As a web agency, you may be looking for the CMS that fits your clients’ needs best, so you can create professional, powerful, secure, mobile-friendly and easy-to-maintain websites for them. Look no further: Joomla, time and time awarded as “best free CMS”, has it all. It’s versatile, flexible, easy to use, secure, and suitable for countless types of websites. And on top of all that it’s completely free. We give you ten reasons why you should try it today!
Some hosting providers have a one-click install from your hosting manager. That is fast and easy, but if your hosting provider doesn’t have that or you want to install it yourself, you simply download and unpack it, upload it to your server and follow the steps. It takes minutes to set up. Once it’s installed, you’re ready to start creating your client’s website.
Joomla has all the features needed for most websites, built into the core. Combine articles with tags and custom fields and you have a whole world of possibilities, without having to install a single extension. Native features also include great SEO options, managing user access, multilanguage and using modules for showing content everywhere you want it. If the template you use is not too large (not packed with all kinds of extras), you’ll find the website loads really fast once you have it up and running.
Within Joomla, you have a lot of different ways to show article content. Features you need to install plugins for in other CMS are already present in the Joomla core, right from the beginning.
If you need to show information in a different way, you can create overrides for category blog pages, article views or content modules and change your article views into directories, a product catalogue or even a slideshow or gallery. Joomla has a lot of documentation on how to create overrides.
Another great feature is the ability to use different template styles for different pages. Just copy a style, change what needs to be changing, assign it to the right page and you’re good to go!
Your clients can manage their content frontend or backend. The built-in ACL enables you to make them do whatever they need. That means you can make it super easy for them to work on the website. And if they get the hang of it and want to do more, you can expand their permissions. Every client can have the website administration that fits his or her skill level. Even if they have superuser access to the backend, they still don’t need technical skills to manage their site.
If making overrides is not your thing, or if you need more functionality than you can create with overrides, you have a great number of extensions to choose from. That means the “business-card” website you build for your client now can grow into something much bigger in the future, always with the same first website as the base. When your client wants to grow, they don’t need to start over with a new website.
The functionality of your Joomla site comes from Joomla and the extensions you have installed. This means you can change the styling of the site by using a different template, without losing functionality.
If you’re tech-savvy, you could choose to make your own base template and install that on every client site you develop. Building your own template is not that hard, it can be fun, and you know exactly what’s in it and what the possibilities are.
If you’re not so technical, you can install a template framework and/or a page builder to create a beautiful design without coding.
Joomla comes with built-in features like two-factor authentication, forcing strong passwords, captcha for contact forms and action logs that register everything that happens on the website.
As you probably know, security is a shared responsibility: Joomla provides the security options, the Joomla developers and extension developers keep the software safe by guarding the quality of their code, and you make sure everything is up to date. Maintenance of Joomla websites is easy and straightforward.
As for the extensions: like Joomla, all extensions are based on MVC-structure and therefore very logical.
Joomla is open source. That means it is free to use for everybody, and, more important in my opinion, you can contribute directly to it. And the good part is: you don’t need to be a coder for that (although we can always use good coders). You can help translate Joomla or the documentation to your language, help write documentation, answer questions in a forum or on StackOverflow, report bugs or even join one of the numerous volunteer teams in the community (check this month’s Community Openings to find out where your help is needed). All this helps to get to know Joomla and the people working with it. And the better you know something, the more confidence you’ll get in using it.
Joomla’s official website, joomla.org, has a huge section with documentation on everything related to Joomla, in the range from creating your first article to developing components. On YouTube, you can find useful tutorials as well.
Are you looking for help with an issue, do you want to learn more about Joomla or exchange what you know with other people? You’ll find the Joomla community is large and always eager to share!
For this article, I asked web agencies in the Joomla Facebook Group what makes Joomla the ideal CMS for them to work with.
I got a ton of responses, and I’d like to thank everyone who shared their thoughts with me: Yannick Berges, Bjørn Ove Bremnes, Shambi Broome, Dom Cassone, Cedric Keiflin, Tom van der Laan, Lisa Maloney Keyser, Odin Mayland, Alison Meeks, Michael Melson, Eoin Oliver, Dario Pintarić, Dave Pughe-Parry, Mohamed Saad El-Metenawy, Rene Schouten, Artur Stępień, Rachel Walraven, Kerry Wilson and Russell Winter.
You guys rock.