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General
Introduction

Since 1996, Developmentwork.Net has evolved into a resource portal for development professionals with a focus on USAID programs. The website's latest service includes the Audit Database Project, a searchable database of USAID and MCC Program audits by the Office of the Inspector General.

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Disclaimer

Contents of this website are intended for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any legal or financial decisions. Any opinions expressed on this website and related publications are the opinions of the authors and not necessarily of those of copyright holders, their affiliates, and the website owner's former and current employers.

We make no representations about the suitability, reliability, timeliness, appropriateness, or accuracy of the information on this website and in related publications. The owners of this website will not be liable for damages of any kind arising from the use of information on this website and related publications, including, but not limited to, direct, incidental, punitive, and consequential damages.

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Why This Website?

Since 1996, Developmentwork.Net has evolved into a resource portal for development professionals with a focus on USAID programs. The website's latest service includes the Audit Database Project, a searchable database of USAID and MCC Program audits by the Office of the Inspector General.

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Project Management Philosophy

For any technical assistance program to be successful, it is important to have professional management systems in place.

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Copyrights
What About Copyrights?

Please acknowledge sponsors, copyright holders and authors if you use their work. Materials on this website are made available for educational purposes. You cannot sell any of these materials or use them for any commercial purpose unless otherwise indicated.

All materials on this website have been posted with the permission of copyright holders and/or when allowed under legislation: See also Sec. 105. Subject Matter of Copyright: United States Government Works of the United States Code.

The effect of section 105 is intended to place all works of the United States Government, published or unpublished, in the public domain. This means that the individual Government official or employee who wrote the work could not secure copyright in it or restrain its dissemination by the Government or anyone else, but it also means that, as far as the copyright law is concerned, the Government could not restrain the employee or official from disseminating the work if he or she chooses to do so. The use of the term “work of the United States Government” does not mean that a work falling within the definition of that term is the property of the U.S. Government. 

Creative Commons License

Unless indicated otherwise, materials developed without the sponsorship of an international development organization and/or publisher and that are available on this website are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. This means that you are free to share — to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work under the following conditions:

  • Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). In plain English, please acknowledge the source of publications.
  • Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
  • No Derivative Works. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work other than what is common when you write articles, etc and make references to the work.

Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.

Please contact us immediately if you think we violate your copyrights.

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Technical Questions About the Website's CMS
Using Interactive Graphs

You may have noticed that we use interactive graphs on our site. These are made with opensource javascript libraries called AmCharts. More information is available here.

You need to upgrade your Flash Player
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Great Joomla Tutorials for Advanced Users

Based on the large number of requests for more information on how we developed this website using the Joomla CMS,  we have launched a website with a number of Joomla tutorials for advanced users.



Topics include:

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Technical Questions About the Site
Please visit www.test.developmentwork.net to learn more about the technical aspects of webdesign and the Joomla! Content Management System.
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What Joomla Extensions Are Used for the Site?

Extensions: One of the great aspects of Joomla is the availability of many excellent components, modules and plug-ins. The challenge in many ways, however, is to find extensions you like and need. We have outlined below the free extensions used for the site.

Make sure you always go through the JED (the Joomla Extension Depository) when you look for extensions! On our Joomla educational site, you can find more information about Joomla tips and tricks.

Although we have tried to minimize the number of extensions, the following have been installed to provide additional functionality to the site:

{xtypo_info}IE8/IE7 Compatibility: Today (July 14, 2009), we were given IE8 as part of our automatic Windows update and of course we direcltly noticed issues with our site. Suddenly, the SectionEx component did not work correctly - So, we have installed this plugin to automatically activate Internet Explorer 8 Compatibility View. Visitors who use IE8 browser will now see our web site without display problems although it isn't optimized for Internet Explorer 8. {/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}File Management: We have used Docman as the document repository. It is a user friendly component with many interesting plug-ins, components and excellent support forums. We have used the following docman plug-ins, components and modules:

The Doclink Plug-in: When you write an article, you may want to include a direct link to a document that is in the docman repository. With this plugin, you can create links to documents that are in the docman system. The plugin adds an additional button under the editor (like you have a button for the read more function).

The Docman Catdown Module: This module shows you all files from a category in the article. Modules can be given a position in Joomla. Often, people use the position left to show a module on their websites. You can also incluse modules in your articles. For this, we use the “loadposition” tag to show the list of documents in an article.

The Mjaztools Autopopulate Component: To upload many documents at once, you really should use this component. This was especially useful when we populated the website. You can define access levels and categories for multiple documents at once - a real time saver for those who use Joomla as a repository like we do on www.developmentwork.net.

The Latest Downloaded and Most Downloaded Modules: The modules show the latest and most frequently downloaded documents that are in the Docman repository.

Docman jDMTree 1.5: This module shows a list of defined Categories, Sub Categories and Documents in a tree for Joomla 1.5. It is only used on the download page of the website.

