What is a Content Management System?
A content management system is software that allows you to create and manage webpages easily by separating the creation of your content from the mechanics required to present it on the web.
In this site, the content is stored in a database. The look and feel are created by a template. Joomla! brings together the template and your content to create web pages.
To login to your site use the user name and password that were created as part of the installation process. Once logged-in you will be able to create and edit articles and modify some settings.
Creating an article
Once you are logged-in, a new menu will be visible. To create a new article, click on the "Submit Article" link on that menu.
The new article interface gives you a lot of options, but all you need to do is add a title and put something in the content area. To make it easy to find, set the state to published.
Template, site settings, and modules
The look and feel of your site is controlled by a template. You can change the site name, background colour, highlights colour and more by editing the template settings. Click the "Template Settings" in the user menu.
The boxes around the main content of the site are called modules. You can modify modules on the current page by moving your cursor to the module and clicking the edit link. Always be sure to save and close any module you edit.
You can change some site settings such as the site name and description by clicking on the "Site Settings" link.
More advanced options for templates, site settings, modules, and more are available in the site administrator.
Site and Administrator
Your site actually has two separate sites. The site (also called the front end) is what visitors to your site will see. The administrator (also called the back end) is only used by people managing your site. You can access the administrator by clicking the "Site Administrator" link on the "User Menu" menu (visible once you login) or by adding /administrator to the end of your domain name. The same user name and password are used for both sites.
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Joomla! is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) for publishing web content. Over the years Joomla! has won several awards. It is built on a model–view–controller web application framework that can be used independently of the CMS that allows you to build powerful online applications.
Joomla! is one of the most popular website softwares, thanks to its global community of developers and volunteers, who make sure the platform is user friendly, extendable, multilingual, accessible, responsive, search engine optimized and so much more.
What's a content management system (CMS)?
The definition of a CMS is an application (web-based), that provides capabilities for multiple users with different permission levels to manage (all or a section of) content, data or information of a website project, or intranet application.
Managing content refers to creating, editing, archiving, publishing, collaborating on, reporting, distributing website content, data and information.
Joomla! in the real (online) world
Joomla! is used all over the world to power millions of websites of all shapes and sizes.
Discover examples of companies using Joomla! in the official Joomla! Showcase Directory.
Joomla! can be used for:
- Corporate websites or portals, intranets and extranets
- Small business websites
- Online magazines, newspapers, and publications
- E-commerce and online reservations
- Government, non-profit and organisational websites
- Community-based, school and church websites or portals
- Personal or family homepages ...
Being a web agency, how can Joomla! help me?
If you’re an agency who develops websites for your customers, Joomla! is the perfect tool for you (have a look at our benefits and features). Designed to be easy to install and set up, even if you're not an advanced user. With a short learning curve (we provide free video training as well) you’ll be able to quickly build sites for your clients. Then, with a minimal amount of instruction, you can empower your clients to easily manage their own sites themselves.
If your clients need specialised functionality, Joomla! is highly extensible and thousands of extensions (most for free under the GPL license) are available in the Joomla! Extensions Directory.
As a developer, can I use Joomla! in a more advanced way?
Some companies and organisations have requirements that go beyond what is available in the Joomla! Core package. In those cases, Joomla's powerful application framework makes it easy for developers to create sophisticated add-ons that extend the power of Joomla into virtually unlimited directions.
The core Joomla! Framework enables developers to quickly and easily build:
- Inventory control systems
- Data reporting tools
- Application bridges
- Custom product catalogs
- Integrated e-commerce systems
- Complex business directories
- Reservation systems
- Communication tools
Since Joomla! is based on PHP and MySQL, you're building powerful applications on an open platform anyone can use, share, and support.
To find out more information on leveraging the Joomla! Framework, visit the Joomla! Framework site.
Joomla! seems the right solution for me. How do I get started?
- If you're ready to install Joomla! by yourself:
- Joomla! provides also another way to get started without having to install it:
- Free website on launch.joomla.org
This is the easiest way to start your first Joomla! website immediately. You can launch a totally free anf fully functional website in seconds and start publishing your content online immediately.
Try launch.joomla.org now >>
- Free website on launch.joomla.org
Getting Started with Joomla!
Joomla! makes creating and maintaining Web sites easy for everyone, from total beginners setting up their first site to IT professionals managing enterprise installations.
Get the Basic Details
If you have never used Joomla! before, you might want to read What is Joomla? first. If you are evaluating Joomla! for use on a project, you may want to review the materials for evaluators on the Joomla! Documentation Wiki.
Download Joomla! and Run it yourself.
If you're ready to install Joomla, download the latest version here, you'll be up and running in no time. You can also check out the short FAQ on that page and read the tutorial on how to install Joomla.
Get started on launch.joomla.org
Launch.joomla.org allows you to launch a fully functional and free Joomla website. You will get started with just a click on a button, opening up to endless possibilities, full responsive, multilingual... It even includes sFTP, PHPMyAdmin, and the ability to install extensions. You can keep it as long as you login and click a “renew” button once every 30 days. The only limitations are 200mb of disk space, subdomain usage, and your imagination...
