Joomla is a long established CMS, and I’ve been around the Joomla block a few times ourselves. It’s not ideal for every job, but for certain applications it is unbeatable thanks to well produced system extensions.
Joomla is a free, open source content management system built using PHP and the MVC framework. There are three major releases – 1.0, 1.5 and, as of January 2011, 1.6. All of my Joomla builds are based on 1.5 and I have made the decision to stick with that particular release for the moment, with a view to moving my Joomla sites to the 1.7 version when it is released. Why? One of the main benefits of Joomla is the vast scope and quality available at little or no cost in the JED (Joomla Extensions Directory). However, many of the extensions and plugins have not been upgraded to be compatible with 1.6 at the time of writing, so by taking the 1.6 route I would be compromising the potential of our client’s Joomla implementations.
One of the aspects of Joomla that differentiates it from other open source system is the availability of paid-for extensions. Why is this a good thing? Well finding free extensions is great, but when the requirements are very in-depth and complicated (ie a hotel booking system) then you really need a well maintained extension that’s in active development. The are individuals and small teams who make their living out of Joomla extensions. For around £30-£50 you can get a really well exectued piece of code, support, and future updates. Some of them offer excellent value for money.
Joomla is a particularly good option where there is a requirement for a social networking, booking systems, document management systems, community building sites, recruitment agency/job vacancy systems, CRM and contact management systems, and forums or bulletin boards.