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Got Anything to Say About Joomla?

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I’m looking around for a decent content management system for the Tucows Developer site, which I plan to bring back from its rather comatose state. The site should be a place where developers who build upon or integrate with the Tucows platform of services (domain name registration, email and anti-spam, and so on) can get documentation, download client and example code, look for information on a wiki, read news and announcements and so on.

One of the enticing systems on the list is the open source CMS Joomla!, which looks half-decent. If you have any experience with Joomla!, I’d like to know what you thought about it. Let me know in the comments or email me.

16 replies on “Got Anything to Say About Joomla?”

Yea, baby! You gotta do Joomla! It absolutely rocks!

Now, Joomla! v 1.5 is just about ready for Beta 2, there will be a few weeks of testing, then we roll into Release Candidate, then 1 1/2 years of steadfast refactoring into a MVC framework can be ALL YOURS. For, yes, *free*!

You can learn it now – the user interface will not change drastically, but, wait for the new release.

I have TONS of Joomla! reading on my blog – here is a recent article I did on the coming release. Also, you will find information on my blog about Jake, a bridge that allows CakePHP apps to run unchanged inside of Joomla! as a component. So, you’ve got another entire army of geeks developing for you.

1,400 extensions available for Joomla!. And, we keep getting closer to 100,000 forum IDs, meaning, you’ll never be more than a stone throw away from someone who knows Joomla!.

Lastly, Tucows has always been a favorite spot of mine for years. You need to do Joomla!, because it would make me, very, very happy!

…Oh, and, you would be happy, too, but that is kind of besides the point, isn’t it? 😉

PS – there are many Toronto folks doing Joomla! and they are planning a Joomla!Day get together in May, I believe.

@Amy: Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

@Joey: I’m a Development Working Group member for Joomla. I’m here in Barrie, Ontario. I’d love to give you a hand if you need it. Cheers!

I’ve been using J! for a while now on many sites of my own and I do like how easy everything comes together. I’m also an Avid user of Tucows Services!

Cheers,

Jay Kendall

As a long-time Joomla! user, I can wholeheartedly endorse Joomla! for your project. Whenever anyone asks whether or not they should use Joomla!, the first question I like to ask is, what type of site do you want to run? You’re one step ahead of me, because you have already listed your requirements. I’ll take them one-by-one and give you an idea of how Joomla! can meet those requirements.

“…a place where developers…can get documentation”

There are a number of ways you could go about this. For one thing, you could use DocMan, a document/downloads management system built for Joomla! You could also enter all of your documentation as content items into the core content component. The options are really limitless.

“…download client and example code”

Here, you could use the aforementioned DocMan as a downloads manager, or you could enter the code into content items. There is a plugin that helps automatically format code snippets so that it is more easily readable for your visitors.

“…look for information on a wiki”

There is a component for Joomla! called OpenWiki which is an integration of DocuWiki into Joomla!. The main Joomla! website uses it for documentation.

“…read news and announcements and so on.”

Joomla! was built to handle news and announcements.

Like Amy said, there is no shortage of people knowledgeable about Joomla! to help you if you get stuck. Just login to the forums, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

I was on a team using joomla to develop a version of nzhistory.net.nz in late 2005. and found Joomla pretty good to work with. Very powerful out of the box, so to speak.

The site editors loved the back-end tools. They created hundreds of articles a couple of weeks.

Template integration was very easy in 90% of the cases, and it wasn’t terribly difficult to modify the joomla code to implement the trickier stuff required by the templates/client.

Documentation wasn’t awesome back then, but the dev community was quite helpful.

If you’re only going to be changing the default templates and installing a few extensions, then I expect you’ll enjoy using Joomla.

Take a look at drupal if you want to scalable and robust CMS, and which is much easier to bend. A ton of open source projects (like KDE, Gnome, Mozilla) use it to run part of the development infrastructure. drupal is better at community features that joomla, and it looks that that is what you are looking for.

I use Joomla! to do all my sites now – the key benefit is the ease and speed of installing fully integrated extensions such as forums, directories, ecommerce, etc. and there are now nearly 1500 extensions so whatever you need there is generally something which will do what you want – even if you need to hack the PHP a little. It has very good workflow management for sites where you have a lot of contributors who can all have author access and then an editor or publisher can review and sub edit items as required. The visual templating support is excellent and enables consistent presentation to be maintained with multiple authors. It took me a long time to learn as the official documentation is not very newbie friendly, I solved this by writing a book 🙂 which you might find helpful – it is at http://www.learnjoomla.co.uk

Hope this Helps

Best

Mike

Drupal is great, there is no doubt about it! Joomla! has Community Builder and also Groupjive which do a great job with community building. Drupal has a fabulous community and it is another solution you should look at. If you use an open source solution, you are making the right decision, IMO.

Drupal is definitely a good option, but I don’t think it is the best fit for what he is trying to do. I think Joomla! would be the easiest way to get the site up and running fast. Drupal has a steeper learning curve, IMHO.

Disclosure: Joomla Evangalist Approaching
Well, there is hardly much to differentiate between drupal 5 and Joomla 1.5 right now. I think it would come down to 2 things.
1. If you need a complex ACL structure, go with Drupal
2. If you want to be able to have more flexibility in skinning it, go with Joomla
A side note is people say they prefer the Joomal admin interface, but that’s persoanl I suppose. Download both and suck it and see 🙂

I use joomla for 2 major sites – one is a gaming fansite and one is the website for my non profit organization. Joomla has proven to be extensible and has great community support. I would recommend it to anyone looking to deploy a site.

I have only had pleasure working with Joomla! If you want support, they have a very strong support network. changes that you will ever get “stuck” is between very slim, and non existant. Advice can be found anywhere. Im using Joomla for my own websites, intranet, as well as client sites. I’ve never had any complaints. You cannot go wrong with Joomla.

This post certainly seems to have excited the Joomla supporters group. As has been demonstrated here, Joomla has a strong and loyal community.

I would never use Joomla for the type of site you are suggesting. The overhead in developing it to do everything you have stated you want, combined with very frequent updates is likely higher than you need. To get a blog, downloads, and even decent human-friendly urls requires the use of 3rd party extensions. Joomla extensions are mainly of poor quality. I find server loads are higher with Joomla than with similar cms, such as Drupal or ExpressionEngine.

The documentation is good, the support on the Joomla forums is very good, but the cms itself does not compare favorably against many of its competitor OS products. This may change when 1.5 is released but until then I would not use Joomla.

I was thinking the same thing, Paul, about the strong community. In open source, the future is the community – so, kind of support did make me feed very positive about Joomla!’s future. I want to give you some good news about Joomla!. V. 1.5 *is* coming with improved URLs. Pretty – permanent – human readable – right out of the box. I won’t nick pick the rest – just wanted to share the URL link and also say “Thanks!” for the complement on the community.

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