Browser Compatibility  

In building the website, I tested the pages with a number of browsers, including:

IE 6, 7, and 8. I do not recommend IE 6, and generally, IE 7 and IE 8 were OK. I will be testing with IE 9 soon, but I don't expect any significant issues.

Mozilla Firefox 3.6x and 4.x. All seemed to be OK. I will test Firefox 5 soon.

Google Chrome 11.x and 12.x. All seemed to be OK.

Opera 10.x and 11.x. Some minor issues, including dropdown menus may sometimes be obsured by page content.

Safari 5.x. Basically OK, although dropdown menus may sometimes be obsured by page content.

All the tests were done on Windows 7, Windows XP, and when possible, Windows 2000.

Screen resolutions were 1024 x 768 and 1280 x 1024.

I would encourage you to update your browser,  if not to the latest version, at least no more than one back. This website is built with technologies that reflect current standards in web development, and it defeats the purpose if you continue to use browsers that don't support things like CSS 2/3, XML, or other modern web technologies. Although there are some who fear new technology because it might "break" their computer, a browser isn't a dangerous application. Web developers moving forward, increasing their websites' capabilitues and visual appeal, and are just going to drop support for older browsers. When you try and go to a website that features new technology, you will be out of luck.


Building the Website


I had never built a website before, and I wanted the site to be up-to-date in terms of technology, so that meant, for example, no frames or tables (unless absolutely no other option), no hardcoding HTML, and using Cascading Style Sheets. I was also hoping not to explode my head since I had to learn Joomla!, HTML, CSS, and all the other web technologies I might need to use, and how everything worked together. How to begin . . .

After a lot of research, I chose to build on the foundation of Joomla! open-source content management software. Joomla! uses MySQL database software to hold all the content, and along with the Apache HTTP Server and PHP, dynamically creates the web pages when the user clicks on a menu or link. All the content created for pages is done in Joomla! using either a WYSIWYG text editor or a HTML editor. Joomla! has a large number of users around the world, and an active group of independent developers who create add-on extensions that greatly expand the capabilities of websites built with Joomla! All of the add-on software I have used is open-source, so it it essentially free to use. All of the developers accept donations to support their work. In addition to the core software, this website utilizes the following 3rd party products:

For the front end (what the user sees)

The wonderful AllRounder page template by Juergen Koller at

Single image placement on the Home page and others is done using Simple Image Holder.

The rotating book cover display uses the Ari Soft Cloud Carousel.

The image viewer for the Hubble pictures is the Ari Soft Image Slider

The "Contacting Us" page was done with Fox Contact Form

For all the weather related content, I used eWeather, which gets data from The Weather Channel.

The "Order from LohseWorks" form was created using the Custom HTML Advanced module.

"Find Joyce on Facebook" uses Find Us On Facebook but was modified a bit to replace "us" with Joyce.

The "Life is hard" quotes come from a rss feed.

For the administrator back end (what helps me build and maintain the site).

The main core software is Joomla! 1.6.4, and it has a lot of features built in.

Gathering site usage statistics is done by j4age.

To create and edit text content, JCE is my WYSIWYG editor

Site backup (I did this every day during construction!) is done using Akeeba Backup.

Creating and sending newsletters is accomplished with AccyMailing.

I evaluated a lot of software while building this site. Did I make the perfect choices? I am sure some might disagree with my choices or how I designed the site. That's fine with me, since I encourage anyone to use Joomla! or a similar software to build their own site any way they would like. If you have questions about what you see, drop the webmaster a mail.




© LohseWorks 2011 - All Rights Reserved