Archive for April 26, 2011

Asphalt Paver Basics

April 26, 2011

Asphalt Pavers are some of the most unique looking machines that you will see on a road construction project. This is the machine that does exactly what the name says, it paves asphalt. Unlike a skid steer or a backhoe loader, the type of contractors that actually own one of these machines specialize in a very unique business. There is a large investment in becoming a paving contractor and that keeps out many smaller companies and leave a select few in an area that will be paving with an asphalt paver.

Some of the investment includes what is called a hot plant. This is the area where the various aggregates will be mixed, heated, and turned into what will be laid on the roads we drive. Sometimes these hot plants will be in one permanent location and sometimes these hot plants will be mobile and able to move closer to where the asphalt paver will be working. The aggregates and mix that are put into the hot plant to be mixed are also inputs that companies who pave may own. If these companies own the rock and the hot plant they can control a lot of their expenses and be more competitive in the market.

The options and variety on Asphalt pavers is wide spread but there are a few major things on this machine that can be picked out as major options when looking for a machine. One is the screed heat. The screed is the area where the asphalt will move across before its laid onto the ground. The asphalt must be heated to an exact formula and this screed is what will keep the asphalt at the optimum heat level. There are two main ways to heat a screed on an asphalt paver, one being diesel heat and the other being electric heat. The industry is quickly moving from using diesel heated screeds to electric heated screeds as the temperature can be controlled more accurately. That being said however there are still some parts of the country that continue to use diesel heated screeds.

The other main option on an Asphalt Paver is where you hook the screed onto the paver. You can either run with the screed on the front or rear. This is called a front mounted screed or a rear mounted screed. A lot of this decision comes from the paving companies experience and what their paving crew is used to using. Sometimes it also depends on the logistics of the job site and how the trucks with the asphalt can get to the paver to load it.
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3 Content Management Systems in Brief – WordPress, Joomla and Drupal

April 25, 2011

Go to a webmaster forum on the Internet and ask, “What is the best content management system for me to use for my site?” Differences of opinion will sprout faster than crabgrass in a front yard.

Following are three brief reviews of what are arguably the most popular free and open-source content management systems available on the Internet — WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. These briefs are the opinions of a webmaster who has built and maintained sites on all three systems.

WordPress

Pros: Anyone venturing into building a Web site on a CMS for the first time should consider WordPress as a strong choice. It is simple, intuitive, easy to use and easy to install. Templates and plugins are readily available on WordPress.org and easy to install as well. This system is ideal for someone with light technical skills.

Cons: Being one of the simplest systems also makes it one of the most limited systems. As sites grow, they require more features and functionality. WordPress is largely known as software ideally used for blogging; anything beyond blogging requires something more sophisticated. The community forums at WordPress.org are moderately helpful for new and inexperienced users.

Joomla

Pros: Joomla is designed for the masses, just like WordPress. It is extremely popular in part because it has a nice visual interface that makes it easier to use than other systems. The community forums at Joomla.org are extremely active and helpful for new users. The site also has an extensive number of available plugins, which are easy to install. Joomla is best suited for someone with moderate technical skills.

Cons: The quantity of plugins is weakened by the quality of plugins. Not all of the plugins integrate effectively and must be discarded. The HTML editing interface is quirky at best. Security also is an issue; the community forums tend to show a high number of hacking problems on member sites. Like WordPress, the software is limited in what it can do with the layout and presentation of pages.

Drupal

Pros: By far, Drupal is the most technically advanced of the three systems. It is highly respected for its tightly built architecture, speed and effectiveness. Security clearly is a top concern. Layout and presentation are less limited than WordPress or Joomla. As a result, Drupal is a CMS that appeals to webmasters with strong technical skills.

Cons: The interface is the least intuitive of the three systems. Drupal is well-known for having “a steep uphill learning curve,” a quote that has appeared often in discussions about its strong points and weak points. In addition, the forums are the least helpful of the three systems if the post comes from a new and inexperienced user with weak to moderate technical skills.
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Joomla or WordPress for phpBB3?

April 16, 2011

I wish to build a website that has phpBB3 integration, with user integration being my top priority. I want to be able to login on the front page, with information like your name and avatar displayed in that area after login. I would like to know whether Joomla or WordPress handles this task better.

Please do not try to get me to use a different forum. However, if you have a better free CMS choice that would work, I’m all ears.

Thank you.
Yes, I know that Answerer #1. However, people have found means of integrating, or “piecing”, them together. Both Joomla and WordPress can be CMSs.

WordPress has WP-United to do this, and I’ve heard of Joomla having several. However, I want to know which does it best.
Glenn W — Yes, I know. There are a few different ones for Joomla if I recall correctly. Could you specify one, and perhaps a reason why it’s better than its WordPress competition? That’s what this question I posted is all about.
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Joomla 1.5 Templates

April 13, 2011

Joomla templates are available by the thousands all over the internet. There are two versions of some of these themes; they are the Joomla 1.0.X and the Joomla 1.5.X. templates. So, when you are looking for that perfect Joomla template for you website, make sure it is compatible with the program’s core version that you have. You will definitely need to know which type you will need.

