 

2. Not Keeping Up With Joomla Core Updates

On a regular basis Joomla will have version updates available. However if you are not logging into the administration dashboard of your Joomla website you will never know when an update is available. And in a lot of cases we have found that the website owner was never even provided with administrator access by their web developer. In that scenario we have found that 99% of these websites are never being updated at all after they have been launched. Joomla updates frequently include security patches and many bug fixes. Keeping your website updated is the single most important thing you can do to help keep your website secure and running smoothly.

For this reason we created a free Joomla extension named Auto Update that helps to automatically handle minor version updates to Joomla.

 

3. No Database Maintenance

One of the most forgotten maintenance areas of a Joomla website is the database. Databases can quickly grow in size and if not maintained properly they can slow down a website to a snail’s pace. Backup sizes are also increased when a database gets out of control. Having a qualified web developer maintain your database on a regular basis is important for keeping your Joomla website functioning at peak levels.

 

4. Not Keeping Up With Joomla Extension Updates

Just like Joomla core updates, many 3rd party extensions have frequent updates to their software. It is also very important to ensure these Joomla extensions are also updated regularly so that you can not only take advantage of new features but also bug fixes, security patches, and compatibility updates.

 

5. No Image Optimization

That high resolution photo that you took with your $500.00 digital SLR camera is so awesome and crystal clear that it would be perfect to have on your homepage, right? Let’s just upload it, scale it down to fit our page, and life is good. But why are my pages loading so slow now? This is another mistake we commonly see from website owners. Resizing and optimizing your images before uploading them to your site is the best way to keep your file sizes low and also keep your site loading at optimal speeds. Remember we are living in a mobile device world and if your huge images are taking forever to load on a wireless network then you’ve just lost your visitors before your site even had a chance to load.

 

6. No Organization of files

Your website has it’s menu structure organized nicely. Your content is categorized. But is your images folder organized? If your images directory is not organized and broken up into categories and you images named properly then how will you ever know what can be removed and what has to stay when you review your site a year from now?

We see so many website owners and webmaster just dump all their images into a few directories and not even name the images with a descriptive name. This mistake will cost you lots of time (and money) when your need to finally maintain or rebuild your website in the future.

 

7. Copy and pasting malformatted content

Copying content from Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or even another source on the web and pasting it into your Joomla editor window can also add a lot of markup that you do not initially see. Unless you are reviewing the source code of what you just pasted (and understanding it) you are asking for problems. You should always paste your content from these sources into a generic text file that removes all formatting and markup first, then copy it from there. Then all your text styling can be done directly in the WYSIWYG editor.

 

8. Not using a good hosting company

We see most companies in their startup stages making the mistake of assuming all hosting companies are the same and going for the cheapest solution they can find (like GoDaddy - cough cough). These generic hosting companies are fine for a static HTML website but for a dynamic, database driven application such as Joomla you want to pay a little more and get with  a hosting company that can support your platform. Having a good Joomla hosting company will keep your site loading fast and help keep it secure.

We use a Joomla specific hosting company (CloudAccess.net) for this very reason because we simply don’t need any added issues to deal with.

 

9. Improper file permissions

A lot of clients come to us wondering why their Joomla websites are not working properly or in some cases not at all. Sometimes we find that the website’s file permissions are not properly set. Sometimes we find that improper file permissions are the underlying reason for a site that got hacked when we do our security audits. Having the proper file permission settings on your server will keep you secure and operating as intended.

 

10. Not consulting a professional

The mistake of thinking you can do it all on your own without consulting a professional can cause you to ultimately waste your time, energy, and get extremely frustrated in the process. Asking for professional help is recommended. After all, you wouldn’t try to self diagnose a health issue would you? Of course not, that is what doctors are for. Same goes with your vehicle and consulting a mechanic. A Joomla website should also have preventive maintenance done from time to time and having a professional to ask questions can be a vital asset to your business.

 

If you are in question of your Joomla website maintenance or in need of some friendly advice we would be happy to offer you a free consultation about how you can better maintain your website. Give us a call or use the contact form and we’d be happy to help you keep your website performing as it should for your business.

 

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