Why I use Joomla to build websites

When I first started building websites, I learned how to code with HTML and CSS. Later I added to my knowledge with a bit of PHP to automate certain tasks and then investigated JavaScript and JQuery. The trouble was that no matter how much I learned, there was always more (MySQL, Python, Ruby on Rails, etc) and I could only ever scratch the surface of these coding languages.

Then I discovered Joomla and everything changed! Now I can build great-looking websites using professional coding WITHOUT actually writing code!

(I should add that, although Joomla is not technically complicated, you do need to invest time to learn how to use it properly. You just don’t need to learn several new languages!)

So what is Joomla?

Technically, it’s known as a Content Management System (CMS). It stores all your website bits and pieces in a database and displays them all nicely when someone visits your site.

Practically, it’s a bit like Windows: using a series of dashboards you can organise all the parts of your website and create whole pages, or parts of pages, using straightforward WYSIWYG editors, similar to Word and other programs. All the clever, complicated stuff is hidden.

Joomla is web-based, which means you can work anywhere there’s an internet connection. Since its release in 2005, Joomla has been used to build more than 2 million websites worldwide, making it one of the most popular web-building tools around.

As it was originally written for blogging, Joomla is designed to authorise other people to login and add or change content, as well as view pages which are hidden from the public. This makes it ideal for amdram societies, as it’s easy to set up your members so they can login to their own Members Only pages. And you can let society officials manage their own pages and add their own articles and news.

Best of all, because it is written and maintained by volunteers (all enthusiastic experts), Joomla is free!

While Joomla provides the basic tools for setting up a professional-looking website, there are over 10,000 additional extensions available for adding features such as calendars, slideshows, galleries, etc. These additional extensions are written by enthusiasts and companies alike, so can be free or paid (though not usually expensive).

Joomla allows me to craft websites which have all the features any amdram society would ever need, using the latest website innovations and industry-standard coding which is regularly updated.

In the interests of fairness, I should mention that Joomla is not the only CMS out there – WordPress and Drupal are also very popular and I’m sure they are equally as good, I just haven’t tried them yet.

If you are interested in learning more about Joomla, go to their website www.joomla.org.