South Downs Railway

Modern Image, Computer Controlled

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Phoca Gallery Tree Module

SDR Website

Joomla Template

Under Joomla 1.5, I had found an excellent way to put together my websites. Once set up, adding new content is easy; no messing around with menus having to be extended every time I added new content. A big range of thirst part extensions were available. And one of the supplied templates "JA Purity" provided a layout I liked.

Upgrade to Joomla 2.5 has been a nightmare. Several extensions I used were not supported; some of those that were I had to re-enter all of the content because the upgrade process didn't work; and my template was no longer available.

Enter "Artisteer": a program that lets you create a Joomla template with no coding or design skills needed. Simply take a starting point, and change the parameters until it look slike what you want. Result? My template is now very close to the original that I liked and it took maybe 30 minutes. A truly excellent product!

Using Sortable Tables

There are tables in the website that I wanted to be sortable. Look at the "loco roster", for example.  It wasn't obvious how to do that with Joomla!; a thorough review of the "extensions" directory didn't really reveal an obvious candidate. There were extensions that would render a table from data in the database - but how do you get that data therein the first place? I used to use "JR Sortable Tables": a simple plug-in that makes a "normal" table within an article sortable. Click on the column headings, and it sorts by that column. However, it doesn't seem to work in Joomla 2.5.

I found "szaki table" which does something similar. The table itself is created using your normal editor. Put a line before it szakitable filter="table" zebra="#eef" width="750" and a line after it /szakitable

Note both of those need to be encapsulated by curly brackets!

Installing a plug-in is a standard Joomla administration activity. It needs to be enabled.

Creating the table is simple. Simply use your editor to create a table in the text, and add into it all of the rows of information. This is absolutely standard text editing.

Note that for this to work: the table header row needs "th" HTML tags, not "td". somehow one of my tables had "td" and it would not sort!



For those that are interested, this site has been constructed using Joomla!  Joomla! is an open source, free-to-use Content Management System. Joomla! stores its content in a database at the web host. None of this make a difference to readers of the site, but for content creators it does allow a large site easily to be managed.


Joomla! provides the basic functionality to get started with a content managed website. However, there are some common needs that are not fully addressed by the standard package. But that's not a problem - there is a wide variety of "add ons" available. On top of the "standard" Joomla install we have selected a number of extensions to provide specific functionality:

JCE An enhanced text editor for content creation. JCE allows links to other content to be added "inline"
VCNT visitor counter A module to show the number of visitors to the site
Akeeba Backup A site archiving and backup component; covers the full site not just the database, and uses a script to re-install the site from scratch. This is EXCELLENT for moving from one web host to another!
Phoca Gallery Photo gallery component. Manages creation of thumbnails when pictures are uploaded.
Phoca Download This component allows any file to be stored so that users can download it. There is also a plug-in to insert links in documents to stored files.
Szaki Table This is a small plug-in that makes an HTML table in an article become sortable simply by clicking on its header row to sort by each column.
Artisteer Not strictly a Joomla element: Artisteer is a "WYSIWYG" editor to design templates. Choose the screen layout, colours and fonts then generate the Joomla template.
LazyDBBackup An excellent little plugin - this emails you a backup of the database at a pre-set interval. I do mine weekly.
Solar Terrestrial Data A module that shows predicted band conditions

Hosting with 1&1

This article gives a few settings that I've found useful.

Akeeba backup and kickstart was a good way to upload the site. 

You do not need the FTP layer for normal file transfer.

Email configuration took some working out, but I found a working solution on the internet. It is NOT the same server configuration you need to access the 1&1 servers from a home PC.***

Send mail - YES

Mailer - SMTP

From email: (a valid email address on your 1&1 hosting account)

From name: (a name you want shown as the email originator, e.g. "website")

SMTP authentication - Yes

SMTP security - None

SMTP port - 25

SMTP username - (the same valid email address)

SMTP password: (the correct password for this mail account)

SMTP host:


*** 1&1 advertise Joomla hosting: it's not like I'm doing something unexpected. Hiding the correct configuration from you isn't good enough - shame on you 1&1

VCNT - Visitorcounter

Today 118

Yesterday 329

Week 772

Month 3076

All 298670

Currently are 8 guests and no members online

Kubik-Rubik Joomla! Extensions

Using this Site


The web site can be searched: type a search term (e.g. "DAC10") into the search box on the right hand side of the header, and hit enter. the search engine will find words matching the search string in the main body of the site, but it won't search attached documents (e.g. the product manuals).

"Read More"

Many articles are displayed one after the other. some are quite short, and say "read more" at the bottom. Click that to read the remainder of the article.

Model Rail forum

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Gaugemaster News

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