If you’re using the Joomla templates from JoomlArt they have quickstart versions of the templates which allow you to install your own copy of their demo version on your own Joomla server. If you’re not familiar with JoomlArt, check out their example templates here.
To view much of the information that follows and to download the JoomlArt templates, you’ll need to purchase a subscription with JoomlArt. A description of the subscriptions options can be found here. I purchased the Standard Membership for $59/year.
User guides and instructions on downloading and installing the templates can be found in the JoomlArt forum for the template you’re working with.
Quickstart Install on 1&1
The Quickstart zip file for each template can be found with the rest of the downloads for that template (go to the main JoomlArt Templates Page, select the template you’re interested and then the Download link on that page). The install instructions for the JoomlArt quickstarts can be found here.
Unforunately, there’s a problem with the format of the quickstart zip files that does not allow you to un-zip them on linux servers. Here are the steps I used to install the quickstart template:
1) Create a home directory on 1&1 for your quickstart JoomlArt site. You won’t need to install the standard Joomla bits from joomla.org. Just leave the directory empty. However, you will need to do the 1&1 setup steps described below – create the domain and a MySQL database.
2) Download the quickstart template to your PC. Note that JoomlArt quickstart templates are contained in a “quickstart” subdirectory inside of the template zip file that you download from their website. Within the quickstat subdirectory is another zip file (zip within a zip) that contains the quickstat files.
3) Un-zip the quickstart zip file to it’s own directory and make sure you maintain the folder structure during the un-zip.
3) Use FileZilla or another ftp program to copy the entire un-zipped directory structure to your Joomla site’s home directory.
While setting up a website for a friend, he really liked a sample template that had an iPod CoverFlow like feature to present photos – http://template15.joomlart.com/ja_labra/
The JoomlArt folks call their version of this feature JA Flowlist and it has quite a few nice features, including the ability to automatically start it in a slideshow-like mode. However, it continues to frustrate me with IE – it won’t display correctly. As a result, I started searching for other CoverFlow-like features for Joomla.
The JoomlaNook Imageflow looks nice and has the auto-play feature that I also want. Examples can be found here. Full details on Imageflow can be found here. I don’t like some of the default css formatting and the module doesn’t allow you to change the css settings on the module parameters page but the css file can be modified directly at modules/mod_imageflow/css/imageflow.css. I removed the yellow border and increased the size of the frame and background color to suit my needs.
I still like JA Flowlist better but until they can fix the IE issues (or tell me how to fix it), I think this is the one.
ENY Virtuemart Coverflow
I didn’t try the Virtuemart Coverflow because I didn’t see an auto-play feature and it looks like there is a fee for this module but it does look nice.
After spending a couple of weeks trying out Drupal I decided to give up on it as too complex and moved on to Joomla. Joomla may not have as many advanced modules as Drupal but it has plenty for my needs and you can get a site going much more quickly. http://joomla.org/
If you want to see what you can do with Joomla, take a look at their site showcase to get an idea – http://community.joomla.org/showcase/
There’s also plenty of free getting started documentation as well as books on Joomla. http://docs.joomla.org/Beginners
After getting a basic install up and running with the sample site, I starting looking around for templates that I liked. There are plenty of free ones out there and I installed and tried out a few. Also tried some I found on Bittorrent. In the end, I settled on templates from JoomlArt, http://joomlart.com/joomla/templates/showcase. I bought their one year subscription with unlimited access to templates for $70.
For the subscription, you also get reasonably good support via the forums – http://www.joomlart.com/forums/forum.php. One final reason to get the subscription is that the Userguides on how to install and customize each template are only accessible in the forum for each template.
I’m currently fighting some IE presentation issues using their Labra template with the iPod like CoverFlow feature (I’ve run into IE presentation problems with other templates – IE 7 & 8 are fussy) but everything looks good in Firefox or Chrome. I’ve tried a couple of ideas from the Labra forum to fix this issue but they aren’t working for me and I’m getting no response on the forum after three days so I may move on to something else (can’t go without a solution that works for IE users).
The site I’m working on is http://ninostellari.com/. While there’s lots to like about JoomlArt, I found a slideshow module that I like better than the two JoomlArt slideshow modules. The slideshow module I’m using on the Paintings page is Slimbox2 – http://www.digitalia.be/software/slimbox2.