Joomla is an open source platform on which Websites and applications can be created.
It is a type of Website commonly known as a Content Management System (CMS) which uses a database to make managing and delivering the content easier on both the Website administrator and visitor.
Many Websites require the help of a professional Website developer to maintain or update; but, a Joomla Websites enables people with very little Web technical skills manage their own Website and content. Millions of Websites are developed using the Joomla! platform because it is one of the most powerful Open Source Content Management Systems available. It is used all over the world for everything from simple online information resources to complex ecommerce Websites. Joomla Websites are renown for being simple to manage and incredibly reliable.
Joomla Websites operate using the PHP programming language and MySQL database architecture. Joomla is an innovative Content Management System that helps anybody build professional looking Websites even if they have no prior experience with Website building. A Joomla Website comes with an abundance of powerful online templates and extensions (plug-ins) that meet most Web design and business needs.
There are literally thousands of templates available for Joomla Websites and a large number are free to use. When a template design is implemented into a Joomla Website, the site content inherits the styles set by the template. Most templates come with a selection of different colour schemes and styling options which can usually be changed at any time quickly and easily. This is because (unlike other Websites) the parts of the Website which control the content and design are separated and situated in different places. So, if you want to give your Joomla Website a totally new fresh look, this can be done with little effort or downtime. Joomla templates are built to conform to Web standards and display consistently in all the main browsers.
Additional functionality can be added to a Joomla Website using extensions. There are three main extension types; components, modules, and plug-ins.
Components are like mini-applications that occupy the main part of your Web page. They control how Website data (its content) is stored, handled and displayed. Components frequently have numerous back-end configuration controls that allow you to choose how they function. For example, a component could be a tool that enables the user to upload their personal information to your Website which automatically displays on your Joomla Website. This type of functionality is frequently found on article Websites. Other components available include video sharing, newsletter managers and online booking systems.
Modules are lightweight extensions often displaying as “boxes” arranged the main content of a typical page. Modules are assigned to specific pages via menus, so you can decide to either show or hide them on the pages of your Website. The function of a module could be to support a particular component. For example, if you have an extension which allows authors to upload their stories and then displays them in the main part of your Website, a module could appear in a column on the right of a page which lists links directing users to the 5 latest uploaded stories.
A Plug-in manipulates content before it is displayed for all to see. A plug-in typically does not directly show itself working to a user but does its work behind the scenes. It typically does not run as a stand-alone entity but takes data from a specified place, makes the predefined alterations and then outputs the amended content to the user window. For example, to use again the example above, the job of a plug-in could be to look for and remove specific words in stories submitted by authors which do not conform to the Website submission regulations.
Are Joomla Websites visible to search engines? This question relates to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). In my opinion, when developed and managed correctly, Joomla Websites are as SEO-friendly as any other type of CMS. SEO features include Search Engine Friendly URLs, URL rewriting and URL suffixes. You can also add Meta descriptions and Meta keywords globally or at page level. Also, ‘noindex’ and ‘nofollow’ can be applied to any page and there are also Joomla SEO extensions available that can be used to extend its current SEO features.
If you want a Website with lots of functionality which you can manage yourself with little technical know-how, Joomla is a great solution. It is free to use and extremely versatile. This type of CMS is the preferred choice for multimedia Websites or sites with lots of user-generated content.
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