- Written by Chris Nielsen
Why? Because Joomla 3.3 will give you anything WP has but you can “Do more… with Joomla!”
WordPress seems to have achieved 20% of the market share right now for open source CMS web sites. While this is a great achievement and there are some super folks within the WP organization, I would make a fair assumption that a significant portion of these sites are rather simple blog sites or information portals. Individuals, small business or organizations can use WP to quickly get a brochure site on line. This is great and I think this is much like being able to use MS word to print on a preprinted three fold brochure template. The do it yourself brochure… simple easy done… but these cookie cutter brochures are really easy to notice the amateurish nature and limited design. I am not saying WP sites are amateurish in any way, they can just fall short of expectations if you are building any website with complexity or that requires a bit more than an out of the box implementation. While this serves a purpose in the marketplace real businesses or folks whom depend on their web presence to deliver professional services, commerce and strengthen their brand, I think will find Joomla much better for “Doing More…”
The Joomla 3.x series has come so far and is now by far one of the easiest and most powerful platforms in the marketplace for building a secure business portal. It is also going to be perhaps the longest supported and most revolutionary achievements in Joomla’s history. If your web site is important to the operations or livelihood of your business, the benefits of using the latest version of Joomla are substantial. If you want to achieve a superior design and unique look for your brand identity there are not only incredible template collections that can allow you to build this out quickly but customizing a template for Joomla is far easier than with WordPress.
When you look at the evolution of Joomla as a CMS over the past nine years you will see it has always stepped ahead when it comes to innovation. Every tool has it’s place. WordPress is great for where it is used most and if you notice they are not claiming to be a powerful CMS. Joomla though is just that. It has any of the ease of use features that WordPress has plus all of the extendable aspects of a full featured Content Management System. As of late there is even a solid “Joomla framework” designed independent of the CMS for building any type of web application. Moving forward you will know Joomla in many flavors. Not just the most powerful CMS platform but a true framework for building software applications well beyond that of a traditional content management system.
To me when you combined the many robust Joomla extensions targeted at building portals and web based tools for just about any type of business model it just makes the use case for Joomla 3.x clear. Joomla is all about community and thus has attracted one of the most impressive global communities of highly skilled developers and designers into their fold of expertise not only for building Joomla but extending it in every possible corner of innovation. If you want to future proof your business, have more customers, safeguard your web assets and communicate with a beautiful, easy to use CMS… Do Less with WordPress and Do More with Joomla!
Start fresh and on your path to “Do more with Joomla!”
If you are just getting started life is super easy… Go here: http://demo.joomla.org to sign up for a demo site and you can get set up in little time. You can browse the many extensions (http://extensions.joomla.org) and templates (http://demo.rockettheme.com , http://www.yootheme.com/demo , http://www.joomlart.com and many others ) to get a good sense of the sheer power and grace Joomla will be able to offer your business online. If you are ready to get on with a serious portal development project you are going to want to partner with a team or experts in the field whom can help you with strategies and risk management so you can spend your resources in the most economical and efficient way possible. Many development projects can get costly on a number of levels if they are not managed well. Try the Joomla resources directory as a source for connecting to folks http://resources.joomla.org
Upgrade to the latest Joomla to “Do More…”
Ok so for the many folks that already have Joomla sites and you want to move up to the latest and greatest this is going to be a bit more effort if you have an older site. When software evolves it sometimes requires changing some of the core code to allow for the adoption of innovative new features. This is the case with most popular CMS systems and between Joomla 1.5 to 2.5 and now to 3.5. (if you are coming from 1.5). To add to the complexity there are over 10K extensions in the market place and if you use any of these you have to get a matching set. In addition each of the frameworks requires compatibility with the way templates were made. Each version is slightly unique.
Here is some great news…
Joomla got better in the jump from J2.5 and J3.x with what is called “One Click” upgrades. This is very cool though it does sometimes take a couple more than one click and some forethought before you get click happy. Many of the popular template frameworks if you are using them are compatible with both J2.5 and J3.x so this “migration” is more of an upgrade from 2.5 and rather straight forward. With a bit of care those with minimum technical skill and attention to details can navigate this process with the exception of more complex sites. Make sure you use tools like http://akeebabackup.com to back up and clone your site before you do anything risky.
When you are jumping to J3.x from any version of J1.5, I really recommend you work with a partner and proceed with a very careful and thoughtful plan. Again, the Joomla Resources Directory is a great source for finding folks to help out http://resources.joomla.org. There are several extensions out there to help with this but since each site is unique and there are so many variables for how you have configured your site, not all work equally. There are quite a few steps involved if there is any complexity (custom integrations or extensions) or large amounts of content that you have collected over the years. Not to scare you but this is something that requires a bit of Joomla experience and knowhow to get through without a hitch. Most times this can get done in a few hours of support so it is a change you should not be afraid of. However, once you get through this slight “pain point”, driving your new Joomla 3.x is going to be a cakewalk and there will be so much more you will be able to do and guess what? …you will be able to do it better and faster.
You will be glad you made the right choice to upgrade and if you are coming from a J1.5 this is a good time to make an investment into your future. There is a solid business case to take advantage of the improved security, performance and feature rich tools in the new Joomla 3.3. Do not miss out on your next chance to use the latest Joomla 3.x and start doing more…