• Get More Out of LESS

    This presentation demonstrates some useful ways to use the LESS CSS preprocessor within the Joomla CMS Platform. I've found LESS to be an invaluable tool in my work. It has opened the door to many creative possibilities that have become staples in my workflow.

      I've given this presentation at the following Joomla events:

    • Denver Joomla User Group, 10/2014 Denver, CO
    • Joomla World Conference 11/2014, Cancun, MX
    • Tampa Joomla User Group, 02/2015 Tampa Bay, FL
    • Joomla Day Minnesota 07/2015, Minneapolis, MN

    A slideshow is below, along with a PDF download and links to relevant resources.

  • J & Beyond 2015

    J & Beyond 2015

    I was humbled and grateful to have been given the opportunity by the Joomla JET Event Travel Programme to attend the J & Beyond Joomla Conference 2015 in Prague, Czech Republic. It was my first trip overseas and the adventure of a life time.

    I made so many new friends from all over the world and soaked up all the knowledge I could. The connections I made there have already changed my life in so many ways. I'll be there every year I can make it from here on out.

  • Joomla World Conference 2014

    I was honored to be selected as a speaker at the JWC 2014, it was an amazing experience and a fantastic trip to Cancun. I enjoyed meeting everyone and enjoyed participating in a Joomla! community event of this scale. Aside from a much needed vactation and learning some new tricks, I left the JWC feeling inspired and I'm looking forward to contributing more to the Joomla! community in the future.

    I enjoyed doing my presentation but in hindsight it was a bit unpolished. There's never enough time in the day and I tried to cover too much material - and some lame comedy bits that helped me remember why I'm a website developer (not quitting my day job anytime soon). I was very excited to have the opportunity to speak, and that excitement combined with the sheer amount of information I tried to cover probably made what I was saying hard to follow at times. I appreciate the help and feedback I got regarding my presentation, and I thank everyone that took time to listen to what I had to say. It was my first time doing a major presentation and I gained much insight into how to prepare and communicate my points more effectively. The experience will no doubt serve me well in the future.

    With that in mind, I’ve taken a bit of time to refine my slides, clear up my main points and break out some of the examples into an easier to understand format. Much thanks to the Joomla! team for the opportunity and thanks to everyone who was in attendance. The links to my presentation slides and additional resources are below, along with my indulgent vacation photos. I am always happy to share my knowledge and I hope you find my information is helpful. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

  • Joomla! Day Boston 2015

    Joomla Day Boston 2015 - Cliff Pfeifer

    I was honored to have the opporunity to travel to Boston and give an all day workshop on Joomla template development. Thanks to Joomla, all the organizers and all the attendee's for letting me and my Wolverine beard make an appearance - it was an awesome weekend. It was great see old friends and make new ones, I hope to see you all again soon.

  • Joomla! Development Tools

    Here is a short list of Joomla! extensions and desktop software I use in my development process. While each project I do has unique needs and extensions, all of the tools listed here are fairly standard and indespensible in my Joomla! workflow.

    Mandatory Joomla! utilities from Akeeba:

      While Akeeba makes a suite of fantasitic products, these two get installed on every site I work with. There are free versions that work great, there is also the option for paid subscriptions which offer more features and support.

    • Akeeba Backup

      It's hard to imagine using Joomla! without Akeeba Backup, it's use is so universal it almost doesn't need mentioning. I use it not only for backups, but also for building and saving preconfigured installations, quickly moving sites from local and developent servers to live servers and back again. The time it has saved me can't even be measured, it's huge. If you're not using it yet, you should be.

    • Akeeba Admin Tools

      Maybe not as well known as Akeeba Backup, Admin Tools is every bit as useful in a different way. It offers a number of quick and helpful features relating to security and maintenance. I came across this extension when I was using J1.5, security was a bit of an issue back then, Admin Tools was the answer for deterring some very persistent hackers that had targeted one of my clients. While Joomla! exploits aren't as big of an issue as they used to be, the simple security tools add another level of protection. The file permissions and database functions alone are huge time savers if you find yourself in a situation where those factors become an issue. Great for all around troubleshooting and maintenance.

    Joomla! Template development tools developed by Rocket Theme and all are free

    • Gantry Framework

      + very flexible template framework system with tons of features, allows me to work quickly and covers all of my frontend and backend template development needs.
      + available for Joomla! and WordPress

    • RokPad

      + IDE Style Joomla! text / code editor. Can't live without it.

    • RokSprocket

      + Fancy and flexible article display with a number of modes (rotator / tabs / mosaic etc)
      + has a basic CCK (simple mode) for creating slides and content on the fly

      Desktop Tools (for Apple OS X, some are available on PC )

    • Panic Coda

      A simple IDE that offers an assortment of tools, I think of it as my development utility knife. The individual features (code editor, FTP, SSH, SVN etc) may not be as powerful as some stand-alone counterparts, but I appreciate the simplicity of having everything I need inside one of application that has a single window interface. At $99, it's a good option for first time IDE shoppers or anyone looking for a simple all-in-one solution.

    • Panic Transmit

      As mentioned above, Coda has FTP, but Transmit is a much more powerful stand-alone FTP application. It comes in handy for large transfers, managing files for multiple sites and having it along side coda helps me with multitasking. It can be used in conjunction with virtually any code editor or application.

    • Sublime Text

      An extremely powerful stand-alone code / text editor. It can perform virtually any code writing or editing task imaginable and it can be customized, extended and controlled in a ridiculous number of ways. The complexity is deep, but it also comes with a learning curve. Once I figured it out, got my preferences set and integrated it into my work flow it became indespensible. I find the search and multi-cursor features to be particularly useful in many situations.

    • Araxis Merge

      Araxis Merge is a file comparison tool, which is useful in many situations. As template developers, we may need to update files that contain custom changes on occasion. Some examples might be: fixing template overrides files that have broken after a Joomla! update, or upgrading third party template files to a new version. Simply overwriting a file also overwrites any customizations you have made in that file, file comparison allows you to review and merge the differences between the files into one file. Araxis Merge is powerful but a bit pricey, there are plenty of lower cost alternatives on the market if budget is a concern.

    • Adobe Creative Cloud

      Also a bit pricey ($30 to $50 monthly with a one year minimum), but money well spent in my opinion. Having access to the most recent versions of the standard Adobe applications ensures that I can handle any graphics or web files that my clients might throw at me, as well as perform my own work without restrictions. There are an assortment of utilities included, as well as 20gb of cloud storage with sharing features, but that's just icing on the cake.


      MAMP (My Apache – MySQL – PHP) allows you to create a local server environment on your computer, it has everything you need to run Joomla! and other database driven web platforms. While I do have a development server online, having a local server environment is essential for testing, developing and troubleshooting. It also comes in handy if you need to keep working despite having no internet, server issues, or perhaps traveling somewhere (like Mexico for example) where internet service isn't that great. MAMP PRO can also be used to host live websites and much more using your computer as the server. MAMP is free, MAMP PRO is around $60.