A Beginner’s Guide to Joomla

Joomla is an award-winning, open source content management system (CMS). It allows users to build websites that can be used in a wide variety of ways. Joomla powers everything from some of the smallest websites to the largest and most dynamic online communities. You can do virtually anything with this open source software, but let’s delve into it and see why exactly Joomla may be a suitable program to suit your website’s needs.
What is a Content Management System?

In order to fully understand the advantages Joomla provides, you need to understand just what a content management system is and what makes an excellent one. Content can be anything. It can be something as basic as text, something as detailed as a picture, something as animated as a movie or even something as useful as a fully fledged program.

A content management system allows you to bring all of these pieces of media together and organize them. This means you don’t have to maintain manual links to content nor do you have to even maintain the actual pages upon which your content resides. Pages can be created dynamically with little to no technical knowledge needed.
What Advantages Does Joomla Offer?

The biggest advantage that Joomla offers is in terms of functionality. You can create static web pages that still look just as professional as if you paid a professional to hand design them from scratch. You can also create interactive content that can be used to directly retrieve opinions, information and comments from your website visitors. You can even create a website that focuses solely on e-commerce just by using the features provided with Joomla.

Joomla is easy enough to use that the initial setup, creation and management of a website can all be maintained by someone who is capable of simply utilizing the intuitive backend tools provided with this software out of the box. That means you can populate your website with content, use an already-provided Joomla template or have someone design your own, and then take care of your own website management. The best part is that Joomla already has an interactive help system for the times when you might get stuck.
A Brief List of Joomla’s Core Features

  • Joomla is completely database driven. – That means that your content is saved and pulled from a MySQL, Microsoft SQL, Windows Azure, PostgreSQL or one of the other many supported types of database softwares
  • Joomla can support enough detail to create a fully-fledged article site. – That means you can add information to show contributing authors, add sections that allow you to break up your content in logical ways and you can show things like a list of the top contributing authors. Keep in mind that this isn’t limited just to articles, because Joomla’s content management system is so robust. Joomla can be used to manage all content from something as simple as news to FAQs to fully detailed technical schematics.
  • Joomla has enough features to make an online community. – Joomla comes with its own extensive forum system right out of the box. It includes the ability to have users register, create topics, discuss with each other and even formulate polls
  • Joomla makes it easy for visitors to contact you. – Out of the box, Joomla allows you to easily establish a contact form that can be used to see messages in Joomla’s administration panel or by email in your very own inbox.
  • Joomla provides an easy way to manage media. – The media manager can handle anything from pictures to movies to word documents and PDF files to software bundles.
  • Joomla is a free open source. – That means Joomla is almost more secure than a private solution. The Joomla team constantly updates, maintains and provides bug fixes that may come from themselves or the Joomla community.
  • Joomla has many, many more features. – Templates that allow your website to look drastically different at the touch of a button, menu management, syndication and newsfeed support and the ability to use powerful Joomla extensions that can further increase the functionality that Joomla provides are just some of the other features provided by this amazing piece of software.

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