Introducing EasyArticles

Introducing EasyArticles

We have been trying to refine the process of authoring in Joomla from a day to day basis and one of the most painful process is editing articles on the front end with proper workflows. Although the ACL in Joomla is pretty robust, it's still isn't suitable for a day to day authoring and publishing process. 


EasyArticles approach is to introduce article management and minimalist user interface right on the front end. It will be suitable for blogs, news, or any other content generation that requires a more robust workflow, beautiful composing interface and awesome features. We have combined a decade worth of experience from when we were working with EasyBlog and we were trying to revolutionize the way articles are created.

How EasyArticles Came About

Initially, it started off as an idea for EasyBlog to store it's data into Joomla Articles. As we were working on that, we realize that there were just too many features in EasyBlog that don't exist in the standard articles extension on Joomla. We do not want to end up hacking or modifying any core bits of Joomla article.

With EasyArticles, we have combined a decade's worth of the best composing experience and workflow which we learnt from EasyBlog. It allows site owner who doesn't need a full fledged blog to also be able to enjoy the goodies that are offered in EasyBlog.

Here are some of the cool features that will be rolled out on the initial release of EasyArticles.


​Great Authoring workflow

If you are authoring most of the articles by yourself, then Joomla articles would be a match made in heaven. For smaller, medium sized or even larger teams, the authoring workflow is pain to work with.

With the authoring workflow in EasyArticles, moderating or managing these articles would be convenient and painless. 


Birds-eye View of Everything


Beautiful Composer

You don't have to be a designer to create great content. This is one of the most important aspects in authoring that many neglected, thinking that their writers are designers or programmers that understand html codes. Writers themselves are not designers and we should not be expecting them to design the article or programmatically inject html codes.

We have heard this many times but it is important to remember that Content Is King. Writers should do what they do best, which is to write or draft great articles so that the site would follow the approach where content is being prioritized over thinking about where to place images, videos or anything else related to designing.


Composing Article
Publishing Article



Media Manager

Media Manager

EasyArticles also comes with the same great media manager that is included in EasyBlog without the other complexity that comes with the blogging system.


In fact, while I am drafting this post with EasyBlog (thankfully!), I couldn't imagine how would anyone would use the stock media manager in Joomla! to compose articles. Certainly, there are tons of great media managers out there but they don't feel as native as composing with the same editor.


Front-end Everything

Have you ever tried to request your writers to manage articles on the front end because you don't want them to worry about how they could access the administration area? I believe most of you tried it and eventually just chose to compose from the administration area.

With EasyArticles, we have streamlined the management of your articles and categories into the front end allowing a more blissful experience while managing all this information. 

Articles Management
Create Categories
Category Creation


Subscriptions & Notifications

Users on the site can subscribe and be notified by email in the event a new article is created or modified. This also includes push notifications!


Post Templates

Post Templates

One of the most used and loved feature in EasyBlog was the ease of re-using post templates without having to draft everything from scratch. We have also invented something similar for EasyArticles but with a more robust templating structure.


Not Another Pagebuilder

EasyArticles is not another page builder and it never will be a page builder. There are a ton of page builders available for Joomla already and there is no point reinventing the wheel again.

EasyArticles approach is to simplify your day to day authoring workflow and publishing right from the front end.


Compatibility With Joomla Editors

In order to achieve the minimalistic design in EasyArticles, it will include a built-in editor out of the box. It will also be able to work out of the box with most and if not all of your favorite Joomla editors.


Pricing

The price of EasyArticles will be disclosed when the alpha release is available. Having said that, EasyArticles will be included in all of our bundles. 

Yep, it will be FREE to users with an active bundle.


EasyBlog Progress

Rest assured that EasyBlog will still be actively maintained and developed by the team. EasyBlog has tons of features of a full blog and it should be kept that way. We have great ideas coming along with EasyBlog 5.2, including a pretty cool collaboration tool =)


To Wrap Up ...

Joomla! is definitely a great Content Management System and the addition of EasyArticles isn't to replace Joomla articles but rather to complement it. We have loads to add into EasyArticles as we move forward :)

What do you think? Share your thoughts, suggestions, criticism on the comment form below. The team and I would love to hear your thoughts!


 

Comments (75)

Sounds exciting team. I look forward to trying it out!

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  1.    Paul Lee-Maynard

Thanks Paul

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I like it ... i like the idea for FREE to users with an active bundle.
I look forward to trying it out!

