Whether you’re starting a new website or migrating a static Web site to a more dynamic platform, if content management is your biggest problem and you hope to make your site more engaging to visitors, your first choice of a content management system should be Joomla, preferably the latest release possible. For the mid-sized to large content-based website, Joomla offers several features that make it the first option for developers. In fact, this website is an example of a Joomla site to its very core.

First of all, Joomla is completely free. It is open source software, which means that as long as you agree to the terms stated on their website and use the software only as it is intended, you are welcome to develop your website without paying any upfront costs. There are many other development tools out there that cost an arm and a leg and after spending a couple of years experimenting, it seemed that they often had bugs and other issues. With that said, the fact that it is open source means it’s a project that people genuinely believe in. Therefore, the support forums on the main Joomla site are beyond compare and I’ve never had a question, basic or advanced, that hadn’t already been addressed somewhere. The one time I did have a statement to make, it was immediately replied to. People care about the success, failure and viability of open source and Joomla and products like it are often very well-maintained with a support team of volunteers.

Aside from being free and open source software, another element that makes Joomla the ideal content management system for your website is that it is incredibly easy to use and implement. If your web host grants you access to Fantastico, chances are it will be a one-click upload to get the initial framework onto your site. Even manual installation is a breeze and only minimal knowledge of basic PHP concepts and coding is necessary. Another aspect of this is that the documentation and support system made up entirely of volunteers is beyond compare so even if you have trouble with basic issues, chances are it’s addressed somewhere in the documentation for Joomla and if not, the forums will very likely cover what you need to know.

As a note on the ease of use of Joomla as your content management for a new or existing website, make sure you plan ahead and create a content map as well as spend the necessary time with the documentation. When you are setting up Joomla and preparing to look over your content, once you’ve made a detailed plan of action for your website, spend at least one entire day; preferably around 5-7 hours, reading through all of the documentation and getting a firm handle on how Joomla operates as a content management system. The last thing you want is to dive right in, get a great deal of content plugged in and the template just right only to find you have to start from scratch. While it’s easy to learn and use, you want to make sure you’ve dedicated enough time to preparation, including your website plan based on what Joomla as a content management system can do and learning how to effectively and efficiently work with it.