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Required Categories, Google Analytics and more

SermonSpeaker 4.4.4 is released and has again gotten some bugfixes and improvements as well as some new features.

The biggest change is that categories are no longer optional. This is done so the SermonSpeaker code is following closer the Joomla standard behaviour. This should make it more comprehensible how SermonSpeaker works as in all Joomla core extensions, categories are always required.

This changes in SermonSpeaker 4.4.4 finally made it possible for me to change this behaviour without breaking existing installations:

  • A default category "Uncategorized" will be created on update/install.
  • All items without a category will be assigned to this new category "Uncategorized".
  • A new parameter in the SermonSpeaker options allows to include items from subcategories in a listing view.

Beside this major change, there are several other new features and improvements:

  • Support for Google Analytics in JW Player, Flowplayer and Vimeo.
  • Support for share and viral plugins in JW Player and Flowplayer.
  • Pictures for sermons are taken from series and speakers if there is no specific image set for the sermon.
  • Uploading to Amazon S3 is now possible from the sermon form.
  • The sermon form will show the destination where it will upload the files.
  • There will be a warning message if the title and metadata are longer than recommended. You can still save them thought.
  • New parameter "Default Addfile Description". This one will be used if there is no description set in the sermon form. If the parameter is empty, the filename will be used instead.
  • ID3 lookup uses AJAX now, so the form doesn't get reloaded on a lookup.

Google Analytics

SermonSpeaker 4.4.4 now supports the Google Analytics plugins available for JW Player, Flowplayer and Vimeo. This plugins can be enabled in the SermonSpeaker settings. However you need to include the Google Analytics tracking code on your page, or it will not work. There are various modules and plugins available on JED which make it easy to include this code on your site. Of course you also need an account on Google Analytics.

After the tracking code is present on your site and the GA support is enabled in SermonSpeaker you will see new events showing up in Google Analytics -> Content -> Events. The name of the events depends on the player you use:

Player Category Action Label
JW Player

Video Plays
Seconds Played
Percentage Played


$Referrer (URL of page containing the player)
Flowplayer SermonSpeaker/Audio
Vimeo Vimeo Video play

Modules and Plugins

Most modules and plugins are also updated. Those contain mostly updated language files and some minor improvements/bugfixes.