Five Reasons To Choose Joomla

Written by | 05 May 2016 | Published in 2016 May
There are more CMS platform choices than ever. All of them boast powerful features but it’s not always clear how these features help us in real life. These are five reasons why many people choose Joomla to accomplish website goals and solve real world website challenges.

How can Joomla actually help us?

This article is not about comparing Joomla to other CMS platforms, there are plenty of CMS comparisons out there already. Often they are biased in some way or contain generalized information that isn’t always meaningful. In real life we need to accomplish specific goals and it is easier to accomplish our goals if we choose the right tools.

This article is about the strengths of Joomla. These features are powerful, but they are only useful to us if they apply to what we need to do. Maybe they apply to you, maybe they don’t. Choosing the right CMS for a project can be a process in itself and only you can decide what will work best for you, but it’s always good to make an informed decision.

Authors Note: I am very involved with the Joomla community and I love Joomla the most. My personal bias and preferences aside, I use other platforms frequently in my business and they often work well. As a business owner, it is my responsibility to meet the needs of my clients and that is what motivates my decisions. Through years of experience working on countless projects I’ve discovered specific reasons and situations where one platform often works better than another. That is my inspiration for this article.

Here are five reasons people choose Joomla:


1.) Extensive Content Management features

Joomla was built from the ground up as a content management system and content management is what it does the best. There are hundreds of options and dozens of interface screens to help you create, organize, sort and display content in any number of ways.

joomla CMS settings Joomla offers extensive built in interface options to control your website. No additional coding or plugins are required to perform complex content management and display tasks.

Content management features become more important as a website grows larger. There are many advantages the Joomla interface offers when dealing with websites containing large number of menus, articles, sections or pages.

We can work with menus, articles, categories, tags, and control various other built-in and third party functionalities right from the interface. There is a switch, button or setting for almost everything you can think of in Joomla. And it's all standard, no additional code or plugins required.

This makes Joomla a great choice for:

  • Websites with large amounts of content and pages
  • Websites with large or complex navigation structures
  • Do it yourself website builders with no coding experience
  • People who like to keep everything organized all the time (like me)

Pro Tips: Every interface and component has dozen of options and settings to control everything from sorting, filtering and organization options, content display controls (title, author, date etc), page display controls, blog page layouts (yes Joomla can blog), metadata, SEO settings and more. There is a lot of control and power under the hood if you know where to look.

The extensive built in core functionality also helps to eliminate the need for additional plugins or extensions. This can help with stability, security and maintenance over time.


2.) Standardized Interface And Functionality

More features always come with more learning curve and there are no shortage of features in Joomla. It can be helpful to know that Joomla has a set of standardized controls and many of the core features operate in a similar way. This not only helps us learn Joomla, it also creates a more stable and secure CMS foundation. This foundation is the source of many powerful features in Joomla.

joomla standard interface The Joomla interface is standardized throughout the Joomla core.

When you learn how to use one feature in Joomla you have learned how to do many things in Joomla. For example, once you create an Article you essentially know how to create Categories and Tags. Plus, all of the content save, close, copy features are the same across most core components and many third party extensions. A little bit of learning can go a long way in Joomla.

For the more advanced users, the underlying PHP architecture in Joomla is also standardized. Joomla is built on a standardized MVC based programming pattern. This provides a stable foundation for customizations and integrations that many developers appreciate.

This makes Joomla a great choice for:

  • Anyone who needs to manage their own website
  • Training clients or staff to manage website content
  • Do It Yourself website builders
  • Website Integrators and Client Site Builders
  • Developers and Programmers

Pro Tip: It may take some time to learn your way around Joomla, but once you do, you will have a powerful set of tools at your disposal. The workflow and operation may not seem intuitive at first, but once you learn how all the pieces fit together it becomes much easier to understand.


3.) User Management and ACL features

A user registration system, user manager and multiple ACL (Access Control List) levels are built right into the core of Joomla. This makes Joomla an ideal choice for websites that require user accounts, user registrations or content restriction features.

joomla users acl User registration and customizable access control is built into the core of Joomla

Setting up basic user accounts, user registration, user access levels, content restrictions and administrator interface restrictions are a breeze in Joomla. If the standard ACL levels are not enough, you can make as many custom levels as you need with all the customized permission settings you want across any core feature and most third party extensions. It’s all built in the core of Joomla and ready to go from the start.

This makes Joomla a great choice for:

  • Websites with user registration requirements
  • Websites with content restriction requirements
  • Membership or subscription based websites
  • Community or forum based websites
  • Business websites that need a private “Client Area” or customer login section
  • Companies with large website staff or contributors

Pro Tip: The core ACL is also standardized in Joomla, this allows ACL settings to be applied in the same way across the core features in Joomla. This standard is integrated into most third party extensions as well. All of these complex settings are accomplished through an interface window and no coding is required. The core ACL features are customizable and cover most situations on the front and backend of Joomla and there are many extensions that add even more control should you need it.


