On Google and Record Traffic

traffic spike

The traffic spike in consideration

How does one attract traffic to one’s blog?  While writing my recent Joomla! 2.5 tutorial, I noticed that my traffic was dramatically climbing.  It started on the weekend, and Sunday through Tuesday were all record-breaking days (new busiest day each day)!  Not only that, but a Google search for ‘joomla 2.5 on mamp’ listed a link to this blog 2nd and 3rd down from the top!  So, what would bring readers to this (sort of) small blog?

There are all kinds of businesses out there offering ‘SEO’ (Search Engine Optimization) services, where you pay to get better traffic ‘naturally’, but I achieved natural high rankings without even trying!  And I did this by subconsciously following almost all of the SEO tips on the web – high keyword count and correct tagging.

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Joomla! 2.5 Tutorial – Step 2: Installation

Now that we’ve set up MAMP (or its equivalent), and the Joomla! 2.5 installation files placed in the ‘htdocs’ folder of the MAMP application files, it’s time to create databases and install Joomla! on the local server simulation.

Again, I’m working on a Mac, so if you’re working on a Windows or Linux operating system you’ll have to adapt a little bit.  However, the most important thing to do on a non-Mac system is to locate the place where your programs/applications are installed (i.e., Program Files on Windows).  At this point I am going to stop reminding you  in my tutorials that MAMP has Windows and Linux counterparts, but you can always find links at the bottom of the post to help you find the right software for your operating system.  Now back to the tutorial.

MAMP and MAMP start page

MAMP and MAMP start page (click to enlarge)

Start up MAMP.  Now, when you installed MAMP you also installed a trial version of MAMP Pro.  Ignore MAMP Pro for now, you don’t need it for this tutorial.  Once MAMP is started, it should automatically start the Apache and SQL servers.  As soon as they’re ready, your default web browser should automatically open the MAMP start page (please inspect the image on the right).  Here’s what’s important on this startup page:

  • The URL bar (top of screen – notice that it is not http://anything – it’s localhost:8888/whatever)
  • Link to phpMyAdmin (top navigation bar, below URL)
  • MAMP, the application, open with two green dots indicating that Apache and SQL are working
  • MySQL connection parameters (host, port, username, password) – we’ll need these in a bit Continue reading

Joomla! 2.5 Tutorial – Step 1: Setup

Ok, let’s get started!

There are a few things you’ll need to do before installing Joomla!.  First, you must download the latest version of Joomla! (version 2.5).  Decompress the .zip file and put the resulting folder somewhere on your computer where you won’t forget it (note: this step is especially easy on a Mac).  Next comes a slightly trickier part: getting web space.

For Joomla! to work on the web, you need:

  • A domain name
  • Apache server support
  • FTP access to your domain space
  • phpMyAdmin SQL client (this is EXTREMELY important)

Where do you get a domain name?  Usually at the same place where you can get web hosting, such as Dreamhost.com or GoDaddy.com.  If you want your website on the internet, you should make sure you’re getting the features mentioned above with your hosting plan.  Otherwise… well, I can’t help you there.  Do your research.  Read reviews and comparisons to help you make your decision (right now, I like DreamHost).

But what if you want to develop your site BEFORE putting it online?   Continue reading

You Can Learn Joomla! – Tutorial Prelude

Alright, this is the first post in my Joomla! tutorial series, in which I will use my experience to walk you through the process of creating your own Joomla! website.  First though, let me tell you why I’m teaching you Joomla!.

joomla vs wordpress image

Some will ask, “Which is better, Joomla or WordPress?”  They’re both Content Management Systems (CMS), so the answer I would give would be, “it depends.”  In short, WordPress is easier to use, but Joomla’s complexity gives users more power once they figure it out.  For the purpose of this comparison, WordPress will refer to the software you download from WordPress.org, not the similar free blog stuff you get here on WordPress.com.

I should note that this tutorial series isn’t really meant to show you how to use Joomla! for blogging purposes, although some of the information I will share may be used to that end.  I’m going to show you how to use Joomla! to build a website, and if all you want is to simply make a blog… well, just create a WordPress.com account.  It’ll be easier on you than the advanced stuff I’m going to show you.

Joomla! requires you to learn how to set up a SQL database and deal with FTP clients, etc…  The purpose of this tutorial series is to show you how to easily learn to use SQL and FTP without fear and confusion.  You might then ask, “Why not write a tutorial about WordPress then, if they’re essentially the same?” To which I would answer: Installing WordPress (from WordPress.org) on your website follows a similar process, but I prefer Joomla! because of its more advanced organization structure.  In either case, using a CMS is a lot more efficient than hard-coding a website from scratch, usually with better-looking results.

I know I seem a little bit biased towards Joomla.  As you may have guessed, I’m actually using both.  This WordPress blog is my website’s blog, but my website actually runs on Joomla!, so I’ve had enough experience with both to be able to choose a favorite.  I’m going to walk you through learning Joomla! in the upcoming tutorial posts, so you too can have a cool website.  To warm up, I suggest visiting my website, www.sopoweredproductions.com to see what a Joomla! site looks like.  Up next: setting up for Joomla!