Sometimes even the simplest tasks can frustrate your website build process, adding un-budgeted time and slowing your creative flow.
This is something I ran across this week when I went to implement a simple Mailchimp subscribe form on a Joomla site, a task I've done dozens of times before. Really it should have taken no more than a few moments, the required form code is simple enough, but of course I'd need to spend much more time than that in styling the form so that it ‘fit’ with the rest of the site.
Yes, I could simply hard-code the form style syntax for my CSS framework onto the form elements or I could write some specific CSS to extend my existing template styles to the form, but neither option is future-proof and neither is truly portable.
If I did that I couldn't use the same code on a Joomla template that used Bootstrap 2, or Bootstrap 3, or some other framework; I would have coded myself into a corner.
So, I resolved to solve this particular issue once and for all by creating a simple, re-usable, Mailchimp Subscribe extension for Joomla that I could deploy to any Joomla site and never need to waste time styling it again.
I'm very happy with the solution I came up with, because it's future-proof and framework-agnostic. This extension will look great in any Joomla template because it can be configured, quickly and easily to use that templates existing styles. The module configuration options allow you to specify the CSS selectors you want to apply to the form itself, the form labels, the form inputs and the submit button, so you can style it completely within seconds and without writing a single line of css, you just specify the selectors already in use by your template. For example, if you have a Bootstrap 3.x based template and you want a green submit button just enter .btn-success as the selector for the submit button and hit save. Want to hide the form labels in a responsible, accessible, way? Just add .sr-only as a label selector and hit save. Job done.
Yes, this module is simple, it does just one thing; it allows visitors to subscribe to your Mailchimp mailing list. The best bit? You can style it completely in about 10 seconds. Yep, that's it on the sidebar there, sign up to the Joomlanauts Mailing List if you want. I promise we'll never spam you!