In the past few years I have created many Joomla templates and built several websites using Joomla for myself and for some of my clients. I have been using Joomla since 2007; in fact it was the first CMS that I started with.
Often I get the same question from different people: is Joomla good for building my business website? And my answer is always the same: depends on what you want. Because I wanted to clarify couple of things regarding Joomla and give answers to some of the frequently asked questions, I have decided to write an article about. But first let’s take a look to what Joomla is and who is using it.
As you may already know, Joomla is among the most popular content management system ranking after WordPress. Joomla is used by hundreds of thousands of websites all around the globe from small hobby sites to large corporate and governmental sites. For instance Joomla is used by Linux.com, The Harvard University, Unrig.org and many others. Joomla is widely used for forums, community sites, online shops, company sites and blogs as well.
Now probably you are thinking of using Joomla for your website as well. Well, you should be aware that the CMS you choose for your website will affect your business as well. When choosing a CMS, reliability and security are among the top aspects to consider. Usability and flexibility are also important because you probably want to expand your website and allow your employees to updated and work on it as well. Joomla just proven over the years that it is reliable, secure, flexible and user friendly. Joomla is great for newbies, who are just starting a website and also for developers who need a powerful system to work with. Joomla is free to use, is open source which means that its code is publicly available and can be modified as per user needs.
Joomla is a great system, but let’s see if it right for you and for your business website.
Before starting using any software we always wonder if it will be easy to use. I don’t how you think about, but me as a business owner, don’t want to spend lot of time figuring out every aspect and functionality of the software. I want to get the job done and as quickly as possible.
With Joomla, you can start your project quickly and without the need of spending days to learn the software. It might take few hours to get use to the control panel, but the software is very straight forward. You can also find lots of tutorials and training online, which helps you to learn Joomla.
Flexibility is also important when choosing a framework for your website. Probably at the beginning you want a simple website. But you want to have the option to modify, expand and grow your website.
With Joomla you can do these modifications at any time. There are lots of extensions developed around the Joomla CMS. These can be installed to any existing Joomla website enabling the option to add extra functionality.
As mentioned above, the code is open source, it is written in PHP and uses object-oriented programming, it is easy to implement new features into the website on the go.
Security and reliability of every website is a key factor when talking about successful business. Joomla is a well maintained and frequently updated system. The Joomla core development team as well huge number of community members is constantly improves the Joomla code. Updates ensure that errors and security pitfalls are corrected and performance is improved.
It is always recommended to use the latest version of Joomla to avoid any security related problems. Updating your site is easy; with the press of a button the system updates itself.
Once you have spent hours, days or even months building your website, probably you don’t want to switch to a new system because you realize that the current system is just giving your errors. Also you don’t want check your website daily to see if everything works well and nobody compromised it.
With Joomla you can be sure that your site will be secure and will run smoothly. Please note that Joomla requires more server resources than other similar content management system. So to run your Joomla website at best performance you need a good Joomla hosting provider. I highly recommend InMotion Hosting for starting and growing your Joomla site.
With Joomla you can create almost any type of website. Here are few website examples for which you could use Joomla:
As mentioned before, Joomla is very flexible and it is easy to extend its functionality. The Joomla core comes with lots of in-built features such as category and article management, media upload – including image, video, pdf and other file formats. It is also possible to create custom menus and design custom layouts of different pages using the in-build module positions of the template. The functionality of every Joomla website can be further extended with installing extensions.
The look or the design of the website can also be changed easily by installing and changing templates. Online you will be able to find literally thousands of free and commercial Joomla templates. These can also have custom functionalities such as option for changing logo image, customize colors, in-build slideshows etc. Check out my free joomla templates for reference.
You don’t need to know PHP to create a Joomla website. However if have some experience with this programming language you can easily customize the available modules and templates. While the Joomla software is open source and is licensed under the GNU general public license, you can do any changes to it.
The Joomla core comes with the following features:
Certainly there are other features as well, but these are the most important in my opinion.
From personal experience I know that is very hard to find a good and reliable Joomla hosting service. There are hundreds maybe thousands of hosting companies who offer Joomla hosting plans. But how can you know if the hosting provider you see on some advertisement will be good for your needs?
I will give you answer to the above question in just a little bit. First let’s take a look to the requirements for hosting a Joomla website. Joomla will run on any Apache web server that has PHP and MySQL. It is also essential to have mod_rewrite activated on the server, because this allows you to use search engine friendly links on your website. The option for using .htaccess commands and enable Gzip is also an important feature to have on the server.
Operation system is not a key factor anymore, because Joomla 3.x version was built to work with Linux and Windows servers. However there was a time, when Joomla 1.5 and 2.5 was in huge use, when it was recommended to use Linux for Joomla websites.
Server resources are also important not only for Joomla but for any website. Although the Joomla system does not require much disk space, make sure that the hosting plan you choose offers plenty of disk space to upload your images, videos and other files. Extensions can also take up a pretty good amount of disk space. These days you don’t really have to worry about data transfer, because most hosting providers offer countless bandwidth with their plans.
There are certainly other things to consider when selecting a Joomla web host. In the following will give you few examples to what details you should pay greater attention.
Most hosting providers who offer Joomla hosting plans are not experts with the CMS. They might know how server works but have limited or no knowledge about Joomla. So any problem, error or security issue that is related to Joomla has to be fixed by yourself and can’t expect any help from your hosting company. I suggest choosing a Joomla hosting firm, that has trained support team specialized in Joomla.
PHP and MySQL are features that are needed to setup a Joomla site. However beside these some extensions might require other features such as suPHP, Cron Jobs and others. Before purchasing a web host, take a look to the extensions you are going to use and make sure that the host will be able to provide you with the necessary features.
Probably I already mentioned this before, but you should know that Joomla requires more server resources than a simple website. Before choosing a web host, check their terms of service and ensure that they offer enough CPU power and RAM to run your Joomla website at full performance. Beware that some companies might limit or disable your account without any prior notice. Go with the hosting provider that announces you if your account is using to many resources and provide you with the necessary information to fix the issue.
Expensive hosting is good, cheap hosting sucks. Am I right? Not at all! If you think that paying more for web hosting will result in better service and support you are wrong. Many hosting firms practice this marketing strategy to full us. Over the years I have been using very cheap as well very expensive hosting providers for different hosting project. My experience is that those hosting providers who are more expensive have no clue about Joomla, while those cheaper hosting firms offered great Joomla related support.
Before you sign up with any hosting company, I recommend reading customer reviews. Do not rely only on one source of information. Try to find hosting reviews that are not very generalized, but also offer an inside look into the company.
No web hosting is perfect; there will always be negative and positive reviews about popular hosting companies. In fact a company who has only positive feedback is very suspicious to me. Choose the company that suits your project and find a balance between features, support and price.
One more thing to consider when looking for a Joomla host is upgrade options. You can start a small project on shared hosting, but you need the option to upgrade plans as your website grows and traffic increases. Go with a company that offers upgrade option to VPS, dedicated or even cloud hosting.
Although everyone wants the best, it is not always about getting the best Joomla hosting provider. It is more about getting a reliable and inexpensive hosting plan to build and run your amazing website.
I hope this article helped you to decide if Joomla is right for you for building a business website with. If you have any questions related to Joomla or need help selecting a hosting provider, please let me know in the comments bellow! Wish you the best in building your website!