The Joomla! Extensions Directory ™

mwessel

Reviews(4)
 
bymwessel, August 31, 2010
Content Templater
While I wouldn't call Content Templater a must have, it is a great extension that can make repetitive entry much easier. With it's ability to pre-set every option for a content item, including text, Content Templater can enforce data entry for users who may not be totally comfortable with editing content. Think of it as a baby CCK without all the overhead.
So Content Templater gets four stars for being very, very good at what it does with one star held back just because it's not must-have.
Advanced Module Manager
I've read a few reviews that indicate that this is a must-install module. Respectfully, I disagree. This is how module management should have been done by Joomla in the first place. First, there's the usability improvements. While you can drop down a list of positions you can type the desired location directly if you want. You have the ability to filter modules for menu assignment and access level. You can edit modules in a model pop-window rather than loading another page. You can even add a description to a module that shows up when you hover over a modules name.
And that's all neat, no doubt. But what makes Advanced Module Manager shine, what makes it a must have, why it should be in the Joomla core are the Module Assignment options. Regular Joomla allows you to assign a module to a menu ID, all menus, or no menus which is fine as far as it goes. But what if you're using a Joomla Category Blog view to show the intro text of articles with a read-more link for the full text? Without Advanced Module Manager (or some tricky programming) you'd have to show the same modules for the articles that you're showing in the Category Blog view. With Advanced Module Manager, you can assign modules to a menu item, but only show the module in an article view. Or show a module whenever a section, category, or article ID is shown no matter when menu it's assigned to. Got a component that doesn't remember Itemids? Not a problem, assign a module whenever a component is shown. Or you can turn on a module or turn it off on a given date. If none of these (or the half-dozen other options) work for you, you can write your own PHP code. Or you can use any combination of the above.
I've been able to craft Joomla pages with Advanced Module Manager that would have been all but impossible without. If you're struggling to get Joomla, and especially modules, to work just the way you want you have to get Advanced Module Manager. You'll quickly add it to your must-have extensions, at least until Joomla adds it's abilities to the core.
bymwessel, November 14, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Jumi
The intent of this plugin is deceptively simple: Allow PHP (or Javascript) to run in selected positions on a page. Why would you want to? Imagine being able to tap into the Joomla database to display a menu wherever you want. With some coding knowledge you could build a home page with images that display menus when the user hovers over them. You can't do that with Joomla alone. In fact, this plugin lets you tap into the full power of Joomla and the database in any way you want.

With this great power comes great responsibility. To make any use of Jumi you need to be comfortable with writing PHP code and accessing MySQL databases. Joomla does provide some nice classes to make this easier, and the few examples on the site show how this can be done. Once you're comfortable with that, Jumi has the potential to replace many different modules and plugins. In fact, I believe it is possible to write your own page templateing system using Jumi, at least on a page by page basis.

So who is Jumi for? Not for the Joomla beginner who hasn't worked with PHP and MySQL before. But if you're comfortable writing your own code, Jumi lets you pry open Joomla's hood and work directly with the engine, allowing you to make Joomla sing to your own tune. All without hacking any core files.
bymwessel, March 22, 2007
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
XCloner-Backup and Restore
This is the first commercial extension I've purchased for my site, and I must say that I'm impressed. Due to hosting limitations I haven't been able to use the full functionality but I'm working with my hosting company to allow Cron backups.

I did have problems initially, however. I read the instructions carefully but was unable to back up any files. There were a number of reasons for this, mostly due to how my hosting company had set up my account. Despite this, the developer was very gracious as he worked with me to resolve the issue. I did have to work to transfer information between the hosting company and the developer, but in the end the issues were all resolved and I was able to successfully back up my site. I never had to wait longer then two hours for a reply from the developer, and often they came much sooner. In fact, on one occasion he sent me a follow-up email with more information and something else I could try.

One reason my backup was ultimately successful was the number of backup options that are available. I ended up using the most manual process, but even that is no worse then clicking two links. If you have better control over your hosting account than I have, you can go so far as to fully automate the backups through a Cron job and speed up the process by using server utilities to tar or zip your files. Even my manual backup, with over 4000 files, took less than ten minutes. Another option that I will be testing is the ability to have finished backups automatically FTPed to another server for off-site storage. There is even the option to age backups and automatically remove the older ones.

Cloning is another nice feature. If you need to move your Joomla site to another host, simply clone it. The current site will be backed up, FTPed to the new host, and once you've entered the MySQL login information the backup will be automatically restored on the new host. This sounds like a great way to launch a live site after it's been developed in a test area.

Based on the number of backup and restore options, and especially the outstanding customer support, I would highly recommend JoomlaCloner.