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Brendan - EasyScript 250 Review

Every now and then we come across a plugin or an extension that inspires us. To the point where we can even remember the file name of the item without having to search for it over and over again. You could say it's become one of our 'go to scripts'. Why fix it, if it ain't broke some would say, we would agree. Easyscript 250 from https://blackdale.com is one such script.


In this article, I would like to talk about it a little.

Blackdale offers two versions of this script, a free lite one and a more feature filled Easyscript Pro for just $10. We will look at the free 'lite' version in this review, but if the guys at Blackdale would like to send us over a copy of the Pro script we would love to do a side by side comparison. cool

What is Easyscript?

So, what is Easyscript? There is a clue in the name. Easyscript effortlessly takes the information you give it and it inserts that information with the correct syntax, in the correct place between the <head></head> tags of your website. It's a simple way of adding to your Joomla website without either hacking the core Joomla files or the template files. This is important because if you do change those core files, what happens the next time you hit 'UPDATE'? I'll tell you, all, and I mean ALL, of your modifications, will be overwritten and lost for eternity. Just imagine how much work you will have to redo to your website, just because you updated it. Not good, right? Easyscript is a great way of adding to Joomla without the risk of losing your work. Remember, don't hack – add and override.

What is it for?

When you want to modify your Joomla Template you will most likely have to change the CSS or other parts of the website. Easyscript gives you a super easy way to connect those new CSS/JS/Font files with the website and have them loaded in the correct order as your web page loads on the screen of a computer.


Let's take a look under the hood.

Easyscript installs in Joomla just as any other plugin does, in an undramatic way. We will take it from there. Once installed, head on over to the plugins listing page in the back end of your Joomla installation, and click on the link to open up its parameters. Notice that the plugin installs in an 'unenabled' state.

The initial page is just the information page, as you would get on any other plugin. There are support links to their website and an email address, as well as the main link for the documentation. Which, unlike many other plugins opens up a new tab in your browser and displays its own help site. You can also enable the plugin here and select what user group has access to its actions. It's set to 'public' as default.

At the top is a row of 'tabs':-

Plugin, Scripts, Styles, Jquery, Fonts – Google, Other

Let's look at them one by one (we have covered the 'Plugin' tab above)

Scripts

In this tab you can insert the URL of any JavaScript file you may need to load for your website to work as desired. There are 10 possible entries available. These can either be the full web address, the absolute address, (http://www.mysite.com/templates/protostar/js/myjsfile.js) or if the file is located on your Joomla site by the shorter, relative address, (templates/protostar/js/myjsfile.js). Easyscript once saved will insert your link with the correct formatting in the correct place between the <head></head> tags.

Easyscript250 Scripts settings page image

Styles

The styles tab works in the same way as the scripts tab works. There is also the possibility to add 10 more CSS files here. Just point your URL towards the CSS file you need to load in the input box. Again these can either be the full web address, the absolute address, (http://www.mysite.com/templates/protostar/css/mycssfile.) or if the file is located on your Joomla site by the shorter, relative address, (templates/protostar/css/mycssfile.css). Easyscript once saved will insert your link with the correct formatting in the correct place between the <head></head> tags.

Easyscript250 Styles settings page image

Jquery

These days, in version 3+ of Joomla Jquery is loaded by default, so the settings in this tab can be left set at, None. However, if for some reason you do need to load Jquery again, maybe you are still running Joomla on an earlier Joomla version, this tab gives you the chance to load Jquery from Googles repository. This tab also gives you the ability to choose which version of Jquery to load, this is handy sometimes if you are having problems with extensions not running properly. For example, maybe your extension will not work with the version of Jquery shipped with Joomla and you need a newer/older version.

Easyscript250 Jquery settings page image

Fonts – Google

The Fonts – Google tab of Easyscript is a great way of instantly giving you access to use over a thousand Google Fonts. It's so easy, just select the font you would like to use from the drop-down boxes that have been conveniently arranged by type. Serif, Sans Serif, Display, and Handwriting. For each type there are five drop down boxes, so theoretically you could choose 20 different fonts to load. That would be more than enough to satisfy even the most creative of you. It's worth noting here that as with any 'extra' item your website has to load on page load, there will be a performance hit on your site. So, moderation is the key. There are different ways to use the Google font selected, you could add it with a 'font-family' selector in your CSS file for the section of HTML that you want to change. On the default Joomla template, Protostar, the styling of the modules in the right-hand column are controlled by the div class .well. So we would simply add:-

Easyscript250 Google Fonts settings page image
.well {
    font-family: almendra; /* --- example Google font from Easyscript --- /*
}

Joomla Right Module with new font styleto our CSS file, either the original template CSS file or, preferably a custom CSS file also loaded via Easyscript.