Find Documentation and Help
Localised documentation for Joomla! is available on the Joomla! Documentation Wiki at docs.joomla.org. Choosing a user type will help you find the appropriate resources on the wiki. The wiki page The Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla contains lots of information, advice, and links for first time users. If you have more questions, visit the Joomla! forums.
Get Ready to Install
Getting started on your Joomla! web site is easy to do. Many hosting services offer a simple one-click installation, but if you'd rather be more hands-on, have more control or are your own host, all you need is a Web server with PHP and MySQL. Most commercial hosts provide these as part of their basic package of services. Then download a copy of Joomla. Then visit our install documentation to continue your adventure.
For Developers and Designers
If you're looking to get started in Joomla! development, developer.joomla.org is the best place for you to start. There you'll find tons of information on Joomla, the APIs and much more. Also more documentation is available on docs.joomla.org.
If you're a designer and want to learn more about creating Joomla! templates, the Template management section shows how easy it is to design in Joomla.
If you are an administrator you can find your documentation here.
- Let’s say that you’re not using a CMS and you want to edit one of the pages on your website. What you need to do is to use FTP, download the file, make your changes, and re-upload it. But what happens if the upload was cut-off? And what happens if someone else was trying to make an edit to the same page? And what happens if you’re not a technical person who doesn’t know how to use FTP? And how do you know which file you need to update? All these are legitimate questions which make editing CMSless website a hassle.
Of course, one can argue that any CMS can address the above issues – but Joomla does everything better, here’s why:
- A standard CMS does not care about data integrity. Joomla, on the other hand, ensures the integrity (safety) of your data by locking content when someone is editing – which means that no one will be allowed to edit content (article, category, module, menu item, etc…) if that content is currently being edited by someone else.
Editing content with a standard CMS is easy, but Joomla makes it even easier, simply because Joomla uses powerful editors that will make the person editing the website feel as if he’s editing a Microsoft Word document, and not content on his website.
Finally, editing content in Joomla is a breeze – this is because it is easier (in most of the cases) to locate content in Joomla than in other CMSs and to edit that content.
Powerful and easy menu creation tool: Perhaps the number one reason that made Joomla so popular in the CMS world is its easy menu creation tool. All CMS veterans can attest that Joomla has the easiest and most powerful menu creation tool. Their supporting argument is that anyone (even those with no programming experience whatsoever) can easily create hierarchical menus consisting of various menu items pointing to different locations internally (to the website) and externally.
Hackable core: By hackable core we mean that Joomla’s core can easily be changed by anyone with PHP experience. This is because Joomla’s core code is clear, well written, and well documented. Hacking Joomla’s core is sometimes necessary to extend or to optimize Joomla, but comes at a potential expense: it many no longer be possible (or it’ll be very difficult) to upgrade Joomla.
Open source infrastructure: We remember the days where the term “open source” meant “geeks who do not like to use Microsoft products to develop websites”. Fast forward 10 years from then, and now open source software powers most of the web.
Joomla is created using PHP and (usually) uses MySQL for data storage. PHP is the most important open source web scripting language at the moment (by the way, Facebook is powered by PHP), and MySQL is the most powerful and most used open source database. This strategic (and old) decision of using PHP and MySQL has made it easier for many developers to support Joomla and to program new Joomla extensions. Additionally, Joomla is typically hosted on a Linux server and is (also typically) served by an Apache web server – this makes Joomla 100% open source, in its code and its infrastructure.
Infrastructure versatility: While, in most cases, Joomla is a LAMP web application (LAMP stands for “Linux Apache MySQL PHP” – the 4 cornerstones of open source on the web), Joomla can also run with…
- LiteSpeed or IIS as a web sever
- Windows as a server
This makes Joomla a very versatile CMS – that is able to adapt in nearly any environment. Note that we are talking about Joomla’s core, some extensions do not support one or all of the above – and thus need to be modified to run in an environment other than LAMP.
Built-in caching: Joomla’s cache is one of the most important – and yet most dreaded – features of Joomla. It makes any Joomla website much faster (we’re talking about 20 times faster in many of the tests we ran), and it avoids overloading the server that is hosting the Joomla website. On the other hand, caching can be a curse rather than a blessing, if misused or if it conflicts with other extensions. I
Built-in basic SEO functionality: SEF (Search Engine Friendly) urls are built-in in Joomla. All you need to do is to enable them for them to work on your Joomla website. It is a known fact that SEF links bring huge benefits to your SEO rankings. Additionally, Joomla allows you to explicitly set the meta description and the meta keywords of any page – which also props up your SEO standings. In short, Joomla allows you to do the basic SEO yourself – instead of paying top dollars for a consultant or a 3rd party company to do it for you.
Multilingual support: As of version 1.6, Joomla is natively multilingual. This means that you can build a website in English, and create another version of the same site in other languages, such as French and/or Spanish. Joomla thus will easily give you access to a broader audience. Note that there are some 3rd party extensions, such as JoomFish, which are used to support multiple languages in older versions of Joomla (<= Joomla 1.5.26) and to complement native multilingual support in newer versions.
