Review of WP4J – A Powerful WordPress Extension for Joomla
You know it’s important to have a blog on your website. Google loves fresh content, and many companies report they get more traffic to their blog than to any other page on their site.
Joomla does have some blogging capabilities built in. You can create a category and a menu item that links to a list of articles in blog format. It’s simple enough, but it’s also missing many of the cool features available for WordPress, the most advanced blogging software available.
So how can you keep your Joomla site and still enjoy all of the benefits of WordPress?
It used to be difficult: you’d have to install WordPress and then somehow coax the two programs to work together. It wasn’t easy and it definitely wasn’t fun.
There is now a simple way to use WordPress on your Joomla site, and you don’t have to log in with two separate admin interfaces.
In fact, you don’t even have to install WordPress!
All you have to do is install the component WP4J! by corePHP! The WordPress admin interface will be right inside your Joomla admin!
But the component also comes with a bunch of neat modules like a list of categories and latest posts that are installed just like any other Joomla module.
Once you’re inside the WordPress interface, you’ll see all of the options that come with WordPress. You’ll be able to add a post, manage comments, place tags, and list categories, etc. It’s packed with goodies and extremely easy to use. Really, it’s no wonder that WordPress is such a popular tool.
Converting iJoomla’s blog to WordPress
I’ve decided to convert our iJoomla blog to WordPress using this component, because I was never quite happy with our blog the way it was. After I installed WP4J on iJoomla.com, I created a menu item to link to WordPress. It showed the default “hello world” post, which I was then able to edit. The default setup also included a sidebar under my posts and a “powered by” notice. I wanted to get rid of both, which I did with a little help from the corePHP team.
How to get rid of the sidebar and “powered by” video tutorial:
With the sidebar gone, I was able to start creating categories and adding my content. I had to copy all the 26 articles I already had into wordpress which took me about an hour to do (and I hear that they have import tools as well), and I love the result! So check it out and let me know what you think!
SEF and WordPress
The way SEF is handled by WordPress is impressive. You have many options to choose from, just go to settings->permalinks and choose the one that works for you. Remember to keep the structure of the URLs the same as your Joomla SEF structure, so that you don’t create duplicate pages with the same content (Google doesn’t like that). By default, WP4J works with the following SEF: Core Joomla, SEF Advanced, sh404, and there is even a plugin for Artio SEF (for a fee).
Summary and Suggestions
Overall then, I am extremely impressed with WP4J It’s well executed, easy to use, and adds a huge amount of great features to your Joomla site — and without having to manage or log in to another admin. But I do have a few comments and suggestions to help make the most of it:
- WP4J is big so if you are having a problem installing the component, it’s likely that your server doesn’t accept such large files. You’ll have to install the alternative component, which is smaller, then upload the files with FTP. Read the README file that comes with the alternative file for the steps.
- I’d really like to have the Joomla menu on the top instead of the “Back to joomla” link. That would let me access other areas with one click instead of two.
- There is a problem adding links to pages on my site. I can’t see a list of my articles/menu items; I can only add a full URL. Maybe the guys at corePHP can find a solution to this so that I can create links inside my site easily.
- No Joomla plugin support. If you are used to adding Joomla plugin tags to your articles to display videos, sidebars, etc. Then keep in mind, it won’t work here, it would be great if corePHP added support to Joomla plugins to the next version.
Find out more about WP4J! here!
Tags: corePHP, new version, WordPress
Thank you for the great review Merav!
2. The Joomla menu on top of the dashboard may be a good idea, I will give it some thought as it would have to be presented in a different way than what it display on the Joomla admin currently.
3. I have added this to our to-do list.
4. This is also on our to-do.
Thank you for supporting the extension, I am glad to see you started using it on your website!
YOu might try Apture.com to add links to your ocntent. It works with Joomla, but I have not tried with WP4J. You can add content from the default Apture search locations, but can also add (as I have) a search of my own site(s) content. Makes adding all kinds of content easy and quick.
HHI Golf Guy
We use WP4J on a number of sites, and overall it is a great product. What works out well for us is that we can design real estate web sites for clients and not have to hard code categories and sub categories. In combination with using the included WP categories module as a menu throughout the site means we don’t have to hard code menus either. Very nice!
With that being said, we still had to make changes to the PHP to make things work seamlessly with our sites. In particular we changed some of the CSS class references to match Joomla’s output so instead of writing custom CSS for each WP instance we could drop a modified version of WP4J in any of our template styles and have it work out of the box.
Overall it’s a great component and is a “must have” for almost every Joomla site.
WP4J is a totally great product. I have so far only installed it for one site (my own), and love it and will be buying more of them. It is truly the “best of both worlds”.
Many thanks Merav for the article. I have a question. Is this plugin change your Joomla admin panel into a WordPress admin panel or it offers a WordPress blog integration on a Joomla website? I am little bit confused as I never use this plugin.