Tag: Content Management Systems.

What is a Plugin, a Module and a Component in Joomla?

Joomla Components, Modules and Plugins can have a great influence on your final website design. They can enhance your website design ranging from interesting content such as blogs to desired action items such as purchasing a product.  Some of you may already know what these additional pieces of Joomla are… But for those clients or future clients that are new to Bear Web Design and Joomla! lingo, here’s an introduction.

A component in Joomla! is the most complex add-on. This usually adds a completely new, or different, function to your site. A component handles data input and storage into the database.

Some Examples:

  • An Online Store System
  • A Blogging System
  • A Business Directory
  • An Advertising System
  • A Slideshow or Photo Gallery

A module in Joomla! is usually an add-on to the site that extends the functionality of another part of the system. It usually has fewer options and most of the time does not handle any storing of information into the database. A module usually supports a component by allowing more options on how to display data from the component.  Modules are the most commonly referred to in a design meeting environment at Bear Web Design.  Many modules can be customized to fit your color-scheme and style.

Some Examples:

  • A module that shows a visitor their account info, shopping cart, and or login/logout info. (Works with a store component.)
  • A recent blog area or featured blog listing. (Works with a blog component.)
  • An advertisement area that holds an advertising banner. (Works with an advertising system component.)
  • A mini calendar. (Works with an Events component.)
  • Customized Quick link buttons. (Works with Joomla! menus.)
  • A slideshow on the homepage. (Works with a slideshow component.)
  • Search Box (core Joomla!).

A Plugin in Joomla! will manipulate output already generated by the system. It typically does not run as a stand-alone element but retrieves data from other sources like content on your site.

Some Examples:

  • Search Plug-in (works with components, to make some of their data able to be searched within the entire site)
  • Simple Image Gallery – pulls images from a folder in a database and displays those images when called into an article.
  • Article Editor Plug-ins – allow for embedding of special media such as iframes, videos, etc.

It is also good to know that modules and components are great ways to provide interaction with your website visitors.

These items are important to know when starting or redesigning a Joomla! website. In a design meeting these will help express how you would like your site to look and function.

Is Your Website A Part Of Your Team?

Over the last few years I have really become very aware of the important connection between a website owner and their website. The arrival of Content Management Systems has provided website owners with the opportunity to update their websites directly and in my opinion (and most importantly) allows the website owner to be an active participant in the process.

And, I might add, not every website owner understands or view the website from this point of view, at least not initially. But make no mistake about your website – it is a part of the team and it is going to play an active role in your company’s success.

In the old days (first generation – or Web 1.0), websites were seen as electronic brochures to a large extent. You were really taking the marketing and sales brochure of your organization and placing it online. Based on past experience – and also by the process through which websites were primarily managed back then – creating and launching a website was a “one time” event, with the website going live and then “great – I don’t have deal with that for another few years”. Your connection to any updates to the website were through your webmaster. Generally to pay a webmaster to update your website was costly and quite often not very timely – so this only reinforced the view of a one-time setup process of a website….

Roll forward to Web 2.0 and websites have now become a much more active part of the operations of a company (including the marketing, sales, and operations). The basis of a glorified brochure sitting online is becoming a thing of the past, and content management systems have become the norm. Your website is now a key player within your corporate team. Here are just a few of the roles websites now play:

1. First impression of your company for a prospective customer. (Marketing)
2. Introduction information about your company and key staff.(Marketing)
3. Descriptions of services and products that your company sells. (Marketing & Sales)
4. Key contact information, including directions to your office, e-mails & phone numbers. (Marketing & Sales)
5. Inquiry forms that entice a prospect to send a sales inquiry, as well as Social Media to engage your customers and web visitors. (Marketing & Sales)
6. Online Content, blogs, e-NEWS, photos and multimedia (Operational & Marketing)
7. Online Shops and e-Commerce (Marketing & Sales)
8. Subscriptions, registration login and customer portals (Operational)
9. Customer forms and documents (Operational & Sales)
10. 3rd Party add-on products such as Real Estate IDX (Operational & Marketing)

These items should really highlight the roles a website can provide to your company. And like any other team member, the website and its results should be actively included in periodical staff meetings. For every organization to be able to maximize the use of their website, this team member must be given high consideration!

So take the time to consider your website’s role within your organization. Starting with the education of staff members who learn how to update and manage content (and become responsible for it). Expand your knowledge of website statistics (so you can track and measure your success) and make these results a part of your corporate reviews and analysis. Call your website “Wilbur” if you have to – but be sure to create a culture where your website is an absolute part of your team!

Contact

Bear Web Design
2622 Bluefield Avenue
Nashville, TN 37214
(615) 504-6845

Bear Web Design - Web Design Agency | 2622 Bluefield Avenue | Nashville, TN 37214 - (615) 504-6845

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