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  1.    Cristian

Thank you Yep, I am looking forward to it too!

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  Comment was last edited about 3 months ago by Mark

This makes me love StackIdeas much more

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  1.    CmsBold

Thank you!

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I want to request you to release a lite version for free.

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  1.    Kawshar Ahmed

Sure, when https://joomshaper.com creates more compatible templates with EasySocial =)))

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  1.    Mark

We will create more compatible products in future

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Another awesome StackIdeas product! Thank you Mark and team!

Mark, what do you mean with bundle? Does it mean I should have purchased bundles of your product or say I purchased EasyBlog and I get to have EasyArticles?

Are you guys going to incorporate EB Blocks? That would be awesome!

-Jackson

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  Comment was last edited about 3 months ago by LAC Webadmin
  1.    LAC Webadmin

Thank you Jackson! We would not be able to implement the blocks editor in EasyBlog right now but I guess, time would tell =)

If you own any bundle, EasyArticles would be included in the bundle. In other words, you don't need to pay a dime for it. You just need to ensure that your bundle isn't expired.

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would be nice if you could insert Instagram & social media by links embed directly too like this discussion in Joomla forum now

For example the problems with Joomla and social media:
1. You can't share a Joomla article in Facebook, with the image to the article coming along. Bugs and errors.
2. You can't find an extension that shares articles properly to Twitter. Only thing that works is Addtoany, but there is some issues with Firefox that makes it dissapear because of Adblock/ghostery
3....

would be nice if you could insert Instagram & social media by links embed directly too like this discussion in Joomla forum now

For example the problems with Joomla and social media:
1. You can't share a Joomla article in Facebook, with the image to the article coming along. Bugs and errors.
2. You can't find an extension that shares articles properly to Twitter. Only thing that works is Addtoany, but there is some issues with Firefox that makes it dissapear because of Adblock/ghostery
3. Images from Instagram and Twitter can't be placed in Joomla articles. In WP it is easy and works well.

I mean, if you want to market your page well, in social media, in Google, Bing; do not use Joomla. Use WP. Joomla is far behind WP in social media. And this is a very important point. Because what is the use of having a website if nobody can see it and it is slow.

WP is the winner.

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  1.    Stan Chomer

Sounds like a pretty nice idea and I do think that this is pretty do-able

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Will the articles be published into the Joomla Articles system of will they have their own repository like it is now with EasyBlog?

Thanks for this. I can think of quite a few sites that want to keep using Joomla Articles but which could really use a little magic from StackIdeas to simplify and beautify their pages.

Sean

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  1.    Sean Carney

Yep, that is correct. They are stored in Joomla articles unlike EasyBlog.

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Hello, looks awesome !
as we are using easyblog for our website and not the joomla articles, i was wondering if it will be interested to use this new extension ? any ideas ?

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  1.    HMED

It depends really becase EasyBlog is focused and geared towards pure blogging and that is what it does. EasyArticles on the other hand emphasizes on composing and management with a very limited set of functionality on the article listings (Since they are generated by Joomla articles).

One example would be, in Joomla articles, you wouldn't be able to click an author link to render a list of posts created by the author.

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  1.    Mark

thanks Mark!

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  1.    Mark

One example would be, in Joomla articles, you wouldn't be able to click an author link to render a list of posts created by the author.


Unless you have EasySocial. Displays articles from the author link pretty well (albeit pagination eventually would be handy).

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  1.    Josh Lewis

Yep, but that would still not give you proper blogging solutions from EasyBlog though. It's more than just a listing of posts.

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  1.    HMED

If you use EasyBlog and are creating content using blocks, EasyArticles will not be a good fit for you at the moment as that is not how it works.

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  1.    Geoff

Hey Geoff,

That is correct. EasyArticles was never meant to be an "editor" or "composer" for EasyBlog as it is actually a proxy layer in generating Joomla article posts.

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Really looking forward to this and I think it's a wonderful bonus to those who have a bundle sub!

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  1.    Gary Leigh

Thank you Gary

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Another smart move from the Stackideas team. Just out of curiosity if you started out in Easy Articles is there a way that you could get all your Easy Articles into Easy Blog at a later date if required?

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  1.    Paul Murray

Hey Paul,

As EasyBlog has a built in migrator for Joomla articles, you'll be able to migrate articles into EasyBlog if you want to

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  1.    Mark

Hi Mark,

Is there going to be a vice-versa plugin or same kind of migrator from EB to EasyArticles in EA as well?

