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Joomla is one of the most popular Content Management Systems or CMS available on the market, though granted, with the advances that have been made in recent years by WordPress, it may very well overtake the market lead.

Still, there are a great many reasons that I prefer Joomla, not the least of which is the length of time I have been using it … since WordPress was little more than a blogging platform way back in the ancient history of technology, the internet and website design.

powered by joomlaDespite the advanced nature of the new options, packages and components for WP, there are just certain things about Joomla that not only make it easier to work with, but also much more flexible when providing exactly what the client wants … and more importantly, what the client needs for the success of their website.

This article should not be seen in any sense of the word, to be a derogatory look at WP, as it is still my second favorite CMS platform for website design and construction. However, when it comes to customization and editing css, index and other files pertinent to the overall theme, Joomla keeps them all in a very neat, clean and easily accessible location where the code is conveniently displayed and readily edited and saved.

It is imperative, any time that changes are made, to back up the original and the old files before editing anything. These files should be saved in a safe location either on the server and/or on the local computer hard drive in both their original and edited forms. (This is aside from the routine site backups that should be conducted at least weekly no matter what has been used to create the website)

Once the files are edited and saved, there is no more CTRL Z to the rescue. (CTRL Z is the keystroke command for “Undo” … as in undoing changes that have messed anything up) Many clients want custom colors, especially on the standard free themes.

In WP, it is necessary to either edit the files on a live site … always a dangerous proposition … or to download the entire theme directory and dig through all of the relevant files, looking and in some cases, just hoping you have edited the correct files.

Despite many common features within the PHP and html files of these themes, there are some creators and theme designers that include their own special touches, and one wrong edit can literally wipe out the entire site … or perhaps worse still, leave the front end of the website as it was while at the same time restricting any access to the administrative back-end portion of the site … unable to edit or maintain the site in any fashion.

As I have noted, WP has made some great advancements in the last few years. One area where it still seems to be lacking however, is the creation of community websites. The Community Builder (CB) components and extensions from Joomla, in addition to all of the potential add-ons for CB, make this an ideal solution for just about any kind of community website that a person may desire to build. While not everybody wants to build the next facebook, a great many people do want a complete set of interactive options for the visitors to their sites, and want to encourage people to spend as much time as they want on the site, while at the same time, making contributions in whatever form may be preferential.

This may be in the form of a forum, interactive chat between registered guests or a host of other features including allowing select or even all of the members to create their own virtual communities inside of the website. Once again, the features available for Joomla just make building such complex systems substantially easier.

In what are two of my favorite features of Joomla, are the existence of the Custom Code components … and the ability to insert custom positions anywhere I want them. The custom code allows for actual coding to be inserted directly into the body of any content on Joomla, meaning that javascript, video embeds or other “programs” or features, can be embedded virtually anywhere.

Furthermore, there is no need to concern yourself with whether or not there is already a position available for you to use, as you can create any position anywhere you would like with Joomla. Again, with WP, this process requires digging through a whole lot of files and hoping that all of the edits are clean … and risking what is generally a live site while such “experimentation” is under way.

To load a custom position in Joomla is as simple as typing in the name for whatever you want to name your new position. In the area of the website, or even within the body of any page, all it takes is inserting a simple bit of text inside brackets. { loadposition custompositionname } (without the spaces before and after the brackets, though showing it like that would actually embed it into the site and prevent you from seeing it!) and whatever has been inserted will be displayed wherever the position is loaded.

Which segues nicely into the last benefits of Joomla that I have always had issues with in WP.

With Joomla, I have the option of using different themes on different pages. Not only can I easily add custom themes for holidays or other special events with a simple click of the mouse, but I can have numerous themes active throughout the site with the simple assignment of these themes to those pages from the back-end administrator panel of Joomla.

The same holds true for components and extensions as well. All I have to do is simply assign these to the individual pages where I want them displayed, and voila! I have complete control over everything from which ads show up on which pages, to which pages display custom content or themes, all with just a simple click of the mouse.

I have very little doubts that WordPress will ultimately overtake Joomla as the most popular CMS, (if it has not already) especially given the vast number of Internet Marketers who utilize WP as their go-to website CMS of choice, but as for me; I will always love the additional freedom and ease of Joomla for building websites, even if the learning curve to master Joomla was a little bit steeper in the opening phases of my early education.

 

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