From Open Source Matters:
Joomla is an open source content management system for building professional Web sites. It can deliver a robust enterprise-level Web site, empowered by endless extensibility for your bespoke publishing needs. Joomla is different from the normal models for content management software. For a start, it's not complicated. Joomla has been developed for everybody, and anybody can develop it further. Similarly to the Firefox browser, the core system can be extended via installable add-ons authored by the developer community.
What's new in this version: Version 3.1.5 fixed security as well as tracker issues.
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All versions:2.8 stars
out of 19 votes
Current version:0 stars Be the first to review this product
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"Totally useless, medieval, terrible support"
Version: Joomla 3.0.3
It will keep you up at night.
I just got insulted by one of the moderators on their forum.
Absolutely horrible. If you like being insulted you should join them.
"Efficient and highly customizable"
Version: Joomla 2.5.6
Very easy to start a simple site with ready to use template
Huge amount of extensions
Huge variety of templates
Huge references through Internet for troubleshooting
Powerfull rights management
Powerfull multilingual capabilities
You must take time to experience complex features
Some cross-compatibility problem between extension
May require a lot of memory (server side) with complex sites
still lacks a real content construction kit (CCK) to be integrated, even if efficient cck extensions already exists
I'm using Joomla for 2 years now, and ran it successfully for a dozen of professional sites for my clients. It allows me to manage complex sites (multilingual, complex application, great number of pages) on my own (I'm a freelance), and my clients are able to become independant quickly, which is a serious arguement when it comes to sell a site nowdays.
I've tried other CMS's but I never find elsewhere such a combination of ease of use & expandability.
May be I would not recommend Joomla for absolute beginners or people who just need to set up a single (and simple) site ; anyway if you plan to build several sites, or need to manage with complex features, Joomla is worth the time you'll invest on it.
"Not for the lazy one"
Version: Joomla 2.5.6
Joomla allows you to create a great website, with lots of options, capacities and features that will cost a fortune if you hire a professional developer. 2.8% of all websites in the world are created with joomla and thats millions of them. It has more modules, components and plugins that any other CMS in the Market. Yo can get almost any kind of need covered if you browse the extensions section of their website.
You need to read and learn a fews basic concepts and ideas before you start a Joomla website. Its not hard but requires a little dedication and time. Its not for the lazy one that wants a powerful and great website out of a little magic box. Every advanced component has a learning curve depending of their features.
If you need a really great website with powerful options and capacities joomla is the way to go. If you only need a basic website with a few options you can use blogger or wordpress. Remember you are getting it for free the least you can do is read a little. It will not hurt you and will do great for your education.
"Upgrade Your Poor Dark Word(re)press-ed Life"
Version: Joomla 2.5.5
Oh, there's more to CMS publishing than one-size-fits-all Wordpress sites? and its free?!? *mind blows*
'Know thy extensions'
...Joomla is somewhat vanilla without some of the more popular extensions. Get to know:
(your favorite extension here)
Joomla does for the CMS-powered website what the wheel did for cavemen. Put some wheels on your Wordpress site and discover all the amazing possibilities of Joomla.
*To all the complainers* Remember when Windows came into vogue and your mother complained the mouse was too complicated? Nothing worthwhile and useful is to complicated to put a *tiny* bit of effort to learn!
Wordpress isn't getting any more advanced any time soon. If you want to be even the slightest bit creative with your CMS (without computer programming), better look to Joomla..
"frustrated with lack of control in Wordpress 3.x?"
Version: Joomla 2.5.4
There is really no Joomla just as there is really no Wordpress. There is mostly the dashboard your theme has. The Gantry dashboard used by RocketTheme.com really is like Wodpress with all the plugins already baked in the cake.
Bigger dashboard, more options equals more questions. Stay with Wordpress if blogging is your main function.
I like Wordpress 3.x but for my 100 article, 13 book healing website site am moving to Joomla 2.5. I also did NOT like Joomla 1.x.
Wordpress 3.x kernel is great for blogs. The THEMES have a lot of unnecessary built in eccentricity since the dashboard controls are tweaked by the theme designers "on the fly" as a lower priority (?) to the "skin" aspect. This is also why themes can have multiple places to change one thing and these can be in conflict and/or poorly coordinated
WP themes are made by designers primarily to dress up blogs, they are "skins" for mostly simple blogs.
