CMS overview series – Joomla

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joomla pros and cons

In this article we will describe Joomla, a versatile CMS solution that has similar PHP foundations as WordPress or Drupal. Joomla is a CMS that is rich with features and suitable for building and managing both small but also large web applications. Joomla allows PHP (yes, this is yet another PHP based CMS) developers to create custom web applications and extend existing platform features with Joomla extensions (these are similar to plugins in WordPress). It is open source, and anyone can extend the functionality of the core Joomla code base. Joomla is using a templating system to build web pages, and this makes it easy to create professional looking websites on the front-end very quickly. If maintained properly, Joomla is very stable and secure. Security features such as user authentication and access control, and also features such as content versioning, make Joomla a very secure solution with a solid back-end foundation for building scalable web app’s. No external libraries are strictly necessary to exercise a full security spectrum. One of the key features includes an intuitive user interface, with a WYSIWYG editor that is very simple and practical. The platform also has detailed documentation and a helpful online community of users and developers. Joomla supports multiple languages so you can create multilingual websites in no time (this can be a pretty tedious job in WordPress). Joomla is compatible with third-party extensions and it enables you to add additional features and functionality to your web content easy and without hassle. Overall, Joomla can be a very potent and versatile CMS platform that is suitable for a wide variety of website projects, and it can shine in larger projects, but in some aspects it is lagging behind the architecture of more modern solutions like different headless CMS platforms, etc. While not the most modern solution, it is still secure, stable and customizable, making it a good choice for larger websites that need that extra out-of-the-box functionality that WordPress lacks without using plugins. Despite its popularity in the CMS market worldwide (and Joomla still is very popular), it is still far behind WordPress in terms of market share. But if we move away from the market share, Joomla is very developer friendly (and a bit less user friendly unfortunately) and very well designed on the back-end. Joomla, as other similar PHP based CMS systems out there, has its pros and cons that should be taken into consideration before deciding if it is the right choice for managing your web content.


1. Easy to install and setup

Joomla can use different hosting plans. Main dashboard functionality makes it easy for anyone to manage a website content and create new web pages with different templates.

2. Flexibility, performance and security

Joomla is a system that allows users to customize their web app’s according to their needs and preferences. Joomla supports different content types and features out of the box, like multilingual functionality and Custom field types, unlike WordPress. Joomla is very secure and it is regularly updated with security patches to ensure that websites remain safe and secure in the future. As far as the performance is concerned, Joomla websites always exhibited very good results.

3. Joomla is open source

Anyone with a good knowledge of PHP can customize and extend core Joomla system, since this is an open source application.

4. Multilingual support out of the box

Joomla enables developers and web administrators to create multilingual websites and/or multilingual content very easy.


1. Can be too complex

Joomla can be relatively complex with all its features, compared to other CMS solutions out there, and can be difficult to begin with as a web solution, especially if you are relatively new to web development. Joomla is definitely not as user friendly as a lot of other more modern CMS applications on the market. It is not as user friendly as WordPress either, and this is an undeniable fact. Some PHP web development experience is desirable if you want to use Joomla.

2. Possible lack of developers

Joomla developers can be hard to find, and this is something where WordPress, or even Drupal is probably winning for now.

3. Documentation and support

Joomla has experienced a certain and steady decline in market share and community activity in the last decade, and this is a clear fact. This has different implications, of course. Documentation for Joomla can be hard to understand and it can often be more technical and inclined toward developers. Joomla community is of course still active, but it did not progress and grow like it did for some other comparable solutions, so it can be difficult to find the answer that you need quickly when you are stuck. Although Joomla is still a viable solution for more complex web applications, if you take all these into account, it is worth thinking about whether why and when should you use Joomla and not other, more modern CMS solutions.

4. New version updates

Joomla has to be updated, which can cause compatibility issues with extensions and can break stuff if you are migrating to a newer version. Unlike WordPress, Joomla updates could be more complicated and take more time. Joomla community might say – “yes, but that’s because Joomla offers so much more under the hood”. Yes, that is probably true. But it is also true that end users don’t care all that much about what is under the hood if everything is working as it is supposed to. They just want quick updates and easy migrations.

Let’s recap

  1. Joomla is without a doubt still a very powerful CMS, easy to work with if you are a PHP developer.
  2. Joomla offers a lot more “out of the box” compared to WordPress, and that can help you build a larger project, unlike WordPress that has to use plugins for the same purpose (WooCommerce for example). With Joomla it is relatively easy to build projects like forums, social networks and e-commerce projects, while WordPress is in its core, without the plugins, still just a blogging CMS tool.
  3. Joomla, despite its qualities, still is perceived as pretty much a legacy project, and in terms of user friendliness and theme design it might be lagging behind more modern CMS solutions like numerous headless CMS platforms for example, or modern PHP CMS applications like Concrete CMS for example. Furthermore, the market share of Joomla is shrinking, which might influence further updates, because developers that maintain the system still need money. And shrinking market share is certainly not a good reference point in that sense.

Posted on: February 27, 2023

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