5 minutes reading time (985 words)

How I chose Joomla - Elisa Foltyn


Elisa Foltyn is very invested in Joomla and spares no time or effort in promoting the project, improving the cms and helping users.

She describes her path to Joomla as a journey with no end in sight.

Let's let her tell us about her experience and accompany her on her adventure.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I am Elisa, self-employed with COOLCAT creations. I work from anywhere, and my home base is Schwäbisch Hall, a small and cozy town situated between Stuttgart and my hometown, Nuremberg. Anything else you'd like to know? :-)

Yes, this is just the beginning! How did you get into webdesign / web development?

When I was just 7 years old, I received my first computer, along with a programming book for kids, which marked the beginning of my journey into the world of web design and development. Initially, I used the computer for learning mathematics, but at the age of 12, my older brother surprised me with an Apple computer, a gesture that would shape my future. From that moment, I became engrossed in the world of shareware games, computer magazines, and creative projects, such as designing birthday cards and invitations.

An important milestone was joining the early days of "IRC" Chat, where I could connect with people from my city and beyond, appreciating their sense of humor without the need for profiles or appearances. Looking back, I cherish the nostalgic memories and credit my brother for introducing me to the world of Apple.

Fast-forward to age 16, I found myself at a crossroads, having been accepted to an Art School and also receiving a job offer as a Media Designer for digital and print media. Opting for independence, I embarked on the latter path, although I sometimes wonder what my life might have been like had I chosen the Art School.

During my apprenticeship, I worked at a publishing company with various roles, but it was at the social media platform "waslos.de" where I found the most enjoyment. As the internet expanded, other social media platforms like Lokalisten and StudiVZ emerged, reducing the significance of our platform. Consequently, I switched to the marketing department, although I didn't find it fulfilling. This led me to take a sabbatical as a flight attendant, only to return to the web business two years later.

At my new workplace, I encountered a commercial content management system that came with a hefty price tag. Curious about alternatives, I researched and shortlisted three potential candidates: Typo3, WordPress, and Joomla.

What made you choose Joomla?

Out of the three options, Joomla won my heart due to its logical and structured approach. My impatience to create something quickly found satisfaction as I set up my first Joomla site within a few days.

Can you describe the process of creating your first Joomla site?

Creating my first Joomla site remains a distant memory, as it was nearly two decades ago. I vaguely recall installing Mambo, which eventually transformed into Joomla, leading to the only confusion I faced during the initial stages. Although my recollections are hazy, Benjamin, our former production lead, fondly remembers me asking annoying questions.

What challenges did you face?

Throughout the journey, challenges arose, yet, unfortunately, my memory fails me in recalling the specific obstacles I encountered and how I resolved them.

How did you solve them?

When I needed help, I turned to the Joomla Forum "Joomlaportal.de," where I received invaluable support from the community.

What other content management systems have you worked with?

In the early stages of my journey, I experimented with other content management systems such as Wordpress and Typo3. However, I must confess that I never quite grasped their complexities. Despite my initial attempts, I found myself unable to fully understand and navigate those systems.

Years later, I had the opportunity to assist someone with a Wordpress site, but the intricacies of the platform still eluded me. The complexity of Wordpress continued to present challenges, reaffirming my preference for Joomla's intuitive and logical approach, which resonates better with my way of working.

I understand you're a media designer but not only.
Would you say Joomla is a good CMS when it comes to designing websites? Why?

While I am primarily a media designer, I firmly believe that Joomla is an excellent CMS for designing websites. However, the design itself is independent of the CMS. The key lies in having someone who can code the template or utilizing a great template framework, skills that I possess.

My philosophy regarding web design leans towards clear communication, easy navigation, company branding elements, compelling imagery, and interactivity. Avoiding over-the-top designs and trendy features that quickly become outdated, I prefer creating websites that can stand the test of time.

You are well known in the German speaking and international community, how deep is/was your involvement? 

My involvement began in 2013 when I attended the JoomlaDay in Nuremberg, organized by Stefan Wendhausen. Subsequently, in 2014, I met the Marketing team at JandBeyond in Prague and applied for the role of Design Lead in 2015, which I was fortunate to secure. My contributions extended to the Backend Team for Joomla 4, and around 2019, I served as the Vice President at Open Source Matters.

If there was one sentence to sum up your relationship with Joomla / Joomlers, what would it be?

Summing up my relationship with Joomla and fellow Joomlers, I see Joomla as a big family with an extensive safety net. In times of struggle, there is always someone ready to offer help and support, making me feel secure within the community. The only aspect I dislike is when a few individuals lose control and behave online in ways they never would in a real-life company. Fortunately, they represent only a small minority, and I hope that newcomers quickly experience the overwhelming kindness and camaraderie shared by the other 99% of Joomlers.

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Comments 1

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james gichuru on Friday, 15 March 2024 10:55
Hello Elisa

wow.you must have come a long journey.Its a successful one though

wow.you must have come a long journey.Its a successful one though:D

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