We did not use the bot_docman_search plug-in. Instead, we are using the Customproperties component for the website’s search function - see below for more info.{/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}The Interactive Map: There are many extensions available for the Google map API, but they often look the same. amMap is an interactive flash map creation software. We use this tool to show locations of assignments. You can also use it to show your offices, routes of your journeys, create your distributor map, etc. Photos or illustrations can be used instead of maps, so you can make different presentations, e-learning tools and more. Were are using YOS amMap: a Joomla extension which integrates almost all amMap features, but we will most likely use direct html for using amMap maps in the future since the extension is no longer available in the JED.{/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}JCE Editor - An advanced, configurable WYSIWYG editor for Joomla! based on Moxiecode's TinyMCE. Includes advanced Image/Media, File and Link handling, plugin support, and an Administration interface for editor configuration. I use it for example to link urls to images in articles. I tried the readmoreext1.5 plugin that does this automatically, but it appears not to work for articles listed when you use Section-Ex as we do for this site.

Make sure that you enable the editor in the "Global Configuration" and in the "user manager" for each user that wants this editor for your site.{/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}BIGSHOT Google Analytics - This component allows us to follow traffic to the site. It is amazing how much information is available once you use Analytics. This plug-in is very useful and as with all other extension on www.developmentwork.net, it is for free. Just make sure you sign up with Google for a web-ID (also for free and really easy to do), enter the web ID in the plug-in and activate the plug-in.{/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}Linking Urls: When we started with Joomla, we could not believe that you cannot link to other articles in articles. The “Linkr” component and button plugin are installed for the website to make it possible. We have used the component for the article on project management tools together with Xtypo to mimic an image menu.{/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}Xtypo: This is used to style some articles with CSS without the need to understand CSS. This article, for example, is using the Xtypo plug in.{/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info} Photo Galleries: We were particularly interested in a gallery that generates thumbnails automatically with a nice shadow and border. We finally ended up with the free version of Simple Image Gallery because of the quality of thumbnails and the limited number of pictures we wanted to show on the site. We would have used phocagallery for larger photo repositories.{/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}Display All Tutorials: Phoca documentation is used for the site to display all articless. The component automatically generates the map - all you need to do is to link it to a menu.{/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}SiteMap: Xmap is used as our sitemap. Sitemaps generally are important for search engine optimization and provide your visitors easy access to your site. The component automatically generates the map - all you need to do is to link it to a menu.{/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}Section-Ex: This component is also used to provide visitors an overview of content, for example, the list of publications and FAQs. It is an extremely powerful component and should be part of the Joomla core.{/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}Feedback: The joomlacomment component is used to give visitors the opportunity to leave comments on the site. We figured that it would be nice for students to leave a note on the site. {/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}Tabs and slides: For a few larger articles in the section on projects, we used a simple but very easy to use plugin by joomlaworks. {/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}Template: The free version of JSN Epic 2.0 by Joomlashine was used for a while for this website (but we could no longer resist the temptation to buy the pro version. The free version, like the pro version, gives you a lot of flexibility to adjust the layout of your template. In our opinion, this is the best free template available for Joomla at the moment. The template has many module positions and gives your site a professional look. We have been searching the web for similar templates, but have not found one yet that is for free. So, if you know of one, please let us know.{/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}Backups: We recommend that you do not solely rely on the backups of your host. We have installed Lazybackup so we get weekly updates from the system by email with a copy of the database. Joomlapack has been installed because it creates a nice zip file of all docs and directories. {/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}References to Other Articles: For this, we use RandomContent - a plug-in to show related articles below the page the following test: “You may also be interested in these articles:” You can also use modules available in the JED for this purpose and place them in template positions. {/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}SEO: For search engine optimization, we looked for something that would automatically enter keywords and text in the metadata files. For metadata the “SEO Simple – metadata” extension is used. We also have activated the SEF function in Joomla (in global configuration), so Google indexes our site even better. Please make sure that you follow the instructions from your host - for our site, we had to remane the htaccess file for example.{/xtypo_info}

{xtypo_info}Mass Content: An important component when you develop a new website. With the component, you can easily write multiple articles in the back end saving you hours of extra work.{/xtypo_info}

Please click here to see a forum discussion on the technical aspects of this site.

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Can you Create Panoramas on This Site? Example 1

This page did contain information on how to use PTviewer Javascript for panoramas in Joomla 1.5. This page has been moved and is available here.

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Can you Create Panoramas on This Site?

This page did contain information on how to use PTviewer Javascript for panoramas in Joomla 1.5. This page has been moved and is available here.

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Inserting Panoramas in Joomla 1.5

This page did contain information on how to use PTviewer Javascript for panoramas in Joomla 1.5. This page has been moved and is available here.

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Where is This Site Hosted?

This website is hosted in the US by Siteground, a specialized JOOMLA! provider for $5.95 a month - at least that is what we are paying for the next three years. They are hosting over 250,000 sites (some 60,000 Joomla! sites).

For many years, hosting services have been consistently reliable and of high quality.

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How Can I Make a Website Like Yours?

We often do get the question how we made this website, whether anyone can do this and how much it costs. We are using a content management system (CMS) called Joomla, which makes it possible for anyone with some interest in webdesign to set up a website like ours.

The Joomla system is very easy to use. It is for free (opensource) and many hosting companies provide Joomla hosting services that should not cost more than $4.95 a month. So, for some $60 a year, you can have your own professional website on the Internet.

We maintain a Joomla Educational website where you can learn more about the advanced features of the system. If you are new to Joomla, you may want to check out this website first. If you are representing an NGO, we may be able to offer you help setting up your system, like we did for this NGO in Afghanistan.

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