What is Joomla?

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Web sites used to be made from single pages connected together. With systems like Joomla, those single pages no longer exist in quite the same way they used to, but when people ask “what is Joomla?” the standard answer is not very helpful. I'm going to answer this question in a way that should (I hope) be easier to understand. This will hopefully be a good guide to show Joomal newbies.

Simply, Joomla is way of building websites. Joomla attempts to do away with the actual building part by providing a ready made system that puts pages together for you so you can concentrate on whats actually on the pages not how to build them. With Joomla all you need to do is add your information (in Joomla we call information; 'content'), set the template (the pre-build graphics) and you have a fully functional future proof (easy to update) website in just a few clicks.

Actually Joomla is much more than that, but before I expand further, let me describe Joomla in another way.

Joomla is a group of files which work with a database to create the page visitors see when they go to a web site. What happens when you visit a Joomla site? First the browser says “show me the web page”, then Joomla collects pieces of information (content) from out of the database and says to the browser “here is the web page”. The beauty about Joomla is that depending on which page you view, different information (content) will be displayed. Joomla provides the complete system for you to build such a site and easily link menus and content.

Imagine your website is a restaurant menu. On the menu are "Steak, eggs and chips" and "Salad, bread and soup". The old website would only have two pages. Click on one or the other. If you choose Salad, you would also be served bread and soup even if you don't want it because (like old html pages) they are all on one plate (page). Joomla web sites join smaller pieces if information together to be displayed to the user on each page based on the users actions or choices. On the Joomla menu, you could choose any combination of the available portions and Joomla would put the plate (page) together for you out of those thing you have selected. If the web page visitor is reading a page about wine its easy to tell Joomla to serve up wine related links and articles. If the user clicks a link about coffee, its easy to configure Joomla so that wine related information (content) will no longer be shown, instead Joomla will serve up coffee related items.

It's time to learn what we commonly call such a system. Joomla is a CMS, or, Content Managment System.. It is a system to put together (manage) pieces of information (content) stored in a database and display them as a website.

All you do is put the content in the database through the Joomla system, tell Joomla how to display that content and the pages will be built dynamically for your users.

I hope that shines some light on what Joomla is, all I'd like to add is that if you want to build websites, learning Joomla is (imho) the best thing you spend you time on.

Posted in Joomla