Imagining and designing new functionalities that have not yet existed is one of the most exciting facets of my job as a webmaster. In this blog post, I will tell you about the creation of my last extension for Joomla: Upcoming Articles.
The genesis of this project
Behind each project like this, there is generally a problem. Most often, it is a customer who wants to have a particular feature on his site and calls on a pro to create it because it does not yet exist. It has already happened with Responsive Tables plugin, for example. But it also sometimes happens that it is the pro who is facing this problem!
To display on my blog the upcoming articles to tease my visitors, I've first think to use mod_articles_category but this module doesn't display the future articles in public mode. Then, I went to search on the Joomla Extensions Directory where I saw that there was no solution. However, the issue of displaying future articles was not new as a user had already raised this issue on the Joomla forum 11 years ago:
I realized that I was looking for a feature that did not yet exist and the solution seemed more and more obvious to me: I was going to have to create a new extension!
10 reasons why you should use Upcoming Articles?
There are plenty of reasons why you should at least, install and try Upcoming Articles module on your Joomla website like:
1. The module is free (yes, completly FREE!),
2. You can install it directly from your Joomla backend,
3. You can install it on as many website you want, no limitation,
4. The module is very well coded (trust me!),
5. You'll be warned if updates are available,
6. You can easily override the frontend display if needed,
7. This is the only way to display dynamicaly your upcoming articles in Joomla,
8. Teasing your visitors is an original way to engage them,
9. Be in the future, you have never see this feature before on the Web,
10. Only the users of this module can post a positive review on the JED :)
What do you need to use Upcoming Articles?
Frankly, this module is really basic because you just need to have few articles with a publication date in the future in your backend to see the magic online. No more than this.
Let's see this in details.
The article: in the Publishing tab, you can change the date of the publication of your article. By default, it's the same date as the creation date. So, if you indicate here a future date, your article will be publish at the date you've choose.
I would like to remind to the new Joomla users that they have the ability to program their publications on their website with this native feature. Feel free to use it.
Now, your upcoming article is flagged with a specific icon in the articles manager:
The Upcoming articles module: once the module is installed in your Joomla website, open it.
You have only 4 parameters:
- Maximum Items to display: indicate how many articles the module should display on frontend (default is 5).
- Category: select one or more categories where your upcomping articles are,
- Show date: select if the module should display (or not) the publication date on frontend,
- Date format: in this field, you can indicate how the article date should be display on frontend. For more information about the different date formats, I suggest you to read the PhP documentation.
- The frontend:
The 5 upcoming articles on this blog:
21 MaiWomen's portraits at Joomla: Christiane Maier-Stadtherr
Upcoming articles module live
As long you have pending articles in the selected categories, the module will display them as a list on your website. It is as simple as this!
See Tim in "Watch Me Work 084"
As you can see, crating an extension as simple as this one requires many hours of work. And for the modest developer that I am, it is a huge satisfaction to see that it is useful and appreciated byt the Joomla users.
Feel free to install it on your Joomla site and if you like it, post a positive comment on the Joomla Extensions Directory. As the module is free, it will be my only wage and it will only cost you few minutes of your time. Thanks in advance ! Of course, donations are always possible ;)