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Joomla: The “Hippie” CMS

Posted at Sep 6, 2011 8:11:27 AM by Joey Wolff | Share

Open-source content management systems WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal make up more than 75 percent of the market share, clearly dominating overpaid services like ExpressionEngine. Of these, WordPress makes the biggest splash; not only do 62 percent of the top million websites use the CMS, it has a recognizable face and voice in Matt Mullenweg. Second place Joomla, according to TechCrunch, seems to “fly a bit under the radar.” Why is this? And is Joomla a good choice for your business?

According to data from BuiltWith, Joomla powers about 1.4 million websites. It has recently hit its 23.5 million download mark. As TechCrunch’s Rip Empson points out, Joomla doesn’t have a single figurehead like WordPress does. Instead, it is run by its community of developers, as well as a team that includes OpenSourceMatters.org. This was done purposely to keep Joomla a community-oriented product and to ensure that it was always held accountable by developers and users.

President of OpenSourceMatters, Ryan Ozimek, says that Joomla has taken on a “hippie vibe” because of its image as the “little guy.” While it is relatively unknown in the US, Joomla does have a significant international presence. It is used in more than 200 countries, and what’s more: over 2500 international government agencies power their websites with Joomla. In the US, these include the US Army and Air Force, and NASA.

Joomla is not a money-maker; in fact, its revenue comes entirely from ad services and sponsorship, and it has no heavy-handed investors. This furthers its reputation and image as a hippie CMS, but what does make it a friend to the little guys, so to speak, is its ease of use. This makes Joomla a good fit for smaller companies or those without extensive technical experience because of this, and because it is free. A CMS like Drupal, by contrast, is more intricate and complex and would be a nightmare for the novice.

Joomla doesn’t see itself in competition with other open-source CMSs. Ozimek says that their competition is proprietary software. He adds, “We want to work towards a time when we’re all open coding.”

Tags: Web Development

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