- Free core programming
- Variety of extensions to build website
- Excellent website security
- Great community for support
- Development experience and skills helpful
- Poor support from the Joomla developers
- Sites can look unprofessional without developers
Joomla is one of the most popular Content Management Systems available on the market. It has a strong following and community of developers to help support website developers. In this Joomla review, we give our opinions of the CMS.
There are two options with building a Joomla website, one is the self-hosted Joomla website and the other is one hosted by Joomla using their framework. Both operate the same and the difference is only really in the pricing. Therefore, you can use this Joomla Review as a way to compare both.
What Is Joomla?
Joomla is a very popular CMS and it operates in much the same way as some of the other CMS programs available. There’s a base code, which you can use for free, and then you upload and utilize applications and themes as you need to build your website.
While beginners are capable of using Joomla, you’re more likely to be comfortable with it if you have coding experience. With the right skills, you have the option to create an impressive website that can be interactive and look professional.
But be warned, if you don’t have the skills, your website can quickly look basic and amateur.
Building Your Joomla Website
As with a lot of other CMS options available there’s a wide variety of themes and applications you can add onto your website to give it more functionality. Although, those who are used to the vast choices on WordPress might be disappointed.
That said, the community of dedicated Joomla enthusiasts might be able to help you. Some of this would not be free, though others may offer free themes or perhaps other applications.
With the wide variety of applications available, creating a functioning website is incredibly easy. It doesn’t take too long to create an eCommerce website with shopping carts, point-of-sale systems, stock management and affiliate tracking.
Therefore, if you have a strong desire to create an online store, Joomla is one of the best solutions available.
But Joomla isn’t just about selling products. There are numerous products you can create with the software and extensions available. Community portals and online news sites are just some of the highly popular sites created by Joomla users.
These two sites are easily created with Joomla with excellent applications that make it easy for users to submit content to your website. In fact, Joomla excels if you want to have numerous users on your website. So, community website projects are the perfect match for Joomla.
There are also the standard add-ons you would expect from a serious CMS system. These include blogs, email forms and photo galleries.
The only issue is that if you’re looking for your website to be built in minutes, you might be disappointed. There isn’t any site or style wizard to guide you through the process. Instead, you need to utilise any coding and developing skills you have to create your website.
The Joomla Dashboard
The Joomla Dashboard, where most of your website building and maintenance will take place, is rather deceptive. It looks fairly simple when you first get into it, but after that it gets more complicated.
Again, those with a developing background would find it easier to use.
Keeping Your Website Secure
One of the best features of Joomla is its security. Other CMS systems perhaps don’t have the best security. That might be why about 50% of small companies are attacked by hackers who want to steal vital information.
Captcha, while it can be annoying for some users, is a great contribution to your security by ensuring information submitted is from a human and not an automated program.
There’s also SSL compatibility and you can password protect sensitive pages and content on your website. This security doesn’t just protect your website, it helps to rank you highly on Google and other search engines.
Support With Joomla
Joomla doesn’t have the best support network; especially when compared with other CMS systems, but there are numerous documents available for you to read which may support your business’ website.
However, you can’t rely on this.
You can always try to find solutions to problems with the user forums, but with less people using Joomla than other programs like WordPress you might find that your solution is a long time coming.
The best support comes in the form of proactive learning. There are online classes available through numerous websites. Sometimes these are free, like on YouTube, and in other cases you have to pay to gain access to them.
If you were looking for some form of email or phone support, you aren’t going to get them. Open source software, like Joomla, often don’t have these and you’ll want something like HubSpot for this.
Though it’s important to note that systems offering this type of support also have higher costs.
Joomla is free for the primary code and most of the applications and themes are free. Those which are priced, won’t cost you as much as other CMS systems might charge you.
The problem here is that you will need to pay for hosting and your domain name. This isn’t too bad and it can be very beneficial. Many web hosting companies offer free installation of Joomla so you can start building your website quickly without the technical knowledge.
The trouble is when you don’t have technical knowledge but have chosen Joomla. Here you might need to hire a developer. As there are fewer Joomla developers, they can be more expensive than WordPress developers. And the quality of the developer isn’t always guaranteed.
There is another option which is very similar. This is a Joomla hosted site on their CloudAccess.net platform. This can be done for free, but you need to login every thirty days to renew your website and you’ll be limited to a subdomain name of Joomla. Your site is also limited to 500MB disk space.
You can remove these restrictions from $5 per month.
There are issues for this plan. Firstly, a subdomain looks unprofessional and is hard for your audience to remember. In addition, having to renew your website every thirty days can be hard to remember. Therefore, you run the risk of losing your website.
But this option might offer you a cost effective way to start your new website option.
Apart from this, hosting can cost you anywhere from $5 to $50 per month.
Joomla Review Pros:
- Free core programming and hosting (using their CloudAccess.net platform).
- Variety of extensions to create a great site.
- Joomla has a lot of community options for you to utilize.
- Excellent security for your website.
Joomla Review Cons:
- Development experience needed to fully utilize the powerful options.
- Poor support for your website from the developers.
- Sites can look unprofessional without a good design team.
Joomla Review Conclusion
Those new to website development might find Joomla challenging. If you’ve got good development experience or know Joomla well, then it could be a great CMS for your next web project. In addition, if you want a community on your website, Joomla can be a great option.