Joomla Developer’s Toolbox


Joomla is a popular free and open-source content management system (CMS) that can be used to power all kinds of websites. After we published developer’s toolboxes for a variety of other CMS’, many readers requested a collection of resources for Joomla users and developers, so here it is. Joomla grew out of the Mambo1 CMS and has since built a large and loyal group of users, much like the other popular open-source options. What this means for users and developers is that there is a wealth of information and resources available, and in this post we’ll take a look at many of the best.

Other developer’s toolboxes from Smashing Magazine:

1. Official Resources

Although the Joomla community of users provides plenty of valuable resources, there are also some official resources from Joomla that are worth noting:

Joomla Home7
The official home of Joomla, where you can get information about the system and download the files.


A wealth of information that should be bookmarked by any Joomla user or developer.


Joomla Community Magazine11
A great resource for Joomla users and developers to stay up-to-date.

Team Blogs12
Each working group within the Joomla community maintains its own blog to communicate with the community.

Joomla Forums13
If you’re looking for support or just a place to pose general questions to the community, this is the resource.

2. Getting Started

If you’ve decided that you want to give Joomla a try, take a look at these three resources to help you get started the right way:

Getting Started with Joomla14
If you’ve never used Joomla before, this is a good starting point.

Getting started15

Joomla 1.5 Installation Manual16
If you need help getting Joomla installed, this provides you with instructions.

Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Joomla17
A great resource for those who are just getting started; includes information on installing, admin options, the templating system and more.

3. Tutorials

If you’re looking to learn more about working with Joomla-powered websites, developing your own templates, working with plug-ins and more, here is a collection of categorized tutorials:

3.1 Working with Templates

Joomla Template Tutorial
Learn how to create a Joomla template in the developer network.

Template tutorial

Edit Template18
Shows you how to edit your template from the admin panel.

Edit template19

How to Determine Which Page You Are on from within a Joomla 1.5 Template20
When developing templates, you may want to style pages differently. This tutorial will help.

Which page?21

Editing the CSS File22
A visual guide to making basic changes to Joomla’s CSS file.

Editing CSS files23

Understanding Output Overrides in Joomla 1.524
An explanation for designers and developers about the output generated by Joomla.

Understanding output25

Paging in Joomla26
For Joomla developers who need help creating pagination.

Page Titles in Joomla 1.527
A look at working with page titles and modifying them to suit your needs.

Styling Front Page a Different Way28
A quick tutorial on applying different styles to the front page of a Joomla website as compared to other pages on the website.

Custom 404 Error Pages29
How to set up your own custom 404 error page on Joomla.

3.2 Working with Databases:

Export Joomla Database30
The basic steps for exporting your database with phpMyAdmin.

Joomla Coding Practices: Tables and Primary Keys
Some helpful information about naming tables.

3.3 Website Administration

How to Change the Administrator Template in Joomla 1.531
Learn how you can make changes to your admin interface to suit your needs.

Change admin theme32

How to Change Your Default Images Directory in Joomla 1.533
It’s possible to change your image directory in a Joomla website, and this article shows you how.

Change img directory34

Import Your WordPress Blog into Joomla35
If you’re interested in moving from WordPress to Joomla, this article shows you the steps to take.

WordPress to Joomla36

Keeping Your Joomla Installation Safe Against Hacks and Exploits37
Some quick advice for securing your website.

Securing Your Administrator Directory Using .htaccess Files38
A quick tutorial on securing your Joomla website against hackers using .htaccess.

Moving Joomla Websites39
Changing Web hosts or domain names can be very frustrating. This article shows you the process for a Joomla website.

3.4 Working with Feeds

Leveraging Feeds in Joomla 1.5
A helpful guide to working with feeds in Joomla.

How to Have RSS on Any Page of Joomla 1.540
A very quick tip for getting an RSS feed from any page.

3.5 Working with Modules, Plug-Ins and Components

Module Manager41
A simple guide to Joomla’s module manager.

Module manager42

How to Create a Joomla Plug-In43
Are you looking to enhance the core functionality of Joomla for yourself or others? Here is a look at the basics.

How to create a plugin44

Include Any Module Within Content in Joomla 1.545
A tutorial on integrating AdSense, PayPal and AdBrite within Joomla content.

Introduction to Joomla Component Development46
A basic look at the subject of component development.

3.6 Other Tutorials

The Super Secret Site Map Trick
Get a site map without installing any extensions.

Joomla Performance Tuning: Module Cache47
Learn how to improve your website’s performance with this tutorial on module caching.

