Rinet IT’s site has changed over the years along with improvements in WordPress and Joomla!. Read about it’s history and the changes.
WordPress using Oxygen Builder, 2021
With Covid-19 limiting my activities away from home, and with work slowing down; it was a good opportunity to renovate the aging Rinet IT website. Support for Ultimatum was becoming limited due to ill health of the lead developer. The promised major upgrade has not happened and there is much discussion on the forums about sporadic support. Reading one of the forum discussions someone mentioned they had moved to Oxygen Builder.
The Redo Begins with Oxygen
I set up a staging site using Ventra IP’s WordPress Toolkit. I bought this to quickly cutover changes to Courtney Prince’s new website.
Oxygen is fast and easy to use. There is an excellent online reference document plus a collection of YouTube videos explaining everything you could need to know.
Home Page Service Buttons
One video gave me the idea to add rotating buttons for the services on the home page.
It was easy to follow and very interesting. It was a good exercise to see how to use the CSS features of Oxygen and the result was satisfying.
Oxygen integrates with the Gutenberg Editor well. You can create your own blocks for use with pages done with Gutenberg. For example the Website Care Plan page uses a tick and title block made with Oxygen.
You can also create a page or post with Oxygen and with one click Gutenberg can be used to edit the text without affecting the design. Ideal for clients who need to make simple changes.
Cutting Over to the Live Site
This part didn’t go so well. The copy feature of the WordPress Tools created a website that would not load; and needless to say this was stressful. Being the same server and the only difference being the URL’s it was hard to figure out what was going wrong. I desperately emailed Oxygen support hoping for a quick answer.
While waiting tried using Akeeba Backup and got the same result. Then I got the idea of trying All-in-One WP Migration from when a new site is created using the option in WordPress Tools. This didn’t work either, but when you finishing importing the website a small screen pops up with some key things to do to get Oxygen to work.
- Save your permalinks twice via Settings > Permalinks
- Resign your short codes via Oxygen > Settings > Security
- Regenerate your CSS cache via Oxygen > Settings > CSS Cache
- Check to verify that everything looks & works as you expect
By the time Oxygen support got back to me the problem was fixed, but I did suggest to them that there should be something in the instructions and they did!
After doing the above steps I found that using Akeeba was fine, plus there’s no limit on the website size, whereas with eeba Backup large sites would mean paying for the pro version.
To simplify the website all resources were moved to my personal website. The home page contains all of the information potential clients would need, with links if they wish to learn more or take things further.
The colour scheme is a throwback to the original orange and brown palette of the original. Much of the layout was taken from “Atom”, one of the many starter website designs that comes with Oxygen.
WordPress with Ultimatum Theme, 2015
In 2015 WordPress along with Ultimatum’s theme (framework) showed what it could do when I did a site for MGE Painting. Using the Revolution Slider and other tools I was able to create a much better looking site that was responsive and easier to maintain.
One thing WordPress does great is images. Joomla is a pain as you have to upload the image and then insert the file name into a bunch of code. With YT Shortcodes from SmartAddons doing the Lightbox effect is easier but WordPress has Lightbox built in, and images are dropped from your computer into the site and then inserted onto the page with one click.
Locations to Get SEO
To gain some organic (free) attention from search engines a custom post type called “Locations” was set up. A set of suburbs and postcodes was loaded up and using Ultimatum’s Wonder Loop plugin a section of links containing that information was added to the home page. This seemed to work for a while until Google acted and stopped ranking websites that contained such links. Google are always updating their search results algorithm and designers need to stay up to date. Once it was discovered it no longer worked it was removed from Rinet’s website.
My use of Joomla began with Eltham Model Railway Club’s site and next was for my business.
Joomla 3.x (2014)
In 2014 support for Joomla 2.5.x ceased making it necessary to upgrade again, and as for last time it was going to all done by hand. I purchased more update plugins (for client use too) and once again the menus didn’t update very well.
So began the long process of re-doing the site, plus redoing the design since the “Splash” template was no longer compatible.
After completing a client’s site with WordPress and the Ultimatum theme I abandoned the update and redid the site in WordPress.
Some months later an update for Joomla 3.x appeared and it updated the site with just mouse clicks. At last Joomla caught up to WordPress, but it was too late.
CMS 2 CMS
An easy but more expensive way to migrate your site from one CMS to another is to use the migration service from CMS2CMS. Alanna Quigley suggested this and she’s happy with the results. Even the images are copied across to /wp-content/uploads!
At around the time Joomla brought out a new version I had built more and more sites using WordPress and I was beginning to prefer it. Even more so when it came to updates. WordPress is done with a few mouse clicks whereas Joomla needed to be re-done as version 2.5 was virtually a different product to 1.5 (and even to 1.6.x).
Using purchased tools made it easier but these did not convert the menus very well as one key record (the “root”) was left out for the menus.
One blessing was that it came with Twitter Bootstrap, a fantastic framework that takes a lot of the hard work out of presentation and making your site responsive. Due to the limitations of my design and template I was stuck with having a fixed width for a while.
In 2013 colours were added to grab the viewers attention. The drop down bars were removed to reduce the clutter.
The orange theme of the first website was carried on to the new. Some drop downs were added for some interaction by the user, and it saves space and hides information that may not be of interest.
Joomla 1.5 (2010)
My business site was the second one I built with Joomla 1.5.
This site was created with potential clients in mind, outlining benefits of having a website for business. The benefits are outlined and website samples are shown.
The portfolio is the same as this site except it is done in Joomla.
As I find tips and other help for building web sites and sorting out computer problems these will be added thus building a useful reference and improving the SEO as Google loves content.