An open source content management system… Which does everything you could possibly want to do… in a really stylish way… and is really easy to use… and totally customisable… and has good SEO features…
Sound too good to be true???
Nope. Not in my opinion anyway.
Not in this writer’s opinion anyway. Joomla! CMS has all of this and more. In the past web content management systems were regarded as rather sluggish, clumsy – if they made reasonable looking websites it took a lot of fiddling – and then the code of the site would be difficult for search engines to find, the URL’s endlessly complex… Extensions were hard to come by and often complex to program – good luck putting a Flash video on the site… Maybe some of the commercial platforms like Mura were ok, working with proprietary languages like ColdFusion – these could make real websites, not silly little websites for kids, dodgy, sprawling, messy coded, slow-loading and counter-intuitive websites like the Open Source CMS makes…
But Open Source CMS has come a long, long way since the days of the original Mambo or PHP-Nuke. Perhaps those outside the field might not realise how far, and still there are a thousand stuffy old SEO consultants who like a priest of old times will turn to those who want to use a CMS and say – “thou shalt not use CMS! ’tis written in the book of Google page rank!”
But these guys are out-dated man, web development (and perhaps software in general) is undergoing a new ‘Enlightenment,’ call it a new ‘hippy generation.’ Just like many of the philosophers of the enlightenment were drivelling and perplexing, and many of the ‘free people’ of the hippy generation were nothing but colourful yet wasted lunatics, useful for nothing except stumbling about in a field – so it is with Open Source CMS (and with Open Source software in general).
But of course, amongst any group of lunatics there are always a few great geniuses, liberators and revolutionaries. And that, in my opinion, is exactly what Joomla! CMS is. Joomla! CMS is now including advanced SEO features – in the new 1.6 release it’s now possible to add ‘Alternative Page Titles’ in the meta descriptions, allowing for much better Google indexing – this is along with the already present ability not only to add meta tags to each page in a simple, user friendly interface but even to automatically scour each page for keywords using free extensions. Seeing as Joomla! has no weakness in this area, what else can it do? Well, not only can you create articles, set up all kinds of menus (including flash and image menus), you can also easily add embedded videos, audio and photo galleries to your content. To code up a photo gallery in other systems would take forever, but not in Joomla! which can do it in no time at all.
The extension library available for Joomla! is vast. The only question is what kind of site do you want to create? You want interactive games on your site – done, there are free extensions to do this. You want to create flash intros, pop up windows, syndicated advertising or affiliate programs – simple extensions are available for this as well. Sure this kind of thing takes a bit of coding knowledge, you’ve got to know your way around the platform, but if you have a few days or weeks to learn the tricks then just about anything is easily possible. There are even free pieces of software available as extensions for Kompozer which allow you to create custom templates without knowing even a bit of CSS giving your site a completely unique and professional feel without the costs of hiring a CSS coder.
And by the way – with all of the cool extensions and features available for Joomla!, Cloud Hosting ensures that your funky graphics, audio, games, or whatever else you want on your site – load up faster than a flash of lightning – improving your site users’ browsing experience.
Click here to find out a bit more about Joomla! Hosting with UK2.
Guest Blogger: Callum Mcavoy / An experienced developer and designer in Joomla CMS and other platforms. He helps to maintain humancommunities.org, a technological resource for intentional communities and others interested in Open Source CMS worldwide.
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