✔ WHAT IS K2?
K2 provides an out-of-the box integrated solution featuring rich content forms for items (think of Joomla! articles with additional fields for article images, videos, image galleries and attachments), nested-level categories, tags, comments, a system to extend the item base form with additional fields (similar to CCK for those acquainted with Drupal), a powerful plugin API to extend item, category and user forms, ACL, frontend editing, sub-templates & a lot more!
Using K2, you can transform your Joomla! website to a news/magazine site with author blogs, product catalogs, work portfolio, knowledge base, download/document manager, directory listing, event listing & more, all this bundled under one package!
Give K2 a try & you'll instantly love it! It's easy to use and fun to develop websites with! If you need any help or want to contribute to the project, join us at the K2 community.
Since K2 is extensible with additional fields to its base item form, you can easily create category-specific content types, e.g. article, blog post, product page, directory listing.
K2 offers as standard:
- nested-level categories (no section/category restrictions)
- commenting, integrated with Google's reCaptcha & Akismet
- item image (useful for articles/catalogs)
- image galleries
- user pages (author blogs/user profiles)
- smart ACL for frontend editing
- unique plugin system to extend item, category & user forms
- ajax-based frontend editing
- ajax-based comments moderation
- Google AJAX Search integration
- Rest-like JSON/JSONP content output
- Native advanced SEF options (added in K2 v2.6.4+)
K2 fully supports the Joomla! API, which means all Joomla! plugins will function properly within the K2 component & modules, either in the frontend or backend.
✔ AMAZING PERFORMANCE
ImpactWrestling.com, NewsBomb.gr, Gorillaz.com, Groupama Transport, Harvard, the High Court of Australia, MTV Greece, Jaguar Greece are just some of the thousand "big sites" around the world, fully powered by K2.
✔ DEPENDENCIES & LICENSE
To utilize the built-in video & gallery features you need to install AllVideos (free) & Simple Image Gallery Pro, both provided by JoomlaWorks.
K2 is developed by JoomlaWorks & licensed under the GNU/GPL license.
✔ WHAT NEXT?
Try K2! Install it, hit the "import" button to bring your Joomla! articles inside K2, start playing with the component to see the flexibility it provides first-hand. Moreover? You no longer need a dozen of components & even more modules to do things like run a news site or a blog. Drupal & Wordpress have certainly met their match now!
Visit the K2 website & community: http://getk2.org
But If you whant to use images, video, etc... You will probably have to pay for one of Joomla Works compenents to do that...
I tought this was ready out of the box. But if you whant it with all it's functions you will have to buy other plugins...
But the thing which dissapointed me most was the fact that they do not have a "decent" search module. If you need some sort of serach module to fiulter results by specific extra fields... Just forget this.
I had to pay more that 100 euros to a joomla programer just to do that. At the end of the day I got it working and I would give it an excelent. But not before I've spent more that 150 euros between freelance programars and extra joomworks plugins...
It is unbeleivable such a "modern" cck does not have at least a decent search module!!! I feel it so unforgivable that I give K2 a "Average" Rating.
I just hope the new ZOO, wich will also be free, has a decent search module, so I can substitute my K2...
***Editors Note***: K2 Does have a built in search module as standard.
One of the reasons I wanted to have this extension was for my members being able to use the K2 interface on the frontend, but if you are using Joomfish this is not an option.
The coming 2.3 version will enable frontend editing functionality with Joom!Fish on. Those with access to our SVN server can grab a 2.3 SVN release now and take advantage of these changes.
If you are a Mac user, you can download a friendly Mac application we created to ease the process of downloading the latest SVN release of K2 right on your Mac. This version can be downloaded here:
My favourite features are
- server side resizing of images
- ability to develop multiple sections, subsections, and easily assign different modules to each section (this is a great way to land advertisers who may only want to advertise in certain sections)
- the fact that the initial template for the article page adheres to many current trends
- ability to add extra fields (such as extra title lines, extra information)
Now, to be fair I noticed one comment below that I agree with. The code does not render the web-page in IE the same way it does in Firefox. The difference is usually extra white space in IE. This can be a pain to account for when you are developing the site.
Other than this I'm really happy with this plugin and would recommend it to anyone looking to develop a newspaper/magazine website.
The best in that it is an obviously well developed product, with oodles of features and functionality and a devoted user community.
The worst in that it has (as is all too common) next to no documentation. The sole piece of documentation, a "quick step-by-step guide", tells you in 12 rote steps "what" to do to get K2 basically-kinda'-sorta' up and running, without touching on whys. OK, I've got extra field groups and extra fields. That's nice. What are they for?
I know that they say that this product is not for Joomla beginners (which I'm not); but more honestly, it should say that the product is not for anyone who does not have 6 to 12 hours to spare mucking about and kicking the wheels to figure out the workings of the system. Judging by the mostly positive reviews here, there are a lot of such users who are willing to do so, and more power to you. I’m not one of them. I resent having to re-invent the wheel, 'cause it's so inefficient and unnecessary, and a waste of my time.
Deleting K2 from my system for now, which is a pity, 'cause it does seem good; I'll check back in a six months or so to see if anyone has documented anything yet.
In terms of funcionality the product stacks up pretty well albeit that you are pretty much on your own as to working out how to use and integrate it into your site. The article look better than core Joomla and for blogs and community sites work well. For a magazine based site, or for vertical sites such as property / rental management the look is less useful and for the life of me I can't get the articles to carry the global settings across (of which there are hundreds - this is both good and bad) and therefore I often ended up spending ages changing the article settings to remove all the bloggy user related stuff.
