RSS Feeds using Joomla!

June 9th, 2011 | Posted under Internet Trends, The Internet, Web Design Tutorials | No Comments »

RSS Feeds using Joomla!

RSS

RSS Feeds using Joomla

RSS stands for Rich Site Summary, and is a format which is used to deliver regularly altering web content. For example, several news-websites, blogs and online publishing sites provide RSS links so that internet users can easily get to know about any updates in their websites. For people who regularly surf the Internet, RSS feeds are an efficient and simple way of staying updated about the latest news, without having to visit the websites every time. The RSS feed automatically retrieves the latest updates from the websites and displays it in the feed. RSS users can protect their privacy, by not having to join the websites mailing list and be victimized by hundreds of unwanted newsletters, just for the sake of staying informed. There are several different RSS readers available on the Internet which can support different platforms like Linux, Windows or Mac.

RSS Feeds using Joomla

Joomla

RSS Feeds using Joomla

Joomla, on the other hand, is a popular Content Management System (CMS), which is utilized for developing and building web sites and other web based applications. It is hugely popular due to the fact that it is simple, flexible and easy to use, even by people without extensive technical knowledge. Joomla is an open source platform, which is freely available. Joomla has an inbuilt RSS aggregator, called the ‘syndicate’, so there is no real need of downloading any extension. However, there are a couple of other options also, which may be used to include RSS feeds in a website. The Syndicator can display news or updates ordered by categories.

The first step is to log into the administrator account of the Joomla web page, and go to the News Feeds option from the Components option. From the Manage Categories option, a new category is added by clicking on the New option. A page appears where the administrator will have to provide different information regarding the new feed category that is to be included in the web page. The different fields that need to be filled up include the Category Title, where the user needs to enter the name of the category as he wants it to appear in the menu; the Category Name, which shows the name of the feed in the web page; the Image field can be used to insert any image related to the feed category; the Access Level can be used to limit the access to the feeds only to certain users. All the field names are self-explanatory. After all the required fields have been filled up, the page is saved.

The next step is to find a suitable website, which provides the facility to syndicate their content, and then decide on the feeds that should be included in the site. Websites which have the RSS logo, provide the RSS feed facilities. Most news sites, blogs, fan archives, and gaming forums provide RSS feeds. After selecting the required RSS feed, paste the link in the Link field in the Manage News Feeds page. There are a number of other parameters, such as maximum articles or updates allowed, or cache time. Then the settings are saved. After this, the website is ready to receive RSS updates.

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How to create simple news feed reader

March 12th, 2011 | Posted under Internet Trends, Software, The Internet | No Comments »

How to create simple news feed reader

In the language of the internet a newsreader is a web application or client software also popularly known as the “aggregator” actually crawls throughout the internet and aggregates syndicated web content mostly news headlines in a single format for easy viewing purposes.

The news feed readers are of primarily of three types.

Web based news feed reader

How to create simple news feed reader

These are actually specially designed websites that automatically sorts out news from millions of news feeds everyday produced by thousands of news service providers. Typically a person needs to create an account in these websites, filling out his preferences and choices.  The website then uses advanced predictive algorithms and techniques to find out news material best suited for the reader. Many sites provide these features integrated in their pages. The most interesting part is that these readers can be set up without much effort in a very short time by almost any common user. This is the most preferred way of reading news feeds because of its easy user interface and no maintenance.

Web applets

These are web based applications mostly available through a web browser. They are interactive and based on AJAX and XML techniques and very user friendly. These also aggregate the news from different news broadcasting sites and use similar types of techniques to gather and filter news appropriate for a particular user. The applications are hosted mainly on servers for personal use. The advantage is that because it is remotely hosted, it can be easily accessed from anywhere in the world. Because of its nature, the widgets or web applets can also be easily integrated into email applications, document readers, news portals, customisable home pages etc.

Client software

Client software is software specially designed for the purpose of news gathering and news presentation of personalised content in a compact user friendly interface. These are full-fledged applications which are required to be installed on the client machine. They also do not normally require a web browser to browse through the news content. They actually aggregate much more content and much better for professional uses, because they offer much more customisations, more personalised filtering, and once loaded it can be viewed without access to the internet. Though it has some disadvantages like it has to be maintained well to make it fit for use in a particular context, it has more advanced feature-full interface along with predefined as well as user-defined techniques and functions. All these result in a better news reader than other easy techniques.

Another important criterion for judging different news feed readers is the filtering techniques used. The remotely hosted servers use many advanced techniques and large resources to sort out news to particular types and appropriate user content. The very resource intensive methods cannot be used in case of a client software, also the huge bandwidth required to filter out the huge news content is very high and it is not recommended for a single user unless for a good reason.

How to create simple news feed reader

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Top five Joomla extensions

June 6th, 2010 | Posted under Content Management Systems, The Internet | 1 Comment »

Top five Joomla extensions

There is no denying the fact that the modular approach of Joomla has made it one of the most popular of its kind, as both users and developers have made the most out of it. There are several extensions available in Joomla, courtesy the huge community of developers. We pick some of the best and most popular of the extensions, chosen on the basis of user feedback!

JoomlaXplorer

This is a better version of the default FTP client, with lots of enhanced features and functions. One can view, edit, upload, and download files easily with this extension.

JoomlaPack

The web server is always vulnerable to attacks that can put it down for hours and can even result in loss of data. This extension helps in taking backup of the data and also helps in restoration of the backup data.

RSS Factory

This extension is a great SEO tool as it generates meaningful keywords for your websites and helps you get more visitors.