4.) Advanced Template Control

Some CMS platforms only allow for one active template (or theme) or one set of template settings across an entire website, and in many cases this is adequate. However, if you have ever wished it was easier to make different template settings across different pages or wished you could use more than one template in your website Joomla can answer the call.

joomla templates Joomla can handle simple or complex design requirements in many different ways.

In Joomla you can install as many templates as you like, or create as many overrides as you like for a single template to manipulate the settings and assign variations on a per page basis. This means any page, groups of pages or specific areas of your website can have different design settings. To accomplish this we only need to make use of the built-in settings found in the template interface, no additional code or plugins required. The amount of control you have depends on the template, but there are few limits when it comes to utilizing templates in Joomla.

For example, you could have a section of your website with a blue header and other pages with a green header, or create landing page variations with a different template, or create a temporary change in appearance for holidays or special occasions. It's easy to try different settings and variations, and this allows us to be as creative as we like with our website designs.

This makes Joomla a great choice for:

  • Websites with extensive or frequently changing design requirements
  • Multi-section websites with color variation requirements
  • Creative website designers
  • Template Developers
  • Do It Yourself website owners

Pro Tip: For more advanced customizations, you can create template copies and file overrides directly through the template manager interface. A built in code editor allows access to most front end view files for templates, as well as view files for core functionality and third party extensions. You can do all of this and make complex customizations without ever leaving the backend interface.


5.) International Language Support

A huge reason Joomla is so popular worldwide is the extensive internationalized language support it offers. Joomla can be installed in many different languages, or with multiple languages, and it offers basic multilingual features right out of the box.

joomla language Support for international languages is integrated throughout the Joomla core.

Like everything in Joomla, language settings are standardized and can be applied in different ways. For example, language settings can be assigned on a per user basis to allow people from different locations to work in their primary language. We can also create content, navigation or sections of a website for specific languages based on any number of settings. There are many applications for this and many ways to extend the multilingual features in Joomla. This feature is what makes the Joomla community a global community, and it makes Joomla the only CMS choice for some users around the world.

This makes Joomla a great choice for:

  • International websites and projects
  • Websites requiring multilingual features
  • Websites with Multilingual content
  • Teams with multilingual personnel

Pro Tip: Even though Joomla has extensive language support built in, it does not translate website content. Content with existing translations can be shown and assigned in different ways, but it does not automatically translate content that was written in one language into another language. This is an important distinction to keep in mind. There are many additional extensions and resources within the international Joomla community should you need them.


6.) Bonus Reason: It All Works Together!

Ultimate Pro Power Tip: These core settings and standardized features are available EVERYWHERE in Joomla! They all work independently and can be used in conjunction with each other. For example, we could have different pages with different designs that are seen differently based on the language of a user. We can show different content in many different ways to many different users across all of our different pages based on any number of settings or combinations of settings. That is the true power of the Joomla CMS platform.


Final Thoughts

These are some of the reasons many people appreciate Joomla. There are many upsides to Joomla in certain scenarios but also some downsides in other situations. It can definitely help with large or complex websites, and it can certainly handle simple websites, but it may be a bit too much for those who only need the basics. If the features we've covered can solve any of your website challenges, or apply to your specific needs, then Joomla could be great choice for you.

Theoretically, any CMS could be made to do what any other CMS can do through plugins, extensions or customizations, but re-inventing the wheel is usually not necessary - and it's never a good approach if you can avoid it. In reality, certain tasks are much easier to accomplish in one platform than they are in another, and some platforms are better suited for specific scenarios than others might be. Every CMS is a powerful tool when used properly for the right purposes.

There are many CMS options to choose from and the project requirements should always factor into the decision. It always makes sense to choose the CMS that will help us do what we need to do quickly and effectively. Whether Joomla is the right answer for your website is something only you can know. There are great reasons to choose Joomla, but at the end of the day the best CMS choice is the one that will work best for YOU.

Joomla is open source and freely available at joomla.org and joomla.com, so it’s easy enough to try it at any time and see for yourself. The global Joomla community is very active and offers many resources if you need help getting started. Best of luck on your website projects!

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Cliff Pfeifer

Cliff Pfeifer

Cliff Pfeifer is a passionate Joomla contributor and savvy business owner from Denver, Colorado. He is the Joomla! UX Team Lead, Organizer of the Denver Joomla! Community, and a member of the Joomla! Marketing and Community Leadership Teams.