Joomla!, a view from the trenches
September 19, 2016

Joomla!, a view from the trenches

Eli Aschkenasy | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Joomla!

We use joomla! for a wide variety of projects, both internally and for clients. We use joomla! as a pure CMS for marketing projects as well as the core platform on which we build custom components servicing anything from price model calculations in the manufacturing sector to auction engine design in the food sector.


  • In my opinion, the diversity of joomla! is its strength. The fact that we can have a marketing 'website' with minimal customization on the same platform as we have a transactional 'application' allows us to diversify the services we're offering.
  • Another big advantage is the amount of knowledgeable people in the community. While being a FOSS (free open source software) assumes an active community, the joomla! community is eager to help at any level of question and for any user level.


  • One of the biggest problems in my opinion is the requirement of backwards compatibility which has two side effects. First, it can't take advantage of new design (programming) principles and changes are very slow to be incorporated. Second, the code base is bloated and 'heavy'. Sometimes the wheel is being re-invented and outdated solutions have to be maintained because of code/functionality dependencies that have to stay active.
  • Another (maybe even more problematic) issue is the lack of talent in certain markets. The US is a prime example for this. It is extraordinarily difficult putting a team of good developers together when announcing the project to be joomla based. (Tip: framing the project as PHP based and then on-boarding the team by explaining the nuances has been a proven remedy)
  • Europe, on the other hand, has an abundance of talent, so if you're contemplating outsourcing, joomla! is a very good option.
  • The question of ROI is significantly more complex than what meets the eye and is not just a number. Can you run/design a business app on joomla! that saves a manufacturer $500K on one SKU, yes! That would indicate a high potential of ROI, but if your business goals requires you to seek funding, joomla! (in the US) can become a hindering block.
  • If you're planning on becoming a marketing firm that builds and manages websites, joomla! has great potential (and a high associated ROI) until you get into a market that is dominated by WordPress sites where joomla! is a stumbling block. This is true for any of the competing platforms as well, by the way.
Number one difference is the community. I can't stress it more. The joomla! community (both online, and offline) is extraordinarily friendly and accommodating. I have never heard of anyone who felt looked down upon or ridiculed for any type of question, request, or need. If you're planning on designing and maintaining your own site, joomla! is definitely a good choice, if you're looking to design a website that might need some custom development, joomla! is definitely a good choice (better than WordPress from a technical standpoint and easier than Drupal from a user-friendly standpoint. If the intended application is an API driven (potentially even headless) and doesn't have any conventional content requirements, joomla! is probably not the optimal choice.
Not to sound too cliche, but it depends. There is no formula for recommending any platform for any use case. We have worked with all three (major) platforms, namely WordPress, joomla!, and Drupal and have found that it depends on things like previous experiences of the maintainers (for client sites). Tt depends on off the shelf extensions for the business goals at hand; it depends on brand name when VC (Venture Capital) is desired or required (in the US, joomla! isn't well received by VC, also opposed to Europe where WordPress is a hindering block)
My recommendation is to have a conversation about the project and weigh all options. If anyone ever tells you 'platform XYZ is the best' re-evaluate their validity.

Joomla Feature Ratings

WYSIWYG editor
Code quality / cleanliness
Admin section
Page templates
Library of website themes
Mobile optimization / responsive design
Publishing workflow
Form generator
Content taxonomy
SEO support
Bulk management
Availability / breadth of extensions
Community / comment management
Internationalization / multi-language
Role-based user permissions


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