These attractive but simple themes don't need to be that coherent on the back end if blogging is all you do.
Joomla is much less like this. It developed out of a need to manage large catalog website, if I understand correctly. Joomla can used for blogs. It's data base-driven (MSQL again) if you are used to this feature. But Joomla has a much more standard approach to customization. For Wordpress you have to plug-in most of the customization functions. For Joomla, in the better themes, lie from www.rockettheme.com/ who use a Gantry platform for the back end of all themes; then, this really is like Wordpress with all the features "baked in the cake" instead of added piecemeal via plugins.
I'm exploring pricing. Many free joomla themes of course too.
Wonderful, valuable daily gift webinars in Joomla 2.5.x here: www.cloudaccess.net/free-joomla-training-webinars.html
I do not work for them, I'm an end user
"The longest day - trying to mount a project on Joomla"
Version: Joomla 1.7.3
Loads of templates and extensions
Extensions really have large functionality
On paper it looks to be a great system for larger sites
All of the above does not really matter because it is confusing, takes a long, long time to understand and often just does not work.
It really is too much in the middle. Too simple for developers who could probably code a site themselves and too complex for entry level persons who just want a CMS site.
I have to totally agreer with Megan313 above. In fact, this is the first time I have read someone else's review that mirrored my experience, so I just had to write my thoughts.
Joomla looks great on paper if you are looking to put together a project that is multi-pages and more than just a blog.
In fact, it seemed to be the only real solution for the projects I wanted to put together. Over 50 pages, multi-levels of hierarchy and ability to add some fancy extensions that would control advertising so I did not have to put those amateur looking Google adds on.
Wordpress looked to be for basic blogs and blogs with a few pages (wrong, it turns out) and Drupal looked to be too complicated. So Joomla seemed to be the answer.
3 websites, 50 or so frustrating hours later and I give up! Just too complicated.
I am not entry level. I spent a few years in a web design studio doing basic websites and active pages linked to database.
I had been away from coding for a few years, so I though best to start with a CMS system so I don't have to update my skills on htnml5 and CSS.
Wrong again. I should have jumped straight to Wordpress or spent my time learning html5, CMS, PHP and SQL and doing my own site from scratch on some of the many simple html website template pages out there. At least I would be able to track down bugs easily.
As it is, I have found that Wordpress has all the functionality I want and the extensions are amazing. And it is easy!!!!
So I am now stripping all the Joomla sites and going for Wordpress as I really need to get these projects finished and with Joomla it is a never ending round of frustration and incomplete projects.
In summary, Megan313 I think is correct in saying that Joomla is really best for those who know how to code and want to do multiple sites and really spend hours (I mean hours) learning the system.
For anything else hire a good coder or learn the basics yourself or go directly to Wordpress and spend about 5 - 10 hour and you will be an expert and get projects finished.
"Few perks can't make up for utter confusion"
Version: Joomla 1.7.3
Many available plug ins and extensions
Clean look to finished site
No available help- only endless, confusing, and subjective forums
Many errors with no explanation or solution
Many basic functions have to be included as extensions
Confusing end site structure with menus, articles, categories, etc.
You still must have at least a moderate understanding of HTML and CSS
Non-user friendly, non-intuitive
Finished site does not work with Internet Explorer
Here is the most objective review I can give:
While Joomla does have many benefits (in theory), it is very non-intuitive, and so many errors occur throughout the process that it is simply not worth it.
There is one group of people that Joomla is ideal for: contract web designers that have an in-depth understanding of Joomla, and us it constantly, in order to stay "in practice" and to have the time and resources to learn what needs to be known to make a functioning site. The best use of Joomla is to have experts such as these create and design sites for clients, and allow them to simply fill in the content.
As others stated Joomla is complete un-intuitive. I did not choose Joomla for my project but the decision was made, and based on my previous experience with web design and Wordpress, and Joomla itself advertising easy, step by step setup, I figured that with a bit of figuring out and some Googling, I would be able to work my way through it. However, this was not the case, as I encountered errors from step 1.
