Implementing and running Joomla at a large South African university

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An in-dept look at the challenges and processes that led to the successful implementation of Joomla at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

As the largest university in the Western Cape, we explore our approach to implementing and maintaining our Joomla 2.5 to suite the needs of our more than 1 million monthly visitors.

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Presenter::Lovemore Nalube
Category::Joomla

Published in: Technology
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Implementing and running Joomla at a large South African university

  1. 1. Joomla! at a large South African university Lovemore Nalube University Web Developer www.cput.ac.za
  2. 2. About our university •  •  •  •  URL: www.cput.ac.za Number of staff and students: 40 000, Largest university in the Western Cape, Result of a merger with more than 8 colleges and technikons, •  30 000 visits per day
  3. 3. CMSs at SA universities •  Joomla! (CPUT), •  Drupal (ex-UFH, NWU, UCT), •  Microsoft Sharepoint (UWC, UFH, Stellenbosch) •  Proprietary (Rhodes)
  4. 4. History with Joomla! CMS •  Pre-2010 = custom PHP based CMS, •  2010 – April 2013 = Joomla! 1.5 •  May 2013 – present = Joomla! 2.5
  5. 5. Getting onto Joomla! 1.5 •  •  •  •  Money spent on a template = R50 000, Time = 1 year, Skills = outsourced, Manual copy-paste from PHP CMS into Joomla!,
  6. 6. Joomla! 1.5 deliverables •  6 templates, •  20 to 30 “main menus” made, •  100 “submenus” made,
  7. 7. Migration to 2.5 Time: 4 months, People: 3 (Web Editor + 2 developers), Cost: less than R1 000, Migration procedure Article migration with J2XML, Rebuilt: Menus, modules, plugins.
  8. 8. Result:
  9. 9. •  3 menus only, •  Subversion for code versioning Extensions •  Security: RSFirewall!, •  Moderation: Article Factory Manager, •  News: K2, •  Clickable telephone numbers: Re-replacer, •  Events management: RSEvents!, •  Electronic forms: RSForm! •  Logging: User audit, •  Custom code: Sourcerer, •  Embedding: Modules Anywhere, •  Module Manager: Advanced Module Manager
  10. 10. Template system •  Joomlart T3 template Why? •  One template for whole site, •  ‘themes’ for various faculties, •  CSS and JS combining and compressing, •  Caching system, •  Already responsive.
  11. 11. FYI: Search Engine metadata Ever wondered why some Google results look funky? eg: vs Answer: Semantics. Read more by googling: “Google Rich snippets”
  12. 12. Optimizing: Supporting files Combine CSS, JS and image files as much as possible •  Reduce request and response hits Number of files loaded for homepage 97 35 Before After
  13. 13. Optimizing: Page size Compress your images and files MB Size of the homepage 4 3,5 3 2,5 2 1,5 1 0,5 0
  14. 14. Reverse proxy Apache with Nginx YOU
  15. 15. Optimizing: Caching on the server Enable caching in PHP. Memecache and APC
  16. 16. Optimizing: Serving static files Apache is good for processing PHP Apache is BAD for CSS, JS and images Enter: NGINX
  17. 17. Optimizing: Security and SSL Always use SSL when users must login •  GoDaddy Wildcard certificate = R1 000 per annum •  Verisign Wildcard certificate = R20 000 per annum Joomla RSFirewall module:
  18. 18. Monitoring: Graphs and Alerts Google Analytics •  Visitors, Search Engines, etc… SNMP and Cacti •  Server, Apache, MySql, PHP, custom variables Off-Campus monitoring •  Free: uptimerobot.com
  19. 19. Mobile app integration •  Varsity mobile hybrid app •  JSON remote feeds •  Events •  News
  20. 20. Problems •  Load balancing with front end editing, •  Some rich snippets do not show up on Google, •  Moving scripts to bottom of page,
  21. 21. Thanks

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