Joomla is free and it is a management system for efficiently managing your web content. Joomla is open source and enables you to publish content on the Internet or the Web and other intranet networks. It is created using PHP, an open source general purpose scripting language used for web page development. It makes extensive use of design patterns connected to software and advanced techniques in programming. It can store data in MS SQL database and has features like RSS feeds, lets you print your web pages, gets regular news updates, blogs and online surveys and polls. Joomla is used extensively and has been downloaded over 30 million times as of 2012.
There existed a development team at Joomla, which created a website under the name Opensourcemarketing.org that helped users, web designers and developers by distributing valuable information. The then project leader, Andrew Eddie wrote a personal letter that used to appear on the section that made announcements in the public forum on a website called mamboserver.com. Mambo was the name that was trade marked by Miro International Private Limited, who created a non-profit organization for open source software. Joomla went on the win the coveted Packt Publishing Open Source Content Management System Award in the years 2006, 2007, and 2011.
The original version of Joomla was the 1.0 that was released in 2005 that contained a good level of security features. This was followed by Joomla 1.5, which was released three years later in January 2008, soon to be followed by another updated version, the 1.5.26 that came out in March 2012. This version attained long-term support or LTS. These are versions that are released after three major or minor releases, and are continuously supported for 3 months after the next version is released.
Next in line was the Joomla 1.6 version that was released in January 2011. This version had improved features for the admin interface and had full access control list, which is actually a list of permissions that are attached to a specific object. The ACL specifies the users, system processes that gain access to objects and the operations allowed on specific objects. On the heels of Joomla 1.6 version was the 1.7 version that was released in July 2011 and featured better tools for migration and the security was beefed up considerably.
It was in January 2012 that the 2.5 version was released. This being an LTS or long-term support release was originally planned to be released as the 1.8 version, however, the developers thought otherwise and settled for 2.5. This content management system that has won several accolades and awards enables building of websites and other online applications. It is popular because it is easy to use and available free of charge. A content management system, as you probably know, is meant to keep track of all the content posted on your website, similar to a library of paperbacks, which maintains an index and keeps track of the books.
Here, content denotes not just text, but also photos, images, videos, music and any other documents. One great benefit of content management systems is that it can be used by a lay person with almost no technical skills and takes care of everything on your behalf. A few things that Joomla 2.5 can do for you include:
- Assist in designing corporate websites or web portals
- Creation of intranet and extranet networks for offices
- Publishing online magazines, and other reading material
- Facilitate E-commerce, including online bookings and reservations
- Submitting applications to Government bodies
- Designing websites for medium and small businesses
- Creating websites for NGOs or Non-Governmental organizations
- Portals for various communities
- Websites for educational institutions and churches
- Personalized websites and designing homepages for families
There are several websites that have benefitted from Joomla, like the social networking site MTV networks, the restaurant chain IHOP, Harvard University, financial institutions like Citibank and many cultural and socio sites.
Joomla is very easy to install even if you are new to developing and designing. There are several web hosting services that operate on plug-and-play basis where you will be able to install with a single click and start off right away. In addition to building websites for clients, you can give them valuable tips on how they can manage their sites with minimum assistance. In case the clients insist on support, Joomla can be extended to several clients with extensions without any charges. You can check the Joomla Extension Directory for more details on how to go about it.
Joomla can be used by advanced developers to create several add-ons for their customers in the areas of inventory control, tools for reporting data, catalogs for products, reservation systems and many more. As Joomla is based on PHP and My SQL any one will be able to access as it is built on an open platform, refer the Joomla Developer Network for more details.