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  1.    Imran

Hm, not sure if this is going to be possible because the built in composer stores data very differently as it requires a lot of other metadata of the block.

We'll see if this could be made possible

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  1.    Mark

Hello

+1 for the migrator from EB to EasyArticles

I have one or two sites that could take advantage of the EA simplicity announced

And still use easy blog for other projects

Thanks to the team. Your new product sound really great one more time

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  1.    Mark

Hello mark

As EA launch seems to be close... is there any news on that migrator from EB to EA ??

Thanks in advance
Loïc

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  1.    Mark

The block composer is one thing that makes EasyBlog editing very "Easy" for authors not really into word processing because they can align images with text easier. I was hoping EasyArticle would have the same sort of article creation workflow but I can see that all the extra data required to display it may be beyond Joomla's content component. But it would be great if you could manage to do that, some how.

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  1.    Geoff

Thanks for your input on this Geoff and yes, because we are not manipulating the "output" of Joomla articles we can't be storing or formatting the content.

If we ever do that, then you would lose designs created by the respective Joomla template that you use

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any introduction video available to watch?

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  1.    Nayem Majhar

Unfortunately, we do not have a video for this. but we will continue updating our blogs on this, so stay tuned.

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Outstanding and clever idea! Especially the moderation makes this thing extremely useful. Thank you for including moderation into your components, most developers do not care about moderation though it is soo important!
I really appreciate the fact getting it for free when having a bundle. Thank you very much for that step!

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  1.    Sabih

Thank you Sabih! <3

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What a surprise !
This proves that Stackideas is an innovative and intelligent company.
Because with EasyArticles, all users of Joomla will become the target of your products.

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  1.    Philippe

Thank you Philippe, we hope that you'll continue supporting us!

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Very nice guys,

you keep surprising everybody with great ideas and Joomla products. Keep up your very satisfying work and outstanding products. Cant wait to test this

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  1.    Jean-Marc Burri

Thank you sir!

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What's the ballpark date for release? I was going to use Form2Content to ease article creation for non-techincal users which offers rich field capabilities, but looks like you'll support templating and presumably plugins will be active in the content (it's just using the existing Joomla article system, right?).

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  1.    Eileen O'Donnell

There is no ETA yet Eileen but if Form2Content uses Joomla articles, we'll still be able to pick it up. Yes, since all the data are stored in articles, everything will work out of the box

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This is fantastic news to native Joomla users! Many of us will greatly appreciate this new Joomla innovation. I suggest adding a gallery insert method like WordPress as seen here: https://youtu.be/o1yEh6aw1lk?t=20s

With this method creating galleries/adding images would be an absolute breeze! With the right tweaks it could be even better than WordPress. Fiddling with tables would be a thing of the past when it comes to images. And of course if integrated with EasySocial users would be...

This is fantastic news to native Joomla users! Many of us will greatly appreciate this new Joomla innovation. I suggest adding a gallery insert method like WordPress as seen here: https://youtu.be/o1yEh6aw1lk?t=20s

With this method creating galleries/adding images would be an absolute breeze! With the right tweaks it could be even better than WordPress. Fiddling with tables would be a thing of the past when it comes to images. And of course if integrated with EasySocial users would be absolutely delighted with not only the ease of content creation but of sharing their images and posts at the same time! In other words the stream would pick up the new images put into the article (the images themselves would go into a new album or an existing one).

This would make story tellers/photo enthusiasts dozens of times more likely to post. I've talked with a lot of amazing photographers, one of the biggest burdens with motivating people to post is a difficult/time consuming interface. Easy/quick postin

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  1.    Josh Lewis

The gallery management would be identical to EasyBlog's media manager. We had great response on the new media manager that is in EasyBlog 5.1.

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  1.    Mark

Indeed the EB 5.1 image manager looks good. The issue I'm presenting is that you can only insert 1 image at a time. As a result you end up having to click back to the media manager which is time consuming when dealing with dozens of pictures (I didn't even mention configuring each picture). WordPress not only lets you insert images in bulk to a consistent configuration but compiles a nice table gallery automatically as seen here: https://en.support.wordpress.com/gallery/#gallery-3724-31
This...

Indeed the EB 5.1 image manager looks good. The issue I'm presenting is that you can only insert 1 image at a time. As a result you end up having to click back to the media manager which is time consuming when dealing with dozens of pictures (I didn't even mention configuring each picture). WordPress not only lets you insert images in bulk to a consistent configuration but compiles a nice table gallery automatically as seen here: https://en.support.wordpress.com/gallery/#gallery-3724-31
This makes photogenic posts concise while being fully viewable to the reader while still allowing big images for the gorgeous ones.

