Everybody wants to know: “How can I create my own website?” For many, a CMS provides a very viable answer. A CMS, or “content management system,” is essentially a pre-made website that anyone can readily customize. Customizations can include components such as a forum, a login system, and internal statistical tracking. Of the many CMS systems available, Joomla is among the most popular.
Joomla essentially answers the question: “What do you do when you need to create a website but can’t afford a programmer?” Web designers, entrepreneurs, and organizational leaders often find they need to create a website that is more sophisticated than a blog. Web designers, in particular, often find clients want them to “make a website.” These clients have failed to understand that the job of a web designer is not that of a developer. Businessmen, entrepreneurs, and internet marketers also may need a website that does more than a typical blog. For these people, Joomla is a superb solution.
What is Joomla?
Joomla allows non-programmers to make a website at no cost. The website can include almost any feature that is commonly available on websites around the internet, and even some that aren’t often seen. Each Joomla website comes with a variety of features pre-installed: a user management system, a media manager for managing media files and folders, support for a variety of international languages, a contact manager, polls, rss syndication, and more.
These features are quite well developed. For example, Joomla’s menu manager allows website owners to place menus anywhere they would like on their websites. These menus can respond to mouseover events as well as a mouse click. Each menu choice can be configured to reveal an additional menu. Indeed, Joomla nearly overwhelms its user base with options. Even the login system comes with nine different types of administrative accounts. An entrepreneur could hire a team of programmers to code a website from scratch and wind up with a final product that lacks many features offered by Joomla.
Remarkably, Joomla is completely free. While some CMS systems only offer non-paying users a “community version” of their software and reserve a much better-equipped “professional version” for paying customers, Joomla offers a single, high quality product free to all users. Perhaps this is why its official name includes an explanation point!
Even though each Joomla website is built using the same Joomla software, each can look completely unique. In fact, users may have no way of knowing your website is based on Joomla unless you choose to tell them. They may well assume you hired an expensive team of developers.
Many high-end, well known organizations utilize Joomla. According to Joomla itself, Harvard University, IHOP (formerly International House of Pancakes) and MTV’s Quizilla all utilize the software. Even Citibank uses Joomla for its internal intranet. Webmasters that choose Joomla stand in good company.
At the same time, innumerable smaller websites use the platform. These include family websites, websites for community organizations, and clubs. Joomla is used for online magazines, shopping outlets, nonprofit organizations, and more. It is a very versatile CMS.
Joomla is written in the PHP programming language and is ordinarily hosted on a Linux server running Apache, but users do not need to care or know about these technical details. They only need to know that Joomla is one of the finest available content management systems available.
Joomla’s Open Philosophy:
For a content management system, Joomla’s origins are surprisingly controversial. The platform was born in the midst of controversy, after a number of important programmers working on the Mambo CMS broke from the project and accused its managers of violating the goals of the open source movement. Using the code from Mambo as a base, they began to develop Joomla, a CMS that would more closely adhere to open-source principles.
This passionate commitment to open-source ideals makes Joomla an excellent choice for those seeking to start a website. Joomla is free to download and use, even for those seeking to make a profit. Those who use Joomla can change its code as they please, though if they redistribute Joomla they must make the new source code available to the community. This is required under the GNU General Public License.
Directions for Installing Joomla:
If you have an IceStorm.com Web Hosting or Reseller Hosting plan, simply go to your domain’s cpanel (http://yourname.com/cpanel), click Softaculous, Click Portals/CMS, click Joomla, then click Install. It’s that simple!
Whether you’re a web designer who would like to be able to offer clients a fully-functional website, an internet entrepreneur, or an amateur looking to create a hobby website, Joomla is an excellent and free means of creating a sophisticated website.