sh404SEF® & redSHOP , 1 yr, $39
Events+SEO & redSHOP , 1 yr, $85

Each year during the winter holidays we try to partner up with an influential Joomla developer to produce a special package of savings for our customers.

2011 is no different and this year we have partnered with redCOMPONENT, the very well known Joomla development house.

Starting today, any regularly-priced purchase of sh404SEF® or the Events + SEO bundle comes with a free, 12 month subscription to redSHOP, the hottest E-commerce package for Joomla.

In our last post we described the growing importance of social sharing on Joomla SEO, search engine result rankings and the positive effects available by creating a social feedback loop for your content.

To facilitate social SEO, you need to include sharing icons such as these to your web site:

Social icon buttons - preview

In this post we will detail how to implement the full suite of social SEO tools in sh404SEF® for use with articles in Joomla 1.7 (Joomla 1.5 can be configured in an identical fashion).

This Thanksgiving, we’ve put together two deals to get you through the holiday. From now through Nov. 30, you can get 25% off any subscription plan for Agora bulletin board or Advanced Site Search.

Advanced Site Search is completely native for Joomla 1.5 and 1.7. Use the coupon code THANKS25 during checkout to redeem your savings.

Agora is currently Joomla 1.5 compatible but the Joomla 1.7 version is in the wings and will be available to all subscribers! Use the coupon code GUNDOG during checkout to redeem your savings.

With Twitter building towards an initial public offering, Facebook focusing on 'frictionless sharing' and the Google Music Store allowing friends to share their tunes on Google+, social networking has never been a hotter topic.

The exponential popularity of social networking is due in large part to the proliferation of Like, Recommend, Tweet and +1 buttons around the web. In addition, the integration of social sharing features into mobile operating systems for smart phones and tablet computers have advanced social networking far beyond the desktop PC.

All of these opportunities for social engagement have created a unique category of user-generated recommendations for products and content alike.

The inaugural Joomla Day Midwest at Potowatami Casino in Milwaukee (Wisconsin, USA) is coming up on Nov. 12, 2011 and Anything Digital will be there!

In addition to co-hosting the event, I will personally be on hand to meet and greet our customers. I am also speaking about one of our exciting new products, Advanced Site Search.

Yannick Gaultier, the sh404SEF® developer, will also be on hand to discuss improving the search engine rankings of your Joomla web site.

Finally, Jeff Channell, the Lead Developer of Advanced Site Search and the upcoming JCal Pro® 3 will be discussing security best practices when programming in PHP.

Originally designed by Toyota to track vehicle production, Quick Response (QR) Codes have truly gone mainstream.

QR codes are two dimensional bar codes that are used to encrypt information. Common uses include product details, inventory management, text messages, directions and of course links to a web site or specific web page.

Thus, QR codes can be found everywhere these days from billboards to business cards, from airline boarding passes to bottles of wine and even your phone bill.

I even saw a QR code on a television commercial the other day!

While I’m not likely to stand in front of my TV with the QR Code Reader loaded and ready on my phone, the penetration and utility of QR codes in print media is undeniable.

In the last decade, the world has experienced a revolution in data indexing both online and in the personal computing space.

Joomla has not kept pace with these trends as the existing technology built into the core of the content management system is nearly a decade old.

As a result, search results in Joomla are displayed arbitrarily and without context.

In response to this deficit, today we are proud to announce the official launch of Advanced Site Search for Joomla 1.7 and Joomla 1.5.

This extension is a radical re-imagining of the standard Joomla search application offering numerous advantages for end users.

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know that we often compare Google to a nosy neighbor who wants to get up in your business and tell the world all about you.

As is the case with many acquaintances, we want Google to mostly see our best features and ignore any mundane or common details. In other words, we want Google to notice and understand only our most defining characteristics.

Getting to know you

Whenever I attend a conference, the organizers always hand out name tags to help people get to know each other. Wouldn’t it be great if your web site also had a name tag?

In truth, most Joomla web sites already have their name in the meta information, but this is no longer a critical aspect of SEO.

Rather, one of the important ways that search engines ‘get to know you’ is by analyzing the links on your web site. For example, if you are writing about a specific topic then you will likely create links in the article to other similar items around the web. 

Now, think about all the different types of links on your site that have to be examined. Even on the most basic Joomla web site you many structural links such as print and PDF buttons, previous, next and read more navigation, RSS feeds, menu items and perhaps a login module with links for account creation and password/username recovery.

