Announcing “From App To Zip”

After a lot of deliberating, the time is finally there to announce my latest project. Say hello to From App To Zip, everyone! And while we’re at it, we’re partially retiring Joomla & More. It’s still really early days and the website looks really rudimentary and empty, but that’ll change gradually over time. If you expected a project of mine to be complete when I announce it instead of a blank page with a title written on it, you obviously don’t know me very well

From App To Zip is a brand new technology blog. It will follow the recipe of Joomla & More. That means I’ll try to create content that’s easy to understand and apply, so people can get the most out of their technology. If you ever accidentally read the “About” section of Joomla & More, you might now be scratching your head.

“Wait,” you might be thinking. “That sounds exactlty like Joomla & More. “How is this different?”

I can’t say that you are wrong. To make matters worse, I’ll be writing exactly the same content in exactly the same style that I used to write for Joomla & More. If your initial response to this is “But why…” then I can’t really blame you, but allow me to explain.

I have been unhappy with the state of Joomla & More for a few years. There are quite a few reasons for that.

Everything wrong with Joomla & More

The Branding

Why not get personal and start with the name? Joomla-and-more.com was an impulse purchase. When I bought the domain name I didn’t really know a lot about building websites. I think I just built my second or third website (using Joomla). I didn’t put much tought in the name, and here we are. Stuck with a domain name that refers to a CMS which is strongly declining, which implies we’d write more about Joomla than we do in real life. And in reality, your most popular articles are about Windows. Or OneDrive. Or setting up a server. Or Microsoft Office. But not Office.

It’s just bad branding overall.

The income

I am not blogging for money (or I’m really bad at it), but here’s the deal. The platform Joomla-and-more.com is horrible when it comes to “getting paid options”. I am banned from using advertisements The only ads that I can place on my site are “WordAds” websites, which I have zero control over. On top of that, the pay is ridiculously low – although they claim it’s “Industry Standard”. Google seems to disagree with you, Matt.

The ad placement is also awful. When you visit the website without an adblocker, the ads are all over the place. Again, not something I have control over. See how there’s a theme of “not being in control?” Yeah, that’s not working out for me.

But wait! There are payment options that I can use. I can choose between a Stripe block which I don’t have control over or a Paypal donation block which I also have no control over. With wild default payment options of, let’s say… $50. I wouldn’t even donate $50 to my own blog if I were asked. So, again, the options that do exist are just awful.

You want to know the wildest part? These payment options are a paid feature. I know.

The Platform as a whole

It’s not your fault, WordPress.com. It’s my fault. I guess I expect more from a platform that isn’t exactly cheap than the features you’ve been giving us in the past few years. And you aren’t willing to change for me.

I reached the limits of what I can do on the platform. There were some existing annoyances, such as not being able to use SEO tools. But recently, they decided it’d be cool idea to ban you from using all Javascript. For “Security Reasons”. That means that my Google Analytics stopped working (they have a separate option for that!). It means that I now can’t have a Mailchimp pop-up. But I can get that feature back if I upgrade to the $20 plan. Amazing!

WordPress.com has evolved in a certain direction. My needs have involved in a different direction. One of those needs, by the way, is not getting lost in their dashboard which isn’t half as initiative as they’d like me to believe. Fortunately the documentation is pretty good. Because I need it every other time when I need to do something outside of my editor.

Because of all these reasons, and probably others I can’t think of today, it’s time to move on. The answer to Joomla & More’s shortcomings will be From App To Zip. It will be self-hosted. That means it’ll take a little more work. But it’s not something I can handle. I have been telling people how to build websites for a while now, after all.

What happens to Joomla & More?

During the year Joomla & More has built up a nice library of articles. I want to make sure that these articles stay available to everyone who might need them. So I am keeping the website up for the foreseeable future. In the future, Joomla & More will start to live up to its name again. It’ll be the home to any new Joomla content if it get’s written. That’s an if and not a when, because it’s not a big priority if I’m being honest. Joomla & More will replace DIYoomla and any other silly ideas I had to split off my Joomla content which never happened because of reasons I won’ elaborate on in this blog post.

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