Increasing K2’s Limit to More than 100 Items

While working on a Joomla website powered by K2, we noticed that one of the pages, containing a big list of company names, is only limited to display the first 100 companies. We checked the backend of the Joomla website, and the limit was set to display 1,000 items for that particular category. We increased […]

Weird Error While Updating a Joomla Website

While trying to update a Joomla website to the latest version we encountered the following weird error: Could not open /home/[user]/public_html/administrator/modules/mod_latestactions/mod_latestactions.xml for writing At first glance, we didn’t know what that error was because we didn’t know that the module mod_latestactions existed in Joomla. A quick research revealed that this was a new module and […]

How We Are Handling Traffic from Bots

An emerging and an extremely annoying issue that (almost all) large websites are currently experiencing is bot traffic. Of course, bot traffic has always been an issue, but it was, to a certain extent, manageable and way less vexing. However, recently, bot traffic has become very aggressive, especially on high traffic websites. So why this […]

Before Optimizing Your Joomla Website

At itoctopus, we have optimized many, many Joomla sites and we have written many articles on optimizing Joomla sites. But, before optimizing any Joomla website, we do check/ask about the server powering the website. If we think the server is too weak for our beloved CMS, then we recommend that the client upgrade to a […]

How We Modified the Joomla Search Plugin to Include Synonyms

We were commissioned by the marketing department of a global education website to enhance the Search plugin of their Joomla website. In essence, they wanted us to include the synonyms of a word in the search results. For example, if someone types in the word “house”, we also include the words “home”, “residence”, etc… At […]

“[] operator not supported for strings” Error on Joomla sites

A regular client of ours contacted us this morning telling us that after updating PHP from 5.6 to 7.2 on his server, he saw the following fatal error on the homepage of his company website: [] operator not supported for strings. We did see this problem before on another client’s Joomla site, and it was […]

Joomla’s Search Results Have <span class=”highlight”> – How to Fix!

A client of ours emailed us this morning and told us that the search functionality on their website is acting funny, and asked us to take a look. So, we tested the search by entering a term relevant to the client’s business, and we noticed that many titles in the search articles had something like […]

How to Load JavaScript Files Asynchronously in Joomla 3.8

In this day and age, most web developers out there want to load everything asynchronously – you know – just to please Google, despite the fact that loading JS files asynchronously may result in some erratically unpredictable behavior. In fact, from an SEO perspective, ensuring that the website looks good on mobile devices is an […]

DFP Ad Targeting with HubSpot on a Large Joomla Website

An exciting project that we have just finished is DFP (now Google Ads) ad targeting using HubSpot on a large Joomla website. In short, here’s how the system works: Someone visits the Joomla website and fills in a HubSpot form – the person is automatically assigned a hubspotutk which is associated to his HubSpot profile. […]

“The parameter platforminfo.class must be defined.” Error on Joomla

A new client called us a couple of days ago telling us that he successfully updated the Joomla website of the company he works in, however, he told us that they had to revert back because of some issues on the website resulting from the update. He told us that after reverting back, he saw […]

Seeing Gibberish when Trying to Update a Joomla Website

A client called us yesterday morning and told us that they were having issues trying to update their Joomla website. They didn’t give us any details, they just told us that they were seeing an error and that they wanted our help. As usual, we gratefully and immediately obliged… We logged in to the backend […]

How to Share a Database Table Across Different Joomla Websites

We know, we’ve been lazy this month, as this is our first article and it’s now the 31st – but, we were working on exciting projects so rest assured that we’ll make it up to you in the next month. One of the exciting projects that we worked on was the sharing of a database […]

How to Truncate a Table Using Joomla’s Database Abstraction Layer

We know, you’ve always dreamt of truncating a database table using the Joomla database library, but you didn’t know how to do that, so you used the following code instead: $db = JFactory::getDbo(); $sql = ‘TRUNCATE TABLE `mytable`’; $db->setQuery($sql); $db->execute(); The above code works, but it doesn’t say much about your Joomla skills. A cleaner […]