How to Embed a YouTube Video in an Article in Joomla 1.548
This article shows you how to use a simple plug-in to insert YouTube videos easily.

Joomla Search Engine Optimization49
A five-step approach to optimizing a Joomla-powered website.

4. Joomla Templates

The Joomla community has already created thousands of templates. There are several different websites that offer premium theme membership clubs, and there are also plenty of free templates available. Here we’ll look at some of the best places to get free and premium templates.

JoomlaJunkie offers club memberships that give users, designers and developers access to premium templates, and it also offers several free templates51.


Best of Joomla53
Developers can submit free templates here to be downloaded by others. Best of Joomla also offers some additional resources aside from free templates.

Best of Joomla54

Provides more than 1,500 free Joomla templates.


Design for Joomla57
A large collection of free templates for downloading.

Design for Joomla58

Funky Visions59
Offers a number of free templates for downloading.

Funky Visions60

IbolDesign offers some free templates for downloading.


Rocket Theme63
Rocket Theme is another premium template club; it also offers four free templates.

Rocket Theme64

Joomla Shack65
A marketplace for free and premium templates.

Joomla Shack66

Joomla Jet67
A premium theme marketplace that offers three different levels of membership.

Joomla Jet68

Joomla Art69
Another premium template club; it also provides some tutorials and additional resources.

Joomla Art70

Blank Joomla 1.5 Template71
A free starting point for your template development.

A collection of free user-submitted templates, among other resources.

This hosting company provides a number of free templates for Joomla users.

A home for free and premium templates for Joomla, WordPress and Drupal.

5. Extensions, Plug-Ins, Add-Ons

Like any other open-source CMS, Joomla comes with certain features and functionality out of the box, but additional features are available through extensions, plug-ins and add-ons. Like the templates, some are free and some are premium. In this section, we’ll include links to the best places to find the right extensions for your projects.

Joomla Extensions Directory75
The official directory of extensions.

Joomla Ext Directory76

Joomla Add-Ons77
An excellent collection of free components, modules and plug-ins, as well as some for sale.


JoomlaWorks sells some premium plug-ins, but it also offers a number of useful plug-ins for free downloading.


Joomla Bamboo81
Joomla Bamboo offers premium extensions and templates, but it also has some free resources.

Joomla Bamboo82

VirtueMart is a free open-source e-commerce solution for Joomla and Mambo websites.


Directory of user-submitted Joomla modules.

A third-party extension directory is available at iJoomla.

A collection of Joomla add-ons, some free and some premium.

A blog that includes a number of free extensions.

6. Inspiration

If you would like to see what other designers and developers have been able to accomplish with Joomla, you’re in luck. There are several websites dedicated to Joomla inspiration, and a few others that include Joomla along with inspiration from other CMS’.

Joomla Based89
A large showcase of Joomla-powered websites.

Joomla Based90

Joomla Showcase91
A Web design gallery specifically for Joomla-powered websites.

Joomla Showcase92

Best of Joomla93
An inspirational gallery that also provides free templates.

Best of Joomla94

Joomla Case95
Another design gallery just for Joomla.

Joomla Case96

CMS Showcase97
There are currently almost 40 Joomla-powered websites featured on CMS Showcase.

Joomla Showcase98
The Joomla forums include an area for showing off custom Joomla templates and getting inspiration from the work of others.

Joomla Zone99
Joomla Zone includes a Joomla Powered section, where website owners and designers can submit their Joomla-powered websites to be displayed

7. Compared to Other CMS’

If you haven’t used Joomla before, you’re probably wondering how it stacks up against other CMS options. The following resources, featuring the opinions of others on Joomla and other open-source CMS’, should help. Keep in mind that each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and no CMS is right for every project.

Joomla vs. WordPress100
A discussion thread on the SitePoint forums.

Which CMS? Joomla vs. Drupal vs. WordPress101
This video discusses each of these three open-source options.

WordPress vs. Joomla: A Handy Guide102
This post on YOUmoz looks at the topics of usability, versatility and SEO.

Why Can’t We Be Friends? Joomla vs. Drupal103
A balanced article that looks at the pros and cons of each.

Joomla and Drupal – Which One Is Right for You?104
This article is about two years old, but it may still be helpful if you’re trying to compare.

8. Developer Resources

These resources don’t fit very well in the other categories in this post, but they’re all worth pointing out, and they all focus on meeting various needs of Joomla developers.

