Welcome to Joomla!. It is a free system for creating websites. It is an open source project, which, like most open source projects, is constantly in motion. It is unpredictable, sometimes indescribable, partially controversial, quite often very sexy and, at times, a little sleepy and provincial. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of these reasons, it has been extremely successful for six years now and is popular with millions of users worldwide.
Concerning the question whether to write Joomla! (with a !) or Joomla (without a !) after years of finding out people reached a consensus:
Use it once in the first instance of Joomla and then forget it!
The word Joomla is a derivative of the word Jumla from the African language of Swahili and means "all together".
The Project Joomla is the result of a heated discussion between the Mambo Foundation, which was founded in August 2005, and its then-development team. Joomla is a development of the successful system Mambo. Joomla is used all over the world for simple homepages and for complex corporate websites as well. It is easy to install, easy to manage and very reliable.
The Joomla team has organised and reorganised itselfthroughout the last six years
- From 2005 to 2009, Joomla 1.0 was further developed up to version 1.0.15 and that development was officially laid off in September 2009.
- From 2005 until now, Joomla 1.5 is still being developed, was introduced as a stable version in January 2008, and will officially 'end of life' (EOL) in April 2012.
- From 2008 until 2011, Joomla 1.6 was developed. A stable version has been available since January 2011.
- In July 2011 Joomla 1.7 was released
- Joomla 2.5 is the first long term release (LTS) since Joomla 1.5 was released in January 2012 (coming soon :) )
The users of the Joomla system remained faithful. Many transferred their websites from Mambo to Joomla and they have learned a lot over the years. Many users have climbed aboard in the last few years but there are still people in the world who do not know about the system. Joomla, together with Drupal and WordPress, are the most used open source web content management system in the world.
In Figure 1, Joomla and WordPress are on the same average level according to Google search volume trend. Joomla and Wordpress are searched three times as often as Drupal. However, the search volume for Joomla has been declining since 2010. It was time for Joomla to start rethinking with the release of the Joomla 1.6 version in January 2011 and Joomla 1.7 in July 2011.
Compared to the world average, the situation in e.g. Germany is different (Figure 2). Joomla has almost twice as large of a search volume as WordPress and WordPress almost four times as much as Drupal.
Here are a few statistics from Google Trends (Table 1):
Table 1: Google Trend - Drupal, Joomla, WordPress
There are significant national differences in the use of content management systems. In Germany, for example, the CMS TYPO3 also plays a role. The search volume is comparable to Joomla.
In January 2012, 2.8 % of the entire web is powered by Joomla (http://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/content_management/all)
The range of Joomla websites goes from very simple homepages to complex business applications and projects based on the Joomla Framework. What makes Joomla so successful, and the ways in which you can use it, will be described in this book.
Who am I?
My name is Hagen Graf, I'm 47 years old, and I live in Fitou, France. I am married to the woman of my dreams and have four daughters.
My work consists of many different activities such as teaching, advising, listening, testing, programming, understanding structures, developing new applications, questioning, and always trying something new.
Actually, my work can be done completely online but sometimes clients may have reservations about fully online projects, which is why I am on the road a lot. Being on the road means meeting clients in different countries with different languages and cultures, long car, bus or train rides as well as very short response times to customer enquiries, Facebook messages and tweets.
This way of working has implications for what I once used to call "the office". I need to be able to have access from anywhere in the world to my e-mails, pictures, videos, tweets, and documents. My office is located where I am.
Who are you?
Of course I do not know exactly what you do, but many people whom I have worked with work in a way similar to myself. Employees of larger companies however, for various reasons, often cannot or may not work as flexibly. Your own experience with computers is probably similar to mine. Many of us started with an older PC and a Windows system at school or at home, and then got to know from experience the harsh reality of office applications, data loss, insufficient memory, and hard drive and printer configuration adventures. The wonderful relationships between these things have been changed with the user-centred way of Web 2.0 and the use of smart phones, but this does not necessarily make it easier.
If you do not love messing with passion at night with your operating system or telephone or sorting your photos and music, and moving them all from one device to another, then you are probably just like me - happy when your devices and applications are working, when you can access your data on the Internet and all is working smoothly. If you work from a home office, a smooth work environment becomes particularly important. Non-functioning soft- and hardware can quickly turn your situation into a nightmare.
I distinguish between the following types of users:
- Visitors: They visit a website and they do not care much about the system you used for creating the site.
- Users: They use the website. They create content using pre-defined procedures.
- Website Designers or Integrators: They install a Joomla site on a server, create categories, content, links and menu modules, configure templates and languages, are all-rounders and usually have the sole responsibility for the website.
- CSS Designers: They often like to work exclusively with files that have the extension .css.
- HTML Designers: They give CSS Designers the foundation they need for their work. In Joomla, they create the so-called template overrides and alternative layouts.
- Architects: They think about security, speed and code quality.
The website designer plays a special role in this list. He usually has to cover all other roles, which constitutes a real challenge. As I am writing this book, I often find myself thinking about the website designer.
A company, an institution, a club, an organization, yes, probably everyone, needs a web presence that is user-friendly and flexible. A presence - one that develops over time, can easily be changed via a web browser. This presence can replace your filing cabinet and leather address book; this presence can communicate with different devices and it can be extended easily.
I assume your website already explains what you do or what your company does. This is your place where you maintain your customer relations 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
Your website probably contains a collection of applications and data summarising your activities. Your site should also contain interfaces to allow other applications to use them.
Until a few years ago, the creation of a website was a difficult thing to do. Whilst you did not have to be a renowned specialist, a combination of perseverance and having fun with what you are doing were necessary to produce appealing results. You had to create static HTML pages in an HTML editor and then upload them via file transfer protocol to a server. To create even the simplest interactivity such as a contact form or a forum, you had to learn a programming language.
It is more than understandable that many people did not take this hardship on themselves and handed over the creation of a website to a web agency or did not even start the project in the first place.
Thanks to Facebook and kits such as Google Sites, creating simple web pages has become relatively easy but if you want something unique, you should become familiar with a content management system.
Joomla offers everything you need to create your own, individual website.
What is this book about?
First of all, it is about Joomla and how to use it.
Joomla is a tool with lots of possibilities and you can use the system in a huge variety of configurations, depending on your ideas and wishes.
In order to allow comfortable access, I have structured the book as follows:
- This Introduction
- Structures and Terms
- What's new in Joomla! 2.5?
- Managing Content
- How to Create an 'About Us' Page
- A Typical Article
- Media Manager
- Contact Form
- Statuses, Trash and Check-Ins
- Structure Your Content with Categories
- Website and Content Configuration
- Users and Permissions
- Extension Management
- Core Extensions
- Smart Search
- Working with Templates
- Create Your Own Style
- Customizing Existing Templates
- Create a New Template Using Atomic
- The Beez Template
- Why SEO is important for you
- Multi-Language Websites
- A Joomla! 2.5 Website from Scratch
- Upgrade from older versions
- Earning respect and money with Joomla
What will you be able to do after reading this book?
Although you are a beginner, you will be able to manage your own Joomla website via a web browser.
If you are somewhat familiar with HTML, CSS and image editing, you will be able to customize a template for your website.
Any further questions?
Of course, I can't deliver technical support. The Joomla forums provide a wealth of knowledge and you will definitely find answers to your questions there. If you have comments or questions about the book, however, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
Before you install Joomla 2.5, create a website, and get rich and famous, please have a short look at the basics.
What I wrote there also applies to your Joomla website.