What is Joomla(TM)?
Joomla(TM) is an open-source content management system used to create websites. Open-source means all underlying code is offered for free use and modification. There may be many applications running in a Joomla-built website, but they are usually free software available to use or modify.
An example is a website template. You may buy a website template or use a free template that someone made available to the public.
Before using Joomla, you must have access to a server. You can use an existing server or one of your own. You can also install XAMPP to create a server on your PC. Since XAMPP is open source software, it is free to use. The following link is a tutorial to install XAMPP on your computer:
After you have a server, you need to download and install Joomla. The previous link also describes how to download and install Joomla.
With a server running and Joomla installed, a website may be built. Joomla has many features that enable a user to build a website from scratch. There are also freely available templates available for download. A template may save time and effort since it only needs to be customized with specific settings.
The same tutorial listed above also has an example of how to build a website from scratch. This may be done with the standard features that come with Joomla. Even more pizazz may be added with extensions that add extra features. Many extensions are available from Joomla at the following link:
Personal websites may range from educational to social uses.
The name, Joomla, comes from the Swahili dialect in Africa where "Jumla" means "together" or "as a whole." Joomla.org was created by former designers of Mambo (mamboserver.com), and has been available since August 2005. Although the base structure of Joomla is very similar to Mambo, Joomla is developing into a unique entity as time progresses and open source developers contribute.
As for the history of the Mambo system, it was initially created to be an open source content management system. The source project site (SourceForge.net) was developed in 2000 with Mamba by a Australia company named Miro. The following is a breakdown events for the Mambo and Joomla history:
Early in 2000 - Miro company released Mambo 1.0
November 2003 - Mambo Open Source 4.5 was released
August 2004 - Mambo Open Source 4.5.1 was released
February 2005 - Mambo Open Source 4.5.2 was released
August 2005 - The original development Mambo community was divided, they established a new organization called Open Source Matters and made a new plan for the Joomla!
September 2005 - Joomla developers released Joomla 1.0.0
October 2005-Joomla developers released Joomla 1.1 Alpha (and later changed the name to Joomla 1.5)
September 2006 - Joomla celebrated its first anniversary with more than 2,500,000 downloads, 50,000 members, and 1.8 TB flow per month.
October 2006 - After a year of development, Joomla developers released Joomla 1.5 beta
While the development of Joomla is based on the same open source content as Mambo, it is slowly developing it's own style of presentation to users. In two years of availability, Joomla proved that the open-source based community is very important for web users since the Joomla and Mambo are both popular with various website developers. Joomla was well designed by the the original development team and proved to be a success; it naturally attracted support from a majority of the open-source development community.
The Banner tab allows the user to manage banners by "Clients" and "Categories." The banners tab shows a detailed list of banners within the website. You are also able to add new banners as you wish.
Below is an example of a banner from Joomla:
The Contacts component allows the user to manage a Contacts Directory with regards to the contacts within the web site. The contacts component is basically a computerized address book of contacts the user has made. Joomla allows the user to add new contacts and also edit existing contacts. Many other websites use a similar component. Examples include facebook.com or wetpaint.com
The news feed component allows the user to add the most recent articles (news articles) to their website. They are able to do this via external websites, with RSS feeds. These feeds will be linked to the user's website for further reading.
The polls component allows the user to display an active list of polls on their website. For example:
The polls component allows the user to display many different aspects in a poll fashion
The weblinks component lists and provides management controls for Web Links displayed in the website. The user will be able to control which link he or she would like to display throughout the website. This could be related to material the user finds useful.
This module allows the user to create a custom HTML. These may contain any HTML based content such as text and imaging. The user will have their own HTML base website.
The login module displays the required fields to login, without navigating to a new page. For example, an individual wants to check out an article on a website but is not a member. He or she must first login to see the full context of the article. If they are not a member than they will be locked out of this content. This module is very important for Joomla users.
The module displays a menu that is defined within the Menu Manager. All Joomla implementations have a main menu that cannot be deleted when constructing a website, but the menu module allows users to add new menus in different positions.
The search module allows the user to instantly perform a basic search from their current location in the website and then directly be taken to the results of the search.
The statistics module displays a basic list of information about the server the and Joomla. This is useful for tracking site activity or monitoring bandwidth to help maintain or develop a website.
The who's online module provides a display of the number of guests and how many members are currently logged into the website. This module can be set to display the names of online members, or just the number of guests. After developing a website, it is useful to see how many hits are received. Pages with low use can be deleted or redesigned.
The authentication plugins add different forms of user authentication to a site. The Joomla! plugin involves registering at the website. A confirmation email will be sent to the individual enabling them to become a full member. The OPEN ID and GMAIL authentications use prexisting database for authentication. These members will not have to register.
The code highlighter enables the individual creating the website to read code such as Jacascript, HTML, adn PHP much easier. It displays each type of code or language in a different color. This plugin is very useful when creating websites.
The email cloaking plugin adds a layer of security to the email addresses located in the contacts and content items. This plugin insures the security of the website and is a very valuable tool to have.
Both the editing programs that Joomla uses (TinyMCE 2.1 & XStandard Lite for Joomla!) are extremely valid. They allow for easy editing of the website. These different plugins enable the creation of Content items, and also editing descriptions to the website. Below is an example of an editor:
Here are some different templates used for creating Joomla Websites
An extension is something an individual can add to their website to augment its current features. For example, a person could add games to their website. Games are not a feature but merely an extension of what is available. There are an enormous number of extensions available when using Joomla to create a site.
Joomla is an open source content management system software package that may be used to create websites. Since it is entirely open source, this is a free resource for anyone to use. Even a business may create their website using Joomla.
The origin of Joomla goes back to Mambo, another open-source content management system. Several Mambo developers decided to break away and start Joomla about two years ago. Today, both Mambo and Joomla still have similar formats and templates. Many of the same open source (non-Mambo/Joomla) features are used in both systems.
Before using Joomla, you must first have a server to host the website. Individuals may find it useful to install XAMPP on their computer to turn it into a server. To save time in building a website, a template may be used. Joomla compatible templates are readily available on the internet and Joomla's website. Some templates are free to use and others must be purchased. Once a website template is chosen, the standard Joomla features may be used to construct it. Some of these features include banners, contacts, and RSS feeds. In addition to the standard features, extensions may be downloaded form Joomla to further enhance the appearance and function of the website.
Many corporations use Joomla to build and maintain their websites. Businesses that have used Joomla to build their websites range from magazines to government organizations. Individuals may use Joomla to build their personal websites, too. Personal websites could range from educational to social uses.
Many examples and tutorials of Joomla are available on the internet. Joomla.org also offers a community of bloggers to offer support knowledge on repairing problems and using Joomla. Therefore, Joomla is an overall effective means to create a personal or corporate website.
Joomla in Education
Joomla may be used by educators to create course websites. Material may be posted all under the full control of the instructor. However, one drawback would be the time it takes to maintain the system.
Corporate and Personal Use: