K2, which is a content construction kit, has been indispensable for many Joomla designers because it has so many features. A content construction kit is typically an extension, which allows extra custom field for a particular piece of content. K2 expands on this with even more features. For those familiar with Drupal, it is equivalent to the CCK module, which is also one of the most popular modules in Drupal.
Article Custom Fields
K2 provides the ability to add custom fields to articles. For example, if your articles are focused on car types, you can add fields, such as miles, color, brand and transmission. You can also add other types of fields such as image galleries and video.
The power of K2 extends to blogging, and provides all the features of a blogging platform. You can easily add tags, categories, comments, and a complete blogging interface, to ultimately produce a fully integrated blogging system. One of the major strengths that K2 has over Joomla 1.5, is that K2 has unlimited levels of categories. K2 also has its own commenting system, an integral feature for all blogs.
Themes and Templates
One of the stand out advantages presented by K2 is the ability to theme and apply templates to different pages. If you have a blog section of your website, it becomes very easy to create a different look and feel, for this part of the website. Its particular strength is that it provides the option for multiple layouts. For example, you may wish to display a different look and feel for each category. This is achieved with template overrides, whereby each folder can contain different layouts
Other features include the ability to automatically resize images, author page biographies, add a related items section and allow attachments. Content types can be specific for a category, for example it can be an article, blog post, product page, or a directory listing. Not only can components be themed, but modules can also be themed.
There are a number of content construction kits for Joomla. Others include Flexicontent, ZOO and JSEBLOD CCK. JSEBLOD CCK has been well reviewed for its flexibility and Flexicontent for its ease of use. K2 is acknowledged as the strongest and most feature rich, as well as its strength in usability. Some go so far as to say K2 features should be in Joomlaâ€™s core. Interestingly, a number of features of K2, such as unlimited categories, have been implemented into the core of the new Joomla versions. Even so, when K2 becomes stable for the most up to date Joomla versions, it will continue to be essential for many websites requiring sophisticated content management capabilities.
Author – Mitchel Xavier has many years of experience as a Joomla cms website designer and Joomla developer.