Writer and Programmer

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SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a priority for every website. I am now looking at SEO options in Joomla! One of the most obvious is in the Global Configuration Site tab:

SEO Settings – Search Engine Friendly URLs – choose between ‘no’ and ‘yes’.

A no-brainer, right?

Wrong. I turned it on for www.writerit.com and most of the pages in the site immediately lost their CSS formatting. I didn’t have time to investigate, so I promptly turned it off again.

I have now had a look. There is a simple solution: Enable the second option: ‘Use Apache mod_rewrite’, and rename htaccess.txt in your Joomla! home directory to .htaccess.

A no-brainer, right?

Wrong. When I renamed htaccess.txt all of my pages (including my admin page) went down (and I mean DOWN) with the following message:

“The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request. Either the server is overloaded or there was an error in a CGI script.”

This turns out to be easy to fix. I opened up htaccess.txt and it starts with a piece of advice about commenting out an instruction if .htaccess breaks stuff. I commented out the instruction. All is now well.

In C++ you need to understand all of the low-level implications of every command you use. Web development is computer programming from the opposite direction. Speed is the priority. Implementation details should be invisible if you just want to get a brochureware site up and running in a CMS.

SHOULD be.

I love Artisteer.  Really I do.  But I just spent half an hour trying to figure out why my horizontal Artisteer menu didn’t style properly in Joomla 1.5.

I previewed the template and decided that extra1 would be the best position.  I assigned this position to the menu module (why is this all so complicated?).  I checked, rechecked and checked again that the _menu suffix was assigned in the gobbledegooky-stupid-thing.  Sorry, I mean in Module-Advanced Parameters-Module Class Suffix.

Nope.  The menu was appearing but it remained resolutely unstyled.

In desperation, was forced to RTFM and see what Artisteer recommends about creating horizontal menus.  “Assign the user3 position”.  Well that’s not going to make much difference, right?

Wrong.  That was the fix.  I hate computers.

Ita Ryan

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