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The Joomla CMS (content management system) is used by around 3% of websites worldwide. Open-source and free, it can be used for the realization of almost any type of web project. Joomla is an undemanding CMS, but as with all websites, its success will be closely linked to the performance and quality of your hosting.
What is Joomla?
All together! Joomla is one of the most popular CMS (Content Management System) in the world. Free and open-source, it is built on the MVC (Model-View-Controller) web application model.
Joomla! was born in August 2005 following the port of the now-defunct CMS Mambo by the development team. Joomla is a powerful CMS. It is easy to install and supported by a very large global community of developers and volunteers who ensure the usability and extensibility of this multilingual, responsive, accessible, and search engine optimized platform.
In addition to that, it is used by about 3% of the web sites in the world for building small to medium-sized websites and e-commerce. Finally, the Joomla CMS is also distinguished by its modularity and the simplicity of its administration which allow it to be used for the creation of any type of modern website.
Joomla is widely used for creating eCommerce sites. But it can also be used for corporate intranet and extranet websites, newspapers, online magazines and publications, community management, blogs, and personal sites, or for organizational or community sites at non-profit.
Easily customizable, easy to use, and free, the Joomla CMS offers by default a very large number of features, which allow you to quickly develop a project.
In addition, for the realization of your project, you can count on its advanced options, its extensions, and its very active community which will undoubtedly help you to extend the functionalities of Joomla in order to achieve your objectives.
The different versions of Joomla
Joomla! has come a long way since its version 1.0 released in 2005. The CMS has received many minor updates which have notably brought new functionalities but also some major updates bringing profound changes.
Joomla 3.7This is a minor update released in 2017, which brought more than 700 improvements such as the integration of custom fields, improved workflow and user interface as well as optimizations for multi-language handling. and management of administration menus.
Joomla 3.7 also included improvements for the Tiny MCE editor, caching, and updating systems. Several security issues have also been fixed.
Joomla 3.8Released in September 2017, Joomla 3.8 is a minor update that mainly brought security fixes but also no less than 300 improvements such as the ability to remove IDs from URLs or even better-reading control. A compatibility layer with the future Joomla 4 has also been added to the code.
This version will be followed in October 2018 by Joomla 3.9 which will be one of the last minor updates of the 3.x series… before the release of Joomla 4 which will be the next major version and whose release is announced for 2020. Joomla 3.9 includes more than 250 improvements, the most important of which concern the integration of new privacy tools.
Joomla 4.0Version 4 of Joomla will be the next major version of this famous CMS. The development team announces the arrival of a much cleaner code, including the removal of functions that were deprecated in Joomla 3. This will allow the development of more innovative and robust applications.
The installation process will also be more user-friendly and faster, while the user interface has been updated to improve the experience. Also notable is the improved command-line interface and support for prepared SQL statements.
The release of Joomla 4 has been announced for 2020 but no specific date has been officially provided by the development team.
The flexibility of Joomla allows it to offer almost unlimited possibilities of customization, you can give your site almost any shape you want, and this mainly through its extensions, themes, and templates.
Joomla themes and templates
Joomla is an open-source CMS, anyone can create templates and themes, in order to offer them to other users. The Joomla template system is extremely open and versatile. As a result, it is not difficult to find exceptional templates, which can be used as a starting point for creating very attractive sites.
Many platforms specializing in the sale of templates also offer a wide choice. Each Joomla theme, free or paid, can then be personalized from the CMS interface.
You can change the different themes without affecting your content. Indeed, Joomla completely separates form and content.
More than 10,000 free and paid extensions (plug-ins) divided into 5 categories are made available in the JED (Joomla Extension Directory):
Components: These are complex packages of functions that can include modules and plug-ins.
Modules: This is a lightweight Joomla extension that is designed for presenting information on your site.
Plugins: they are mainly used to execute events.
Templates: These plugins are used to control the appearance of the site to facilitate design and development.
Languages: these extensions manage the languages of the site (French is included), translations, and information about various fonts.
The pros and cons of Joomla
Joomla is versatile, easy to learn, and full of features. However, it is not free from flaws. Let's take a look at the main strengths and weaknesses of the Joomla CMS:
Powerful management and great flexibility.
Multilingual support very advanced and integrated by default.
Very advanced role and user management system.
Possibility to use templates per page.
Simple and intuitive administration panel.
Very comprehensive help and documentation.
A very large number of extensions.
Allows making very complex sites.
Not as popular as other CMS.
Easy to learn.
The learning curve can be very long.
Usage can seem complex and overwhelming.
Fewer themes and plugins than on WordPress.
What is Joomla hosting?
The installation of Joomla is very undemanding since a simple basic LAMP server (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) is enough for him. Many web hosts advertise Joomla support, but this is often a selling point. In effect, that simply means that they offer a one-click installation of Joomla and that it will work fine for a basic site or a small project.
