Tag Archives: Joomla

Error decoding JSON data: Syntax error – One Possible Fix

All right, all right. We’re mighty late with a ‘fix’ for this problem. But that’s because we haven’t run into it either. Let’s get to it.

After upgrading Joomla to Joomla 3.6.3 you might see the following error when trying to edit an article (and possibly modules, …):

Error decoding JSON data: Syntax error

I am not going to pretend to speak developer all of a sudden, but this error means that something’s wrong with one of the ‘settings’ for your article / module. Somewhere in your database, a mistake was made.

One “popular” fix back in the days was to partially roll back to Joomla 3.6.2. That’s the wrong approach for two reasons:

  2. You’re not fixing the problem. You’re just killing the messenger and burying the body.

Instead, you could look into the database itself. When I read from Michael Babker (I hope I wrote that right) that it could be as simple as a { too little in one of the ‘settings’ fields I went to research.

So, here’s what you can do to try and solve the problem.

  1. Note the ID of the article / module
  2. Open PHPMyAdmin / your MySQL workbench of your choice.
  3. Lookup the item in com_content, com_modules or com_whateveryourelooking for. Joomla is fairly good at naming databases after what they contain. (No offense, Magento. You suck.)
  4. Compare the column values to those of articles / modules that work just fine, and focus at the start / stop. Do you see any extra / missing symbols?

When I tried this on my article, I stumbled upon the following:


Pay close attention to what’s going on in the attribs column. Something went wrong, and there’s an extra {“ that shouldn’t be there.

After removing these extra characters, the article opened again.

So, if you are confronted by a JSON error, check your data. And make a back-up first.

Fun Story Time: As it turns out, this wasn’t even the article the client needed to edit and it only said “test”. 


[Q&A] Are we dissappointed in Joomla?

Here at Joomla and More we have never tried to hide the fact that we aren’t always happy with all things Joomla. That lead to one Twitter user asking what, exactly irritates us and “where we moved on to” (which we alluded to in a tweet.

We decided to answer the question in a video, instead of writing a long form blog post. You can see the video at the bottom of this post.

In the video we discuss:

  • What we believe Joomla’s strengths are
  • Which things irritate(d) us.
  • What has been keeping us busy when we weren’t working on Joomla things.

The video is roughly 20 minutes long.

How to solve it when Chronoforms5 doesn’t submit from a page.

If you are using Chronoforms and Joomla, you might’ve run into this particular problem when you use their plug-in to embed the form into a page: it simply won’t send. Instead, you’re thrown into an infinite loop of the form resetting, resetting, resetting, resetting… Okay, I’m sure you got the point.

When you tried the form using Chronoforms’ View Form’ option you could’ve sworn it worked just fine. And you’d be right. The problem is the URL when embedding the form in a Joomla article or module

To solve this problem, there are two things you can do.

1. Add the Form to a menu item

You can turn the form into a menu item using the Menu Manager (Sorry, Marketing people, we’re going to keep on using “Manager” for everything. Manager. Menu Manager. Deal with it.) but that does not really solve your problem since it’s now a stand alone form.

2. Change a setting in the Form Setup

A more complicated, but far more relevant option, is to make a change to your form URL. To get started, open the form in the Chronoforms component.


Changing the URL will only work when you’re using the “Advanced” mode of Chronoforms, so you’ll need to enable that first and save your form.


Once that’s done, open the setup tab. In the setup tab, look for the “On load” section, and click “Edit” on the item HTML (Render Form)


A window will pop up. Find the option “Relative URL”, set it to no and choose “Save and close”. Then, save the form and test your form again. You sohuld now be able to submit your messages without at problem.

And that’s all there is to it!

Problem with your .htacces on Hetzner in Admintools 3.6.5 ?

Update: After checking on a semi-new installation we noticed that the conflicting option isn’t enabled by default. The article below is still interesting if you foolishly set all options to “yes” like I did.

If you’re a customer of Hetzner, and you’re using the latest version of Admintools you might have run into a slight problem when using the htaccess maker. Not because there’s something wrong with the wonderful piece of software thta makes our lives easier and our sites more secure, but because new features have been added recently.

And one of these features just so happens to be incompatible with your server setup at Hetzner.

The conflicting option can be found under “Optimization and Utility” and is labeled “Disable http methods TRACE and TRACK”. Enabling this option and saving the htaccess file will likely “break” your site – which is easily fixed since all you need to do is delete the .htaccess file, set the option to “No” and save the file again.

Enabling this option could be done by installing a new version and using the .htaccess maker for the first time. If you’ve installed the latest version of Admintools (and if you’re running a Joomla site, why haven’t you done this yet?) and run the .htaccess maker make sure to double-check if this option is disabled.

How to allow editors, authors and publishers into the Joomla 3 back-end

Joomla! is a great content management system, but when you limit your content creators to only using the front end, they might not agree with that. In order to let them use the Content component in the Joomla back-end to get a better overview of the available content, you need to make a small changes to the permissions in Joomla! 3. If you follow the steps below, authors, editors and publishers can log into the backend to create, edit and publish content.

Editing Global Permissions

  • In the menu, go to System > Global Configuration
  • Go to the Permissions tab, and set “Admin Login” to “allowed” for the groups you want to grant backend access. Once you save, the screen should look like the image below.
Set “Admin Login” to allowed, and save the settings.

Allowing backend access to the Content Manager

  • Go to Content > Article Manager, then click “Options” in the top right screen.
  • Go to the Permisisons tab, and set “Access Administration Interface” to allowed.
  • Save the settings


Authors, Publishers and Editors can now login to the backend. Worry not, they’ll only be able to access the Content Manager and perform their respective actions on the contents there.