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Joomla!

3.90909
Average: 3.9 (11 votes)
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Company Information

Joomla!

Cost

Free!

The Details

"Joomla is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables you to build Web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla the most popular Web site software available. Best of all, Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone."

Joomla! is one of the most popular open source content management systems and one of the most powerful. It's build on Joomla Framework making it an extensible platform to build websites with.

User Reviews

A Mess

1

Joomla is a mess. While there is a great amount of flexibility available, doing such a simple thing as posting an article with a few pictures becomes a chore. With a forced two-level hierarchy, poor WYSIWYG editing capability, poor media management and confusing terminology (what the heck is a "mambot??"), Joomla is confusing even for seasoned professionals. I inherited a Joomla site when I started this job, and as soon as I have the time, it will be migrated to Wordpress, so people other than myself can ACTUALLY USE IT.

Using Joomla for Ministry

5

Glad to see Joomla getting some attention as a platform for bringing ministry to the web. It is a free, highly configurable content management system that many churches and ministries now use.

There are also many free components (ie: applications) that you can use with Joomla to help, such as PrayerCenter, and also a component I have worked on with a number of others called BibleStudy that allows you to add study notes and multimedia content to your Joomla webpage.

All free and available. Go Joomla!

My Joomla Experience

4

I took about a year to learn Joomla and test it out on a WAMP server. The install for our church site was put live on a linux server.

There was a bit of a learning curve with Joomla but I have gotten used to that as I have used other open sourced apps like Wordpress and Blender3D.

Joomla is highly customizable and I have found plenty of information on troubleshooting when running into problems. (ie. IE7 having issues with the latest sermon module).

There are a lot of extensions and plugins to enhance a Joomla site - many free, some cost money. I have read some negative feedback on extensions that cost money - I have no problem paying for something that is well coded or well built.

We utilize a flash image rotater, sermon speaker, and latest sermons. The ability to make custom modules is a great feature. Also the CMS allows the restructuring of the CSS or HTML so you can define where menus and modules will show up.

As with any open sourced software coders are always working on making it better. One thing I wish Joomla 1.5 could do from install is set permissions according to section, category, or individual articles. There are role settings built in but they aren't tied certain "areas" of the site. However I am finding that there are extensions to handle that.

All in all I am happy we are using Joomla and it is servicing our needs. Our site is thin right now but there are plenty of tools to make it what we want.

Beautiful administrators interface, but thats where I stop...

2

I have previously used Joomla and before that Mambo... I love the administrators interface but other than that the system is a brochureware app with an array of bolt on's... Try it if you must but if your like me, you will return to the flexibility and elegant power of a framework like Drupal....

Joomla Review

4

My company develops sites in Joomla!, Drupal and WordPress. I will confess that over the past year - its been more Joomla! than the others... for a variety of reasons.

I will not engage in Joomla vs. Drupal vs. WP - there are tons of articles out there to do that... each has its place and purpose... nor will I be comparing features - this is a Joomla review - 'nuff said on that.

The Good:
Joomla is easy to install - on most hosts (like Hostgator - mentioned in the podcast), its a one click - they set up the database etc for you.

Extensions - over 4,500 and counting - some free - some paid - as mentioned above...all in all - very powerful stuff - if you can dream it - there's probably an extension for it.

Page Layout - very flexible with a good template - you can put content virtually anywhere on the page.

Overall - Joomla is easy to maintain - once you get the basic workflow down: Section -> Category -> Article -> Menu (if necessary).

WYSIWYG editor - (disagree with the first review) - JCE - an add on extension is a great editor - you can do anything you need inside there - including managing media, inserting images/audio/video etc.

Templates - thousands upon thousands. Many free, easy to customize.

Great support - Since its one of the largest CMS's in the world - it has hundreds of thousands of users... and loyal supporters... if you have a question, there's an answer not far away.

The Bad:
The underlying code - as pointed out - is clunky. 1.5 went through a major re-design - 1.6 is coming soon and supposedly 2.0 will be a major change in ther underlying code. Because its one of the older OS CMS's - it suffers from legacy issues.

Workflow - While simple - it is restrictive and inflexible. Unless you want to have a content item just "out there" - ie - uncatagorized... you must put it in a section and category. The bad news here - only 2 levels of categorization. If you want to have for instance: Sports -> Men's -> Hockey - you can't define it that far. (again - there are extensions to fix that).

Ugly:
Output - many templates and extensions output terrible html. This is being addressed, but unless you're careful, it will bite you.

Resources - because of the legacy code - Joomla makes more calls to the server than other CMS's... and can tax some lower end hosting solutions.

Bottom Line:
Joomla! is a very acceptable CMS. It is used in thousands of websites from the UN to the City of Chicago and more. A great choice (as are the others... before I get shot down...)

Favorite Extensions

Thought I'd add this here:

Standard Joomla extensions:
Editor: JCE
Video: (flv/swf local and remote) - AVReloaded
Podcasts: 1pixeloutplayer (yes - same as the one for WP)
Uploading lots of content: Mass Content
Store - VirtueMart
Forms - Chronoforms (there are many extensions in this category)
Simple Versioning - Versioning
PHP in a content item - directphp
Backup - joomlapack
SEO/SEF - sh404
SiteMap - xmap
Content anywhere- ucd (ultimate content display)
Keeping it up to date - add software
Community - Community Builder (haven't tried JomSocial)
Social Bookmarks - AddToAny
Content Restriction for Subscribers - AEC

Adding all of these extensions (assuming you have them downloaded) only takes about 20-30 minutes.

hth

Joomla! A Great CMS

5

I've been deploying websites on Joomla both as a hobbyist and commercially for going on three years, and it's become my favorite Open Source CMS. This isn't to say that the other big OSS CMS systems out there, especially Drupal, aren't great - I like Drupal a lot, but haven't got the experience with it that I have on Joomla.