JoomlaCode105 is a resource for developers to build and manage open-source software projects centered on Joomla.


Freelance job marketplace for Joomla developers.


Joomla Developer Resources109
A resource for developers who are developing, or want to develop, custom components and add-ons for Joomla.

Joomla Developer Resources110


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Steven Snell is a Web designer and blogger. In addition to maintaining his own blog and writing for a number of other top design blogs, he also manages an online shop that offers premium graphic design resources.

  1. 1

    joomla is an evil demon!

    nice article though.

  2. 2

    Big thanks Smashingmagazine!

  3. 3

    Finally – A Joomla! article! Thanks for that one.

    I also wrote a Joomla! article that can be pretty useful:
    7 tips to optimize Joomla! security

  4. 4

    Hey, Smashing Magazine, thanks! Is there any way you can update the RocketTheme screen shot with our newly released site design? Thanks.

  5. 5

    Thank u SM!

  6. 6

    Good article. Congrats!

  7. 7

    Joomla… don’t get me started on this one… no seriously..

  8. 8

    how many people that use this do you actually know?

  9. 9

    Finally Joomla gets some attention. Good collection except the template section doesn’t showcase anything particularly eye-catching. We want people to like Joomla, not think it’s the ugly step-child of open source content management systems.

  10. 10

    Joomla forever!

  11. 11

    Don’t forget
    A great place for Joomla extensions.
    Numerous free extensions
    Including Shadowbox module available :)

  12. 12

    Great article.
    Maybe useful: professional Joomla Support can be found here:

  13. 13

    There are many links here to Unfortunately the domain changed recently to

  14. 14

    Thanks for this. I <3 Joomla.

  15. 15

    “how many people that use this do you actually know?”

    One or two … Joomla is getting on for 1% of all websites. Not far behind WordPress at close to 2%.

  16. 16

    Just curious about those who are so negative about Joomla. I’m not saying there aren’t reasons to be, but as someone who professionally designs websites and is familiar with multiple CMSs, I feel a lot of the negative feedback is usually due to not having spent enough time with it.

    Graphic designers should seriously consider Joomla over both WordPress and Drupal. Joomla has a much better templating system than WordPress once you get to know it. To do a site that’s more than a blog is possible in WP, but slightly masochistic once you’ve tried Joomla. As for Drupal, it’s a great system for a serious PHP developer…but the back end is a lot less friendly for your clients than either Joomla or WordPress. I’d say Drupal for large corporate sites, WP for blogs and Joomla for just about everything else.

  17. 17

    Great!… Joomla is the best cms, and for designers is very easy to customize. Very versatile.

  18. 18

    The main problem with Joomla is Categories, you only have two levels and that’s it, no plugins, not a thing can change that unless you try to mess up with the core system. If you just want your site to look pretty, it’s the tool for you… or a very simple website that can look like a CMS.

  19. 19

    Yes. I was waiting for this one – god collection / .review of Joomla resources. Thanks.

  20. 20

    I love Joomla! & I love SmashingMagazine….

    And most of all, I love OpenSource….

    Keep Smashin’ guys….

  21. 21

    Pablo, you can get around this by creating your structure with menu items. I’ve built sites with several levels deep this way. You can use a page alias to add a page to more than one category this way as well. There are some drawbacks to this. A dynamic view that lists all the pages from more than 2 levels deep, or one that lists pages in more than one category is not possible. So I agree this could be better, but I still don’t think it’s a big deal for most sites.

    Also, some components have their own category system. A shopping site using Virtuemart for example has its own category system which gives you multiple categories. There are blog components that give you multiple categories as well.

    Don’t use Joomla if you’re a beginner needing a simple blog. Use WordPress, Blogger, etc. But if you need more, or you’re a designer thinking about a CMS, Joomla is a good choice.

  22. 22

    I use Joomla for multiple client sites. Great ease of use and customization, and LOTS of plugins to make it do pretty much anything I’ve been asked for.

  23. 23

    I have been working with Joomla for 3 months and its really fun !

  24. 24

    I’m developer of The Joomla Template Kit which is a Dreamweaver extension to make Joomla templates in Dreamweaver this a paid app. There are also free resources on my site like a Joomla Template CSS reference for Joomla templates and menus etc.
    See nice article guys.
    Brian Diaz

  25. 25

    Let’s wait till the release of Joomla version 1.6.

  26. 26

    I worked with mambo and joomla since very long and In my view Joomla is the best known CMS around on web and the beauty is that it’s free for everyone.

