Content publishing platform for CTA

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). Their mission is to advance food and nutritional security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resource management in ACP countries.

When CTA came to Timble, in 2015, they were running Joomla 3.4 extended with around 20 custom developed extensions.

Problem definition

  • Usability, the extensions were not developed with usability in mind. Managing content required an high amount of expertise and took a lot of unneeded time and effort.
  • Complex, every custom extension had maintained separatly. Making development and deployment workflows a time-consuming and error-prone effort.
  • Performance, the site was slow with page request times averaging around 12s. With 60% of site visitors coming from Africa performance is key for CTA.

Tasks

Based on the outlined problems the following tasks were defined:

  • Redesign custom extensions focusing on usability
  • Refactor codebase to Joomlatools Platform and latest Joomlatools Framework
  • Improve overal site performance to on average 1 second by implementing dynamic Varnish caching

Solution

Joomla is a powerful yet simple solution for building all kinds of websites. Despite Joomla’s humble beginnings, it quickly evolved into a full-fledged web platform. Unfortunately development methodologies haven’t evolved as much in the Joomla community.

Therefor the decision was made to implement Joomlatools Platform. A modern Joomla stack that features advanced development tools, easier configuration, improved directory structure, slimmed down codebase, increased performance and redesigned backend template.

What we did

All custom extensions were rewritten from the ground up on the latest Joomlatools Framework version. Alongside seamlessly blending into the Joomlatools Platform backend interface.