In the picture, you can see the font used in the right-hand modules is now different to the fonts being used on the rest of the page.

Or, you could add it as some 'inline' styling in an article you are writing for your website. This method of adding CSS styling should be minimized as much as possible however as is goes against best practice policies on website design. Although in saying that, I am sure that we are all guilty of a little inline styling from time to time. If you did choose this method you would simply add something like <p><span style="font-family: Almendra;">Hello World</span></p> to the section of your article that you wanted to use your new font on. Then, when it is displayed on the front end it would have the new font applied and be different to the rest of the text.


Other

The last tab gives you an opportunity to add just about any other piece of code you need to within the <head></head> tags. You can also select whether that added code is an SWF file. This is a good place to add details of your meta tags for Facebook and Twitter. It's also a great place to add all those extra meta tags you need for different icons for Apple and Android gadgets. As in the example below.

Easyscript250 Other settings page image

<meta property="og:title" content="Facebook Open Graph META Tags"/>
<meta property="og:image" content="https://ujoomla.com/img/facebooklogo.png"/>
<meta property="og:site_name" content="UJoomla"/>
<meta property="og:description" content="UJoomla, a great resource for Joomla"/>

<link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="57x57" href="/apple-icon-57x57.png">
<link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="60x60" href="/apple-icon-60x60.png">
<link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="72x72" href="/apple-icon-72x72.png">
<link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="76x76" href="/apple-icon-76x76.png">
<link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="114x114" href="/apple-icon-114x114.png">​

 


Documentation

A feather in the cap of Blackdale is their 'Help' files and documentation for Easyscript. They are installed as part of the plugin and form quite a comprehensive resource if needed. There is no guess work with this plugin. Not only do they give you examples of how or what to write in the input boxes of the relevant section of the plugin, but they even give you visual examples of the google fonts available. This means that when you need answers you do not have to search on the internet or Google Fonts website, and you can stay focused on your website.

 


Results

There's not much to say here really. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. You can see in the image below the plugin has insterted the code, complete with the correct tags into the HTML of the page.

Easyscript250 Output HTML image

 


Conclusion

Use it on EVERY website you own/build/repair/look after..... As I mentioned at the beginning, this is one of our go to plugins, there is a reason for that. You only need this one plugin to do many different tasks. It does everything you could ever want it to do. It does it right, it does it well, it's easy to use and it does not make a noticeable difference to your page loading times. (Of course, if you abuse it....) Because the basic lite version that we have looked at today works so well, I would recommend that you seriously consider spending the $10 and upgrade to the Pro version. Looking at the specs, the Pro version is even better. Of course, it has the same great features the free lite version has, but it offers a whole load of flexibility, fewer limitations and new features that can only improve your website and lessen your workload. What more could anyone ask for?

Small Gold Star
  • Grade 10/10
  • Easy to Install
  • Easy to Setup
  • Easy to Use
  • Fit for Purpose
  • Documentation

Conclusion

Use it on EVERY website you own/build/repair/look after..... As I mentioned at the beginning, this is one of our go to plugins, there is a reason for that. You only need this one plugin to do many different tasks. It does everything you could ever want it to do. It does it right, it does it well, it's easy to use and it does not make a noticeable difference to your page loading times. (Of course, if you abuse it....) Because the basic lite version that we have looked at today works so well, I would recommend that you seriously consider spending the $10 and upgrade to the Pro version. Looking at the specs, the Pro version is even better. Of course, it has the same great features the free lite version has, but it offers a whole load of flexibility, fewer limitations and new features that can only improve your website and lessen your workload. What more could anyone ask for?

Small Gold Star
  • Grade 10/10
  • Easy to Install
  • Easy to Setup
  • Easy to Use
  • Fit for Purpose
  • Documentation


We made a little walk through video that you can watch below, please do comment and let us know what you think of this great little plugin.

 

Last modified on Monday, 02 October 2017 22:46
Brendan

About:

Hi, I have been a Joomla fan and website developer since 2005. UJoomla is an attempt to give back to those who are in the same place I was in 2005. Green around the ears and eager to learn!

ujoomla.com

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