    I like to thank Steven for his hard work in compiling such a good list but I’m still wondring that how he missed so many other good Joomla resource sites operated by core Mambo and joomla team members like YooTheme, Gavik etc..

    Anyway… Still got good resource list here…Much appreciated effort !!

    Thank you Again,

    DKumar M.

  27. 27

    I must say I’ve used Mambo/Joomla!, Drupal, and WordPress and there are definitely different uses for each. Mambo/Joomla!, a couple years ago, was the furthest along in terms of social networking with its Community Builder module. It was definitely plug ‘n’ play. However, Joomla! has always had a knack for gaping security holes (especially the Community Builder module). Joomla! doesn’t suck, it’s just not as good as the others. That said, great list of resources though, Stephen, you’ve done your homework on this one.

  28. 28

    Joomla is, and unfortunately remains, a staggering liability as far as security is concerned. I won’t get into specifics just like the police won’t tell you just how Criminal X picks locks or skims credit cards, but suffice to say that the information is out there and people know it.

    Strictly from a development point of view, I tried using Joomla before I knew all this and put a good 6 months into it. Security liabilities aside, it’s decent. One of the problems though is that many of us were lured into trying Joomla based on the ZOMG OPEN SOURCE MATTERS! dogma. And yes, you can get everything you need right out of the box to make a basic website with Joomla, but there’s just an obscene amount of sketchy pay-to-play sites with seemingly essential add-ons, templates, etc. They’re at liberty to make their money the same as everyone else is, but it seemed that damn near everything in the “community” that didn’t look like a cookie-cutter template was priced WAY beyond what something similar on another CMS would cost.

    Finally, the documentation is incredibly weak. That wonderful wiki has tons of stub pages which will help you find out exactly nothing. I had more luck googling around message boards for answers to questions about Joomla’s functionality that turned out to be, sadly, negative.

    Orson Welles once said he got into movies because he thought it was 90% art and 10% hustle, only to find out later it was 10% art and 90% hustle. That’s about the truth of Joomla, as I found it: 10% functionality and 90% evangelizing about that wonderful community that just ain’t there (is, in fact, microscopic compared to wordpress). Your mileage may vary.

  29. 29

    So, what is the best open source cms(especially “usable cms”)?
    + Joomla. No.
    + Drupal. No.
    + WordPress. Just for blog…
    + You get what you pay for.

  30. 30

    @hanoi I couldn’t disagree with you more. Drupal 6 and WordPress are great platforms and are worth paying for.

  31. 31

    Finally!!! Many thanks.

  32. 32

    Hey thanks guys, trying to polish my Joomla skills, this is great!

  33. 33

    Thanks for this…now it’s time for Smashing to release one nice Joomla template for us…like you guys did for WP themes..hurry up…

  34. 34

    i am loving it.. since mambo.. 90% of my sites are build with joomla.. thx for the mashup!

  35. 35

    Being a big fan of WP and I having also worked with Drupal. I love Joomla! 1.5 because of it’s code library that makes building large dedicated extensions and management tools many times easier than I have ever experienced using anything else.

    Some of us think that doesn’t handle hierarchical content but the truth is that there are endless levels of hierarchy if you take a fresh look at how the site is structured using menu items and you may even find it’s easier to manage and understand. I think, Joomla! really is the closest solution I know to your very own solution with plenty of room for growth.

    I am curious how creditable these statements are about security. With hundreds of ears to the rails out there the folks at Joomla! are pretty sensitive to these sort of issues since Joomla! 1.0 as I am sure we have all considered that 1.5 is a whole new beast. If it’s something new that’s no real secret than you’ve got me stumped and I think you should be contacting Joomla! 1.5 in support of the open source initiative.

    Anyway, thanks to plugin’s like JoomlaPack and LazyBackup I know my websites are safe and securely backed up to a separate server and the database is emailed to me every night. But no “thing” lasts forever right? Right now, I am just so grateful that Joomla! is still trucking along with the changes and I am looking for to the user permission upgrades in 1.6.

    Thanks Steven for the article.

  36. 36

    Fact of the matter is that everything has security holes but does any one platform stand out? The answer is no. Even if Joomla’s security is weak, there are plenty of extensions available that enhance the security. There’s one as simple as changing the URL to your backend. Are these extensions necessary? No but they definitely help.

    Joomla is still the farthest along in social networking too. Right now it has 2 powerful extensions (JomSocial and Joomunity), 1 aging extension (Community Builder) and a few others in development. JomSocial and Joomunity both rival Facebook. Now that’s something to check out!