This popular program is open source software; this means that anyone can write and extension to the core components of the initial software, whether it is a module, plugin, theme etc. This is why there are so many available options to the core of the software available on the market today. You can actually write you own guide if you really wanted to.

Whether you write your own version of the programs template or you acquire one over the internet, just remember that the template that you choose will define the style, theme, layout, and overall feel of your website. You will want to make sure that the one that you choose, will be the right one, that gives the right feel and style to your website. One key issue is: if you want a truly unique theme, style, layout and design to your website, you will not want to purchase a readymade theme. Your best bet is to either write it yourself or to hire a designer to do it for you. You will have to pay the designer for the work done, but you will own all rights to that particular Joomla template; therefore, meaning that no other website on the web will be able to use it.

I only recommend writing your own if you have knowledge of HTML, CSS and understand about compressed and zipped files and extensions. One mistake can throw the whole website guide out of whack because all folders, files and the alike have to work together in the way that the version’s core functionality is designed; otherwise, your layout and features will either look “funny” or simply won’t work at all. There is, however, software programs available that will allow someone will little knowledge of these aspects to write their own templates. Of course, you will have to pay for them. There are also step-by-step instructions available on the internet on how to do this and how to do it with Adobe Dreamweaver. Again, it is advisable that you have some sort of knowledge about the above mentioned items or you could get lost in all of the mumbo jumbo that goes along with it.

To find some of these themes, all you have to do is do a search for them. When searching for these templates with whatever search engine that you are using, there will be literally hundreds of sites that will pop up. Those sites will bring thousands of results.

That perfect template is out there, somewhere. The one that you want that will give your website that “WOW” factor that you have been looking for; however, it may take you a while to sort through all of the possible options that are available, before you come across that one that will knock your socks off.
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Joomla Tutorials – Add a Contact

April 9, 2011

With it’s built-in contact component, adding a contact form to your Joomla site is a very easy process. You can create multiple categories of contacts, each with multiple contacts themselves. This tutorial will be a walkthrough of how to setup a new contact.

The first thing to do is login to the Joomla backend. This is at yourjoomlasite.com/administrator.

The first step in this process will be to add a new category to place our contacts in. Categories all you to group sets of contacts so you can have forms for all members of your sales team, or all of your managers. First go to Components > Contacts > Categories. The screen shows you an overview of any categories that already exist. By default there will be one category named “Contacts”. You will want to click the New button in the upper right corner of the screen to create a new category. There will be a form you’ll need to fill in. You can limit who can view this category by choosing the level in the Access Level select box. You can set an image to show for the category if you want. When you have everything setup you can click the Save button.

After the contact category has been created we can go add a contact. Go to Components > Contacts > Contacts. The screen shows you an overview of any contacts that already exist. Now, click the New button to create a new contact. Fill out the short form for your contact’s details. You can link a contact to a user, then you won’t need to write in their email address. You can also add your mailing and other important contact data. If you decide you want to add data to the contact’s profile but you don’t want visitors to be able to see if from your site you can control what is shown using the parameters. If you want to block certain email addresses or text you can do that under the email parameters. This is very useful for controlling contact form spam.

For people to be able to use the form it will need to be added to the menu. Go to Menus > Main Menu. This will show you all items in your menu. Click New to add a new menu item. Select the Contacts loink under Internal Link. To create a form with multiple contacts click the Contact Category Layout link. Clicking the Standard Contact Layout link will allow you link to a single contact.

If you choose Contact Category Layout you will want to add the title, which is what will show in the menu. The category that gets shown is set under the parameters. You can also control a number of other parameters.

If you go with the Standard Contact Layout you need to add the Title which controls what is shown in the menu. To choose which contact is displayed it gets set under the parameters. You can also control a number of other parameters.

Using these steps you can add as many new contacts and categories to your Joomla site as you’d like. To learn many other subjects you can view the Joomla tutorials at joomlademo.com.
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CMS – Why it Should Be First Choice For Business Websites

April 6, 2011

Traditional Websites only work if you are prepared to throw money at them. Lots of money. Continuously.

This is because your website only works if people see it. You need traffic. This comes either from paid advertising or a strong SEO strategy or both. A key part of SEO is having new content added to your site on a regular basis. The cost of paying web developers to update your content is prohibitive and inefficient. It is a duplication of effort because you have to write it first anyway.

This is where Content Management Systems come into their own.

* You can make changes to your website content any time and with no technical skills at all. Better still, you can authorise any one of your employees to do it for you.
* You can update your website from anywhere in the world.
* You can update your website any time, from anywhere AT NO COST.
* You can change the keywords in your site metatags as easily as changing the content – (If that last one was a bit too technical just take my word for it – it is a very good thing.)