The problem with all the errors that occur is that since Joomla is open source, there is no company to contact for support. The only thing to do is look on forums, or find tutorials. There are problems here also: tutorials often go step by step, making it look easy. However, they don't address any bumps in the road, and these aren't easily solved without intense Joomla experience. They are also made by Joomla Jane and Joe, so they cover simply whatever the tutorial creator wants, and may not be standard protocol, and often do not address basics, such as explaining that an "article" is really a page on your site. Forums are often found with simple Google searches, and again, are extremely specific to a particular error. If mine is slightly different, I'm stuck. These often also disregard different ability levels, having people edit native files in languages that many people don't have experience with; forums are also often outdated, or simple a string of comments saying, "I had this error, what do I do" "I had the same problem" "I also encountered this"...and no solution.
In order to work through our site development, I first scoured Google for the help and forums below. It was quite a struggle and also put us behind schedule. I finally got Joomla installed on my server, and found a template that worked (I also got template uploading errors and had to try several different template subscriptions before finding a company that was successful). Because of my web design background I was able to format the design and images.
However, to learn how to enter and organize template, I ended up purchasing a book. (Joomla! Explained. Great resource) This was helpful, and did a good job explaining the basics of Joomla and the theory behind why it works the way it does. However it only went so far, as it did not get into details, specific extensions, or errors. We ended up contacting a Joomla web design service to help us out (Savvy Panda - also highly recommended) In meeting with them, we worked through error after error, things that I would not have had a clue how to fix, let alone know they existed. I have been going back to them several times a week with bugs that need to be fixed, and questions on how to do things. Did I mention that Joomla is not intuitive? We still have a mile-long list of finishing touches that they will likely need to do for us- because I still cannot figure this out!
In the time it has taken us to get this far on our site, I had started learning HTML and CSS - from scratch - and had a simple site live.
I hope this review shed some light into the experience of working with Joomla. Although there are some good things once you get going, it has a long way to go before it is as "plug and play" as it claims to be, and to become WAY more user-friendly. Regardless, the experience was frustrating enough that I plan to never use Joomla again as long as I have the choice.
Bottom line- DON'T USE JOOMLA. Wordpress is a much more accessible and easier CMS. If you do use Joomla, be prepared to spend money on experts. Your site won't end up being free.
"Joomla 1.7. "Falls Short and Can't Get Up""
Version: Joomla 1.7
The Administrative Console is Nice Eye Candy, and does appears to have some features that are better defined. But read the CONS FIRST.
There are many Reported Errors in the Administration Console when using Internet Explorer and the only workaround at the moment appears to be using FireFox or Google Chrome. I have confirmed this is to be TRUE.
Joomla is trying to take the product to a new level. However there major shortfall appears to they have set the timing bar too high for there own good.
With this latest release of 1.7 there are many issues with Internet Explorer. One of the Main issues is the inability to save settings in the control panel. Now having stated on the website that the End of Life for 1.6.X only weeks away the question now remains if they can get everything fixed to work in all browsers. FireFox and Google Chrome seem to have a lot less problems. Is Joomla doing this to phase the admin panels to not be able to use IE ? or is this just a simple mistake of poor testing and development. Only time will tell and see if they release a quick patch to fix this.
If Joomla doesn't take care of this matter at hand right off the bat, I can see alot of people turning away from Joomla Fast.
Joomla has released 1.6.6 as security release for those that cannot use 1.7 ? I guess that over 50% of the people that use Joomla use IE, After all IE is the default web browser to Windows.
One other major issue that I have noted is that Joomla has released 1.7 as a Latest Stable release. That puts it in the Instant Installer scripts you find on many hosting plans with only the 1.5.X or 1.7 releases as an option to install or upgrade.
Overall score to version 1.7 of Joomla is 1 Star. The difference between a 1 and a 5 is the abundant Internet Explorer Issues for adminitrating the website pages. If you can't save settings, you can't administrate the website.
Version: Joomla 1.5.11
Lots and lots of features.
Too many features to deal with at once. Not user-friendly. I shouldn't have to "Learn Joomla" to add a page and put it on the menu.
Bottom-line is that I had a bad experience with Joomla due to it's poorly designed interface(buttons seem to be unexpected places), strange and lengthy procedure for building, and so many features thrown at me at once.
"Not impressed with this at all."
Version: Joomla 1.5.11
None that I can think of. Even if a program is free, if it isn't user friendly then why use it?
The website hasn't been updated in I would dare say years.
They should pay me for wasting my time to download it.