Choosing a content management system (CMS) means finding software that’s easy to deploy, simple to use and includes features that cover the individual needs of a project. Joomla offers content creators, webmasters, developers and designers a user-friendly platform for building websites in a variety of categories.

What is Joomla?

Joomla is an open-source CMS that’s free for anyone to use. Its functions include building static pages, creating and publishing content, tracking content changes and general website management.

With over 200,000 users and contributors, the Joomla community supports an infrastructure that currently powers 2.7 percent of all websites. Compatibility with multiple databases and web servers provides a flexible CMS solution and offers web developers a framework that integrates with the systems they’re already using. Joomla hosting is offered by any good linux based hosting company.

Joomla History

Joomla was originally created when a team from CMS developer Miro split from the company over a dispute regarding the nature of open source software and disagreements over how projects were being handled. Using the source code of Mambo, Miro’s CMS platform, the team launched Joomla 1.0 on September 22, 2005. In less than a year, Joomla had grown to be larger than Mambo, and the company has been steadily releasing improvements and updates to the original software ever since.

Joomla Features

Joomla is designed to be easy to use even for those without web design expertise. Its WYSIWYG editor simplifies content creation, deployment and layout by using a series of modules to control the look and feel of each page. Simple edits to individual modules can be made from the front end to fix small issues without having to load the full editor. Multiple menu layouts with unlimited menu items take the hassle out of creating the streamlined navigation that Internet users have come to expect. News feed and syndication tools can be used to handle content delivery outside of the main website.

Collaboration with others users is managed through Joomla’s Access Control List, or ACL, a function that gives administrators control over who can view and edit different pieces of content. The ability to set up multiple contact forms that send information to different departments or individuals ensures that messages are always seen by the right people. Comprehensive version tracking keeps copies of all file versions to prevent unwanted alterations and data loss.

Extensions build upon these basic features and customize the function of Joomla to meet specific needs. Thousands of extensions are available in the Joomla Extensions Directory and are divided into five categories:

  • Components are complex extensions with both site and administrative aspects.
  • Plugins are advanced extensions that control site operation and user experience.
  • Modules add components such as search boxes that display new content on a page.
  • Templates offer different website designs and layouts.
  • Languages provide simple ways to translate websites.

Joomla offers one-time and 90-day demo options for webmasters and developers to try out the service without going through the process of a full Joomla hosting installation. This gives users a chance to “test drive” the Joomla interface and decide if the service is a good fit for a project.

Joomla Support

A comprehensive collection of documentation is available free to Joomla users to explain functions and provide support. The Joomla Resource Directory offers further assistance with Joomla hosting, building, maintaining and marketing websites. For questions that arise during the use of the Joomla platform, and integrated help button gives more information about individual functions. A glossary is also available to clarify confusion over specific terms.

Joomla Hosting Requirements

To support a Joomla website using version 3.0 and higher, the best Joomla hosting companies provide:

  • PHP 5.3.1 or higher (PHP 5.4 recommended)
  • MySQL 5.1 or higher
    • or SQL Server 10.50.1600 or higher
    • or PostgreSQL 8.3.18 or higher
  • Apache 2.x or higher
    • or Nginx 1.0 or higher (1.1 recommended)
    • or Microsoft IIS 7

Webmasters can look for the correct version of the database and web server that they prefer to ensure proper function. It’s possible to send an upgrade request to a provider to bring the Joomla hosting environment up to date if necessary.

How People Are Using Joomla

From IHOP and Citibank to Harvard University and the Children’s Miracle Network, companies and organizations in a diverse range of industries rely on the framework of Joomla to power their websites. The software can easily be used to create sites for:

  • Large and small businesses
  • Online publications
  • Bloggers
  • E-commerce operations
  • Government organizations
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Schools, churches and other local groups
  • Museums
  • Entertainment outlets

Developers can go beyond the basics and use Joomla to create product catalogs, business directories, inventory control tools, reservation systems and private business networks.

Making Joomla the backbone of a website delivers trusted functionality through a simple interface that supports a wide range of uses. With this CMS powering site layout and function, webmasters and developers can build sites that the demanding expectations of today’s visitors, customers and casual users. Take you time choosing a Joomla hosting provider and you won’t have to revisit your decision again in the near future, secure in the knowledge that your site is stable, secure and scalable.