Categorization for CMS

Written by Landis Arnold on .

Categorization methods are one of the most important aspects of CMS.  There are several reasons for this, but the first one is simply to keep yourself organized and on track.  The other first (not second) reason is so that others will well understand your organization, priorities and approach.

I have not been as strong an adherent of this process as I would like to have been in the past.  Now though, I find myself working on this and essentially building the bones of whale.

I am working with Joomla and as I have mentioned, it is critical to keep a flow aligned between Categories and Menu's.  Articles will fall into categories.  There will be decisions that need to be made regarding "multi-categorization" and "tags"  (seems the same thing to me from this particular vantage).

There will be SEO subjects as well.  We don't want duplicate content links, though we will want multiple channels to find the content.

Just today, in develoment modes, I am having a "shoot out" on my test server between J2Store and HikaShop.  I have installed the test versions of each (not too badly hampered) and I am getting responsiveness.  I am working to replace, sequentially, Magento 1.9x and my initial rounds with Ecwid on Joomla. 

The test is coming down to, quite simply, how easy and comfortable it is to implement, and how rich and responsive the content and interface will be for each system   There are aspects I certainly like to both.  J2Store has you work with the Joomla Categories and Articles at its core.  It needs to be presented in Menus and Modules.  That is quite interesting and I do like the consistency of this approach to ecommerce along with the standard working of Joomla Content in general (like my creating this article just now).

I still have work to do, and as I am testing, I need to be quick and work through my decision trees to get my final packages rolled out onto the main.

HikaShop has an extensive build to it, and honestly I have not explored it yet enough.  I did some very early dev tests yesterday also with VirtueMart (complete fail on their installer method), HikaShop and J2Store.  I am happy with my approach I have started of Simple, Middle, Full development.  Safer and gives the ability to do the practice I need to get into my methods.  From here, the advantage I see for HikaShop is integration of more "traditional" aspects to E-Commerce.  But that also may bring complications.  The extendability of both E-Commerce systems is both attractive and somewhat of a nuisance both.   "Time" and Integration are the biggest issue I have with Magento.  Since MageBridge (Joomla/Magento Bridge) was discontinued, and the difficulties I had with it prior, I have found that having E-Com separated from content does not work well.  There are so many other "cool cool" things I have integrated to Magento I know it will be complicated to find new paths.  But, simplicity is key and I am seeing ways.

I have some very good ways to implement and move systems around.  I will look at ways to move content created on one system to another.  I can do the "full banana" move right now but I would rather just do micro work, and as such, my Flow System which has my Magento Data massaged into a FileMaker Database where I can add notation, and have clear second takes on category structure.  Bringing Categorization well into Joomla and E-Com will also require that I make the same structural changes in my nearly archived Magento system as well.

I am departing Magento because of the complication and the time.  Some of the issues I have seen on the Magento system I will need to both pull forward and fix or remove and monitor in Joomla. 

A few key Tools I am using today:

Well, Some more time in, and I have to say, subjects are not always easy.  J2Shop is winning so far.  Some negatives in terms of templating is one issue.

Notation #1: 

If you are using VirtualDomains, you NEED to go back and add Menu Modules that you have added so that they are not filtered.  Without doing this you will think you have some major issues with your site and you really do not.  It is just working as built.  That all said, I want to update the VirtualDomains Component to eliminate this issue. I hope I can get to that soon.

Notation #2: 

I settled on J2Store and will be implementing it.  HikaShop is certainly interesting but it is a bit too involved, not quite attractive, and parallel to the Joomla Build System.  I did, this morning come across the EasyShop template set.  I am definitely going to explore that one in parralell.

Notation #3:

I have either said or read..  when you are evaluating extensions, for any system.  look at the details.  How often are they updated.  What are people saying.  How involved do they seem to be with support.  Are there any security notifications publicly made, have they been fixed.  How does their future look to you.  I don't know that "Big" is critical, but "Good" certainly is.  Evaluate their words when they are giving guidance.  Are they happy to help.  I hope some of this may reflect back on me.


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