What is Joomla?
Joomla is a free and open source content management system (CMS) designed to assist users in building websites and other online applications. The name Joomla, which was chosen from thousands of community suggestions, is a phonetic spelling for the Swahili word “Jumla,” which means “all together” or “as a whole“. The Joomla logo is made up of four “J’s” rotated and linked together that represent the community coming together as one.
The ecosystem of Joomla developers and users provide products and services to the Joomla community which has more than one-half million members and more than 20,000 developers. Joomla’s main open source CMS competitors include WordPress and Drupal.
What Can Be Done with Joomla Software?
Joomla hits the sweet spot because it provides enough functionality to power web sites of all shapes and sizes. The platform is considered to be a popular choice for many types of websites, including:
- Corporate websites or portals.
- Corporate intranets and extranets.
- Online magazines, newspapers, and publications.
- E-commerce and online reservations.
- Government applications.
- Small business websites.
- Non-profit and organizational websites.
- Personal or family homepages.
- Though it requires a bit of time to get comfortable to it, Joomla is still relatively easy to install, requiring no stellar programming background.
- With so many extensions (components, modules, plugins), the platform is flexible enough to power any type of website with any complexity.
- It has media & multiple languages support.
- If the default Joomla package is not enough, tons of extensions aim to help grow a website as huge and complex as needed.
- Great community with over 200.000 contributors which provide a welcoming place to go in case of any troubles.
- Very good support for mobile devices like iPhone, iPad and Android.
A brief history of Joomla
In 2001 an Australian company developed a CMS named Mambo, which quickly garnered a lot of community support and enthusiasm in a short period of time. But in 2005, after a conflict of interest related to the type of license of Mambo, the first version of Joomla 1.0 was released. Joomla received a new API and started to gain popularity, becoming a truly international CMS. It grew leaps and bounds in areas like usability, extensibility, and template control—where it was already superior to other options. The first Joomla version was primarily a rebranding with a few bug fixes, but 14 updates and numerous open source awards followed over the next two years.
Joomla versions are released as a series. A series is defined as two short term releases and one long term release. Short term releases are supported for 7 months. That is 6 months of active development and use, followed by a 1 month period for switching to the next version of Joomla. At the end of the 7 months, short term releases reach their end of life, meaning there are no further security updates. Long term releases are good for at least 18 months, and they may be supported for longer than that.
Which Version of Joomla! Should You Choose?
If creating a website is on the horizon, you have two options to choose from: version 2.5 (long term release) or version 3.2 (short term release). Despite the fact that there are many differences between these two versions – your choice should be based on one simple question: what features do you want on your website?
Joomla! provides lots of functionality out-of-the-box, but if you think that it’s not enough, you have to install third-party extensions. If the features that your website must have are natively included in Joomla and/or are complemented with extensions that are compatible with Joomla 3, then you can build your website with Joomla 3. Contrastingly, if the features that your website must contain are not natively included in Joomla and if only extensions compatible with Joomla 2.5 offer these features, you can build your website with Joomla 2.5.
Popular sites running Joomla! CMS:
- UNRIC (United Nations Regional Information Centre) – https://unric.org/en/
- iTWare (Technology News) – http://www.itwire.com/
- MORE! international course from Cambridge University (Educational) – https://moreciip.cambridge.org/
- PlayShakespeare.com (Cultural) – http://www.playshakespeare.com
Taking all the aforementioned into account, Joomla has proved itself as one of the most recommended solutions for creating something that looks good and works well.
So, no more worries and hesitations! Take your web project a step forward towards success right now.