Vibrant and friendly community: Unlike other CMS’s communities, Joomla’s community is vibrant and thriving. You have a question on Joomla? There must be someone, somewhere who asked the same question before (probably differently – but the essence will still be the same) and there must be someone, somewhere who answered him. Joomla’s community is also very friendly (there are always some exceptions – but we’re talking about the whole community here) and is always eager to help.
Reliable support by 3rd party companies: While Joomla is not directly supported (by directly we mean helping people with their websites – we do not mean introducing updates and upgrades) by Open Source Matters (the organization behind Joomla), there are many high profile 3rd party companies, such as itoctopus, offering reliable Joomla support for Joomla websites. The 3rd party support that Joomla websites enjoy is one of the best among the CMSs.
Security updates: Open Source Matters releases security updates whenever any maintained version of Joomla is reported to have a security issue. These security updates ensure that Joomla websites all over the world run smoothly and securely.
Huge library of extensions: Do you need to create a custom form in Joomla? Well, there’s already a component for that. Do you need to integrate social networking into your Joomla website? Well, this is already done for you! Do you need to integrate a forum? Yes, you guessed it, there’s already an extension for that as well! Do you need to do anything in Joomla? In most cases, whatever functionality you can think of already exists in Joomla’s huge extensions library. In many cases, Joomla’s extensions are free. Paid Joomla extensions are priced very reasonably.
Vast collection of templates: Whether you want to create a fishing website that only die hard fans will visit, or whether you want to create a corporate website to serve your international clients, there is a Joomla template for you. There are so many Joomla templates out there that it’s hard for anyone not to find one that suits his business. And in the rare case where you need a Joomla template and you can’t find a premade one that works for you, then it’s easy and cheap to get one developed for you. A couple of things to note about Joomla templates:
- Many Joomla templates are commercial – meaning you have to pay money for them. However, there is still a lot of Joomla templates that are free to use.
Joomla templates are not compatible across all Joomla versions. For example, a Joomla 1.5 template will not work on a Joomla 2.5 website (and vice versa). So if you find a template, make sure that it matches your Joomla version before buying it/downloading it.
Access control lists (ACLs): Joomla, since its inception, is blessed with a very powerful ACL component. That ACL allows you to set who views what, who edits what, and who creates what. As of Joomla 1.6, the ACL has been completely revamped to make it more flexible. On the downside, Joomla’s ACL can be the reason behind a lot of problems – and many Joomla administrators inadvertently break their website when toying with the ACL. Our advice, when it comes to ACL, is not to touch it if you don’t understand how to use it. You can easily break your website if you make a very simply mistake with the ACL. You have been warned!
An enormous number of Joomla websites: According to our research nearly a year ago, about 1% of the world domains are powered by Joomla. This means 2 things:
- Joomla is here to stay. Even after several years of its inception, Joomla has kept its momentum and is still acquiring territory on the web.
Joomla is reliable. 1% of the domains in the world is about 2 million domains. If 2 million domains are using Joomla then it means that Joomla is worth using – and worth keeping as a CMS for many, many content administrators out there.
Frontend editing: We can’t think of many CMSs that allow frontend editing. Joomla does. Frontend editing means editing content on the website itself – for example, if you’re logged in to the website (and of course, you have the right permissions) and you see a page that needs editing, then you can edit it directly without going to the backend. This is an important feature especially for those Joomla website owners who have little Internet experience/knowledge. Note that this feature currently only works for articles – custom modules and other content still need to be edited from the backend.
Free to download, to use, free to upgrade: Joomla is free – period. You download it for free, you use it for free, and you upgrade it for free. You only need to pay for your Joomla website when:
- You are downloading a paid extension.
You are asking a 3rd party company to do some work on your Joomla website – including debugging it, fixing it, and extending it.
Scalable engine: Joomla’s engine is scalable, and can be modified to sustain large amounts of traffic – we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of visitors per day. Of course, the modifications need to be heavy – very heavy to handle this amount of traffic.
Secure by default: Joomla, by default, is secure. What we mean by that is that when you download the latest Joomla zip file and install it onto your website, then your website is secure. A Joomla’s website security is compromised mainly because of one of the following:
- Ignoring/Not installing security updates regularly.
Using insecure 3rd party extensions.
Hosting with a bad host.
Compatible with nearly all browsers: A Joomla website, by default, is compatible with all browsers. Browser compatibility issues on a Joomla websites are caused by either the template (if it’s not developed by the Joomla team) or by non-standard extensions.
And now the 21st benefit of Joomla:
- Reasonable learning curve: Creating a Joomla website from scratch can be done in a day – even if the person has never used Joomla before. That’s a clear advantage over other CMSs such as Drupal – that require the person to be at least a system administrator to merely operate the website.
As you can see, the reasons for using Joomla are many, and it’s very clear that any business, whether small or large, can benefit from the power of this CMS.
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