EB 5.1 is getting pretty close to perfect. Inserting in bulk would drastically help.

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  1.    Josh Lewis

Hm, did you click on the checkbox to select multiple items? It does allow you to include one or more images, http://take.ms/dNMNGA

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  1.    Mark

Ah, didn't see that. I suggest making the images themselves act as checkboxes so that people can more easily click through the images to select them as well as being more likely to select multiple images. Using Firebug I managed to quickly make the checkboxes take up the entire image space while being invisible. To make the checkboxes invisible I changed background-color and border to transparent. With this small tweak insert photos was a breeze!

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One more addition to the outstanding product range from Stackideas.

We needed an easy interface & the features for Article postings apart from Blog postings. Would be great if the 'Free' offer or a discount could be extend to the current subscriptions of EasyBlog Pro customers?

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  1.    Imran

We have yet to finalize this yet but do stay tune to our blog for more updates

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Very impressive, i like the idea cause J! Article need such improvements, especially now with new custom fields function.
Do you have an ETA ? (Weeks or Months ?)
Cheers !

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  1.    Olivier FRASCONE

Thank you Olivier. We don't have any ETA on this yet but it's looking pretty good so far. Expect another blog post soon!

EasyArticles has tons of stuff which we have learned from EasyBlog and likewise, we will be bringing whatever we learn from EasyArticles everywhere else

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May be a simpler tool (for basic website user who do not want to know nothing about technology) than easyblog which is quite complex to explain to ordinary end user ?

How many times sleeping before I get it.

Just can't wait

Jean-Pierre d'Argent
wisgar.be

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  1.    Jean-Pierre d'Argent

Thanks Jean

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Mark, this looks great! Look forward to getting our hands on it! If we can assist with testing, you can let us know... Cheers

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  1.    Andrew Gous

Thank you Andrew

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How is it positionned compared to easyblog ?

For a customer could we positionned it as an "EasyBlog Light" ? which could thanks to an "intelligent import tool" (mind the redirections of the no longer existing articles) into easyblog shjould the customer really get into blogging afterwards.?

Making light at the beginning give much more chance for to project to reach a satisfactory end.

Jean-Pierre d'Argent
wisgar.be

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  1.    Jean-Pierre d'Argent

Hello Jean,

Mmm, I wouldn't call this "EasyBlog Light" because it's really not a blogging tool. EasyBlog has full fledged blogging tools within the extension itself and it is good for blogging.

EasyArticles on the other hand, simplifies the whole article creation process in Joomla and made it all available on the front end

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Will it be possible to use third party extension such as J2store with EasyArticles?

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  1.    Aikigi

Hm, not sure what do you mean eh? You mean add items from J2store?

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Hi Mark,

I really don't get the distinction between EA & EB

Mmm, I wouldn't call this "EasyBlog Light" because it's really not a blogging tool. EasyBlog has full fledged blogging tools within the extension itself and it is good for blogging.
EasyArticles on the other hand, simplifies the whole article creation process in Joomla and made it all available on the front end


Just for frontend why would anyone want EA and not go for EB with more options.
EB can do what EA is supposed to do and...

Hi Mark,

I really don't get the distinction between EA & EB

Mmm, I wouldn't call this "EasyBlog Light" because it's really not a blogging tool. EasyBlog has full fledged blogging tools within the extension itself and it is good for blogging.
EasyArticles on the other hand, simplifies the whole article creation process in Joomla and made it all available on the front end


Just for frontend why would anyone want EA and not go for EB with more options.
EB can do what EA is supposed to do and much more, only difference is

Using native joomla article DB in EA v/s using own DB tables in EB.
The possibility to use all Joomla content plugins available.
(I'm just being devils advocate)

Now my two cents, EA is a nice concept and i can see its future if it allows to harness the power of joomla native custom fields from the front end.
And further gives an option to display/showcase articles (filters) based on these custom fields. There are a few components which have appeared (ja mega filter by joomlart) and a few for K2.

This will differentiate EA from EB and give scope for developers to extend EA as they wish (Blog/Cart/Catalog etc..)

Of-course i'm commenting without even seeing the produce

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  1.    Sunny

Hey Sunny,

You are right that EasyBlog is a far more superior solution in terms of blogging and authoring. However EasyArticles is targetted to users who don't necessarily need a blog but more of an article aystem for content generation or news.