A Custom Module Is Always Better than a Joomla Plugin

When a Joomla developer is asked to add some JavaScript tracking code to a Joomla website, he typically codes a content plugin in order to achieve this result. This, of course, works. But, it’s a very inefficient way of doing things. Why? Because this can be done easily with a custom HTML module and a […]

Your PHP Changes Are Not Showing on Your Joomla Website? Maybe It’s OPCache

Earlier today, we ran into a very weird issue… We were making some changes to a cron PHP file (under the cli folder), but our changes were not taking effect. This was very odd because we were sure that no caching was enabled anywhere on the server, at least so we thought. What was odd […]

How to Implement DFP Ad Targeting on Joomla Sites

Lately, we have been working increasingly on marketing (from a very technical perspective), specifically on ad targeting. Essentially, our clients are being pressured by their own clients to target visitors with matching ads. For example, if someone is a big reader of car articles on a news website, then he will be targeted with car […]

The Apple Touch Icon Files and Joomla Performance

If you want to see something interesting, then do the following: ssh to the server hosting your Joomla website. Change to the domlogs folder. Run the following grep on the main log file of your domain: grep ‘MobileSafari’ yourjoomlawebsitelogfile.txt > mobilesafari-log.txt After doing the last step, you should have a mobilesafari-log.txt file in your current […]

How We Solved a Major Problem with the “System – Page Cache” Joomla Plugin

One of the most annoying problems with the System – Page Cache plugin is the fact that when you update an article, then that update won’t reflect on the website immediately, as the cached page would still be served to the visitors and won’t be refreshed until it “expires”. In fact, the absolute majority of […]

How to Display an “Edit Article” Link on the Joomla Frontend when Logged in to the Backend

On any news site, one of the most convenient things for editors is to have an “Edit Article” link on the article page. Such a link will save a lot of time for the editors since without it they will need to go to the backend, search for the article (which will put pressure on […]

Why Switching Your MySQL Host to May Break Your Joomla Website

Many Joomla administrators think that is equivalent to localhost when it comes to MySQL connections, and they think that they can change the value of $host in their configuration.php file from localhost to and the website will still work as it should. In reality, if they’re using cPanel, then the website will go […]

How to Use MySQL Persistent Connections on Joomla Sites

A somehow controversial subject in the database world is MySQL persistent connections: Some claim they have a performance benefit, others claim they’re bad and they can cause some memory issues on the server. At itoctopus, we have decided to put an end to the controversy by running experiments on a large Joomla website in order […]

On Closing MySQL Connections on Joomla Sites

If you’re an avid reader of our blog, then you may already know that we have a passion for optimizing Joomla sites. A passion so strong, that we spend the absolute majority of our spare time researching new optimization techniques. More often than not, our research yields interesting results. For example, about a week ago, […]

A Simple .htaccess Rule to Punish Bad Bots Hitting Your Joomla Site

We manage quite a few large Joomla sites, and all of these sites get their fair share of bad traffic caused by bad bots. What most system administrators do is that they block these bad bots with an .htaccess rule. At itoctopus, we go the extra mile and we punish those bots. How do we […]

Joomla Article Remains Locked After Saving and Closing It

One of the (almost unique) features that Joomla has is “locking” articles. So, when someone is editing an article, that article is locked to prevent others from editing it. The lock is released when the article is “closed” by clicking on the Save & Close button, the Save as Copy button, or the Close button. […]

“You are not permitted to use that link to directly access that page” Error when Editing a Joomla Article

After moving the website of a client from a shared host to a dedicated server (with another company), we got a call from the client telling us that she’s experiencing a weird situation. She told us that when she tries to edit an article on the frontend of the Joomla site, it works the first […]

The Joomla Authors Filter Field Slows Down Large Sites

Note: This post contains a core modification. Keep in mind that core modifications may cause stability issues and may be wiped out with a simple Joomla update. A few months back, we’ve written about the Joomla getAuthors function, and how we initially thought it was there to populate the contents of the Author filter field, […]

