With a very interesting and exciting concept, the owners of Celebrify approached us to build their site in Joomla. On the surface the requirements sound simple. Under the bonnet is one of the most sophisticated projects we've had the opportunity to work on.

Functional Requirements

  • Visitors select from a list of contracted celebrities and place an order for a custom video greeting. They specify a recipient name, some relevant information and a delivery date.
  • Payment to be processed by Paypal.
  • Video requests to be automatically emailed to the celebrity and site administrators.
  • The celebrity responds to the email with an attached video message.
  • The video should be delivered via SMS to the specified mobile phone on the specified day.

The Development

As with many requirements, what sounds simple is often far from it. The initial challenge was the medium in which this was to function. SMS, email and mobile phones are not designed to handle video content and this posed some problems. We also learnt that retrieving email attachments from a mail server using PHP is a hair pulling experience and SMS carriers have extremely strict limits on data transfer.  And, validating mobile phone numbers across several countries requires a library of code containing over 50,000 lines.

We built a system on top of Joomla with a custom component and a number of plugins that does the following:

  • Creates a record of the initial order and maintains a complete history of events.
  • Tracks payment via paypal.
  • Sends the email notification to the relevant celebrity profile.
  • Retrieves the video attachment from email replies and moves it to the web server.
  • Using the Youtube API and OAuth the video is automatically uploaded to the Celebrify Youtube channel.
  • Sends the SMS notification to the recipient with a short message and a link to their video message.

The Design

To ensure we got the functionality and design right we started with wireframes. Wireframes are an awesome way to get all stakeholders to focus on functional design. Both designers and clients can focus on getting the layout right to ensure an optimal user experience without getting into issues like content, colours and logo sizes. Compare the wireframes to the live site

The final design is a custom built, responsive Joomla template that incorporates a thematic video background and introductory video on the homepage.

The Outcome

The Celebrify site is beautiful, highly functional, and very simple for users to understand and use. The response from users has been tremendous. In time, when the library of available celbrities increases it will be a very popular site. We expect big things.

Seen enough...?


As you may have gathered already, we do some pretty serious stuff here at Joomstore. If you are as serious as we are, have a written brief and a genuine budget, please drop us a line.