The latest version, Joomla 3.0, supports 68 languages, has more than 10,000 extensions available and offers state-of-the-art capabilities for developing mobile-friendly websites.
Joomla: Pros, cons and what's coming
Fork of Mambo in 2005Installed base: 2.7% of installed sites (according to W3Techs)
Pros: Joomla could be a good fit for organizations that don't have a dedicated IT department, according to Paul Orwig, president of Open Source Matters. "It's an easier way for folks who aren't full-time Internet experts to create their own full-featured websites," he says.
Joomla's latest 3.0 release delivers out-of-the-box support for mobile users. While most open-source CMSs support MySQL, Joomla recently added support for PostgreSQL, as well as commercial offerings such as Microsoft SQL Server, Azure cloud services and Oracle. It also supports 68 different languages and offers a choice of 10,000 different extensions -- less than either Drupal or WordPress, but impressive nonetheless.
Cons: Not everything in Joomla is WordPress-easy. While the permissions system, called the access control system, is powerful, it can be cumbersome without some tweaking. Third-party extensions can help with that, Orwig says.
In addition, Joomla's committee-based approach to governance has not always served it well and has at times stalled decision-making. "People involved in Joomla want to have a say in the direction. They are passionate and independent thinkers," Orwig says. But they don't always agree. "In fact, sometimes they violently disagree," he adds.
The community has worked on improving processes and has pulled together around a new release schedule that includes minor releases every six months and a major revision every 18 months to which large production websites can transition.
Finally, Joomla extensions don't always play well together -- something that can happen in other communities as well. "Even though all of the extensions will work perfectly within Joomla, the left hand doesn't always know what the right is doing," Orwig says. For example, a photo gallery extension might not integrate seamlessly with a shopping cart extension.