✔ 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
Cons: Frontend is impossible to post an article to. Backend is impossible to understand, find what you're looking for, and basically do what you want to do. There are no clear explanations in the admin, or in the documentation. There's really no easy way to get started, there's a very time consuming learning curve involved. After a year, I'm still not sure what I'm doing!
Level of Support Received: 0
Why? Because you cannot Register on the K2 forums, their system is broken (email confirmation does not work) and you cannot get Help unless you have a Ning site, I guess, because I was unable to use their support form... No way to reach the developer.
Ease of usage and deployment: Extremely Hard. You need to be a programmer, and a Joomla expert. This does not work for new Joomla users, it's not recommended for designers who do not use Joomla constantly. This is way harder than WordPress for instance (my recommendation).
Purpose of using the extension: To allow Admins and Registered Users to Blog. So far, I've only been able to get the Admin going. Frontend users are not able to save entries, the internal link within the Blog Article form is broken, so the system is not fully functional.
Level of Difficulty: Pretty High...
My Experience Level with Joomla and Web Technologies: I have only built 2 Joomla sites in the past because it's too hard for my clients to learn, but I have 13 years of website design experience and a Bachelor's Degree in Website Design and Development.
The K2 component is of course quite good. Because of the abundant features, one has to go through the documentation, available on http://simon.getk2.org/k2-documents. However, I am unable to access the documentation. Clicking on the various links on this page does not take me anywhere. The "Register" link does not take me to the registration page, where one is conventionally asked for email address, etc. Instead, it recurses back to the same page. Having the documentation easily accessible would be a great help.
Only suggestion would be to display image gallery next to main image at the top instead of at the bottom.
But, either way, our client's project portfolio blows their competition away with this great component!
Its weird because all the back-end Save and Cancel buttons also "Close" the current screen, why would the front-end buttons not function the same?
According to the K2 forums, the developers have decided that this is not a bug but an "annoyance". Guess what is "annoying".... when you get a call from a client with Publisher permissions that see dozens of duplicate new items submitted for their review. I later figured out it is because the front-end editor doesn't know that his new item was saved because the screen does not close and there is not a confirmation. So he usually will try to resubmit the item again. Multiply that by dozens of editors clicking save over and over and over.... ouch! That's is not an "annoyance" that is a broken submission system.
** Try it on at least two sites before dismissing it **
1. It supercharges your Joomla site with functionality we've always dreamt of (nested categories, author profiles, tagging, comments, sharing features, auto-sized images etc).
2. It's damn easy for the users to get used to - we've used it for several sites now, and it's rare that the end users putting the content in ever need to come back to us for more training or assistance.
Get to know K2 and you'll grow to love your Joomla all over again.
I am surprised how many people complains about lack of support. I would really recommend you guys one simple thing: "use Google first" .
Seriously, the only way to learn things properly is by discovering things step by step, sometimes it's learning from mistakes. I don't understand this demanding attitude towards the brilliant product(that is FREE by the way). And please, give back to community, share with others, who can also benefit from your learning. Community co-operation is the biggest power of Joomla! and also K2. It's not "a customer is always right" corporate rules, it's the chance for you to learn and develop new skills, to share your knowledge and build something more...
And if you really stuck, be persistent and keep asking... I am sure you'll get your answer.
I've been using K2 CCK system for a long time now, and I find it difficult to understand that people, who use Joomla! have problem to use K2, or that they don't understand how it works. Looks like everyone wants all done for them and they call them self web-developers (a lot of people do!).
Its the simplicity that makes K2 the superior CCK we got for Joomla! I read about people crying there hearts out because they have to change the CCS to make it "fit" on there pages... that must be a joke?! Of cause you have to do that!
The structure that K2 uses is simple enough so you can easy make you own 'templates' in a flash. There are tons of doc on "how to's" for how to use K2, and not on how you make-it-you-own-style, but I think thats not up to JW to learn pepople how do develop pages.
Sit down, take 10 min. and at least try to understand the working structure and the design structure, and you will get things done!
Tip (just in case): Strip a page (ex. item.php) make snippets of the code in DW. up you page and paste the snippets. On with Live view and do the CSS changes in DW. Done! IF this is to much/hard for you, I recommend Rockettheme.com and/or Joomlart.com who have premium templates with nice K2 supported design...
However the more you use K2, the more you understand that its not ready to be applied on professional websites so far for the following reasons.
1. Support of K2 do not Exists (Do not bother by sending the developers technical requests as they will not answer) "I hope the developers will not get offended by that, instead they should answer the 100's of unattended posts in their forum"
2. Compatibility issues with Internet Explorer, K2 has many limitations with Internet explorer and in many cases the content will get damaged, i highly advice designers/developers to check the site on Internet Explorer to avoid serious embarrassment.
3. Adaptability issues: This is not an error but a limitation in K2, as K2 contains so far single format to display the content ie. if you want to publish the article image on right side and header and content on left side in Category view, you have to manually hardcore modify the CSS files to be able to do that!
4. Simplicity : Again the main success of any software is the simplicity, although K2 has a very powerful, yet easy interface however when you want to adapt it to you design/Template/Business requirements its difficult.
To sum all that up, i will say that K2 is a very powerful project, but i will not yet advice to use it in any serious business site as it should be yet beta version.
If you're over having to make Sections and Categories for items that would just suit one category, or you want to have nested categories (categories inside categories inside more categories) then this is the core upgrade for you.
There are stacks of K2 plugins available, like Autotweet NG for K2, JComments for K2, Kunena and K2 User integration etc. The only one I really struggled with was Jomsocial, but in the end I found the plugins I needed.