It would harness the potential of Joomla and apart from that, we would be able to bring it's awesomeness into EasyBlog too

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  1.    Mark

My worry is that if you pitch it as Authoring tool, it would cannibalize EB (YAB (Yet Another Blogging platform!)

What i saw in the EA page, it feels like a authoring tool in a pretty dress (Prettier than Default Joomla and Less Prettier than EB).

• For administrators pretty is not needed, ease is needed.
• And for users (I mean users of our sites) to generate content i don't think EA would suffice, they would need EB.

Because EA would be able to harness thousands of com_content plugins...

My worry is that if you pitch it as Authoring tool, it would cannibalize EB (YAB (Yet Another Blogging platform!)

What i saw in the EA page, it feels like a authoring tool in a pretty dress (Prettier than Default Joomla and Less Prettier than EB).

• For administrators pretty is not needed, ease is needed.
• And for users (I mean users of our sites) to generate content i don't think EA would suffice, they would need EB.

Because EA would be able to harness thousands of com_content plugins which are in the open, this would make the usage limited only by imagination of the administrator. He can plug anything in and make it into anything. So i believe the primary users would be administrators and not 'Our Users', so please not visualise it just as an authoring tool.

It would be nice if content filtering is included in EA for us Administrators.

Please have a look at
Content filter based on Joomla Articles

Filters Based on K2

If this in baked in then it would be a rocket i guess

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  1.    Sunny

I hear and understand where you are coming from. Perhaps when an alpha is available, we could have a little chat

EasyArticles would not cannibalize EasyBlog unless you don't need a blog. EasyBlog was designed to a proper blogging system unlike people who use articles on Joomla (they say sky is the limit with Joomla articles)

EasyBlog on the other hand emphasizes on the niche of blogging. There are a whole load of features in EasyBlog that cannot be implemented in Joomla articles as a...

I hear and understand where you are coming from. Perhaps when an alpha is available, we could have a little chat

EasyArticles would not cannibalize EasyBlog unless you don't need a blog. EasyBlog was designed to a proper blogging system unlike people who use articles on Joomla (they say sky is the limit with Joomla articles)

EasyBlog on the other hand emphasizes on the niche of blogging. There are a whole load of features in EasyBlog that cannot be implemented in Joomla articles as a blogging system.

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  1.    Mark

I hear and understand where you are coming from. Perhaps when an alpha is available, we could have a little chat


Eagerly awaiting for Alpha!!

regards

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"A day late and a penny short"...

After about trying to implement EB for three years, we just bought the RS blog instead, because during all this time nobody (as in "null") of our users have written a blog post because they feel the system is too complicated.

Maybe EA would be right, but it's sadly and simply too late in this case.

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  1.    Amema

Hey Amema,

I am really sorry to hear this but have you tried out EasyBlog 5.1 yet? We have improvised the entired authoring experience in EasyBlog.

If you need us to help you get going, let us know.

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I'm most interested in the workflow part. Will this create a version of the article for moderation that is unpublished until approved WHILE LEAVING THE ORIGONAL PUBLISHED?

Most workflow components unpublish the article while waiting approval.

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  1.    Lorrie Eckert

Hello Lorrie,

Yep, this is what EasyArticles does exactly When an edited article is being submitted for approval, the existing article would still remain on the site without getting affected. Only when the draft is approved, it gets replaced.

This behavior is identical to what we have on EasyBlog.

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Does EasyArticles automatically compress a 3Mb image when a user uploads it?

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  1.    Pandj Fitz

There is a restriction on the ACL where you can specify different upload limits but it doesn't resize the size to a specific size.

There is however a settings that automatically resize images that exceeds a specific threshold of width / height. If the image uploaded exceeds that size, it would then resize the image within the threshold.

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will easy articles create rss feeds for a specific category?

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  1.    Brett Shadbolt

EasyArticles doesn't handle any "outputs" of the article. It only handles the management portion but I believe Joomla articles already has an RSS feed generated on the page eh?

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  1.    Mark

yep, realised that after I wrote my comment.

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Where can one find a User Guide (providing a step-by-step installation along with concised examples) for the EasyArticles

Andrew

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  1.    andy

Hey Andy,

We are in the midst of updating the documentation for EasyArticles and it will be published soon.

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Tuesday, 24 January 2017 by Sylvie