How We Switched a Large Joomla Website to HTTPS

Back in August 2014, Google stated on their official webmasters blog that their ranking algorithm will start giving an advantage to HTTPS sites over HTTP sites. Back then, many people simply did not care, and did not switch their sites to use HTTPS. However, in the beginning of the last autumn (“the beginning of the […]

“1881 – Operation not allowed when innodb_forced_recovery > 0.” Error on Joomla Site

A new client called us yesterday and told us that the website of the company he works for is down. He told us that it was displaying a weird error. We immediately visited the website, and we noticed that it was displaying the below error (in red): “1881 – Operation not allowed when innodb_forced_recovery > […]

“AJAX Loading Error: error” when Updating Your Joomla Website

A regular client who subcontracts work to us emailed us that he wasn’t able to update the website of one of his clients from Joomla 3.8.3 to Joomla 3.8.5. He told us that the update would fail halfway through with the following error: AJAX Loading Error: error Of course, the first thing that we thought […]

Your Company IP Is Blocked from Accessing Your Joomla Site? Read This!

Around 10 AM EST yesterday morning, we got a call from a large company telling us that their Joomla website is down as none of their staff members are able to access it. We checked and we were able to access the website. The first thing that came into our minds was that their company […]

How the “getAuthors” Function Slows Down the Joomla Backend “Articles” Page

Note: The solution in this post is a core modification. Proceed with caution. Another note: This post has been modified on January 31st, 2018 to correct an error. The post has originally been published the day before, on January 30th, 2018. While analyzing the performance of the backend of a Joomla 3.8 website that has […]

Saving Large Articles in Joomla’s Backend Returns a 404 Error

A client of ours uses a Joomla article for listing internal announcements (the Joomla website is used as an intranet). The Joomla article contains announcements from 2005 and, each time the company has a new announcement (which literally happens at least one time every business day), that announcement is added to the very beginning of […]

ConfigServer eXploit Scanner Can Cause Joomla Performance Issues

For a while now, we were noticing intermittent load spikes on the server powering a high traffic Joomla website of a client of ours. These spikes were troubling, because they were caused by neither the MySQL database nor the PHP instance; they were caused by something else, something that we didn’t know what it was […]

Broken Joomla Extension After Updating to PHP 7.2? Read This!

Note: This post is somehow technical. Some PHP knowledge is required to understand it. After updating PHP to 7.2 on the server powering the Joomla website of a major client, we noticed that one of the modules became broken. The module was supposed to display some images with a specific size, and, while the images […]

“Error: Could not open archive part file” Error When Updating Joomla

Yesterday morning, a client emailed us that he wasn’t able to update his Joomla website from version 3.7.5 to version 3.8.3. He told us that he was seeing an “an ajax error of some sort” after clicking on the Update Now button. We immediately thought that he had permission issues on the restore.php file, but […]

“0 – The MySQL adapter mysqli is not available” Joomla Error After Updating to PHP 7.2

Note: This post assumes that you are using WHM and EasyApache 4. If you aren’t using them but are seeing the same problem, then the heart of the solution is correct (you will need to install the proper MySQL extension, but the implementation is different). It was around 2:00 AM last Saturday when were scheduled […]

Internal Server Error After Moving a Joomla Website to Another Server

A new client called us and told us that they are seeing an Internal Server Error (Error 500) after moving their site from one server to another. They told us that they’re sure that all the files were properly moved (they zipped the Joomla website on the origin server and extracted it on the destination […]

On the Careless Usage of MySQL’s DISTINCT in Joomla’s com_content

As of Joomla 3.8.0 (and so far until Joomla 3.8.2), the articles model in the com_content extension (both frontend and backend) uses DISTINCT in the main query that returns the articles (in the getListQuery function). For the untrained eye, such a change is harmless, but, to anyone who has some experience in MySQL (and any […]

