Not so long ago, someone left a negative comment on this blog. The comment was more negative than others and directed towards a Joomla template developer. The commenter had experienced trouble with his Joomla website and needed to place the blame.
Criticism is OK, but negativity and the language used was not something I care for on my blog. So I didn't publish it.
Nevertheless, it got me thinking about the reason for the negative comment. Was the template developer to blame, or was it the user himself?
Placing the blame
The comment read about as follows (edited slightly):
[Template provider X] is a scam! I bought one of their templates and installed it using their crappy [insert quick start package here]. After one week everything stopped working and I lost all my work. I hope they go to h….
You get the picture…
The person was obviously frustrated and angry. I would be too, if I'd lost all my work on a website. But is the template developer to blame? Most likely not.
I don't really believe that someone could loose all their work because of a template. So I don't really know what happened to this guy. That leads me to my main point of this post:
It's your website - and your responsibility
When setting up a Joomla! website no one is responsible but you. It's your responsibility to set up a working and reliable backup. It's your responsibility to secure your Joomla! site. If you don't know how to do it yourself, ask someone to help you. Pay someone if you have to.
Keep track of backup and security and you will most likely avoid these types of frustration and problems.
It's very easy to put the blame on someone else when something goes bad on your website. Accept that the responsibility is yours and yours alone. Prepare for disaster.
I talked to Beat from JoomlaPolis about this at J and Beyond 2010. He said that they had built a redundant hosting environment to avoid downtime. On their website, JoomlaPolis say the following:
Our systems are completely redundant. We designed them in that way because we wanted you and us sleeping well in the night while your business is running smoothly.
Redundancy means that all our systems are doubled. If one is failing, the other is taking over in several seconds. It also means that we do not overbook the capacity of our systems as each one must have the capacity of taking over the resources of the other.
This is one way to be prepared. And it works. And more importantly, it shows that the people over at JoomlaPolis understand that shit happens. You should, too.
Caution when using third-party extensions and templates
If you buy something from a third-party developer of templates or extensions, be cautious. I've previously written about how to choose the perfect Joomla! extension.
Some important points:
- Check the reviews on the Joomla! Extensions Directory (JED) and see what other people say about the product.
- Check out the update frequency of the extension or template.
- Evaluate if the developer seems on top of things (on support forums, JED etc)
Even if these things are OK, you may experience problems. There could be a server configuration, a conflict with another extension or other challenge. Having several backups available of both the files and the database makes it easy to roll back if something bad happens.
Building a basic website in Joomla! doesn't take too much. But it does require that you make a serious effort to learn about the elements involved.
The good thing is: When the website is a success, no one else is to blame but you.