However, if your project requires specific optimizations, maximum performance or the activation of certain optional components of Joomla, then we advise you to turn to real specialists in Joomla web hosting. They will respect all the prerequisites and will provide server configurations truly optimized for Joomla while taking into account advanced functionalities (security, etc.) and additional extensions.
The minimum requirements to host Joomla
Joomla works great on any LAMP server, but the CMS is also compatible with Nginx servers and any other PHP compatible server like Microsoft IIS. It also supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server databases.
For hosting version 3.x of the CMS, the minimum version required for PHP is 5.3.1 but the developers of Joomla recommend the use of version 7.3 or newer of PHP since it doubles performance.
The PHP settings required for Joomla site hosting are usually enabled by default with most web hosts. However, it is always better to opt for a web host that offers the possibility to make some settings of the PHP configuration via the php.ini file.
What to look for in a Joomla hosting?
Each Joomla host has its specificities, advantages, and disadvantages. In order to select the best hosting for Joomla, one should identify the strengths that must have a Joomla web hosting.
Ease of installation and administration
The automated installation in 1 or a few clicks of the Joomla CMS is a basic requirement. The installation of the CMS, as well as the access to the administration of the site, must be done as simply and quickly as possible so that the user of the CMS only has to concentrate on the development of his project.
Some hosts offer Joomla specific optimizations and provide or preinstall extensions that will allow you to take advantage of these optimizations (cache extension for example).
As we have seen previously, any LAMP server can run a Joomla site. However, in order to offer your visitors comfortable navigation in all circumstances, we advise you to choose dynamic servers with a good amount of RAM and a large bandwidth. Joomla does not need a lot of RAM to operate, however adding additional RAM will reduce latency times and speed up load times.
Resource availability aka Uptime
Availability is an essential point because it has a strong impact on the referencing and the positioning of the sites in the search engines. Joomla sites are no exception to this rule, so it is essential to opt for a Joomla host that offers at least 99.9% availability.
The impact of uptime goes beyond your site's ranking. Indeed, if you have an eCommerce site, each availability problem will have a direct impact on your turnover and the reputation of your website.
Availability of technical support
Having technical support that is responsive, efficient and that masters its subject is very important, especially if you are developing an eCommerce site, a site for an administration, or an association.
Indeed, in some cases, you cannot depend on a support team available only during the week, during office opening hours. So if you are developing a site where a 24/7/365 online presence is vital, you will need to prioritize the most responsive and available 24/7 support services. For these types of scenarios, preference will be given to hosting providers offering support with expertise in Joomla administration.
Free disk space
Joomla does not need large disk space for its installation. However, depending on the type of content you will be using for your site, you might need a lot of storage space.
In general, whether it is an offer with unlimited disk space or not, we invite you to closely study the general conditions of use of your accommodation with regard to the use of space. disk.
Generally speaking, if you are hosting a small site, with low traffic on shared hosting you shouldn't be embarrassed by bandwidth issues.
The quality/price ratio of the service
Web hosting is a necessary expense to get your website online, but it doesn't have to be very expensive. You can easily find good Joomla web hosting at a very affordable price on a shared server. Which is a good starting solution for a new website.
If your project requires significant resources, it will be preferable to turn to host on VPS, cloud, or dedicated servers.
Your choice will of course be influenced by your budget, but you will have to take into account the features and quality of service you want in return. It is therefore often preferable to pay a little more to obtain the guarantee of very high availability and the provision of certain options such as a free domain name, SSL certificates, or even a CDN for more performance.
The different types of Joomla hosting
Joomla can be hosted on a shared, VPS, cloud, or dedicated server. Here it will all depend on your project, your resource needs, your budget, and your requirements, in terms of the level of user experience you want to provide to your visitors.
Shared Joomla hosting
Joomla Shared Hosting: most Linux hosts use the cPanel control panel which usually includes the ability to install Joomla with just a few clicks via Softaculous. Some web hosts offer their own control panel, which in most cases includes an automated installation of Joomla and other popular CMS.
Some shared hosting plans offer truly specialized services for Joomla such as tutorials, a team of Joomla expert support or even personalized extensions that improve site performance.
Shared Joomla hosting is the ideal solution for launching a new site or for hosting a small online store.
Joomla VPS hosting
Joomla VPS hosting: the VPS server gives you more control over your hosting and the possibilities for optimizing the performance of your Joomla site. VPS servers are virtual servers installed on a machine whose resources they share. This is a solution that offers much more autonomy and performance than shared hosting for a still relatively affordable price.
This type of hosting is ideal for medium-sized eCommerce sites.
