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What To Know About Joomla.


Joomla! is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables you to build and maintain web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla! one of the most popular web site platforms available. Best of all, Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone.

A content management system (CMS) is software that keeps track of every piece of content on your web site, much like your local public library keeps track of books and stores them. Content can be simple text, photos, music, video, or documents. A major advantage of using a CMS is that it doesn't require advanced technical skill or knowledge to manage content. Since the CMS manages all your content, you don't have to.

Every Joomla-based web site is unique.  Joomla is a highly modifiable product and every Joomla-based web site is set up and configured differently.

While Joomla makes maintaining a web site relatively easy, in reality...

Joomla is a complex computer software application that requires many different pieces to work flawlessly together.


Joomla has 4 main components:

1. The Core Joomla Files
These are the thousands of files that power Joomla and your web site.  Think of these files like the Windows operating system for your computer.  They provide the basic functions and you can add additional functions as needed.

Joomla Files
Click to see all the files used by a simple Joomla site.

There are multiple versions of the Joomla software dating back to 2008.  The oldest version is the 1.5 series (you shouldn’t be using this series) and is no longer developed or supported.  The next series is 2.5.  Development and support for Joomla 2.5 ended 12/14.  The current version of Joomla is 4.x.

You can see all the many different Joomla versions here.

2. Extensions
These allow you to “extend” what Joomla does.  For example, if you want to do ecommerce, you’ll need an Extension for that.  Need a photo gallery?  You’ll need an Extension for that too.  There are more than 7,000 Joomla Extensions and each is unique, provides a different service, and may be free or commercial.

see all joomla extensions
Click to see all Joomla Extensions available.

3. Templates
Templates provide the “look and layout” for your web site.  Every Joomla web site uses a template.  Templates define the layout of your pages, the color choices, the font choices, where the logo appears etc.  There are many thousands of templates available, both free and commercial.  Each template is unique and may be simple or complex.

4. A Database
Joomla uses a database to store a variety of information.  A basic joomla database consists of many different tables and records.  As an example, a simple Joomla web site has approximately 70 tables and approximately 500 individual records.  As you extend Joomla or add content, the database starts to grow and can easily reach hundreds of tables and thousands of records.


We often deal with this question when working with new Joomla clients.

Remember that...

Joomla is a highly modifiable product, every Joomla site is unique, and every Joomla site is set up and configured differently.

Knowing the ins and outs of each and every Joomla site simply isn’t possible without doing research.

Joomla itself is made up of more than 5,000 individual computer files.  That’s just for a barebones Joomla installation and doesn’t include any photos or other content you may add.  This also doesn't include Extensions or Templates that your site is using.  So if there’s a problem without a readily apparent solution it often takes time to research the issue and find a solution.  The problem could be in any of those 5,000 Joomla files (or an Extension file, or a Template file, or something else) and tracking down and fixing the problem might require some research.

As mentioned earlier Joomla can be “extended” with nearly 6,000 unique Extensions, each one set up differently and providing a different function (photo galleries, image rotators, shopping carts, advertising, ecommerce etc).  With so many Extensions in use, it’s impossible to be an expert on each one.  So again, it sometimes takes time to research a problem or issue and come up with a solution.

You can see the more than 7,000 Joomla Extensions here if you’re interested.

So don’t be surprised if we tell you we need to research your issue or we are unable to give you an immediate cost estimate.  With unlimited Joomla variations, we may need to spend some time researching an issue before we can fix it or estimate a cost.


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