Imagine you are sitting in an airport lounge late one Friday afternoon. You have just had a very positive business meeting with a client who has given you the best testimonial you have ever heard. You have 20 minutes to boarding time. You fire up your notebook, log onto your website and paste the testimonial into the front page and click PUBLISH. Now you have a problem. What are you going to do with the remaining 15 minutes until you board the plane?

With a traditional website you would have sent an email to your web development company asking for a quote to upgrade the front page, waited until Monday to get the quote, sent off an approval including detailed instructions on what you want done. Then you wait. And wait. And….no, actually you probably wouldn’t have even bothered because it was just too much hassle.

Traditionally Content Management Systems have been seen as very SEO unfriendly. In the case of Joomla! that is no longer the case for a number of reasons.

1. Open Source projects like Joomla! have an army of supporters constantly developing the core system as well as extentions that can improve the system. One of the areas where Joomla! at least has seen huge advancements is in the SEO tools available to users. And like Joomla! Many of these tools are free.

2. Joomla Template designers are now producing templates that are more and more search engine friendly. The number and quality of template designers around the world continues to rise and they compete intensely to have their product at the leading edge of technology and usability.

3. Blogs. Like CMS, many blogs have dynamically generated pages which search engines have traditionally disliked. But the popularity of blogs seams to have lead search engines to develop much better ways of handling dynamic pages.

One of the key advantages offered by Open Source CMS’s like Joomla! is that anyone can quickly learn to develop a website. That’s all very well if you have the time to learn. For most businesses it makes more sense to pay a professional to develop the initial site, but you should always make sure the developer gives you sufficient training and access permissions so that you can take control of your content once the initial project is completed.

Remember:

* Most Computer Programmers know zip about marketing * No-one knows your business like you do * Your website is POTENTIALLY the most influential and profitable marketing document your company owns

You can’t afford to risk leaving control of your website content in the hands of a programmer. Let them do the technical stuff – you control the content.
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Open Source Customization Services to Implement Solutions Fastly

April 5, 2011

Open source applications are a better way to implement solutions within short span of time. Open source customization involves tailoring open source CMS or scripts like Joomla, WordPress, Oscommerce, drupal and PHPBB to adorn the website with the choicest look and functionality. Open source Content Management Systems like Joomla, WordPress, PHPBB, WHMCS and Drupal are of great use in modern techno-freak world.

Joomla is relatively tougher, but this award winning open source software allows you to build a seamless website without even messing with HTML, CSS or PHP. It is one of the most powerful and popular content management systems running on the web today. It is used by businesses, individual bloggers and people who want to be able to easily setup and edit a website without advanced knowledge of coding languages. Another important advantage of using Joomla is that the website developer has a greater command on the look and feel of the website. Also one can try a whole spectrum of ways to view different parts of the website.

WordPress forms the most popular blogging platform, with many peoples hosting their weblogs on this platform. With respect to the other blog platforms, it is relatively easier to publish and organize content on WordPress. Many a users are now using this free-to-use platform to build websites. Besides WordPress blogs and websites are more user-friendly and SEO friendly. There are two important parts which need to be considered while customization: ‘Design part and Functionality part’.

The PHPBB or PHPBulletinBoard system is the most popular internet forum on the web today, coded in the PHP language. WHMCS is a powerful all in one client management, billing and support system for Web Hosts & Other Online Businesses. Content management systems such as Drupal are often more complicated to customize due to their base coding in PHP, and extensive use of MySQL databases. 
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Joomla Features

April 1, 2011

Joomla is a Content Management System that is widely used around the world. It has powerful features that make it a good idea to switch from a traditional HTML-based site to Joomla. In this article, we mention a few popular reasons why people use Joomla.

Joomla supports international languages. This is especially important if your site isn’t for English readers. When installed with a language extension, it is possible to let your site visitors select which language they want to view your site in. Imagine being able to customize the language with just one click of the mouse.

Joomla makes it easy for different people to work on the site at the same time. There is no longer a bottleneck where everyone has to come to the designer or programmer in order to get their content uploaded. Given the proper user permissions, anyone with a web browser can create content for use on the web site and have it published. Furthermore, the published pages will have the same site-wide template which ensures that there is a consistent look and feel.

Joomla supports user authentication so multiple users can access the site at the same time, each one with his or her own user permissions. With a traditional site, developers have to add authentication and user access levels but with Joomla, this is a built-in feature. Coupled with extensions, it is also possible to build a social networking site for little or no cost, and at a much faster speed than if you were to engage a developer to do it.

Templates are used to achieve a standard look and feel across all pages. There is no need to worry about an errant page destroying the look of your site. All web pages in Joomla will be shown within a template, and the template can be changed at any point in time. There is no need to go through every web page in order to change how it looks. One click is all it takes to change the look of the entire site.

But perhaps the most powerful feature of Joomla is that it allows the use of extensions. Extensions are software that are installed onto an existing Joomla site and gives the site extra functionality that the standard Joomla installation doesn’t provide. With thousands of extensions available, Joomla can do almost anything that a site can want without needing further customized development. All you need to do is to find the correct extension.
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