What is Joomla?
Open Source content management systems (frequently referred to as a CMS) are all the rage these days. And with good reason! 5 years ago, the type of functionality that you can get from an open source CMS like Joomla! (www.joomla.org) would have easily set you back $ 50,000 and required 2 developers and a phd in rocket science to get value out of it! Thankfully systems like Joomla have made webmasters lives a LOT easier when it comes to providing our clients and customers (or our own websites) with an easy to use but powerful CMS for managing our website content.
What are joomla templates?
One of the biggest challenges with a CMS is getting a nice looking template that differentiates your website from the competition. A major challenge with any CMS driven site for someone who is not a skilled web designer is achieving a look and feel that avoids the "sameness" of a lot of CMS driven websites. Luckily Joomla templates are quite easy to build if you're already a skilled designer. If you're not then you are still in luck as there are literally hundreds of Joomla templates out there that will get you up and running in no time. Joomla templates can be grouped into 3 categories:
- free joomla templates
- joomla template clubs
- commercial joomla templates
There are advantages to each group. Free templates are obviously free! Having said that you'll most likely easily find another website using the same template as you pretty easily. If that's not a problem for you then great – off you go! If this is an issue then commercial Joomla templates could be the way to go.
Why commercial joomla templates?
Commercial joomla templates can be of significant value to you as a Joomla website administrator. Key advantages include:
- can be of exceptionally high quality – you'll generally find joomla template designers churn out some of the best looking templates for any CMS on the market. But do be careful to ensure the build quality (including HTML / CSS, javacript) is up to scratch. Buyer beware, there are also commercial joomla templates out there who sacrifice quality for quantity! Bestofjoomla.com is a great site for getting great feedback on joomla template designers.
- support, support, support – let's face it, your going to want to tweak a logo here, a few colors there and maybe even make some layout changes. That's where a good support network comes into play. Check out the joomla template creators website and make sure you can get support online.
- Price – do not get ripped off! You'll find most commercial joomla templates range in price from as low as $ 10 up to $ 100 – do not pay any more than that unless you want an exclusive license for the template just for your site – unless you're happy to be potentially ripped off!
Anyways, that raps us up for the moment. If you've not yet had a chance to play would Joomla! I would encourage to check it out – it's a fantastic open source CMS that will run just about any site with ease.