If you have an Apache website using PHP middleware and a MySQL back end, installation with Joomla is quite easy - the CMS is deployed as a directory of PHP scripts and subdirectories. All that's needed is a MySQL database and a user with rights to it, and you're set to go. Joomla will check out the PHP code and configuration in a pre-installation check and then install. The install routine includes SQL scripts that create the database schema for the CMS. Beginning users will want to upload the sample data, which is helpful for getting the layout of a Joomla site.

On most hosted sites, Joomla! is available for scripted install using the well-known Fantastico installer, though note that many hosting providers may be behind on their Joomla versions - be sure to install the latest version to be protected against security vulnerabilities.

Joomla has a front end and a back end - the front end is the public website and the back end is the admin control panel. You'll want to carefully choose your admin password and write it down to make sure you can log in. If you use it, no worry: you can use a MySQL query to reset the admin password (Google to find a checklist to recover a lost Joomla admin password.)

One of the first things you will want to do with Joomla is change the template to give your site an appearance that appeals to you and your site visitors. This is done by simply installing a template and setting it as the default. The template re-skins the entire site, providing a uniform look and feel for the content.

With any CMS there is a learning curve, and Joomla is no different. Joomla allows you to organize your site into Sections, which can contain multiple Categories, and Categories in turn contain articles. It is also possible to publish uncategorized articles. This heirarchy is organizational only, however, and when you first use Joomla it may seem confusing that articles published in Categories do not appear on the site - nothing actually gets published until it exists as a menu link in Joomla, and this is one of the biggest perspectival understandings in the learning curve for this CMS. Once you understand it, though, Joomla suddenly begins to make sense.

Joomla is laid out in a map of module positions. These are defined in the template you use - one of the tricks you'll want to know is to add ?tp=1 to the end of a Joomla URL to expose the names of the module positions so you can see the map of how the page is laid out - the page map becomes visible and you begin to understand how it works.

One of the real strengths is the extensibility of Joomla - most extensions are free but many have both free and non-free versions. Some people have an ideological aversion to commercial extensions, but I think that the non-free extensions make a lot of sense for their developers - almost all of them are very reasonably priced and even with commercial extensions Joomla remains very attractively priced.

The wealth of extensions make Joomla extremely versatile and powerful. When I'm prospecting a client, I often create an entire demo website using dummy text (lorem ipsum) so the prospect can see a concept site. More important is the power of the interactive extensions, particularly forms, forums, newsletters and galleries, which are available in abundant variety. I have a number of favorites I use on most of my commercial sites. It's also very easy to add code like Google Analytics to a Joomla site - add it in one place, and it is applied to all of the published pages on the site.

If you lack indepth experience in CSS and XHTML coding, Joomla is a very attractive way to produce a site that is both attractive and powerful without spending a lot. This makes it a good fit for churches and nonprofits. Its extensibility adds to its power and effectiveness. If you want to use its full flexibility you'll want to learn enough CSS and XHTML to create custom layouts or modify existing templates, but even if you don't have that skill it is possible to deploy very effective sites using this powerful and flexible system.

I've not touched upon its built-in user database which makes it ideal for the basis of a subscription website (you will need to extend it with a newsletter component or other components to get full subscription capability but such components are readily available).

This power, flexibility and ease of use make it no surprise that Joomla has won many awards, and put it in the top tier of CMS packages, right up there with Drupal. Some will count Joomla as number one, others will insist that Drupal is. In reality the packages are peers - they are different, approaching website content management from different perspectives, each having its own strengths and quirks. But both are strong contenders, and it is no surprise that between the two of them they make up a large percentage of CMS deployments worldwide.

Like all CMS systems that use a database as a back end, Joomla from time to time discovers security vulnerabilities. Over the past year the team has found and patched several security holes, mostly SQL injection vulnerabilities, so it's important to make sure you keep the version up. Also be sure you follow the Joomla Security Checklist (available from Joomla.org) to make sure your Joomla site is tight and secure. There is a community to help you if you have questions or get hacked - an ever-present possibility with Joomla, Drupal, or Wordpress, to name the big three CMS packages.

I've come to love Joomla, and even though I've been working with it for several years now, I haven't yet plumbed the depths of its functionality. As stated already there is a learning curve, but it is not too steep, and once you get the first bit, you have a very powerful and easy to use CMS. It is no surprise that over 20 million websites use Joomla - it's a jewel of a CMS.

Bible Study

At the CityWest Church website (www.citywestchurch.com.au) we use Tom Fuller's application for our podcast. Works like a treat to build your podcast. We don't use some of the more advanced features as we currently don't have the need to do so.

Our website is Joomla powered with a theme from Rocket Theme. Joomla rocks! Took a while to get our heads around it. But we chose a simple and uncluttered theme.

Smart websites on Joomla! It's real!

4

Hi,
I have been using Joomla since its 1.01 version which is around 6 years ago and currently have quite large experince with it. It takes a bit time to know how the thing works and which file does what. Also there is a lot of extensions available and new are still comming up, it change very quickly so it's not easy to keep a step with the evolution. Anyway I think Joomla is an amazing system and helps me to build websites and small ecommerce solutions. For instance of my work please visit Creative Webdesign. I have never done anything iin Drupal although I think it is great CMS as well as Joomla. In conclusion, Joomla was very difficult on the start, but nowadays is going to be more and more easy to learn. So you don't need to do as much selfeducation before you are able to develop quite professional website. Good luck for everybody!:)
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