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The conticreative Blogs - Joomla, Open Source and Web Design

A blog on Joomla, Zen Cart, Drupal and other Open Source scripts written from the trences!

This page is actually a compendium of several blogs and resources I publish on my website. From Joomla articles and tutorials to quick tips and tricks to blog posts about Open Source CMS, web design, e-commerce, seo and more.

To read the individual blogs in their respective pages, here is a list of the current blogs and podcasts:

New tutorial on JCE available

The Conticreative Joomla Blog

4 Written by Marco Conti Wednesday, 26 November 2008 14:13

User Rating: / 4

I have just made available a new tutorial on the JCE (Joomla Content Editor) on "How to make a Mini Photo Gallery in JCE" for Joomla 1.0.x.

The tutorial is a bit outdated now because it was made for the older version of Joomla and JCE, but with a bit of adaptation and ingenuity it can still be relevant for the new versions. The tutorial was made with Wink. Learn more about Wink here.

I hope you'll enjoy the tutorial.


JCE Editor

Joomla Extensions Reviews

4 Written by Marco Conti Tuesday, 25 November 2008 22:05

User Rating: / 5

JCE (Joomla Content Editor) is a very powerful online HTML editor for the Joomla! Content Management System (CMS). JCE is easily one of the main reasons why I and many other developers use Joomla as their CMS of choice. Once you get used to JCE's depth of features going back to any other editor is frustrating and time consuming.


Wink - an Open Source tutorial software

Software Reviews

4 Written by Marco Conti Sunday, 23 November 2008 21:18

User Rating: / 4

wink logoWink is an amazing little Open Source program to create tutorials, video presentation, screnshots (and more) not widely known but certainly worthy of inclusion in anyone's list. Read More...


Joomla: Finding a good Vertical CSS menu with drop downs

Quick Fixes

4 Written by Marco Conti Friday, 21 November 2008 14:31

User Rating: / 4

The Problem: There are plenty of horizontal, unordered list based, pure CSS menus for Joomla, but there are no standard compliant Vertical CSS menus available.

The Fix: Superfish is your solution. Also, go to read the tutorial and download the Superfish menu module for Joomla 1.5.
NOTE: It makes a dandy horizontal css menu too.


Thunderbird: after import emails vanish from folders

Quick Fixes

4 Written by Marco Conti Friday, 21 November 2008 14:26

User Rating: / 2

The Problem: After importing emails and custom folders from MS Outlook, the Thunderbird custom folders appear empty.

The Fix: In Thunderbird, select the account and go to Properties. Select "Do not delete messages from server". All your emails will reappear.

You may need to r-click on the folders and choose Properties: Rebuild Index


Joomla - JCE Editor rewrites script and object tag

Quick Fixes

4 Written by Marco Conti Friday, 21 November 2008 14:17

User Rating: / 4

The problem: In Joomla 1.5.8 after an update from 1.5.7 the JCE editor strips the and tags from the code for a video file. The end result is gibberish.

The fix: Go to Content->Article Manager Click on Parameters.
Scroll to the bottom of the parameters popup and select 'Registered' in the 'Filter Groups' (ie : the user type that WILL be filtered) section and check the 'Blacklist (Default) ' option in the 'Filter Type'.

Thanks to Ryan of and creator of the JCE Text editor for Joomla for this fix.


Using Microsoft Word to write website content

Web Technologies Blog

4 Written by Marco Conti Wednesday, 19 November 2008 14:29

User Rating: / 3

How to convert MS Word to HTML cheaply and effectively

Many people are comfortable writing their website content with a Word Processor. For most that means using Microsoft Word.

Unfortunately, Microsoft Word is not very compliant with most modern browsers and it adds a plethora of superfluous code to your HTML that is very hard to clean properly. The result is that if you copy and paste from MS Word to your HTML document, regardless of the system you use, the result will be less than satisfactory and it often will even break your page.

The reason is that MS Word uses a number of proprietary tags and even saving your document a HTML page won't cure the problem.

(Pressed for time? Don't want to read the entire post? Skip the article and use the Checklist)


Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 - first impressions

Web Technologies Blog

4 Written by Marco Conti Thursday, 13 November 2008 11:39

User Rating: / 4

Adobe just released the stable version of their popular IDE, Dreamweaver. Now in version CS4 (or version 10 if you like to keep track of it that way), Dreamweaver continues to be the editor of choice for many web developers and whenever a new version is released it is an important milestone in the business.

In this "First Impressions" review I am going to look at Dreamweaver CS4 as applied to the editing of Joomla templates and websites and not so much as related to the more traditional uses of the program. For more information in regard to my Joomla (and dynamic website) workflow, please refer to my blog post here.


Reflections of an old school designer

Web Technologies Blog

4 Written by Marco Conti Tuesday, 11 November 2008 18:29

This is a very quick adaptation of a forum post I made on the Adobe  Dreamweaver forums. After writing it I thought it contained some valuable info that others may find useful or inspiring. Read it with a grain of salt and consider it's initial intended audience.


Joomla! 1.5 and Dreamweaver CS3 - Part 1

The Conticreative Joomla Blog

4 Written by Marco Conti Monday, 10 November 2008 12:32

User Rating: / 55

Stop the presses!

You may have noticed that this article is getting a bit long in the tooth and that part 2 is not published yet. There is a very good reason for it and I hope it will be worth the wait. In the meantime, click here if you want to find out where Part 2 is (or what it has become), read this other article on how to help me write the definitive book on Joomla Development or jump directly to the Joomla/Dreamweaver survey.
If you really can't wait to start coding your own Joomla! web sites with Dreamweaver, check my online Joomla Classes. But hurry because there are only a few spots open.

How to use Dreamweaver CS3/CS4 to edit your Joomla! 1.5.x website and templates.
Revisiting the issue 2 years later...

Over 2 years ago I wrote my first blog post on how to incorporate Dreamweaver into your Joomla development and template design. It is time now to revisit the issue and update the technique for the newer version of Joomla and Dreamweaver.

At the time of this writing, Dreamweaver CS4 is out in Beta and it promises to bring even more streamlining into the process. As soon as I upgrade DW to the newer version I will rewrite this post, but I suspect most of the steps will remain the same. UPDATE: I have just downloaded the new CS4 triial and it promises to bring some changes, but no radical departures from the workflow described below. I will point out any differences/shortcuts as necessary.

If you are a traditional web designer, you are probably wondering how it could be possible to edit a Joomla website, the template more specifically, with a tool like DreamWeaver.



I was very lucky...

Web Technologies Blog

4 Written by Marco Conti Sunday, 09 November 2008 20:52

I want to open my new Web Dev blog with a post about backups and why I was so damn lucky.

I finally got around to launch a new version of my website. I worked at it for over 6 months and I was either never happy with it or I had something more pressing to do. My old website was about 2 1/2 years old and it no longer reflected neither current technologies or my personal abilities.

Finally, over the past weekend I decided to take the plunge and launch the site. It wasn't finished, but it was good enough for me.

Usually, when I make a site launch for a client I move like an old spinster. I very cautiously backup every file, I keep a log with notes on the move and only after I check things twice I finally make the move.

On my own site, of course, I was more cavalier and I paid the price.


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