Smart Countdown v2.5 is based on version 2.4.x and adds new features.
- compatibility with more event import plugins
- "countdown to event end time" mode
- recurring events companion plugin
Smart Countdown 2.5 adds a new option to "Show Module" drop-down in module's basic settings pane: "Countdown to event end **". As mentioned in the tooltip popup on the screenshot below, this option will have effect only if a compatible event import plugin is enabled and configured. See "Recurring Events" plugin.
"Countdown to event end" mode works the same way as "Auto" or "Countdown only" when event is in future, but during the event it displays another countdown - this time to the event's end time. Although a countdown is displayed during the event, event text for count up mode will be used, so you have to configure the text displayed during events in "Text for count up mode" field. You can use this field safely because in if "Countdown to event end **" is selected as "Show module" option, a real count up will never be displayed.
Smart Countdown module comes with default configuration and ready to be used right out of the box. Just select the event date and fill in the event title. But if you wish to personalize the module appearance and functions (and probably you will) there is a handful of options and setting you can change.
To configure Smart Countdown module you have to edit it in Modules manager of Joomla backend. Configuration options and settings are grouped in sections.
Each section, its settings and options are described in detail below. (Some basic knoledge of CSS is required for the style and layout configuration.)
Smart Countdown module implements responsive behavior. The module published below is a sample. You have to view this page on a desktop or laptop computer or in other words in a browser window that can be resized (not full-screen). First resize this window to be wide enough. Then start resizing to make window width smaller. Joomla 3 protostar template will "respond" to this action and will allow you to make the window really tight. Observe how Smart Countdown module is changing its layout: first it just displays smaller without wrapping to the next line. On the last iteration, when you horizontally squeeze the browser window, the module is displayed in an alternative layout, fitting perfect into the content area.
To achive this effect both "responsive scaling" and "conditional display with duplicate" methods were used. While the window remains wide enough the module "responds" by scaling its size to a smaller value. On the last step the module is actually hidden and its copy is displayed automatically in the same position (obviousely, this copy was hidden originally). This module copy has same settings by default (event date and time, event title, etc.) so the counter value looks consistent. The settings altered in the copy are related to layout - in this example I simply switched horizontal layout to vertical, but you are free to implement your own settings (e.g. displaying labels below digits can also save horizontal space, etc.)
This article explains animation profiles creation in Smart Countdown 2.5.x If you are using Smart Countdown 3 or Smart Countdown FX for WordPress you can still use this document as a reference for animation profiles document structure.
This section is related to Smart Countdown 2.5 only:
Smart Countdown is easily extensible with additional animation profiles. Each profile is stored in a separate XML file and should be installed into /modules/mod_smartcountdown/fx folder. The profiles that come with the module installation package are already there and you can use them as a guide for creating new ones.
More profiles (free and paid) are also available. You are absolutely not obliged to purchase add-ons to extend module's features. This document explains how to create profiles on your own, from scratch or editting the installed ones. That said, still if you like to save time and/or do not have nescessary CSS skills follow this link.
"Custom Profile" text area contents will have effect if "--- Custom ---" is selected from profiles list so that you can apply one profile that is not stored in XML file but saved directly to module's settings. Normally this will be a temporary profile, if you need it for future use it is recommended that you create a profile package and install it, otherwise it can be overriten when you select another setting from profiles list.
XML document structure for all versions:
Smart Countdown module comes out of the box with translations to English (both backend and frontend), Spanish and Russian (frontend only).
The frontend part of translation is about time labels ("Days", "Hours", etc.) only and is performed in the same way as module settings field names translation in backend, i.e. using language .ini files. The event title/texts can not be translated automatically because they are always user-defined strings, so it has nothing to do with translation: you simply enter these texts in each copy of the module (one per language) or (with Localization plugin installed) in corresponding "Localized strings" fieldsets.
If you have to publish Smart Countdown module to a site in a language that is not included in original package or would like to edit existing translation it is necessary to add or edit language .ini files.
Localization plugin included in the package is optional. Smart Countdown module can function perfectly without this plugin installed.
Still, once enabled, it will help users to configure Smart Countdown for multilingual sites.
Starting from version 2.2.7 Smart Countdown implements a new feature: an option to calculate event time relative to the moment the module is first displayed during current session. If the module is displayed on all pages of your site, the effect will be equal to "session start". See Setting the counter relative to session start for details.
A special plugin is required to fully support this feature. It is responsible for counter re-init (optional) and displaying a system message (optional) if "redirect on countdown zero" option is checked. If this plugin is not installed or enabled, only "No" and "Count up from session start" options will be available from "Relative to session" dropdown in the module settings. With plugin enabled "Relative to session" will offer countdown options also: Countdown from 5 minutes to zero (5 minutes limit), 10 minutes limits, etc.
Starting from version 2.2.7 Smart Countdown implements a new feature: an option to calculate event time relative to the moment the module is first displayed during current session. If the module is displayed on all pages of your site, the effect will be equal to "session start".
There are two modes for calculating event time if this option is active:
Count up from session start - normally used for decoration / information purposes, so that user can keep track of the time he spends on your site
If you are still using Joomla 2.5.x and Smart Countdown 2.5 you can find add-ons for the module browsing this category. For Joomla 3 sites it is highly recommended to move to Smart Countdown 3. New add-ons versions compatible with Smart Countdown 3 are already available:
Animation profiles for Smart Countdown 3
Event import plugins for Smart Countdown 3