Dicovering Joomla Part One
My first encounter with the Joomla content management software was when someone whose site I was hosting asked me if they could host a Joomla website with me. Having said yes and having a rough idea of what content management meant I set about researching what was required and where I could find it.
A quick search through Google quickly got me to the joomla.org about us pages http://www.joomla.org/about-joomla.html which went on to tell me “Joomla is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables you to build Web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla the most popular Web site software available. Best of all, Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone.“ then i went on to be told what the content management system was etc. The site gave loads more information and a chance to download the latest version, which I did. I should mention at this point that this is not always what you want to do, as the latest version may well be an unstable beta version. If you want reliability go for an established version.
Just a quick aside: Joomla is open source and offers a myriad set of ways to display your website and administer it but it is more than that, it allows you to set how the public and your admin users interact with your website. It has a core and a database, the core is loaded into your web space and a MySQL database carries all the data. The basic Joomla installation has enough for you to build your own website straight off using one of its default templates. My advice is the first time you try it, tick the box which installs default data for you. It’s the best way to see how it all works.
For some the basic site will be sufficient as you can make many changes to suit yourself. However it is quite likely that after a while you will have developed a short wish list of things you wish it could do. The wonderful thing is the developers had this in mind right at the start and have made the framework so that it is modular and generally you can find a module you can add to grant you the wish. Have a look at http://extensions.joomla.org/ and you will see what I mean.
The next thing you will become aware of is the variety of people and companies offering a wide variety of templates and widgets to further change your basic Joomla installation. Most of these work in a club system where you join the club for a fee and that allows you to download the theme or widget, some give you various free additional components with the theme/template.
Anyway I digressed I installed the Joomla site and it was up and running quite quickly and then in a short space of time I wished I had read the tutorials first. I was however impressed with what was provided free of charge, a content management system that was extendable and adaptable. Marvellous but did the love affair last? see my next blog…