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| OSToolbar

OSToolbarAnother week, another new feature.

The OSToolbar now allows you to show videos on the frontend of your Joomla or WordPress site. Now if you run a hosting, webdesign or support site you can easily provide Joomla or WordPress tutorials to your visitors.

Here's how to set up frontend viewing:

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social-networkIt's been wonderful to hear a brand-new voice in the Drupal world this year. Every week Brian Lewis has been interviewing leading lights in the Drupal world for his Modules Unraveled podcast. Brian has also started producing video tutorials on important modules.

A few weeks ago I talked with Brian and found out that he also shares a very similar background to myself and our other trainers: Brian is a professional teacher who loves both teaching and technology.

We love his work and asked if he was willing to partner with us at OSTraining. We're delighted that he said yes! Today we launch his first Drupal class with us: Organic Groups for Drupal 7 is available to all OSTraining members.

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| Drupal

As your Drupal site grows, so does your permissions page. Finding the permissions you need to change often requires a lot of clicking and scrolling.

Fast Permissions Access (FPA) is a simple Drupal module that makes managing permissions much easier. FPA puts a neat little search box on the permissions page so you can find exactly what you're looking for.

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capitalcampWashington D.C. is the epicenter of Drupal's growth worldwide, and CapitalCamp is the Washington D.C. DrupalCamp.

This year's CapitalCamp takes place on July 27th and 28th. The event is being held at George Washington University, an OSTraining customer who are adopting Drupal in a big way. You can find out more at CapitalCamp.org.

As last year, OSTraining will be doing Drupal training in the run up to CapitalCamp. Our classes will be held at Phase2 in Alexandria, just outside of Washington:

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| General

A little while ago we made the decision here at OSTraining.com to alter how our name is shown to visitors.

We changed "Open Source Training" to "OSTraining" throughout our site. The main reason? In our user testing and customer interactions we constantly found that people were confused about the phrase "Open Source". We kept on hearing comments like these:

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securityIt's hard to think of a more important topic than keeping your site safe and secure.

So, we're pleased to say that our new Joomla security class is now live, and it is freely available for the public.

In this class we show you how to keep your Joomla site and extensions up-to-date. We also show you how to take backups with Akeeba Backup and explain how to restore your site from those backups. We then cover the Admin Tools extension which provides numerous extra security features.

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| Drupal

Managing comments on a busy website can get tedious if you need to login and check continually. It's very convenient to get an email with the comment text, so you can see if it's legitimate or comment spam.

To do this in Drupal we're going to use two core modules, Actions and Triggers. We'll also use the Token module to control over the content and recipients for the email

In this tutorial we're going to use Actions, Triggers and Tokens to show you how to automatically send customized emails from Drupal.

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| Drupal

drupal nodequeue orderThere are various ways to create lists of nodes in Drupal. So what's different about the Nodequeue Module?

Nodequeue allows you to manually control the order of your nodes. You can use drag and drop to re-order a list of nodes. Whereas a module like Views will automatically publish all of your nodes that meet certain criteria, Nodequeue allows you to control the order of those nodes.

Nodequeue is very often used for slideshows and other site features where you need to choose which articles to show.

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| WordPress

Have you ever experienced Microsoft's famous Blue Screen Of Death? Well, WordPress has its own version commonly called the White Screen Of Death.

You are most likely to see this after upgrading WordPress to a new version, adding a plugin or a theme. 

It is possible to turn on debug mode to find the problem, but that won't really help if all you can see is a blank screen. Here are some ways in which you can recover from the White Screen of Death.

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| OSToolbar
  • OSToolbarAre you an OSTraining member? We've got great news for you: we released a new and greatly-improved version of OSToolbar Pro.
  • Are you not an OSTraining member yet? We've got great news for you: we released a completely version called OSToolbar Free.

Are you not sure what the OSToolbar is?

  • The OSToolbar lets you and your users watch video tutorials inside all of your Joomla or WordPress sites.
  • The OSToolbar is released as a Joomla extension and a WordPress plugin.
  • You can watch the videos directly within your Joomla or WordPress admin area.
  • You can use it on as many sites as you want.

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| Web Design

No matter what CMS we're teaching, when we come to talking about themes and designs, one question always comes up quickly: "How do I make a dropdown menu"?

In this tutorial we're going to help you understand some of the jargon surrounding multi-level menus. After all, when people talk about "dropdown menus" they are often describing just one of many different types of multi-level menu.

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| WordPress

Right before we jump into this tutorial, we’d like to mention an alternative method that you might find both faster and easier. As you know WordPress as a CMS relies on plugins to extend its core functionality, and one such plugin for this use case is Modula. Modula is an easy-to-use WordPress gallery plugin that makes adding flexible photo and video galleries to your website easier than ever. You can learn more about Modula by clicking here or get started right away by downloading the free plugin from the WordPress plugin repository by clicking here.

There are tens of thousands of plugins on WordPress.org, but it's amazing how much you can get done with the WordPress core and just a plugin or two.

In this tutorial we're going to show you how to create a sleek photo gallery with elegant pop-ups, all using just a default WordPress site plus only one plugin.

Step 1. Add a new post or new page

  • Click Add New for either a post or a page.
  • Click the Upload/Insert icon.
new-wp-page

Step 2. Add a list of images to that page or post

  • Open your file explorer and drag and drop a group of photos to the " Drop files here" Box.
tutuploadsmedia_1335828611138.png
  • If you are successful, the image files will be listed and you will see progress bars to show you they're uploading.
uploading
  • When every one is uploaded, click Save all changes at the bottom of the list. Scroll down to see it if it's not visible.
  • There will now be gallery tab at the top of the window. This tab is specific to this page or post. If you add a new page or post, you won't see this tab until you have uploaded pictures.
gallery-tab

Step 3. Adjust settings and add the gallery

  • Scroll to the bottom of the window.
  • Choose your Gallery Settings.
  • Click Insert gallery.
tutuploadsmedia_1335829048310.png

Step 4. Customize the page

  • Now you will see a gallery icon in the center of the area where you inserted your gallery.
  • You can insert text or images above or below this section to customize the page.
tutuploadsmedia_1335829508852.png

Step 5. View the page to see the gallery

  • The thumbnails will show based on the settings you chose.
tree-gallery

So far so good. However, if you click on the individual images, all you see are the images flat on the page. To get a really nice pop-up effect, we'll need to add a plugin.

Step 6. Add the lightbox effect

  • Go to Plugins > Add New.
  • Search for "jQuery Lightbox For Native Galleries".
  • Install Now.
  • Activate the Plugin.
  • Go to Settings > jQuery Lightbox.
  • Choose your theme.
  • View your gallery and click a thumbnail. Your images will pop up on a light box with navigation control and image count.

tree-popup

You now have a photo gallery with a lightbox effect installed. You can make further enhancements with additional plugins. For example you can create Multiple Galleries with this extension http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/multiple-galleries/.

| Drupal

fistThere is one question we get time and time and again from developers who are new to Drupal: "How do I create a staging environment for my sites?"

They want to know how to create a development site / test site / live site setup. It's not easy to do.

In fact, at the moment, I can realistically tell them to do only one of three things:

  • Wait for Drupal 8.
  • Try Acquia hosting.
  • Try the newly-released Pantheon hosting.

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