Dedicated Joomla hosting
Joomla Dedicated Hosting: Dedicated server hosting is intended for users who want to have full control over all the resources of their hosting. This type of configuration allows sites with high traffic to respond without problem to any peaks in attendance and without any reduction in browsing comfort for visitors.
Hosting on a dedicated server at a significant cost, it is recommended for websites and eCommerce sites with very high traffic.
Joomla Cloud hosting
Joomla Cloud Hosting: If your site is very busy but the cost of dedicated server hosting is too high for your budget, then cloud server hosting may be a great alternative. Indeed, the use of cloud technology makes it possible to have a solution that offers the best of dedicated servers and VPS, at a controlled cost.
On a cloud server, your site will be hosted on a completely independent virtual server with its own resources. It will behave like a real dedicated server.
With the development of the cloud and the technologies that surround it, the cloud server is increasingly emerging as the best solution to meet the needs of availability, performance, and reliability in 2020.
What about free Joomla hosting?
As Joomla is very resource-efficient, the use of free Joomla hosting may be possible. However, the low level of performance and allocating resources is not the only drawback of this type of hosting.
If you are going to use free Joomla hosting to test Joomla and get familiar with this CMS, then free hosting may meet your expectations. On the other hand, if you plan to host a small already existing site or to create one, then we do not recommend this type of hosting for many reasons such as the presence of advertisements on the pages of your site, poor availability which will affect positioning. of your site and its reputation or too many limitations (disk space, size of databases, etc.) and essential additional services sold at a high price.
WordPress, Joomla, and PrestaShop in comparison
Despite having some points in common, these three CMSs have peculiarities that make them unique for a very specific purpose. Let's analyze them in detail in order to understand which to choose based on the functionality you want to give to your website.
Most modern blogs and websites are now made with content management systems (in Content Management System, CMS ), providing an interface for entering, editing, and online publication of articles, web pages, and gallery photography.
These tools can be proprietary CMS, developed by companies or software houses, or opensource CMS, created by a large community of web developers around the world but united by the goal of providing a stable and reliable product useful to many and with a license of free use (but with certain more or less restrictive conditions depending on the cases of use of the system).
Among the most popular opensource CMS we find WordPress and Joomla, the first is very popular for the simplicity of the backend and SEO plugins, the other for the creation of more complex sites and portals thanks to the expandability of the features.
The content management is easier in WordPress than Joomla due to an interface much more friendly and intuitive WordPress at the expense of organization of information categorized as Joomla.
The rigidity of Joomla, on the other hand, makes it, in the opinion of many developers, more solid and secure in terms of data protection and protection.
The SEO is more in favor of WordPress: secret agreement, native functionality, or powerful plugin, little can be said except that Google prefers WordPress Joomla. Yoast SEO Tools is an example of a great WordPress plugin that allows you to customize the SEO settings of each page or post and analyze the optimization online.
WordPress is today the most popular online platform used by over 50% of sites and manages the web content of more than 30% of the most important portals in the world.
Joomla allows deep customization thanks to the many modules (the equivalent of plugins for WordPress) released by the development group allowing features that the antagonist CMS does not yet have.
PrestaShop: In this case, although the blog and static pages exist, this CMS is a real e-commerce in all respects: the absolute ideal for creating an online store . Many supported addons : quick integration with Facebook (but also with Ebay and Amazon), SEO modules, newsletters, generation of PDF invoices and much more.
If the goal is to sell online, it is possible to register a domain , install this CMS in the web space and then delegate the purely content marketing section to a domain (for example, third level) , a highly recommended activity regardless.
Which one to choose?
Basically, as it was clearly understood in the post, it is useless to directly compare these three CMSs because each one has a specific and precise task.
Moreover, especially for WordPress and Joomla !, the only CMS that can still have a sort of interchange , even the simple taste or preparation of the web designer can have weight in the choice. For this reason, before delegating the creation of your website, it is advisable to discuss with the web agency and clarify this not insignificant aspect.
If, on the other hand, what needs to be done is online shopping, no doubt, PrestaShop has absolute precedence, if only for the complex features that it allows to manage. For those who still want to shop around or simply because they prefer WordPress, in a previous article we analyzed how to do ecommerce with WordPress .
In all three cases, for a good start, both to carry out tests but also to proceed independently, our Hosting CMS are available that allow you to have everything ready and installed by one of our technicians in the customer's web space . In short, nothing to do with automated systems which, for the inexperienced user, always hide doubts about the data to be entered during the setup procedure.
Joomla is the second most used CMS in the world, it is mature software that is compatible with all hosting. Joomla is a powerful CMS, actively supported by a very active community.
Choosing the best hosting for Joomla is the best way to start your project.
Not very resource-intensive, Joomla will take full advantage of quality hosting offering very good page load times and excellent uptime. This will greatly increase the chances of success of your site or your internet project.