Security Images

This secures the registration process for Joomla sites, as it adds the functionality where users need to type in the text written in a distorted image.

VirtueMart

This is for all website owners who require e-commerce software enabled for online transactions. This extension has great features and is extremely secure too!

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Five great tools of the Web 2.0

May 13th, 2010 | Posted under Internet Trends, The Internet | No Comments »

Five great tools of the Web 2.0

When the term Web 2.0 was termed by Tim O’Reilly in a conference in 2004, he meant it as a philosophy, a concept that would enhance the sharing of information, collaboration and user-centric web designs. In the next few years, certain tools and applications were developed, which held the true spirit of Web 2.0. Here, we list five great tools of the Web 2.0 that have changed the World Wide Web.

1. XML and RSS

It is syndication of website content, with the help of strict protocols, and can be used by the users for other purposes as well.

2. Special protocols for social networking

Protocols like XFN and FOAF are made for enhanced interoperability between social networking sites and other websites.

3. Ajax

This application has been used by most websites to make it more interactive and facilitating the server work to be done in the background.

4. Blogs

This tool has let users express themselves, share information and promote their agenda without on the Web without the need to buy web-hosting space.

5. Wiki

It is tool that facilitates easy building of interlinked web pages for different purposes, such as knowledge sharing, community websites, corporate networking and many more.

With each passing day, more and more tools are being developed on the lines of Web 2.0, which are extremely innovative and useful!

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When is it ok to use pictures on another website?

March 19th, 2009 | Posted under Computer Advice, Web Hosting Tips | No Comments »

Don’t you just love the internet? It’s a place full of information, pictures and all kinds of content. And the great part is, that you can just copy stuff, and put it on your own website. Right? Wrong! It might be hard to believe, but there are still people that think that what you find online, you can use in every way you please. Yeah, well that’s the kind of thinking that got RIAA a whole lot of money.

So is it never ok to take someone’s pictures and put them on your website? Well, it can be ok, but you need to make sure that you have permission. One way to know that you have permission, is if the images are in a RSS feed. If they are, then you know that they are meant for syndication, and you can place that feed on your website. However, it doesn’t mean that you can just copy that picture and put it on your website. It’s to be syndicated through the feed, not through copying.

So what if you DO want to copy the pictures, because you have no need for the feed, just for the picture. Well, it’s pretty easy. The fact that the internet is pretty anonymous, doesn’t mean that you can’t communicate with someone. Find the contact button, send them an e-mail and say: Hey, love your website (sucking up helps), can I please use this image if I link back to you? Chances are, it will be no problem. No you’re not only in possession of a new image that you can use, without having to be afraid that you’re going to get sued, you also made a new friend. Don’t you just love the internet?


Why you should enable RSS on your website

March 15th, 2009 | Posted under The Internet, Web Hosting Tips | No Comments »

Why you should enable RSS on your website
RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication, does exactly what the name says it does: it helps you syndicate your content really easily. As I have mentioned before in the article about Web 2.0, it’s really important to syndicate your content. The good thing about syndication it’s that it’s not just copying. It’s not like people will use your content and that you will have nothing to gain from it.

You should view syndication as the cheapest form of advertisement, the free form to be precise. It’s funny that for a long time, people were so scared that their content would be used by others, that they didn’t see that it’s the best way to promote your website. Because what looks more appealing: having a website with unique content, and 1000 visitors who read it? Or having your content displayed on ten other websites who each have 10000 visitors, with a label that clearly states the content is yours, with a link to your website. Easy choice right? Well, it took us long enough to realize, just like it took us long enough to realize that the world really isn’t flat (if you don’t believe me, check Google Earth).

So, if you want extra visitors, and you want your content to be all over the place, make sure you find a way to syndicate your content. You can do it automatically with a RSS stream, or manually through a social network site. That’s what we call Really Simple Syndication!


Automatically fill your website with Joomla and RSS

March 11th, 2009 | Posted under The Internet, Web Hosting Tips | No Comments »

Ever heard of the phrase: biting off more than you can chew? Well it’s a very natural habit of people to think that they are some sort of superhuman beings that can do just about anything in little time. This certainly applies to people who are thinking about starting their own website with daily content.

Oh wow, daily content, really? So how are you going to do that, just by yourself? “Yes, it’s no biggie, just one article a day, how much work can that be?” At first, these people seem to be right, and they manage to come up with one article a day. But then it gets really old really fast. When the newness wears off, things that started out as fun, become work really quickly. And when that work doesn’t pay, because you started it for fun, one article a day can suddenly be a huge task, which ultimately results in a website that has one year old content.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t build a website if you like to inform people about a certain topic, but you should think about if it’s really necessary for you to create all that content. You’ve probably heard of RSS, the system that helps people spread their content easily. We’ve also told you a lot about Joomla. But did you know that you can combine the two? At www.joomla.org you can download a component called feed2post. Its not free, you’ll have to pay 25 buckaroos for it, but trust me, it’s totally, utterly worth it.

You install it the Joomla Administrator area, and simply define what RSS feed you want to use (if you want to find nice ones check out http://www.google.com/reader to search for cool feeds.) You enter those feeds into the Feed2Post component, decide what feed needs to go in what category, and you’re done. Your website will be filled with other people’s content (don’t forget to link to them, you don’t want to steal and end up next to O.J. in prison.) and if you feel like it, you can add your own. It’s easy, and it keeps your website from becoming the stressful thing you call your job (you have your real job for that).