Last updated on September 6th, 2017
Content Management Systems like WordPress and Joomla are giant beacons of success in the software world, proving that free (as in beer), open source software can compete with high-end web services and custom solutions.
Over the last few years common wisdom has held that someone interested in blogging should use WordPress and the website owner looking to do anything else with a CMS should choose Joomla. My personal choice of a CMS has often followed this same strategy, although I am often surprised at how well Joomla scales for the purpose of a blog, just as there are some great plugins that allow WordPress to “stretch out” and show its true value as a content management system.
With that said, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about Joomla’s new product.
It has a great number
First and foremost it looks like Joomla has finally figured out how to number their software releases. You wouldn’t think the numerical designation would be a big deal, but anyone that remembers the upgrade from 1.7 to 2.5 can recall what a head-scratcher that one was. At least we seem to be back on some sort of logical path to being able t0 figure out which version to use.
Do “stuff” like a pro
The list of new features and bug fixes show that the keyboard-pounders at Joomla have not only listened to their users but really focused on creating a next gen product. Here is a list of some of the great new features:
- New installer that is slick, fast and user (or noob) friendly.
- Mobile ready out of the box. Joomla 3 has a built-in responsive design that automatically resizes pages to fit a mobile screen. This is especially great for administrators who need to be able to access the back end from their phone.
- Drag and Drop- Taking a strong web 2.0 hint, it is now stupid easy to rearrange menu and content items.
- Bootstrap- the simple elegance of the new layout revolves around Bootstrap, which is a collection of tools used by web designers to streamline css and standardize common web elements.
- More standardization of components, templates and plugins.
Front end editing
Raising the bar
The real reason a major CMS release like Joomla 3 is exciting is because it forces the competition to push ahead and try to “beat them at their own game”. Competition spurs innovation, especially in the free-for-all that is the internet. While I am happy to see Joomla 3 begin to pick up steam (especially in the 3rd party add-on market), I am equally eager to see what WordPress and others will come up with to raise the bar even higher.
Joomla 3 is technically still an alpha version that can be downloaded from the Joomla Development Network. It is not recommended to install the alpha release in a production environment as there are still many bugs to be worked out. If you want to get a look at the new offering but don’t feel like installing it, OSTraining has a Joomla 3 demo where you can check out the front and back end without getting your hands dirty.