How I became a Joomler - Patrick Smits
Patrick Smits has followed a path in which many of our readers will recognise themselves. He used to work in design, then got into the web, and naturally chose Joomla. Let him tell us why.
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Hello, I am Patrick Smits, 53 years old, living in IJsselstein, The Netherlands.,I am married, and I have two kids who are 18 and 16 years old.
How did you get into webdesign?
As a graphic designer I decided in 2006/2007 to learn about web design, so I attended a course, which took nearly 6 months to finish. From that moment I could call myself a Webdesigner.
What made you choose Joomla?
As a web designer, I struggled with the forms in my HTML pages. So I called my friend Google and the answer was Joomla. In 2009 the Dutch JoomlaDays were held at a venue 5 minutes by bike from my home, so I went and got involved in the Dutch Joomla Community.
Can you describe the process of creating your first Joomla site?
My first website was for a local association, a few pages with a form, nothing fancy.
What challenges did you face?
Over the years I learned a lot and the challenges I faced in the beginning turned out to be problem solvers for others. I joined as a volunteer for a lot of forums, national and international, I have learned a lot from them.
How did you solve them?
I've solved most problems by reading the forums, not only when I have a problem, but in general, when I have time, I read them. So when I have a problem, I often read the answer on a forum. Most of the problems are general and have already been encountered by other people. We all follow the same path.
Where did you get help (if you needed it)?
First the forums, then the Joomla User Group Utrecht, which I joined in 2012. First as a visitor, looking at the programme, later as a regular visitor. In 2018, I think it was, I was asked to take over the organization of the User Group and that's what I’ve done for 4 years.
Have you worked with other content management systems? Which ones?
Yes, I work with Wordpress, Shopify, a company owned CMS, Lightspeed e-commerce and BigCommerce.
I understand you're a graphic designer. Would you say Joomla is a good CMS when it comes to designing websites? Why?
The structure of Joomla is great, even better after the Joomla 4 release. As a graphic designer I always use custom modules to get the views I want. Many others are using overrides, but I am not a great coder.
You are in the Dutch speaking and international community, how deep is/was your involvement?
I have been co-organizing the JUG Utrecht for four years, did some presentations for User Groups in the Netherlands and the Dutch Joomladagen, attended Pizza Bugs and Fun events, and helped building the website for the Dutch Joomla Community
If there was one sentence to sum up your relationship with Joomla / Joomlers, what would it be?
Joomla is not only a CMS, it’s a community. So I am not a Joomla user, I am a Joomler.