- 30 January 2020
The Australian Joomla community is one of the earliest Joomla communities, because several of the original creators of Joomla are Australian! Now we have a new website to guide us through the 2020's. Here's how it all happened.
In recent years the local Australian Joomla User Groups (JUG) have joined forces and rebranded to a nationally focussed Joomla Australia. We've run many city-based JoomlaDays in the past, but in 2017 we held the first JoomlaDay Australia (JoomlaDayAu) in Sydney, and in 2019 JoomlaDayAu was held in Brisbane. (Stay tuned for news of JoomlaDayAu 2020 in Melbourne!)
During JoomlaDayAu 2019, talk turned to the Joomla Australia website which hadn't been revamped in several years, and a decision was made to form a committee to plan a new site. The committee was made up of Nicky Veitch and Michael Scruse (Melbourne), Tim Plummer (Sydney), Stuart Robertson (Brisbane) and Shayne Bartlett (Perth). A truly national undertaking! On 24 August 2019 we held our first meeting via Skype, to discuss requirements and make a plan.
We started by defining the goals and target audience(s) of the site:
- Create a website focussed on and for the Australian Joomla community.
- Ensure the site is usable and low maintenance for both admins and end-users.
- Encourage participation within the Australian Joomla community.
- Provide a resource for:
- Technical users - Joomla website designers/developers/builders/administrators/general users.
- Business owners - looking for information on Joomla in Australia.
- To incorporate elements of the JoomlaDayAu website such as news and video, back into the main site so this is not lost year to year.
Launch a new site by 31 January 2020.
Having these goals defined allowed us to assess all of the ideas and suggestions people offered, and decide what should and shouldn't be included in the initial site launch.
Q: "Should we do it in Joomla 4?"
A: "It's not ready so would not meet goal 2 - sorry, not yet".
Q: "Can we showcase Australian Joomla websites?"
A: "Great idea and meets goal 1, but in order to also meet goal 2, let's display Australian entries from the Global Showcase rather than build our own, so nobody has to build/run a separate showcase."
Q: "Why can't people submit articles?"
A: "There was an issue with the old site which prevented this, but having this functionality meets goal 3 and 4 so let's make sure we can do this."
And so on.
In 2017 all the Australian JUGs agreed that we would try to run a JoomlaDayAu event every year if possible, and we were keen to look at the JoomlaDayAu website too and see if we could simplify things in any way.
In the end we decided to build one site, with a set of JoomlaDay pages that could be turned on and off. All content and user accounts from both sites were migrated into the new site, and redirects set up to manage the old links. We decided on our roles in the project, set up a project plan in Trello and a shared Google Drive for minutes, agreed to fortnightly meetings, and we were off and running.
The advantages of the single site are many, including:
- A single site meets all of our project goals, particularly goal 2, because it means we only need to manage one website, and users only need to manage one login.
- We've built a mailing list of existing registered website users and attendees of previous JoomlaDayAu events, which we can utilise to build attendance at local JUGs and JoomlaDays.
- The JoomlaDayAu committee no longer need to factor in a website rebuild every year.
- The community won't lose access to any of the news or video from JoomlaDayAu.
- One site means we will be in a position to offer enhanced value to our JoomlaDay sponsors by not only featuring them on the JoomlaDay website, but also on the main Joomla Australia website for up to a year until the next JoomlaDay comes around.
- To facilitate sponsor management, we've implemented a CRM system which will hopefully help to streamline the process for both organisers and sponsors going forward.
- We can continue to build the mailing list via the website, forum, JoomlaDayAu ticket sales and the CRM.
We've added links to display Australian Certified Joomla users, and Australian Showcase Directory entries from the global site. If you want to be featured on these pages, you need to gain official Joomla Certification (we can help - fill out the Expression of Interest form and one of our Aussie Certification Supervisors will be in touch), or submit your site to the global Showcase Directory (make sure you set your country to Australia).
Still to come - we're still working on the JoomlaDay part of the site. And to date we don't have a lot of content to meet goal 4, so if you'd like to contribute - please do! We'd love to hear from you. We are looking specifically for content aimed at Australian Joomla website designers/developers/builders/administrators/general users, and also content aimed at Australian business owners who have Joomla websites.
If you're good at writing content and would like to get involved in the Australian Joomla community, here's your chance! Log in and submit your content, or feel free to get in touch via the forums.
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