Frontpage SlideShow

The following instructions apply to Frontpage Slideshow versions 3.0.0+ for Joomla! 1.5, 2.5 & 3.0 compatible websites only.
(Joomla! v1.0 based websites are no longer supported as of version 2.1+ of the Frontpage Slideshow.)

DOWNLOADING

Login to your Member Dashboard and grab the latest release from your "My Subscriptions" page. An active membership is required.

QUICK INSTALLATION

  • Download the file FrontpageSlideshow-v3.X.X_j1.5-2.5-3.0.zip (where X is an incremental version number).
  • Login to the backend of your Joomla! 1.5-2.5 website and navigate to Extensions >> Install/Uninstall (Joomla! 1.5) or Extensions >> Manage (Joomla! 1.6+).
  • Choose to upload the zip file FrontpageSlideshow-v3.X.X_j1.5-2.5-3.0.zip (where X is an incremental version number) and the Frontpage Slideshow package will be installed and ready for your website to use.

UPGRADING

Unfortunately, there is no upgrade path from versions 2.x.x to 3.x.x of the Frontpage Slideshow. because the extension has be re-written from scratch and the database tables are changed. We recommend that you follow this process to setup the latest v3.x.x release:
a) backup your site first (using e.g. Akeeba Backup)
b) note down your slideshows
c) note down your customizations on existing Frontpage Slideshow templates so you can pass them on to the updated ones included in version 3+.

To update from a 3.0.0+ version to a bigger version, all you need to do is just upload the new package over the previous one. There is no need to uninstall it first as you will lose all your slideshows. Just install on top.

JOOM!FISH SUPPORT

Since version 2.1, Frontpage Slideshow bundles all necessary "content elements" for translating slideshow contents to any language using Joom!Fish.

Installing/upgrading Frontpage Slideshow will install/upgrade the Joom!Fish "content elements" as well.

If Joom!Fish was not present when you installed Frontpage Slideshow, the "content elements" did not install as well. If you add Joom!Fish on your site AFTER you installed Frontpage Slideshow, then all you have to do to add Joom!Fish support on your slideshows is to just re-install Frontpage Slideshow. Your slideshows will remain intact and the related "content elements" for Joom!Fish will now be installed.

Frontpage Slideshow cannot install the Joom!Fish "content elements" if Joom!Fish is not present. That's because these "content elements" are inside the Joom!Fish folder structure, so if Joom!Fish is not installed, well, you get the picture...

REQUIREMENTS

Everything Frontpage Slideshow requires to function properly is listed in the "Information" submenu inside the component.

In general:
  • In order for Frontpage Slideshow to function as intended, you need to have Joomla! 1.5, 2.5 or 3.0 installed (preferably the latest version in each major release) and working properly on the right server environment as noted in Joomla! requirements here.
  • You also have to make sure that the folders /media/com_fpss/ and all its subfolders are writable, in other words, check that the permissions for these folders are 755 (or 777 with some hosting companies). Use the free "Admin Tools" from akeebabackup.com to correct any file permission issues.
  • The GD Image Library for PHP must be installed and enabled on your server. All hosting servers usually have GD installed and enabled - if you're not sure, please ask your hosting provider to enable it. GD is used by Frontpage Slideshow to handle resizing for the images you upload on your slideshows.

DEMOS

You can see Frontpage Slideshow for Joomla! running on our demo site at demo.joomlaworks.net.

SETTING UP YOUR FIRST SLIDESHOW

When you install Frontpage Slideshow for the first time, a set of sample data will be installed as well. So it's very easy to understand your way around and create slideshows. Either way, here's some basic instructions to quickly setup your first slideshow:

1. Make sure Frontpage Slideshow is installed.

2. Navigate to Components >> Frontpage Slideshow and then click on the "Options" toolbar button (in the top right). Set your desired settings.

3. Navigate to "Categories" and click on "New" to add a new category (slideshow). As you can see, the options in the category page are self explanatory. Once you're done, hit "Save".

4. Navigate to "Slides" in the component's menu. Click on "New" to add your first slide. Follow the numbered steps to link existing (or custom) content from your Joomla! site to a slide. A slide typically consists of a title, tagline, description text and main/thumbnail image. See the "advanced" tab for settings that override your category settings. Image uploads are done using AJAX, so you will see your image in a preview before saving it. The preview is a scaled down version of the actual image so it fits the edit window. If you choose Joomla! articles as your slide content source, the title, description text and slide link will be automatically populated from the original content. If you choose K2, Virtuemart, redShop or Tienda as your slide content source, the title, description text, link AND image will also be automatically populated from the original content. You can override any part of this content, except the link. If you want to create a slide that does not fetch content from within your Joomla! site, just use the "custom" button.

After you're done with the slide content editing, click SAVE to save the slide and return to the "Slides" page.

Repeat this process to create more slides. All these slides will eventually make your slideshow.

