Joomla has a long history. The open source platform, Joomla has been released in 2005. It is coded in PHP and uses MySQL or PostgreSLQ as database. It is one of the most popular content management systems today. According to BuiltWith, Joomla is the second most popular CMS, powering 8% of all online websites, the first being WordPress with 50% market-share.
Why should you choose Joomla for building your website? Here are only few reasons to consider Joomla: it is free to use, setup your site quickly, requires no or minimal programming skills, it is easy to use, it is highly supported, powerful backend and easy to extend.
In the following I will expand each reason, and will try to convince you to use Joomla for your website. Joomla is not for everyone and it might not be the best option for all type of websites. Let’s get into it!
Create Your Website for Free or Very Low Cost
To use Joomla for your site cost nothing. You can download Joomla for free and install it to any type of website, be it personal or commercial. There are lots of free templates and extensions that you can use too. So for building a small and professional site with Joomla is completely free.
Now, if you are looking for extra features or for some more professional design, you can purchase a premium template. There are many template marketplaces and providers out there, so finding a professional Joomla template is easy. A commercial Joomla template will cost you somewhere around $50, while hiring a web design agency can cost you up to $3000.
Starting Your Joomla Website in Few Minutes
Yes, it is possible! You can publish your Joomla website in less than 10 minutes. The installation of Joomla is simple. You can choose manual installation, which requires some level of technical experience, because this process involves the use of FTP clients, creation of database and other small tasks.
But there is a simpler way to install Joomla to your site. In my step-by-step guide that I published few days ago where I explain everything on how to get Joomla installed to your site with just few clicks.
To completely finish your site might take few days, because creating the content, figuring out the website structure and customizing the design is more time consuming, but at least is fun. If you might wonder what to do after setting up Joomla, here is my other guide on 10 things to do after installing Joomla.
No or Minimal Programming Skills Needed
You don’t need to know how to code PHP, CSS or HTML. Once Joomla is installed to your website, you need to login to the administration panel and start building your site from there. The WYSIWYG editor makes it easy for non-technical users to upload and publish content to the website.
Installing extensions or templates is also very easy. You just need to access the Installer page, in the backend, choose the .zip file you want to install. Some extensions might need an additional step, where with a press of a button you can activate them.
Sure, if you have any experience with HTML or CSS, you can use your skills to customize your website even further. Most templates include many options for customizing your website’s design, so in most of the cases you don’t even need touch the code.
Joomla is Easy to Use
As I already told above, the installation and setup of a Joomla website is simple. The work with the CMS is also very easy. The administration panel looks like this:
It is very intuitive and well categorized. You can easily find the functions and pages you want to access by navigating the top menu bar.
Installing a new extension or changing the template can also be done in just few clicks. Once you install a new template, just go to the Template Manager section and click on the button near the template name to set it default. With the press of a button, your site will have a brand new look, without losing your content or site structure.
Joomla is a Highly Supported CMS
First off, the Joomla core developer team is constantly developing and improving the system. Once a month a new version is released to improve security and add more features. If have any questions or need some help with your Joomla website, you can post a thread on the official Joomla forum.
Joomla is also widely supported among web hosting providers. Because its server requirements are very accessible, you can host your Joomla website on any server that is running on Apache 2+, Ngnix 1.1 or Microsoft IIS7, and support PHP 5.3.10+ and MySQL or PostgreSLQ. Here is the full list of technical requirements for Joomla.
Although Joomla can be installed to almost any web server, you should still be very meticulous when choosing a hosting provider. For hosting Joomla websites, I highly recommend InMotion Hosting.
Joomla comes with Powerful Administration Panel
Above you already saw how the Joomla backend looks like. Now I will quickly go through the most important sections of the admin panel.
On the Global Configuration page you can set website title, can set the website to be offline for your visitors during development, can change SEO settings, here you can activate cache, gzip or change the article editor.
In the Users section you can browse through all users that are registered to your website. Here you will see their email address, registration date, last activity and other info too. You can block users or give them different privileges such as publisher, or administrator.
The Menus section is for creating menu groups and items. Here you can set the whole menu structure for your website. You can create submenus as well make menus private. Private menus can be accessed only by registered users or those users who are assigned to a certain user group.
The Content section is where you set categories, write and publish articles and where you can manage featured articles too. Here you can also access the Media folder, where your images and media files are uploaded. Creating and publishing the articles is easy like counting 1-2-3: click the New button, add title and body text to your article, hit the Publish button. Very simple indeed!
The Components section is where you will have access to all Joomla components that are installed to the system and are activated. Here you can create custom contact form, set redirects, manage banners and website contacts and a lot more.
The Extensions section if where you install templates and extensions. Here you can access the template manager and activate and configure your default template. Here you can create new modules and publish them to one of the available position. If you want to change website language, here you can install the desired language pack too.
The Help section is where you can go directly to the support forum, Joomla documentation, browse extensions online, etc. This section is very useful for beginners.
Wrapping it up
Now you know what are the main reasons that people use Joomla. Many businesses, online shops, portals and community forums rely on the power of Joomla. But the question is: is Joomla for you? Please let me know what you think in the comments below.