What is Joomla?

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It’s powerful, it’s free, it’s a Content Management System, and it has a funny name. Joomla! is used worldwide by developers, small businesses, corporations, governments, the travel industry, non-profit organizations, and many other groups. As one of the worlds most powerful open source CMS platforms, it’s also the perfect solution for web development of any type. This CMS system provides users with the ability to do nearly anything that’s Web related. Whether you need a complex Web application, e-commerce web developments, social networks, small personal home page, blog, or media portal, this tool can help you create it. Joomla is built on LAMP, which is short for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP.

These tools allow users to manage every piece of their site, whether they’re adding content, updating product pages, inserting images, or processing debit or credit card payments. One of the most exciting aspects about this product is that all of its features are available for free. It’s also open source, which means that while other products may offer hundreds of modules, it has over 7300 powerful extensions with more being developed each day. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use solution for your Web development needs, this tool is the answer.

Overview

Joomla! is a CMS that offers web developers of any skill level the opportunity to build dynamic sites on a powerful framework. You can easily manage text, music, images, video, documents, and Web apps through this system with little or no Web development knowledge.

This system offers a wide variety of features and functionality. It’s also highly customizable, which allows users the flexibility to create whatever they need on their site. Following are some of the available features:

    • Joomla Content Management

A three-tier article management system gives developers a fast way to organize content. Its WYSIWYG editor provides easy-to-use functionality for both new users and tech-savvy individuals.

    • Joomla User Management

The user registration system provides administrators with the ability to manage nine different user groups. Each group can be configured with its own permission levels, which control what users are allowed to administer, publish, edit, or access. This system also gives administrators the ability to control authentication via different protocols, such as LDAP, Gmail, and OpenID.

    • Joomla Menu Manager

The built-in menu manager gives users the ability to implement as many menu items or menus as they want. Menu structure can be independent of the structure of the content, and menus can be placed in multiple areas. Visually, you can create flyouts, dropdowns, rollovers, or almost any other type of menu system.

    • Joomla Template Management

For those interested in customization, the template manager provides an easy way to make your site look exactly the way you’d like it to look. The system also provides template overrides, which takes customization to an even higher level.

    • Joomla Banner Management

Setting up banners is a breeze. Users can create different client profiles and add campaigns to each profile with as many banners as they want. Each banner can be set with special URLs, impression counts, and other functions.

    • Joomla Search

Search fields are easy to install on any page. Parameters set by the administrator provide valuable information about what users are searching for while navigating through the site.

    • Joomla Access Control List

Access Control List (ACL) has always been one of Joomla’s biggest strengths. In previous versions of Joomla like 1.0 and Joomla 1.5, the ACL was relatively limited compared to more robust Content Management Systems like Drupal. Joomla! has made vast improvements of their ACL permissions with the latest release of Joomla! 1.7. Having an advanced Access Control List can give you granular access control over each and every aspect of your website, so users can only access the things you want them to. Pages, Modules and even the Administrative back-end of Joomla! can now be provisioned by user types. This is useful for larger publishing sites and web applications that need to make use of an Access Control List to grant very specific user permissions.

These features are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to managing a site. Other features include Web link management, integrated help system, Web services, newsfeed management, polls, contact management, language management, and media management.

How Joomla Functions

No matter where you are, as long as you have a Web browser and an Internet connection, you can use the system’s development tools to add content to your site.

There are two ways to use this content management system. The easiest way is through the Joomla website, which provides hosting with the system pre-installed. This allows you to begin development on your site immediately. The other option is to install the system on your own server or with a hosting provider. Either solution provides administrators with an administrator control panel area that contains all of the basic site customization tools.

Site development begins with users adding articles, which are basically Web pages. Within the article manager, you can add image, text, links, and other media. Administrators can also control permissions for each article, provide publishing options, and metadata. Additionally, menus, modules, extensions, and media can be added to each article or site wide. Templates are also easy to apply using the template manager.

Pros and Cons

This system tools allow users to easily set up a Web site, however, there are both pros and cons to using it as a development tool.

Pros

  1. Easy set up – Installation is extremely easy. You’ll need a host that has a LAMP server, and about ten or fifteen seconds to upload and install.
  2. Over 7,300 extensions – Since it is open source, there are a lot of extensions, and most of them are free under the GNU license.
  3. Security exploits are fixed quickly – Whenever a security exploit is found, it’s generally fixed within hours.
  4. Easy to use – The development tools are very intuitive and easy-to-use. Even people with no development experience can set up a simple site.

Cons

  1. Functionality bloat – With over 7,300 extensions, it’s easy to install this, that, and the other thing. However, installing too many extensions can cause system bloat and conflicts.
  2. It’s Open Source – This can cause problems if developers decide not to work on the project.
  3. Overall, Joomla’s tools are excellent for Web site development. It’s a robust system that allows for flexible customization and would be a great choice for anyone wishing to develop a Web site.