In this article we’re going to take a closer look at the latest version of Joomla, an open-source content management system.
The main focus of the development team was mobility. This is quite a logic because of increasing usage of mobile devices. Of course, Joomla 3 is not focused to mobility only.
What’s new in Joomla 3
Joomla 3 adopted the Twitter Bootstrap, a HTML and CSS framework design templates that works to unify forms, buttons, typography and many other components.
The main reason for this decision is not just improved look and feel of Joomla back and front-end but also to make an extension developers to use components of other extension developers. This also means that developers have to adjust to the new standard.
The new release includes support for PostgreSQL database, alongside MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server. One of the reasons for adopting PostgreSQL is worry of users and developers about Oracle’s plans for MySQL.
The great new feature is the capability to copy a template and installing language packages directly from the Extension Manager.
Joomla 3 installation process
As in case of many other CMSs installation, installing Joomla requires to have extracted files and prepared database with properly added db user. After all this is satisfied the last step is to run the Joomla web-based installer which will guide you through the installation.
Note: FTP server should be installed on your server because Joomla uses it to upload and install plugins, themes and languages.
Just to mention here, Joomla 3 now has just three installation screens instead of six in the previous version. Despite this the installation is still straightforward. As with past versions, you have choice to install sample data if you want to, which is especially useful for beginners. If you already have experience with Joomla it’s better option to built the site from scratch avoiding sample data.
After the proces is finished you’ll have Joomla up and running ready to be configured.
Joomla 3 interface
Joomla’s back-end segregates all the administrative tools in one place. Some of you could say that new interface was influenced with WordPress admin panel. There are some layout similarities, for example controls are not organized in multi-columns as in previous versions but rather in blocks. The main reason for this kind of organization is because this layout fits much better on smaller screens, like those on mobile devices.
All things are reorganized but still there, media master, menu manager, article manager and all other working the same way as before despite new look. The overall effect of the redesign is not so much to add new features as to make the existing more accessible.
Unfortunately, some bad things are still present, e.g. limitation for one menu item per page and similar “catches”.
Joomla 3 pros
- Installation process is simpler and faster
- New design is much better making the system easier to use
- Controls are easier to find
- Extensions have similar control interface
- Design elements better suited for mobile platforms
Joomla 3 cons
- Not many new features
- Most of old limitations are still present
- Need to wait for extensions to be upgraded to new versions
Joomla 3 has a lot to offer to huge community of users and developers. We’re sure that old extensions will be upgraded soon and maybe many new will be developed. Stay with CMS Observer and be informed about other news related to Joomla CMS.