Confidence in Joomla! as a platform for building websites
It must be stated at the outset that Joomla! is a wonderful platform for building websites. I also believe that J! 4.x is a good foundation for building websites and if you want to build a new website using Joomla! I would recommend that you use the latest version of J! 4.x.
In writing about how I have observed people’s experiences - including their frustrations and “coming to terms” with J! 4.x - while I say that I recommend building new websites with J! 4.x, I should add that migrating from older versions of J! is not always easy.
It is this combination of factors - difficulties people have with installing or migrating to J! 4.x - that have lowered people’s expectations about J! as a website-building platform. I believe these factors are responsible for the slow uptake of J! 4.x by website developers and consumers; it takes time for any new product to match the popularity of its predecessors. By any measure J! 4.x is still very new to most people even though its story began in 2015 and J! 4.0.0 was released a year ago.
A long time ago I wrote in The Joomla! Forum™ about sharing usage of J! with the community. It is relevant to revisit this five years later. Here is a snapshot1 of what J! versions are being used today:
In the time since usage statistics were first kept (since J! 3.5.0), the distribution of Joomla usage2 can be looked at in the following ways:
Joomla version: J! 3.5 (12%), J! 3.6 (23%), J! 3.7 (8%), J! 3.8 (18%), J! 3.9 (27.5%), J! 3.10 (6%), J! 4.0 (3%), J! 4.1 (1.5%)
PHP version: 5.3 (6%), 5.4 (7%), 5.5 (9%), 5.6 (26.5%), 7.0 (11.5%), 7.1 (8%), 7.2 (10%), 7.3 (9%), 7.4 (10%), 8.0 (2%), 8.1 (<0.5%)
Database type: MySQLi (87.5%), MySQL (9%), MySQL (PDO) (3%)
The more “recent” usage statistics3 perhaps gives us a better picture:
Joomla version: J! 3.5 (0.5%), J! 3.6 (2%), J! 3.7 (8%), J! 3.8 (0.5%), J! 3.9 (15.5%), J! 3.10 (54%), J! 4.0 (7.5%), J! 4.1 (18%)
PHP version: 5.3 (<0.5%), 5.4 (0.5%), 5.5 (<0.5%), 5.6 (3.5%), 7.0 (11.5%), 7.1 (2%), 7.2 (5%), 7.3 (11%), 7.4 (59%), 8.0 (11%), 8.1 (<0.5%)
Database type: MySQLi (95%), MySQL (<1%), MySQL (PDO) (3.5%)
It’s interesting to see that, even “recently”, people are still reporting their reliance on superseded and unsupported versions of J! and PHP.
Perhaps that is a reflection of the confidence that people have with the J! project today and with the J! CMS platform? I cannot say but if that confidence is associated people’s interest in searching the web for information about Joomla!, then the latest Google Trends analysis4 indicates that confidence level is disappointing. We can conclude - regardless of anyone’s opinion about J! 4.x as a means to build a better business - that the project hasn’t died. We know that a significant number of people are reluctant to use J! 4.x (and, perhaps, usage statistics gathered over a shorter time-frame - say, the past two or three months - may indicate how well J! 4.x is being used).
I like Joomla! as a website development platform.