I also feel that their could be more layouts provided and that the core look of an article is pretty close to that provided by Joomla anyway. Sure it is nice to have the integrated gallery (I have never got this to work mind you) and the other bits and bobs but I would relly like to choose 1, 2 or 3 columns on an article by article basis as well as have some CSS options for article styling. Maybe I have missed this and this is all there - a manual might help here.
My biggest problem though is the system plugin which doesn't seeme to sit well with some applications and in chrome and IE8 cause the page to only part load. This makes the component pretty useless for me and perhaps others. I am not blaming the K2 plugin - it just doesn't seem to sit nice with some important core components.
Overall, if you have a simple blog site or community, want someting better than core joomla styled articles and can live with (or get round) some plugin conflicts then this is defo the product for you. If however you have some complex stuff going on and want more control over how articles are presented then you might still be looking.
What you can't fault of course is that it is free and for that it is to be applauded.
K2 DOES have frontend editing. You just need to enable it in the component's parameters and then make sure that users have the right permissions to do so. If they do, when they are logged in the will see add/edit links. Additionally, if you publish mod_k2_login it will add a nice "user toolbar" with more functionality, like frontend comment editing. ;)
The category structure is nice and fits with the menu layouts we create so the clients that end up using our sites have no issues at all working with it.
I also love that we can build multiple custom templates for outputting K2 content, we can create a category for events that are laid out entirely different than standard content pages for example.. This ability is one of the key reasons we use this component so extensively.
Generally speaking, when we build a site for someone and use K2, the end-user can do virtually everything within K2 without ever needing another component.. I've even built a shopping cart around it.
I do have some issues that I would like to raise.
Basically, it centers around the ability to develop customized templates, and some of the issues that surround it. Other issues include some documentation around tags, the way the .css file system works against templates, inner modules, etc.
I have seen some sub-templates for K2. I wouldnt call them great. just standard. I think to build a sub-template such as by a company like rocekttheme is difficult with the current state of the code. So, i hope future versions correct this.
All in, K2 is a magnificent extension, and much credit goes out to Fotis and Joomlaworks for the genius, will power, and stamina to develop it.
I wonder if the owner will reply... since they only seem to pounce on the users that say bad things down there.
This component is certainly powerful and a wonderful way to extend your Joomla website. It has great potential and a lot of the features really should have been in the Core of the CMS anyway. I am currently using it in a small production website. It has allowed me to do some awesome things with my content, and with my ACL for contributors etc!
That said there are some major thorn-in-the-side issues after really using this thing for a while.
First and foremost, there is almost NO documentation for the thing. So get ready to roll up your sleeves and dig in. Setup a dev server and start hacking through it.
The forum (a ning community funny enough) is OK. The developers answer questions from time-to-time but really don't support this thing well enough. I understand it is non-commercial and they have better things to do... gotta pay the bills... but it's really tough sometimes when you simply can't find answers to basic questions. Or all you find is about 10 other posts from other users asking the same question without getting an answer. The best support I've gotten comes from working together with other users who are having the same issue(s) and just figuring it out collectively... often without a Dev even chiming in.
I would gladly pay for this component if it was slightly more mature, documented, and supported vigorously.
The "modal" window for the editor is about the worst idea I have ever seen. It causes front-end writers to lock their articles all the time by clicking outside the lightbox (now disabled in latest version)... OR folks on laptops with small screen res simply can't see the close button to check-in their item. This is terrible! I spent many hours on workarounds for this. (i know i know, it's open source and it's free).
Whitespace. Holy crap. They are using a br clearing method in all the php... and while this renders fine on FF and others... it makes for a nightmare in a webkit browser like Safari or Chrome. The k2 content module is virtually useless to me for this reason right now. Webkit browsers are rendering anywhere from 2 - 4 line breaks in a content list... around the breadcrumbs and after some titles. It's very frustrating. And I have so far been unable to find a solution within the k2 community website. But I have found plenty of people complaining and directly asking for Devs to chime in... to no avail.
All that said this IS a very good component with a lot of potential. It's almost kind of sad how much I am willing to deal with it's shortcomings just because the features it does add are so important to my website now.
Devs. Please keep up the good work on the component. PLEASE document it... and make it even better!
A big plus is the fact that all sections of the site, which would usually be multiple components, are managed from the same admin section. This makes client training a breeze! I can't wait for future releases!
Very easy to override HTML with template overrides. Its worth spending a few moments of your life getting to know this extension.
It has a LOT of promise and delivers! Fantastic MVC coding, these guys obviously know what they're doing.
I don't know of any viable commercial alternative? No need I guess with this awesome extension.
This is not a replacement to Joomla! content items. Just a very elegant solution to formatting custom page types. One of the many features I love is the image field. It's not hard inserting an image into normal content items. But with K2 you upload one image, it has server side resizing, and has 5 image size options as configurable parameters. This is great should you wish to show a catalog layout or company profile page. You can set the dynamically created thumbnail to display on summery pages, and your large image on the full content items. Once configured it's as simple as writing the content, uploading your image and BAMM! it's done.
Great Open Source extension guys, thanks heaps for your hard work on this.
I look forward to learning more about extending K2.