I am big fan of the Joomla Content Management System. I must have developed over 50 websites using Joomla over the past few years. With so many advantages over other systems it is my CMS of choice. That said, it’s still not widely known outside the tech world, with so many website owners not hearing of it.
This blog is to provide some information about the benefits of using Joomla.
Benefits of Joomla
The website content management administration interface is very user friendly and easy to use. If you are familiar with leading word processors you will be familiar in using the editor. It allows you to format the text and insert tables, images and hyperlinks and more. You can read more on the benefits on using a Content Manager in a previous article Why You Need a Website Content Management System (CMS).
Joomla has a fantastic template based system for designs. Designs can easily be installed and switched between at ease. There are also thousands of free and low cost Joomla designs available on the internet to download and install. So for low budget website owners, there is no need for graphic design and additional cost. You can choose from thousands of designs to use easily.
If customisation of the design is required, Joomla is built in such a way to make creating or changing designs very easy for developers to do, also reducing cost to having a bespoke website built.
With a development community of thousands of people there are in turn thousands of excellent and functional “add ons” that can be easily added into the Joomla website making it a far more powerful tool than a simple brochure website. Most of the add ons are free, although many commercial ones are low cost and worth the investment. Using these add ons means there are no development costs to create your own functionality. Such add ons are:-
- Shopping Carts
- Document Managers
- Image Galleries
- Forum/Bulletin Boards
- Business Directories
- Search Engine Friendly URLs
- Many more…
The full list of extensions can be found on the Joomla website.
Joomla is a Free. This is an advantage if most open source software. The developers make their money from donations, support, hosting and advertising. This allows them to release the actual software for free. It in turn means more people will use their software resulting in more donations, support, hosting and advertising. Clever.
Because it’s open source and free, thousands of developers have downloaded it, tested it and improved it. It is a continuous development and improvement process so updates and new versions are released often. This ensures the product is of high quality with bug fixes, security patches and extra features added often.
With commerical and closed source software you are generally left using the software as is out of the box, and are at the mercy of the developer to make changes which is usually unlikely. Open source software means the code is open, so developers can access the code and change it. This means if the system needs to be changed to work how the website owner wants it to work, it can!
With so many people using and developing with Joomla, the online support community is vast. Whatever question or issue a website owner has, it is likely the question has been asked and answered already and can be found with a simple search online. If not then there are many people ready to answer your question on the support forums.
Good Content Structure
The last I want to cover is such a bonus and great for sites with many pages… Content is organised into Sections and Categories. i.e. a Content page is categorised into a category. And that category is also put into a Section. This means all content can be categorised on the site. Why do that you ask?? It makes it a lot easier not only to manage content in the backend if you have many pages, but on the front end content page summaries can be displayed from certain categories. So for example, if I have a “Latest News” category, I can show a page on the site that shows a summary of all Latest News pages, with links to the complete articles via a Read More link. The site can also be configured to show the Latest News page title someone on the site such as the home page. So when adding a new Latest News page the page summary and title will appear automatically in the Latest News listing. It means website owners don’t have to then go and add links to this pages in other areas of the site, it will automatically appear.
Oh, and of course this Latest News page can be shown as a RSS feed so users with an interest in your latest news can have these updates via their RSS reader automatically too.
The above advantages are just touching the surface of Joomla. In my opinion this system is an excellent content management system for those adding and editing content regularly, which as you know (?) is very good for search engines and should be part of any business operations.
What Next For You?
Whether you have a website and need a new content manager, or looking to build a new website, consider using Joomla as the content management system, you wont be disappointed. There are a vast amount of web developers capable of providing a Joomla system if you don’t have the experience yourself.