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Joomla a Great CMS

URL: www.joomla.org

Marquee nonprofit clients:

Al Gore’s website
Women’s Edge Coalition
United Nations Regional Information Centre

Joomla strives for power in simplicity. Its programmers believe that anyone with a bit of technical know-how should have no problem setting up and maintaining a website. They have created a tool that is friendly, comparatively easy to get started with, and prioritizes ease of use.

Screenshot:  A website that uses Joomla in a state not too far from out-of-the-box

Screenshot: Editing this site in Joomla

Joomla is designed to work just fine in basic shared hosting environments (the least expensive, most common web hosting package). Its installer looks much like the simple installers used for common desktop software, and the administrative interface that content editors use looks much like a desktop program as well. There are few barriers to entry with Joomla, which means it should not take a web developer much time to get you up and running, and if you’re technically savvy you may be able to do it yourself.

If you need to extend Joomla in a way not covered by its extensions—which happen to be beautifully documented and easy to find at extensions.joomla.org—you should not have to pay too much for a programmer, because Joomla is written in PHP, a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development.

As is usually true, this ease of getting started comes with a tradeoff. Joomla can be a great choice to build a sophisticated website with hundreds of pages, solid navigation, and common content types such as news items or events. However, it has limited out-of- the box functionality for dealing with sophisticated dynamic content structures. For instance, the site navigation is limited to no more than two levels of hierarchy, and you can only link one page to another (for a “you might also be interested in” type of structure) based on free-form page tags, rather than more rigorous metadata and rules.

The next major release of Joomla, version 1.5, should be out by year-end. This version will be a rewrite of the underlying code, in order to make it easier for programmers to extend certain functionality and organize underlying frameworks, but it is not expected to change the way that content editors interact with Joomla. Site visitors should have no idea that anything has changed.

Joomla is fully integrated with CiviCRM and integrates well with common packages like DemocracyInAction and GetActive.


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