5. Go to Extensions >> Module Manager. Click on "Frontpage Slideshow (by JoomlaWorks)" and open the parameters page of the module. Choose to publish the module, select which "position" you want it to appear and assign the module to some menu item (all or selected menu items). Next, edit the module's parameters. Choose the template you want your slideshow to appear through, along with the width, height and sidebar width values of the slideshow. Explore the rest of the options by reading the tooltip explanation when you hover your mouse over each parameter title. When you are done setting up the module, hit the "Save" button.

6. Go to your site. Navigate to the page (menu item) where you published the module and voila, your Frontpage Slideshow is ready!

7. Additionally, you can create new menu item pointing directly to a new slideshow. Just create a new menu item, select Frontpage Slideshow >> Slideshow as menu type and set your slideshow options. These options are identical to the module's.

CUSTOM SLIDE ORDERING

If you want to arrange a category's slides under a specific order, you need to enable "ordering" in the backend.
To do so, follow these steps:
  • In the "slides" list, filter a certain category from the drop down, located on the top-right, just above the slides list.
  • Now you see the slides for that particular category. Hit the "Order" table header, so manual ordering is enabled.
  • Re-arrange a slide by clicking, holding and moving the 4-directional arrow. You can then place the slide anywhere you want in the list of slides for that category.
(see the 9th screenshot below, in the screenshots area)

MVC TEMPLATING: THE POWER TO CREATE UNIQUE SLIDESHOWS

The feature trully setting apart Frontpage Slideshow from any other Joomla! slideshow system is its MVC architecture. It means you can use HTML and CSS template overrides inside your Joomla! template and create a unique slideshow for your website!

If you are wondering what MVC is or means, please read this for general information on Joomla! MVC template overrides.

If you are comfortable with Joomla! templating, here's what you need to know to create unique Frontpage Slideshow templates.
  • Frontpage Slideshow comes with 8 pre-designed templates, which can be used as a starting point to design your own.
  • The 8 pre-packaged templates are located in /modules/mod_fpss/tmpl/
  • To override one of the pre-packaged templates, simply copy its folder to /templates/YOURJOOMLATEMPLATE/html/mod_fpss/. So if you want to override the "Movies" template, copy /modules/mod_fpss/tmpl/Movies inside the folder /templates/YOURJOOMLATEMPLATE/html/mod_fpss/ (you will first have to create the folder mod_fpss inside your /templates/YOURJOOMLATEMPLATE/html/ folder). Then you just edit the default.php and the 2 css files located in the sub-folder /css to modify the resulting slideshow. By doing this, you obviously don't have to worry about Frontpage Slideshow upgrades overriding e.g. your custom CSS settings on a pre-packaged template.
  • To create a new slideshow template, the process is almost identical. In this case, you can copy one of the pre-packaged templates just to get started, but you can name the template's folder differently. The Frontpage Slideshow will "see" this new template even if it doesn't exist on the module's tmpl folder. It's what we call "on the fly" MVC templating and it's a concept we first introduced with our flagship Joomla! extension, K2.
Below you can see the file structure of a Frontpage Slideshow template folder, located by default inside the /modules/mod_fpss/tmpl/ folder.

default.php (the main HTML file)
/css
|-- template_css.php (dynamic CSS file)
|-- template_css_ie.css (IE7-and-older CSS file)
/images
|-- (contains image files currently used in the CSS files)

Professionals who design/develop templates for Joomla! can now fully support Frontpage Slideshow by offering pre-bundled slideshow templates in a single package.

All new or customized slideshow templates should reside inside the /templates/YOURJOOMLATEMPLATE/html/mod_fpss/ folder.

When you create a menu item linking to a slideshow (using the component view introduced in versions 3.x.x), you are basically re-using the module. That is why all slideshow templates reside in the module folder and all new templates/customizations should reside in the /templates/YOURJOOMLATEMPLATE/html/mod_fpss/ folder.

TROUBLESHOOTING

Issue: Oh no! My slideshow looks broken! Slides display one below the other! What's wrong?
This usually occurs if your hosting company is not "running" PHP as a CGI module. In this case, the dynamic CSS files produced by Frontpage Slideshow are unreachable as the server responds with a "500 Internal Server Error".

Solution: just go into the module parameters (in the backend), select the "Advanced parameters" slider on the right of the screen and then switch the option "CSS inclusion method" to "Embedded (on the output of the page)". This will force the CSS to "embed" onto the output of your slideshow instead of being called as an external dynamic CSS file. Please note that this option was added in Frontpage Slideshow v2.5+.

Issue: My website's drop-down menu expands behind the slideshow!

Solution: This is an issue related to your template and not the Frontpage Slideshow. You can find a detailed explanation of the issue and the solution in our Community Forum at: http://forum.joomlaworks.net/index.php?topic=1126.0

BROWSER COMPATIBILITY

Frontpage Slideshow has been successfully tested in all major browsers. The prebundled slideshow templates are fully compatible with Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer version 7 and above. They also degrade nicely in Internet Explorer 6.