Indulge in Avalon mobile website

I’ve been working on a mobile website for the great folks at Indulge in Avalon. A few months back we had just launched a site for them powered by Joomla!, and since we had a solid foundation built it really made a mobile version much easier to develop.

The first step was figuring out what type of mobile experience to offer. Google Analytics really helped us out here. We were able to get a good idea of what type of mobile devices have been visiting the site, browser types, etc. – amazing info! Due to visitor information and features needed, we decided to go with a mobile website vs developing a mobile application(s) at this time.

Next was simplifying the experience for the mobile user. This site primary features local businesses of Avalon, so we wanted to really focus on that and make it as easy as possible for a mobile user to navigate. A simple iOS like list navigation really worked well for the data we were delivering. A user could easily drill down for details and back up again.

Then we worked of speed, speed and speed. The mobile website makes use of no images in it’s interface, it’s all CSS driven and if you have a really spiffy device takes advantage of gradients and rounded corners, etc. If you don’t have a super new device, it’s still attractive and fully functional. Minimal use of http requests and minified code is used as well to squeeze every little byte out of the site. All this savings really makes for a fast site, even on slower connections.

All in all this has been a very great experience. The clients being so easy and understanding to work with really help in making this work as well as it does. They know what they want, deliver their parts and are open to my suggestions on the areas of expertise. There’s still some minor areas to finish up and optimize even further, but please feel free to check out the mobile site by either visiting in  your mobile device or you can access the mobile site directly at

Design Development

Landscapes & Interiors

Finishing up a website for Landscapes & Interiors. They’re a landscaping and cleaning service located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. The client wanted an original website that they would be able to easily maintain and have the ability to make simple edits on their own.

We decided to build the website  on the Joomla! open source CMS (content management system). I’ve built many sites with Joomla! recently and each client has been very much pleased with the rich CMS functionality that we are able to deliver to them at a very reasonable cost. It really amazes me just how much functionality they are getting from an open source project.

We also relied on the Yahoo! YUI library to build the site as well. The site makes use of the following YUI components:

  • CSS Reset
  • CSS Fonts
  • CSS Grids
  • Yahoo Global Object
  • DOM Collection
  • Event Utility

YUI really helped us to work faster and knowing that their library is used and tested by Yahoo! for A-Grade Browser support is a real time saver.

The client did an excellent job in providing and organizing content for use on the site. I cannot stress how vital it is for a client to provide appropriate content in an organized manner for a site to be successful. They are the content experts and when we can mesh our respective areas of expertise a great site is almost always the result.

Since the business is new and this is their first website, special attention was spent to make sure that there is room for growth. The content regions and navigation elements all are easy to add or edit via Joomla! with little if any CSS adjust necessary to manage additional or changed content.

There are still some further tweaks and adjustments to be made to the site, but we did go live today, so check out and see what great services and support that they offer. Again, it was a real pleasure working with this client, I had a great deal of fun and they are very satisfied with their site and that’s always great to know.


Vote My Vote

Vote My VoteI’ve been busy doing some work for a really cool site, Vote My Vote. It’s a really cool community voting site for TV’s most popular shows. You sign up and they go through the hassle of calling in your vote for you. While I rarely watch any of those type of shows, I do have to admit I think it’s a very slick idea.

I primarily assisted with some Joomla development and configuration. Someone had been doing that role before me, so coming into a project that someone had already begun had it’s challenging moments (a white error screen of death for instance). But solving their issues and helping deliver a really cool finished (or very close to being finished) product was very gratifying.

I haven’t met a single member of the team who worked on this site in person, nor even spoke on the phone. It’s really amazing how people from all over can successfully collaborate on a project. I was fortunate to work with an extremely talented bunch of individuals on this project.

The primary tasks I assisted with were:

  • setup and the automatic population of the blog. We used the CorePHP WordPress MU component to help us with this.
  • Community Builder user registration. Ummm, there were moments I despised you Community Builder, but in the end we figured you out and you are doing your job.
  • Pulling in the latest forum posts to their respective areas.
  • Good deal of assist with other Joomla odds and ends. My hands got dirty with much PHP on this project. It was lots of fun.

Check out, and let anyone you know who’s addicted to those reality shows about it.



Needed to do some server side image manipulation with PHP for a custom Joomla component I was working on. Unfortunately, I was having some initial problems.

Luckily I found WideImage, and open source PHP library for image manipulation. It was great and made the whole process so much more simple for me to implement in my component.

Using it is a cinch, just check out the examples and documentation on their site. Again, this was an excellent library for me, and I highly recommend it.


Learning Joomla! 1.5 Extension Development

If you’re looking to create extensions for Joomla! 1.5 then you should really check out Learning Joomla! 1.5 Extension Development. I had a project that required a custom component to be created, and the online documentation wasn’t really as good as I’d of liked it to of been.

So I went looking to see if any books had been published recently on extension development. Learning Joomla! 1.5 Extension Development got some decent review online, and I was really stumped with creating my component. So a copy was ordered.

The book does an excellent job of building an extension that makes use of most of the features that would be found in a typical extension. Covering, components, modules, as well as plugins.

With it’s focus on MVC practices, this at first seemed like overkill to me, but once all the features were piling up, it really paid off.

The chapters on creating the admin end of a component were extremely valuable to me. My client now has an easy to use custom component that makes use of the Joomla! admin interface for a seemless CMS experience.


‘corePHP’ WordPress MU

Just installed and am in the process of configuring the ‘corePHP’ WordPress MU component for Joomla! This nifty component allows a WordPress MU install to run within a Joomla! install.

This is great, you can have a great Joomla! based site that also hosts multiple user WordPress blogs. This is pretty much exactly with these folks were looking for, and it integrates very well with the built in user management as well.

I’m still tinkering with many customizations to get this just how we need it, but most of the difficult work is already done by the component.

Also very convenient are the modules that ‘corePHP’ makes available for this component too. There’s module to display recent blogs, recent posts, etc.

Very good stuff so far.