Joomla

Average User Rating:
2.8
out of 19 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    1.7.3
  • Total Downloads:
    76,334
  • Date Added:
    Nov. 14, 2011
  • Price:
    Free

Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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Results 1–2 of 2

2 stars

"The longest day - trying to mount a project on Joomla"

December 03, 2011  |  By KevinIson

 |  Version: Joomla 1.7.3

Pros

Free
Loads of templates and extensions
Extensions really have large functionality
On paper it looks to be a great system for larger sites

Cons

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.

Summary

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.

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2 stars

"Few perks can't make up for utter confusion"

November 14, 2011  |  By Megan313

 |  Version: Joomla 1.7.3

Pros

Many available plug ins and extensions
Clean look to finished site
Free

Cons

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

Summary

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.

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Full Specifications

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What's new in version 1.7.3
Version 1.7.3 is a security release.
General
Publisher Open Source Matters
Publisher web site http://www.opensourcematters.org/
Release Date November 14, 2011
Date Added November 14, 2011
Version 1.7.3
Category
Category Developer Tools
Subcategory Web Development Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows 7, Windows 2003, Windows NT, Windows Vista, Windows Me, Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows
Additional Requirements Apache 1.3, PHP 4.3.10, MySQL 3.23, IIS 6
Download Information
File Size 8.2MB
File Name Joomla_3.1.5-Stable-Full_Package.zip
Popularity
Total Downloads 76,334
Downloads Last Week 102
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

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