Right now... I need to learn a lot
I am part of a small team developing a website which is both a directory site and ultimately a review site, which will provide information and listings for people to navigate themselves around and find out useful services etc. The idea is we will display a mixture of important information, directory listings, reviews (on just about everything) and events all mixed into the one site.
We chose Joomla 1.5 as a development platform because it appears to be a very good content management system and it's release in sync with our plans, but as we have got further into site development, we find we need to extend it's core functionality dramatically.
I will point out right now, I am not a developer (anymore), I am a Marketing Manager, but as I said it is a small team and sometimes we have to roll up our sleeves and pitch in. I haven't programmed in 5+ years, am very rusty, and have taught myself PHP in a week.
As part of this, I have tackled the limitations of Joomla head on by choosing to add the functionality we need through the development of a specific component. In line with this, I have taken it upon myself to write this component (did I mention we are a small team?) and I am some way down the line with it.
Note: the reason why we chose to develop is that whilst there are components out there that kind of almost do the job, nothing does it quite as it should.
Where I am at:
- Have created new tables within Joomla to store listing information
- Have developed back end forms to populate this data with required listing information
- The back end manages several tables, including sections, categories and sub-categories for the listings
- On the front end I have developed a module which presents the listing data allowing for the user to navigate from sections down to categories, sub-categories, listings and eventually a listing page.
- I have implmented the component into the main menu system and have figured out how to set parameters so we can go straight to specific listings, such as Entertiainment, Hotels, Restaurants etc. straight from the menu system.
- Have tackled issues such as sorting, pagination, filtering etc. - these are mostly solved.
Now that I have created this component, which does a lot, I need some assistance with integrating it into Joomla, specifically.
- Can I integrate my content into Joomla's native search function, or is this only for articles?
- How do I use the breadcrumbs system effectively? Even though I go to a subpage within the component, Joomla only recognises this as a top level page. i.e. Home->Essentials->Pharmacies shows only Home->Pharmacies
- Is there a way to integrate my pages into recently visited pages? This doesn't seem to happen automatically
- How do I add elements such as Emailing and PDF pages delivered to the user?
P.S. Looks like a great forum and I have to say Joomla rocks.