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Joomla is an open source content management system (CMS), which enables you to build Web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including ease of use and extend-ability, make Joomla one of the most popular Web site software available. Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone. What is open source software? Open source software is software source code that is available for modification or enhancement by anyone. "Source code" is the part of software which computer users don't ever see; it's the code computer programmers can manipulate to change how a piece of software a "program" or "application" works. Programmers who have access to a computer program's source code can improve that program by adding features to it or fixing parts that don't always work correctly.

What is a content management system (CMS)?
A content management system is software that keeps track of every piece of content on your Web site, much like your local public library keeps track of books and stores them. Content can be simple text, photos, music, video, documents, or just about anything you can think of. A major advantage of using a CMS is that it requires almost no technical skill or knowledge to manage. Since the CMS manages all your content, you don't have to.

Some real world examples of what Joomla! can do?

  • Joomla is used all over the world to power Web sites of all shapes and sizes like.
  • Corporate Web sites.
  • Corporate Web portals.
  • Corporate extranets.
  • Corporate intranets.
  • Online magazines.
  • Newspapers.
  • E-commerce.
  • Online reservations.
  • Small business Web sites.
  • Community-based Websites.
  • Personal Websites.
  • Family Websites.
  • Any Web Based Solution.

Who uses Joomla? 
Simply put everyone, examples of companies using Joomla can be found in the Joomla Community Site Showcase.

How will Joomla! help me?
Joomla is designed to be easy to install and set up even if you're not an advanced user. Lots of Web hosting services offer a single-click install, getting your new site up and running in just a few minutes. Joomla is so easy to use, Web designers or developers, can quickly build sites for your clients. 


Then, with a minimal amount of instruction, you can empower your clients to easily manage their own sites themselves. If clients need specialised functionality, Joomla is highly extensible and thousands of extensions (some free under the GPL license) are available in the Joomla Extensions Directory.

Will there be Joomla support in the future?
Joomla is the most popular open source CMS currently available as evidenced by a vibrant and growing community of friendly users and talented developers. Joomla's roots go back to 2000 and, with over 500,000 community users and contributors, the future looks bright for Joomla.

Some advanced ways Joomla can be used?
Many companies and organisations have requirements which go beyond what the basic Joomla package can do.  Joomla's powerful application framework makes it easy for developers to create sophisticated add-ons that extend Joomla into virtually unlimited directions. The core Joomla framework enables developers to quickly and easily build:

  • Inventory control systems.
  • Data reporting tools.
  • Application bridges.
  • Custom product catalogs. 
  • Integrated e-commerce systems.
  • Complex business directories. 
  • Reservation systems. 
  • Communication tools. 


Joomla is based on PHP and MySQL, were building powerful applications on an open platform anyone can use, share, and support.

What do I need to start using Joomla?
Hosting Requirements

Before you start installing Joomla!, there are requirements which need to be met to install Joomla! 3.x successfully. These apply whether you have a dedicated server, a shared hosting plan server, or are installing a copy on a local computer for testing or development.

Software:

  • PHP Recommended 5.4 + Minimum 5.3.10 +

Supported Databases:

  • MySQL Recommended 5.1 +..... Minimum 5.1 +
  • MSSQL Recommended 10.50.1600.1 + ..... Minimum10.50.1600.1 +
  • PostgreSQL Recommended 8.3.18 + ..... Minimum 8.3.18 +

Supported Web Servers:

  • Apache 2.x...
  • Hiawatha 8.0
  • Nginx 1.1
  • Microsoft IIS 7

 

Joomla Features Overview!

Joomla is one of the world's most popular software packages used to build, organize, manage and publish content for websites, blogs, Intranets and mobile applications. Owing to its scalable MVC architecture its also a great base to build web applications.

With more than 6.8 percent of the Web running on Joomla and a CMS market share of more than 18 percent, Joomla! powers the web presence of hundreds of thousands of small businesses, governments, non-profits and large organizations worldwide like Citibank, eBay, Harvard University, Ikea, McDonald's and Sony.

As an award winning CMS led by an international community of more than a half million active contributors, helping the most inexperienced user to seasoned web developer make their digital visions a reality.

Joomla extension extends the functionality of your Joomla-powered website. Extensions can include
templates, modules, components or plugins. Some extensions are included in the basic Joomla installation, while others are
provided by 3rd party developers.

 

What are Modules ?

Modules are more lightweight and flexible extensions used for page rendering. These modules are mostly known as the “boxes” that are arranged around a component, for example: the login module. The Footer is a module. Modules are assigned per menu item. So, you can decide to show or hide the login module depending on which menu item the user is viewing. Sometimes modules are linked to components such as the “Latest News” module which links to the com_content and displays links to the newest content items. However, modules do not need to be linked to components, as a matter of fact they don't even need to be linked to anything and can be just static HTML or text.

Examples: Banners (mod_banners), Menus (mod_menu), Who's Online (mod_whosonline)

Management feature: Admin head menu > “Extensions” > “Module Manager”

 

What are Components ?

Components are the largest and most complex extensions of them all; they can be seen as mini-applications. Most components have two parts: a site part and an administrator part. Every time a Joomla! page is requested, one component is called to render the body of the page. For example, Content (com_content) is the component which handles the display of content; users can view at the frontend of your site and, as an administrator, you can edit the content. Components are the major portion of your page because a component is driven by a menu item and every menu item runs a component.

A component is a separate application. You can think of a component as something that has its own functionality, its own database and its own presentation.

You could think of all of these as being a separate application. Each of these would make perfectly sense as a stand-alone system.

A component will be shown in the main part of your website and only one component will be shown. A menu is then nothing more than a switch between different components. You can compare it a bit with your windows taskbar, where you see a tab for each open application.

Examples: Content (com_content), Banners (com_banners), Contacts (com_contact), News Feeds (com_newsfeeds) and Web Links (com_weblinks)

Management feature: Admin head menu > “Components” > (“Contacts” for com_contact)

 

What are Plugins ?

Plugins are more advanced extensions and are in essence event handlers. In the execution of any part of Joomla, be it the core, a module or a component, an event can be triggered. When an event is triggered, plugins that are registered with the application to handle that event execute. For example, a plugin could be used to intercept user-submitted articles and filter out bad words.

Examples: Content - Load Modules, Editor - TinyMCE

Management feature: Admin head menu > “Extensions” > “Plugin Manager”

 

What are Templates ?

A template is basically the design of your Joomla! powered website. With a template you can change the look and feel of your website. Templates have certain fields in which the component (just one) and modules (as many as you like) will be shown. Templates are easy to build or customize and they provide maximum flexibility in how you style your site.

Template Types
There are two types of templates used in a Joomla CMS powered website.

Front-end Templates:
Front-end templates change the way your site looks to average users. Most of the templates you use or install will be Front-end Templates.

Back-end Templates:
Back-end Templates are much rarer than Frontend Templates. You will probably never need to change your Back-end Template. Back-end Templates allow you to change the way the administrator interface looks.

Management feature: Admin head menu > “Extensions” > “Template Manager”

 

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