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Making Links to Pages that aren’t in a Site Menu with Joomla

Often, when using Joomla you might want to make a link to a page without having to have it in a navigation menu somewhere. Examples might include:

  • Forms
  • A Google AdWords landing page
  • A special offer in an off-line advert

What you have to undertsand is that in Joomla, a page can not exist unless there is a link in a menu to it somewhere. But, didn’t we just say that we didn’t want it linked on any navigation. Well, here is the trick, the menu that the link is in doesn’t have to show on the site…

Do the following:

  1. Make a category for the pages (or they could all be static pages)
  2. Make a menu to “hold” the links to these pages. For example, make one called hiddenmenu. You can put your items which will not be linked to by a visible site menu in here.
  3. Make a static item called “The Hidden Menu”. It can be blank
  4. Publish the module that outputs the “hiddenmenu”.
  5. Note the link to the “The Hidden Menu” page.
  6. Set the secretmenu module to only show on “The Hidden Menu” page

Now, Any time you need a link to pages/categories that don’t have a link from the main menu, just make the link in the “hiddenmenu”. Then go to that page you noted in 5 above and the link should be there. Just right-click and “copy link location” and you have your URL.

The Importance of Video to Unified Communications

Enterprise Connect was held last week in Orlando. Among what seemed to be a great deal of interesting presentations and tutorials was a discussion on the role of video in unified communications.

John Bartlett, the principal of NetForecast, posted at No Jitter on a presentation entitled “UC in 2011: Myths, Realities and What Comes Next?” He started out by paraphrasing Phil Edholm, vice president of technology strategy and innovation for Avaya, who suggested that video is more important when the session is persuasive in nature, as in a sales call.

Bartlett wrote that John Del Pizzo, program director for IBM’s Unified Communications and Collaboration Software, disagreed. Del Pizzo said that the need for video extends to any communications in which it is important to get feedback. On a more pragmatic level, he said that video can focus a meeting by, for example, keeping participants from multitasking.

Edholm ended with his own viewpoint:

I think to understand these use cases we need to go back to the basic social instincts of humans and how we were designed to communicate. We do best in small communities where we know the people and we can judge how they will react to what we say. We get a lot of that information visually. I think what video conferencing does for us is allow us to more quickly form those small communities even though we are not co-located. Once we have been able to form the social connections to the group, the group can then be much more productive in its work because we know how to communicate.

Clearly, video is the next big thing in unified communications. It’s interesting to read about folks who spend much of their time on the technical issues related to adding video to established unified communications platforms change pace and discuss the topic from a more theoretical point of view.

Their points are well taken. There is essentially no communication that isn’t better with video. There may be specific cases where it isn’t ideal, such as the incremental benefits not being cost-justified or cases in which participants don’t want to be on camera — or doesn’t want his or her work area on camera. The bottom line on video remains clear: It is coming and coming quickly.

Contact us today to explore the many ways in which we can help your business adopt and exploit this technology.

How To Find A Cheap Website Hosting Service By Utilizing A Web Hosting Directory

Most webmasters want to get value for money and at the same time are not willing to trade off quality in exchange for a cheap website hosting service. That’s the beauty of carefully picking a great hosting company with the help of Rustyice Solutions.

A properly run hosting service will include online web site hosting providers that have the skills required to host your web site and keep it running despite whatever the web throws at it on a daily basis.

Is a cheap website hosting service really a good idea?

As long as you have an accurate definition for cheap then a cheap hosting is a great idea. The word “cheap” should never have anything to do with the quality of the hosting service you are buying. It should only refer to the price and nothing more. If you end up hosting your business/site on a cheap server that the hosting company can’t afford to hire support technicians to staff their data center 24 hours a day, you will quickly regret picking the wrong hosting provider.

And that’s where a good hosting broker comes in to save the day!

How do you differentiate a good website hosting directory from a bad one?

A good hosting directory maintains enough listings of top hosting providers/sites especially cheap hosting companies, to give you sufficient options when making an informed hosting choice.

Regarding informed decisions, one very important feature to watch out for when choosing a hosting directory to enable you find inexpensive website hosting is the ability for users of the website hosting companies to be able to post their comments as well as experiences for others to see and judge for themselves. That way you get the chance to see what people think about the quality of service that a cheap hosting company offers before you commit to hosting your site with any of them.

Where you host your site is very important to the success of your business. You need help and advice to find cheap website hosting that renders a great commitment to service as well as support. Ensure that you only depend on a good web hosting broker to help you make that sensitive and important decision.

How to rank higher in Google Places/Local in the UK

Google Places is the single biggest change to the natural search results this year and considering the resources Google are investing in making the system work its something that every single website needs to start using.

At present Google Places results are shown for geographical queries such as “plumber in Leeds” as well as the more general “plumbers” query. In the future I can imagine Google will start showing these results for pretty much everything.

My feeling is that the recent changes are very positive. The old Google Local system wasn’t very good and the move towards a single algorithm will mean more investment and better services for website owners. Already the results are impressive, we’ve run some tests and you can now edit your listings and the changes will appear in the main Google Places search results in real time. Being able to change a Google search result in real time was unheard of until this new system rolled out.

Another big improvement is the way Pending Listings are actually being reviewed now rather than sitting in a queue for months. We’re seeing review times of sub 24 hours now which is excellent.

One of the strange bugs/features in the system is that the Places results are not using the URLs submitted via Google Local Business Center which means tracking tags are being lost.

The first step is to get your business verified via post or phone and then to fill in your entire listing. Don’t miss anything out. Then make sure you tag your URLs with Google Analytics tags, you can either just copy the format below or use the Google URL builder.

The next step is to build some citations around the web, citations are the equivalent of links in Google Places. First of all you need to find existing mentions of your business and make sure they all use the same details, address, URL, phone number. Try tools such as Get Listed to see what information people know about your business already.

Next you need to generate some new citations from sites that Google trusts. The list below is a very good starting point.

Local Data Company
Market Location
City Visitor (part of Infoserve)
Trusted Places
Brown Book
We Love Local
Thomson Local
Touch Local
View London (& every other city they offer)
London Online
Visit London
All in London
Square Meal
UK Cities
Smile Local
Hot Frog
Free index

Finally you need to generate some reviews. It’s illegal to write these yourself or to get your friends/staff/family/SEO agency to do it. The best way is to email your customers and ask them to add reviews for you on sites such as Yelp. If you would like further assistance in taking your site through this process please contact Rustyice Solutions today.