Benefits of Using Joomla!

  • Popular Content Management System
  • Benefits from open architecture
  • Worldwide development community
  • Thousands of plugins available supporting many functions
  • Does not require programming experience to create web sites

This web site has been created and is being maintained using Joomla!. Joomla! is a popular CMS (Content Management System) written in PHP with a MySQL backend. Joomla! takes advantage of an open source architecture, and benefits from contributions from developers around the world. In addition to working on the core Joomla! product, developers are also developing plugins that enhance the product.

Joomla! Features

  • Written in PHP
  • Backend typically uses MySQL database
  • Ability to change look and feel by changing templates
  • Templates available from many 3rd party sources

Using Joomla! a website developer can quickly assemble a complete website with many pages. Programming skills are not necessary in putting a website together. Joomla! uses an intuitive GUI, for editing articles, menus, and other components necessary to assemble a website. Typiclally, a template is used to provide an index.php, necessary CSS files, image files, and other configuration type files. When a website creator wishes to change the content of the site, they can do so by editing the articles from the Joomla! GUI or change and load a template. Then the modification is complete. This is generally a pretty quick process. Dreamweaver or any other graphical web design tool may be useful in designing the website template and underlying CSS files. The content, including articles and menus, are generally stored in a MySQL database, which is created, edited, and modified with the Joomla! GUI.

Plugins have been and continue to be developed by independent developers around the world. Typically, functions like search pages or "contact us" pages are created in plugins. News pages and shopping carts are also available to the Joomla! web site creator by way of plugin support.

Support for "tableless web site design" is sketchy in Joomla! In designing our site, we used the Beez template as a starting point for our tableless design. It works quite well; however, locating tableless templates in the Joomla! community is difficult. Flash support seems sketchy also. When downloading a plugin, the Joomla! user will probably have very little knowledge of the developer and whether the plugin is robust or buggy. Therefore, the Joomla! web site designer should be wary and suspicious in nature. The individual Joomla! web site designer should thoroughly test other developers' plugins before using those plugins in their own web site. Support necessary for answering designers' questions is available on the Joomla! forums; however, sometimes that support comes from unreliable or inexperienced developers suggesting solutions with deprecated methods.