Progressive Caching in Joomla 3 Is a Recipe for Disaster

There are many recipes for a disaster out there, our favorite one is the following: One three-pound European white truffle. Eight ripe fruits from a jellyfish tree. 7 drops of fairy tears. One medium sized hair from the tail of a yellow (#ffff00) unicorn. One onion. Just a regular, medium sized onion. A sprinkle of […]

The Mysterious Intermittent MySQL Crash on a Joomla Website

Most people love mystery movies, there is something thrilling about them. We also love mystery movies, but there is something that we love even more, and it is Joomla mysteries, and yesterday we were fortunate enough that we were assigned to investigate one of these mysteries… At around eleven hundred hours yesterday morning, a regular […]

7 Reasons Your Joomla Site Is Suddenly Displaying a Blank Page

You haven’t done anything on your Joomla website for 4 weeks, and you are the only authorized person that has access to the backend of the website and to the site’s filesystem/database. Yet, you wake up this morning and you find out that your website (frontend and/or backend), is displaying a blank page. You call […]

A Simple Yet Powerful K2 Optimization Tip for Joomla Sites

While optimizing an already optimized K2 powered Joomla website yesterday, we noticed the following query in the slow query log: SELECT i.*, as categoryname, as categoryid, c.alias as categoryalias, c.params as categoryparams FROM #__k2_items as i RIGHT JOIN #__k2_categories AS c ON = i.catid WHERE i.published = 1 AND i.access IN(1,1,5) AND i.trash […]

“Fatal error: Class ‘Joomla\CMS\Menu\Tree’ not found” Error After Failed Joomla Update

This past weekend, a client of ours from Kuwait emailed us and told us that the backend of his Joomla website is displaying a blank page. He told us that the login page to the backend was working, but, as soon as you login, you will see a blank page. He also told us that […]

What Happens if Joomla Does Not Close MySQL Database Connections

At itoctopus, we have a strong passion for optimizing Joomla websites, that’s why we always research new ways that may improve their performance. We mostly focus on optimizing the database because sometimes a simple database optimization can have a huge impact on the overall performance of the Joomla website. This time it was no different. […]

Joomla Has a Mystery “ordering” Form Field Type

Yesterday evening (or very early in the morning today), we updated the Joomla website of a new client from Joomla 3.1.5 to Joomla 3.7.5 (we are waiting for 3.8.2 to be released to update to 3.8). The update was really nothing out of the ordinary: we did see some issues but we fixed them immediately […]

“Application Instantiation Error: No database selected” Joomla Error

A new client emailed us that he was seeing the following error on his Joomla website: Error displaying the error page He told us that he started seeing the above error when the hosting company moved his website from one server to another. He told us that the hosting company debugged the issue for a […]

A Super Elegant Method to Check if a Joomla User is a Super User

A few weeks ago, we wrote a post in which we admitted that we haven’t discovered fire. This morning, however, we had a new discovery akin to discovering fire, and it was a very clean, very elegant, very lovely method to check if a user is a super user. It all happened by coincidence when […]

“Call to undefined method JApplicationSite::isClient()” when Updating to Joomla 3.8

A new client approached us yesterday and told us that they were seeing a blank page on the frontend and on the backend of their Joomla website after updating it to 3.8.0. Since a blank page is a sign of a fatal error, we set the error reporting on the client’s site to “maximum” in […]

How We Integrated Joomla’s “Email this Link to a Friend” with HubSpot

Note: This integration consists of a core override. As usual, please keep in mind that core overrides can lead to stability issues and can be wiped out with a future Joomla update. A client of ours asked us to integrate Joomla’s “Email this Link to a Friend” (or “Send Article to a Friend”) with HubSpot. […]

7 Reasons Why Your Joomla Website Response Time Is Suddenly High

We often get calls/emails from clients stating that the response time of their Joomla websites is suddenly high. They say that the day before everything was fine, and all of a sudden in the morning, the website became super slow. Of course, the first thing that we ask them is: “Has anything changed between yesterday […]