  37. 37

    Well, there is ICETHEME also

  38. 38

    I have used joomla before… and I have also used, drupal and word press.. Well accordingly all CMS have different uses. But I love word press, for its ease and simplicity. Joomla is a lot more a headache than joy. also the installation files are too much and occupy a lot of disk space on the server… A newbie to joomla, might spend weeks just to learn the backed system…. WordPress rocks any day.

  39. 39

    Nice post. Here’s a suggestion. In section “3.4 Working with Feeds”, you haven’t really pinpointed how you can produce good feeds. My suggestion would be to use the BCA RSS Syndicator which allows complete customisation of RSS feeds in Joomla 1.5: RSS feeds in Joomla

  40. 40

    Great. Joomla! is my favorite CMS.
    -A smashing template would be nice.
    -Does someone have experience with an iphone tool to post to Joomla! (like WP)?

  41. 41

    Worth Reading !! Joomla rocks… I have three of my heavy servers running on Joomla.
    Thanks for the great New Year gift.

  42. 42

    I see Joomla changed it’s interface on the backend side. It looks better then before.
    My provider was moaning about a high CPU because of the JoomlaCMS several times so I killed it. I use WordPress for a while now and I think it’s a winner!

  43. 43

    Joomla! would be awsome. But they still work with tables.
    We have 2009 dudes…

  44. 44

    I haven’t used Joomla in more than a year. Found it difficult to customize the templates. Maybe worth another shot with this compilation of documentation. Thanks!

  45. 45

    Have used a few cms’s inc. wp and drupal but I do love joomla, large community and so many plugins and mods… bout time smashing had some joomla love!

  46. 46

    what about cmsms? it rocks

  47. 47

    There are many resources listed here that are only related to Joomla 1.0 and not to Joomla 1.5, far better and in many things very different from the old version.

    Fortunately you can recognize the oldest articles looking at the design of the web page it’s written on, but it’s 2009, Joomla 1.0 is coming to its end of life and you link those articles written in 2006..

  48. 48

    Great!… Joomla is a very good cms, and is very easy to customize.
    I use Joomla! since 2006.
    Thanx for this toolbox

  49. 49

    love for Joomla! Forever! :D

  50. 50

    I had to work with Joomla with many clients and I must say this is

    - the least transparent system
    - the least stable system
    - the most css-unfriendly system
    - the most UTF-8-unfriendly system (ok, 1.5 claims to support UTF-8)
    - the less upward- or downward-compatible system
    - …

    I ever had to work with.
    Not really one of my clients mastered the system.

    But compare it with CMSMadeSimple

    that is not as big as drupal but working great for 90% of my clients and friends and everybody understands it

  51. 51

    I think Joomfish component must be included in the toolbox. With Joomfish, it’s possible to create multilingual web sites. And it’s one of the best Joomla compoments.
    By the way, there is no problem about depth of categories, as it’s possible to create the structure with flexible menu system.
    The only disadvantage of Joomla is, it doesn’t support Custom Fields.
    Modules and plugins are really strong side of Joomla. There are tones of extensions…
    And a note about templates : Joomlart, Shape5, Gavick, Rockettheme templates are really professional works. Joomlart’s templates are very effective, easy to customize and fit perfectly to corporate web sites, portals. Rockettheme templates are very nice and sometimes provide an experimental visual design. Their December (Vertigo) template is using Parallax effect perfectly :-)
    Finally, if you plan to design a corporate web site, multilingual portal, and want to use a commercial template, Joomla will be great for you.
    But if you are designing a web site which needs easy information publishing, custom fields and a custom design, I would recommend Expression Engine.

  52. 52

    Can I request one of these developer’s toolbox roundup articles on Moodle please?

  53. 53

    I made couple of sites with Joomla!, it was hard on the beginning but know it’s easy. Clients are very happy. I never used other cms because WordPress is more for blogging and I didnt need that. Thx SM

  54. 54

    Thanks for SM

    can u add the tutorial for making joomla template (not editing the template)

  55. 55

    Hmm I wonder how did you choose some links.
    A bunch of templates clubs listed are dead and you also posted a link to a website with pirated joomla components :-S.

    Also, you should have added a paragraph about ‘social networking with Joomla’ and talking about JomSocial, Community Builder and Joomunity.

