I have been using Joomla while on my placement year at Rokk Media for 6 – 7 months among other things and my experiences with Joomla and current opinion on the system are not very high. I have had a play with the latest versions of Joomla! to get a much better perspective on the content management system.
I have been working with a few Joomla! sites that are using Joomla 1.5.X which is firstly a major security floor to the site but also in my opinion a really difficult system to use. I spent countless hours fixing issues due to an out of date system. I have not had the opportunity to use the later versions of Joomla so for this post I have gone and used Joomla 2.5 and also the latest 3.0 in a few tests to see how I feel about the content management system and to see if the changes have improved upon what I have previously used.
My latest expedition with Joomla 1.5 has been updating it to Joomla 2.5. This process has not been the easiest and I much proffer using WordPress and pressing the update button and taa-da, the site is up to date with either minimal or no issues caused by the update. With updating Joomla 1.5 to 2.5 you are advised to use jUpgrade to update your site. It updates core Joomla and migrates data across to a subdirectory with the updated version of Joomla. The only issue is (and I wouldn’t expect it to) it doesn’t update any additions you make such as components and modules so you may see that some things don’t work straight after the upgrade so best to do this in a development environment. Now with my experience of updated a Joomla site I was new to the site and there was no record of extensions and modules that were added to the site so it was a very painful experience.
The first look at Joomla 2.5 was an already improved site, with a more intuitive administrator area making the navigation of the admin section far superior than before. There are however some underlying issues with the way it has been structure, I just feel its unintuitive making life a lot harder for developers using the CMS. I have noticed changes in the way you would code a site with Joomla 2.5 but still feel there are better options. I have not had to long to use the CMS but I will be trying again at a later date to see if I can understand why Joomla! is one of the big names to choose from along side WordPress and Drupal.
I have had bad experiences with Joomla in the past and don’t see my self personally using it again if it can be helped. I am not saying it is a bad CMS I would proffer to say that it’s not my cup of tea, I would much rather use WordPress down to the fact that I have used it a lot more and feel much more comfortable using it to build a website.