Topic: Opinions on Joomla

I've heard lots of arguments for EE and Wordpress, and use Textpattern myself, but have gotten the impression that Joomla isn't a serious CMS. I don't really know how I got that idea, because I don't think anyone has ever actually said that to me.

I've seen lots of ads on Craigslist looking for Joomla sites, or help, and I'm wondering if it is worth learning? I really like Txp, but the only other thing I've tried is Open-Realty (a real estate CMS). After Txp, the lack of flexibility in OR drove me crazy.

So I guess I want to find out what people think about Joomla, pros & cons, etc.


Re: Opinions on Joomla

I briefly used an old version of Joomla and didn't particularly like it but I've heard that latest version is better (though I haven't tried it). I'd say you can give it a try and see for yourself if you like it or not. But if not Joomla, then you can give Drupal a try.

Exercise your faith!

Re: Opinions on Joomla

I've worked with Joomla and loath it... it's backend is frustrating to use. The install I used was really slow - that may or may not have to do with Joomla, but at the time it didn't help the experience. I use Txp for my personal site and it works really well for that, but I have nothing against EE or Wordpress if the suite your needs.

I know the web is sort of on a Drupal kick right now, but I haven't used it. To be honest it kind of turns me off. This may or may not be fair, but I think I'm biased because the majority of sites I've seen used it are horribly designed. I guess I could say the same for any CMS out there. I'm not a big fan of all the code (classes in particular) it outputs for modules, but having not used it, I don't know if there's a way to correct that.

Daniel Marino |

Re: Opinions on Joomla

I tried Joomla awhile back. Didn't really like it. From what I read hear, I'm not the only one with that opinion... … right-cms/

But, it's "to each his own" I suppose. From what I've seen lately of Drupal sites, there are quite a few reputable companies + schools using it, with designs that are most definitely not horribly designed...

As for whether or not you can change the markup + class names, yep. There's a theme layer that allows you to customize just about anything you'd need.

Want to make a new page template? -- page.tpl.php

Want to make a single page have it's own template? -- page-about.tpl.php

Want to edit how a single blog post is displayed? -- node.tpl.php


To me, the fact that O'Reilly Media (yes, the book company) chose Drupal to build out the new says something. O'Reilly doesn't normally build client sites, but has published a book on Drupal (but none on Joomla). And, it's is funny that Sun chose a PHP powered CMS instead of one in Java, but that's beside the point. smile

Give me liturgy or give me death.

Re: Opinions on Joomla

I guess I'll have to be the dissenter here. If you haven't used Joomla 1.5, then you really haven't used Joomla. I'm not sure why anyone would say that Joomla isn't a serious CMS. It is one of the top (in my opinion the top) CMSes out there.  It is extremely powerful. It is based on an MVC object-oriented architecture that allows you to customize pretty much anything you want in the layout as well as provide a powerful framework for creating extensions.

It also has thousands of extensions and templates (eg themes) available, many free but some also available for a small charge. There is something for almost anything you want to do. And if it doesn't do exactly what you want and you have some minimal php programming skills, then you can probably modify it to work for you since almost all of them are open source.

While it is very powerful, I have also trained very non-technical retired people how to use the system. It is very quick to get up and running.

It also has high profile websites such as and sites for the United Nations, Porsche Brazil and numerous others. There are at least hundreds of thousands of installations of Joomla running, if not a million+. So, it is very well tested and obviously a lot of people think that it is a good system. Is it the best CMS for every site? No. Then again, there isn't a CMS that is absolutely the best CMS for every type of site. That includes Drupal and Wordpress as well.

It runs very quickly on every install that I have used it for. The only time that I have seen the backend run slowly is when it was running on an IIS server with a low bandwidth connection (not sure if that was the issue but it is the only situation where I've seen it run slowly and I've installed 70+ websites on Joomla).

No offense, but just because O'Reilly has published a total of 1 books on Drupal but none on Joomla doesn't say much to me. However, if that is a big thing for you, then check out their website ( and you will see that they have published 2 books on Joomla (Using Joomla +  Up and Running with Joomla) but only one on Drupal (Using Drupal) and none on Wordpress, Textpattern or Expression Engine that I could find. Again, that doesn't say much to me, but if you are trying to use it as a gauge then make what you will out of that.

You might check out who publishes a lot of open source oriented books. They run an award each year for Best Open Source CMS, etc. Generally Joomla and Drupal are the two main contenders.

I looked at the article and it is interesting to note that they put a disclaimer there that says "The article reflects his opinion only and doesn’t necessarily reflect WDD’s position on the subject." Anytime anyone starts to describe a system as "evil" I automatically think that person just has some sort of personal grudge.

I'm not trying to be obstinate here and try to say everything in grace, but I just want to be sure both sides are heard.

I think Drupal is a really good system and can be the right choice. But I also think that Joomla is a great CMS. None of them are perfect. It really comes down to what meets your needs, is the platform stable and secure, is it well supported, does it have a strong community, is it well deployed and tested, etc.

The difference between sacred work and secular work is not what we're doing but why we're doing it. - AW Tozer

Re: Opinions on Joomla

Don: I stand corrected. I didn't realize that O'Reilly was planning on releasing a book on Joomla (due out in December, cool).

Neither of the two books you mentioned showed up when I initially searched for O'Reilly + Joomla, on - but sure enough, I see the "Using Joomla" title listed on Amazon now (oddly, the "Up and Running" one does not).

Just to be fair, I did install Joomla on localhost this evening and toyed around with it for a bit. It has come a long way since last I tried it, I'll admit. But, something about Joomla just doesn't jive with the way my thought process works. Highly subjective, I know.

For me personally, Drupal makes sense. Also, as a co-author of the upcoming O'Reilly book jQuery Cookbook, a CMS that uses jQuery is also a plus in my book (jQuery is a core component of: Drupal, WordPress, Textpattern, and ExpressionEngine).

Nothing against MooTools (which is the JS library Joomla ships with), but as with Joomla, neither jive with my brain. Anyway, I'm sorry if I seemed a bit harsh by linking to the Web Designer Depot post on choosing a CMS. He did vilify Joomla needlessly, whereas the article would've been better without setting up a straw-man.

Hopefully I have not offended you in my snap-judgment based on second-hand info.

Give me liturgy or give me death.

Re: Opinions on Joomla

Nathan: no offense taken. I'm not easily offended.

I think a lot of it does come down to personal preference and what you are used to. Fortunately, we have a lot of good options out there. All of these systems are growing and maturing. Joomla 1.6 will also have some great improvements over where it is at now.

You can check out the video presentation from Andrew Eddie (one of the lead developers) on some of the new features coming out in 1.6: … la-16.html

The difference between sacred work and secular work is not what we're doing but why we're doing it. - AW Tozer

Re: Opinions on Joomla

Thanks everyone for all the great info. If anyone has anything else to add, this is helping me get a better, more well rounded view of Joomla.

Re: Opinions on Joomla

I tried Joomla out. It felt like the Dreamweaver of CMS'. Just too much for one CMS to me, it ad everything and nothing. Right now I have none that I use regularly, but I have been dabbling with Expression Engine and Drupal and I have to say, those are two of my favorites. Especially since Drupal as such a strong community.