Steve: Joomla has had a demo site since 2010. What does the new demo site offer?
Sarah: The new demo site on demo.joomla.org will be increased from a 30 day demo to a 90-day demo. That gives you 60 additional days to try all the features that are available.
Steve: What are the key differences between demo.joomla.org and joomla.com?
Sarah: The demo site, demo.joomla.org, is exactly that, a full demo installation of the Joomla CMS just as it comes when you download it from joomla.org. The hosted Joomla Demo period allows you to try Joomla, to see what you can do with it and to know if it would work for your project.
joomla.com is the hosted version of Joomla and the hosting is free for life, so there is no time limit. It is better suited to launching a real website. Choose joomla.com if you want to publish your website and start getting traffic right away. You can set up an instant Joomla website in seconds without any technical knowledge with your own custom subdomain (ex: mywebsite.joomla.com). The Joomla.com hosted version will have a lot of nice pre-installed templates, as well as some usefull pre-installed extensions.
Steve: It sounds as if joomla.com may replace the demo site, to some extent?
Sarah: Not at all. Although similar, these are two completely different services that will provide our users with more choices. Many will use the demo just to try Joomla and get to know the features. But you could also use the 90 day demo period to fully develop your website and upgrade to a paid hosting package for a small fee once the site is ready to go live. This is great for those who do not wish to pay for hosting during the development phase of their Joomla website.
However, the joomla.com free hosted platform will allow anyone to launch an instant Joomla website and have it hosted for free for as long as they wish. This allows people with limited funds and new companies a place to launch their websites no matter if they are simply blogging about their favorite foods, or if they are a new company that just needs a simple and free website for their business.
Steve: Is there an approximate launch date for these services?
Sarah: The 90-day demo site (demo.joomla.org) will be launched in September and the free hosting option (joomla.com) will be offered later on this year.
Steve: People will be able to build a free Joomla site. I presume there will be restrictions, for example, only a limited number of extensions and templates?
Sarah: Yes, exactly. The goal is to make it easy to start with Joomla. The joomla.com website will be ad supported and have basic features and limited extendability. All free hosted website will have a free joomla.com subdomain. Users can always upgrade to a full hosting plan, for a small fee of course, if they wish to have a more robust website with additional hosting support and a unique domain.
Steve: Great. Anything else we should know about this news?
Sarah: We are super excited that we can offer the extended demo. Because with all the neat features in Joomla it takes some time to discover them all and try them out. And the free hosting option will be a great way for users who just want to get started with Joomla quickly, and easily publish information without paying for web hosting. Our goal is that these two services will help introduce many more users to Joomla.
We look forward to this new partnership and working with SiteGround.
We also like to give a huge thank you to CloudAccess for their services hosting the Joomla demo for the last years and look forward to continue our partnership with CloudAccess in other areas of our project.