Notice that we have not even started to talk about the links in your articles!

Whether you just launched a new Joomla web site or are maintaining an existing one, sooner or later you will look at ways to improve the performance of your site.

Simply put, you want your site to load as fast as possible for every visitor on your site. In addition, load speeds are now an important factor in determining search engine rankings.

There are many blogs, extensions and tools that address performance issues for Joomla but one of the easiest ways to speed up your site is to deliver the images, CSS files and other static elements using a content delivery network or CDN.

Recently Yannick Gaultier, senior partner at Anything Digital and lead developer of sh404SEF®, attended Joomla Day South Africa in Cape Town.

We love going to Joomla events to discuss our products and the Cape Town was no exception.

Yannick had the chance to go over the basics of sh404SEF®, such as solving the duplicate URL problem common for Joomla-based web sites (slides below).


Back in June we quietly rolled out our new web site here at Anything Digital. We then took the summer to put the site through its paces and fix any outstanding issues.

I am now proud to officially announce the re-launch of our extension shop and tell you a little more about it.

Our previous site was restricted my numerous issues, most notably a legacy subscriptions extension that was prone to errors during payment processing. In addition, the system was not cart-based so users had to complete multiple checkouts to purchase more than one product.

Powerful subscriptions system

We solved this issue by writing a new subscriptions extension from the ground up. Subscriptions is a flexible extension that provides access to various areas of the site following a purchase. Perhaps most importantly, we spent months researching best practices for converting site visitors to customers.

The results of this research are visible in every aspect of Subscriptions from the registration-free, cart-based checkout workflow to the placement of the links in and around the site. All of the existing active subscribers were also imported from the old site to Susbcriptions.

Out with the old ...

At the end of each summer we typically take a look at our prices and promotions and make any necessary changes.

This year we are keenly aware that some of our products are still transitioning to Joomla 1.7 and beyond. In addition, feedback from our customers reveals some confusion over our JCal Pro® themes as these products are not GPL-licensed like all of our other extensions.

As a result, we’ve decided to retire three of our product bundles:

  • Developer Special, 1-year
  • GPL all-access, Lifetime
  • Calendar + SEF, Lifetime

These plans will no longer be available for purchase but current subscribers will not be affected.

Part 2 of a 2-part series

In part 1 of this series we showed how the duplicate content penalty assigned by search engines is similar to a couple mixing up their cars keys - if you are being watched by a nosy neighbor (like Google for example), things can look very confusing.

This is an obvious over-simplification, but the central point rings true - if search engines are confused about your (duplicate) content, poor SEO can result.

sh404SEF® solves the majority of duplicate content penalties on your Joomla site but a long-forgotten problem has gone unchecked for years: the PDF icon!

Joomla 1.6 will reach end-of-life on August 19, 2011 and all users should upgrade to version 1.7 before that date.

Version 1.7.0 was released to the public yesterday and includes an important fix for a cross-site scripting vulnerability in Joomla 1.6, underscoring the urgency of upgrading. 

Upgrading from Joomla 1.6.5 to 1.7.0 (and future versions) is now a simple 1-click task built right into the Joomla core. We recommend that all Joomla 1.6 users use this quick and simple method. Please note that this upgrade path is specific for Joomla 1.6.5 ONLY.

In addition to security enhancements and 1-click upgrades, Joomla 1.7 contains a number of feature enhancements including better form validation, batch processing of articles and an improved ability to restrict article submission to specific categories.

Full details can be found on the official announcement at

Part 1 of a 2-part series

Last year my wife and I purchased a new minivan - aka the Swagger Wagon - to haul our brood and their friends between soccer practice, birthday parties, dentist appointments, etc...

Like many new cars these days, we each received our own personal electronic key that conveniently remembers our seat and mirror positions, favorite radio stations and our bluetooth phones.

More often than not, our keys get mixed up. This happens so frequently that our (nosy) neighbors are getting confused and have begun asking what in the world we are doing in our cars for 5 minutes before leaving the house!

Who is nosy online?

On the world wide web, the (nosy) neighbor would of course be a search engine like Google who is indexing the links on your site and trying to figure out exactly what you are about so they can go and tell everyone :)

When you have multiple links on your web site that contain identical content, Google also gets confused - it can’t really figure out whats going on and gives you an SEO penalty.


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