It has been a while since we added new themes to our WordPress gallery. That is why I am quite thrilled to announce the release of the "World" WordPress theme. Unusual for a free theme as it is, this is the first of a new generation of themes we launch with its own admin panel from where you can control a rich set of features.
Today Joomla! has launched a new version of its software – 2.5. As some of you may guess from the number 2.5, this new version is considered a major release and marks the end of a whole cycle for Joomla. So, we took some time to test and review the new Joomla and see how it will work on our servers. The good news is that it is fully compatible and we can say for sure that it works on our hosting accounts flawlessly! Read More
If you're using WordPress as your favorite open source blogging platform, chances are pretty high you've already heard about the recent security flaw found in the TimThumb plugin fow WP. If you haven't - you should, cause it's pretty severe. Here is more info on that:
The security flaw isn't a core WordPress vulnerability, so you won't be vulnerable for just using WordPress. However, the bad news is that a pretty big number of themes out there use the TimThumb plugin in order to operate correctly and therefore TimThumb is included in a lot of WordPress plugins and themes, both free and paid. The result is that there is a good chance you might have the vulnerable TimThumb installed and running on your WordPress even if you don't really know about it or you don't care.
The new major Joomla version 1.7 is already released and we are happy to announce that just a few days later all our Joomla services have been tested and confirmed to work flawlessly with the new version:
- SiteGround Joomla hosting is ready for v1.7 and updated joomlas run flawlessly on our servers
- The Joomla templates designed by SiteGround are fully compatible with Joomla 1.7
- The Joomla extensions developed by SiteGround are fully compatible with Joomla 1.7
Joomla 1.7 review
The first stable version of the Joomla 1.7 branch was released on July 19th. This came only 6 months after Joomla 1.6 was released. The short period was really amazing, having in mind that the previous two transitions to the next major version took the Joomla team 3 years each. However, the promise on the official Joomla website is that from now on we should expect a new major version on each 6 months! We are excited about this news, especially because we saw some real steps in making the transition to the new versions much easier than they previously were.
SiteGround is now completely ready for Joomla 1.6! After the new Joomla version was released there has been a significant adjustment activity at SiteGround. First, we made sure that our hosting is fully compatible with the new Joomla version, then we prepared a Joomla 1.6 tutorial and released several Joomla 1.6 templates. Finally, it was time for our extensions to get some attention too.
We have just released the new versions of our free Joomla extensions which are developed in compliance with the new criteria and requirements of Joomla 1.6. Now all our extensions except jAutoUpdate have a version that works perfectly with a native Joomla 1.6 installation. As soon as Joomla releases a newer subversion of its 1.6 branch we will start working on the jAutoUpdate too, as currently it cannot be useful with only one Joomla 1.6 version available. You can now download all new versions on our Joomla 1.6 Extensions page! The Joomla 1.6 ready extensions are:
Product Development – Technical
We are happy to announce the release of our first Joomla 1.6 template - Purple Sky. You can see a live preview of the template and download it from our Joomla Templates gallery. The template is not a Joomla 1.5 design converted to work with 1.6 but a completely new template created especially for the new version. Regularly check our Joomla 1.6 Templates gallery for new designs!
The template meets all the requirements of the new Joomla version and supports all the modules included in the default installation. Furthermore the template has a completely valid HTML5 output which guarantees maximum compatibility and is great for the SEO of your website.
Last but not least, we have included something for those of you who love Twitter - a nice widget showing the number of followers of your account. To enable it, simply enter your Twitter username at the template settings page. If you don't want it, simply leave the field empty and the widget will not be displayed.
Product Development – Technical
Few days ago the Drupal developers released the first Beta of the new Drupal 7 branch. As they stated, the official stable release will be available as soon as there are no more critical bugs. Their plans are to make the transition from the old release to the new one as smooth and trouble free as possible.
Since we at SiteGround have many passionate Drupal users, we decided to test the new Beta build ourselves and update you about our findings and the features you can expect.
