Joomla is a content management system, otherwise known as a CMS. A content management system is software that makes it possible for a non technical user to edit a website. A CMS differs from the way web sites used to be created with Dreamweaver, or similar programs in several ways. When you create a site with programs like Dreamweaver you need at least some knowledge of html. You create or edit each page using software on your computer then you upload those page files to you website with ftp software.
So how does a CMS work?
With this system there is no need for html software. You log in and edit your site content through web based interface. There is no upload step involved, and no knowledge of html is required. The content of the site is stored in a database, rather that separate page files. Although you don’t have to be concerned with that, because the code of the CMS handles all those details. Behind the scenes from the visitors side, the site won’t look any different that the other websites. When someone visits the site, Joomla reads the content from the database, and uses the template to control how that content will look
on that page. The content management system is designed specifically to keep the site content program code and the layout design all separate. That makes the system very flexible you can change any of the program part without impacting the other two. For example you can easily change the look of your site by switching to another template, while your content remains the same.
How did it all start?
This CMS started in 2015 as a part, off of an early CSS called Mambo. It quickly became more popular than Mambo. Since then it has gone through quite a few versions. All those changes are a good thing, with each version change new features, and capabilities have been added. The frequent update show that the developers are staying on the cutting edge of web technologies, in-fact the mobile features of the new 3.0 version made the system one of the most mobile friendly content management systems. The system is run by volunteers, and has a world wide base of users. The CMS is free while some content management systems can cost from 5000 to 25000 dollars. Joomla sites can be created more quickly than traditional sites, so development cost are generally less, usually in the 100 or 1000 of dollars, depending of the complexity of the site, but still far cheaper than what most CMS would cost. A lot of the power and versatility of the system is due to the multitude of add on programs that you can add to your site. These add-ons are officially called extensions, and are found in the systems extensions directory. Currently there are nearly 1000 extensions available, you can find just about anything here, from photo galleries, to a component that sells used cars. Most of the extensions are free but some are commercial, and require you to purchase them for your site.
What about other CMSs ?
Joomla isn’t the only CMS two other popular ones are WordPress and Drupal. WordPress started out as blogging software, and over the years it has added more CMS capabilities if all you wanted to is blog, this system has added some new extensive blogging capabilities. Drupal is more difficult to learn than, this system but it has more features that allow you to create custom applications. If you have a feature that you want for your website, and there isn’t a Joomla extension available for it, you may be able to custom code it in Drupol. This system is a great CMS that falls in between those two. Providing more capabilities than WordPress and being much easier to use than Drupal. While it is easier to work with there is still a bit of a learning curve if you are willing to edit and maintain your own website. As you learn more about this system you will begin to see the possibilities of what you can do with it on your own site.
I hope that this article has helped you in differentiating the CMSs, and taught you about the web design capabilities of Joomla. Enjoy the rest.