What's new in Drupal 7
Below I list some of the important features of Drupal 7. For the full list of changes you can check the Drupal 7 changelog. With Drupal 7 you will get:
- Database improvements
- Website Performance Improvements
- Enhanced Security
- Great new usability features such as:
- Improved support for integration of WYSIWYG editors.
- Improved installer requirements check.
- Provided descriptions and human-readable names for user permissions.
- Removed display order settings for comment module. Comment display order can now be customized using the Views module.
- And much more
- Improved time zone support
- Revamped Themes System
- File and Image Handling via Drupal
Drupal 6 upgrade to Drupal 7
We tried the upgrade ourselves and managed to perform the installation via the web update.php script. The upgrade is exactly the same as on the previous Drupal version and we have experienced no trouble during the process. According to the Drupal team they even made an upgrade of a copy of their website in an experimental environment and it worked great. Still, as with every Beta release, it is important to mentions that it should not be used for live websites yet.
Drupal Themes and Extensions
All themes and extensions for Drupal 6 should be ported to Drupal 7. Most of the extension developers have already started working on their products and making sure the next releases will be compatible with the new Drupal 7. We strongly hope that all major and popular modules will be available for Drupal 7 too. We have tested several new module releases for both the Alpha and Beta versions and were very satisfied with the results.
Short Drupal 7 Administration overview
When I first saw the Drupal 7 Administration panel I was fascinated by its user-friendly interface. Its developers have achieved a great lot and included various new features, enhancements and better functionality that will greatly improve the management of your web site.
Here are few examples:
1. With the new Drupal 7 you will be able to rapidly customize your admin dashboard and add blocks by drag-and-drop.
In the old Drupal there is no Dashboard section for the administrator. The new interface allows you to create a unified view of the features you want to check every time when you log in as administrator (much like in WordPress). Additional modules can be added or removed from the dashboard which allows you to view the exact details you are interested in.
2. With Drupal 7 you can also enable the themes you would like to use with a single click, as well as automatically install themes from a specific URL or simply upload a theme package via the Appearance section of the admin area.
The new Drupal version 7 allows you to install the desired Module or Theme straight from the administrator backend without the need to manually upload the files under your account. You could use installation from an URL or simply upload the module or theme package browsing your local computer for it. All you need to do is copy the URL from which the theme or module can be downloaded, then paste it in the “Install from a URL” box and hit the Install button. The module is automatically downloaded, installed for your Drupal 7 website and on the next screen you can decide whether to enable it right away or not.
This was just a small overview of what you are to expect from the new Drupal release. As a conclusion I would like to say that the new Drupal 7 release is greatly anticipated. It will certainly help webmasters in managing their Drupal-based websites. Most of the changes are towards easier and better management of your website. Currently the only noticeable flaw seem to be the fact that it might take time for some modules and themes to be ported for the new release.
If you need a solid ground for your Drupal website or Drupal 7 testings, you can check our Drupal hosting package!
Senior Technical Support Member
The newest component added to our free Joomla extensions addresses a problem we have identified while analyzing the Joomla-related technical requests we receive. It turned out that a lot of people ask SiteGround support team member for help after their application has been hacked as it was outdated. Most of the people experiencing such problems are actually well aware that it is important to keep their application up-to-date. However, the manual update isn't easy enough for them and they do not perform it on a regular basis. So to provide an easy way for updating Joomla and thus prevent many security issues we have created jAutoUpdate. The component can be used to automatically update a Joomla application to the latest 1.5 version available with a single mouse click.
jAutoUpdate has three main functions that can be used through the Joomla administration area after the component is installed:
Once the version check icon is clicked jAutoUpdate checks for the latest available Joomla 1.5 version and compares it to the version currently used by the customer. If the application is outdated the Joomla Update option will appear.
This button will automatically apply an update patch from the currently used version to the latest Joomla 1.5 version available and will update fast and easily only the files that are different in the new version.
The forced update will replace all Joomla 1.5 system files with the ones from the latest stable package. This option is very useful for fixing more serious issues like Joomla system files missing or wrong modifications made to core Joomla files.
With the new component the Joomla update becomes extremely easy and we hope that fewer Joomla websites will be vulnerable to exploits due to outdated versions thanks to this component.
Product Development – Technical