  56. 56
  57. 57

    Joshua 'The Red' Russak

    January 6, 2009 10:39 am

    Steven, Thanks for the link to my website article “Which CMS? Joomla vs. Drupal vs. WordPress”. I just got back from Utah only to see my traffic spiking. Your review is very helpful for the Joomla community and I hope you sent some of their reps this article. All the best, Red!

  58. 58

    For the Dutch speaking an extra resource: Joomla in 24 dagen.

  59. 59

    A gorgeous and awsome Joomla article! Thank you Smahing magazine!
    I use and learned both WordPress and Joomla, and I cant say whick one is better. WordPress is seen easier by Google and is very simple, but Joomla is a lot intuitive and has thousands of extensions.

    Why arent there online comunities and online stores made with wordpress? Right, because WP is for blogs and simple sites, magazines… Jomla has all the possibilities ofr creating a blog, magazine, online store, online comunities, web directory and so on!

    Joomla is my favorite! WordPress is my 2nd favorite!

    And please write more Joomla articles!

  60. 60

    joomla case is a perfect joomla sites showcase where you can see both modified and original joomla template design. my lovely one.. :)

  61. 61

    Nice one Smashing

    Joomla totally rocks.

    More please…..

  62. 62

    I’ve been using Joomla now for a little over a year, and think this article is a great resource.

    I think you’ve got to include in your list of templates and extensions.

    @martjan: JoomlaPraise does have an administrator template that allows you to access the whole back-end of your site using iPhone or iPod touch.

  63. 63

    Finally – A Joomla! article! Thanks!

  64. 64

    @Jason, thx for recommending
    Our members certainly think our admin template AdminPraise is a “must have” as it totally changes the site administration

    It’s also available for individual purchase on CMS Market which is a new resource for Joomla Extensions and Templates of any license:

  65. 65

    Thanks, have bookmarked this. I have made about a dozen Joomla sites now. Slow learning curve (for me) but worth it, and making the jump to Joomla 1.5.x has helped a lot.

  66. 66

    I use Joomla and read SM. kinda weird feeling after reading the article.

    1. a number of dead / old links.
    2. Joomla! 1.0 is coming to its end of life as Flavio Copes have noted. Resources should have been more focused on version 1.5 instead.
    3. And ya, that’s a very bad pirate site you got linked there.

    Not impressed yet. :-(

    Some resources:
    Search Engine Optimization Tutorial
    Backup and restore
    Additional on Joomla 1.5 Getting Started with Template Overrides

    Joomla! 1.5 Template tutorial here’s a good 1.5 template tutorial that should have been included.

    Hope these help. :-)

  67. 67

    Thank you so much for this much-needed article. I have been maintaining a law site for almost two years and was cornered into Joomla when I took over the job. Using Joomfish has effectively prevented me from upgrading to 1.5. Through this article I found some much needed relief via some new resources. Peace signs.

  68. 68

    An excellent resource article for Joomla users and Joomla lovers. Thanks a lot.

  69. 69

    to :Razvan Pavel
    if you never heard of Joomla! i pity you. Joomla is the most widely used CMS. According to some research and download numbers, Joomla used%60 more than Drupal.

    About this article;
    I am a Joomla and other CMS user for a long time. I can easliy say that this article doesnt not have quality like other smashing articles. It is very clear that, author didnt use Joomla before and did little surfing and put all stuff together. Very outdated links, none of great extensions noted.

  70. 70

    Santiago Bernabé

    January 7, 2009 6:58 am

    Once again Smashing Magazine helps me a lot in my search for new programs and great designs.

    I am just getting started on Joomla, and this post is going to be a helpfully reference.

    Thanks to all that smashing writters!!

  71. 71

    Finally a few words bout Joomla…thanx a lot :)
    Best post so far…hope for more in future…since Joomla is gigantic open field

  72. 72

    Whimsy Collective

    January 7, 2009 4:52 pm

    Okay, I’ll start it off! Worthy of mention, or a possible article on Joomla Template Design with Fireworks.

    By the way, what happened to Yootheme??? If it’s not to much to ask, please edit, and add Yootheme.

    Adobe – Fireworks Samples – RokWebify

    By the way, Joomla Bamboo has a company site called Blue Bamboo, check out this interview and see their work Joomla Bamboo – blue bamboo


  73. 73

    nice article thanks..

  74. 74

    Disappointed not to see a link to, which is the API reference and a very important developer tool.

  75. 75

    Love this article. Thanks!

  76. 76

    I have been working with Joomla since it’s birth. And it’s really best CMS!

  77. 77

    i still can’t understand why anyone would continue to joomla. i mean, what’s the point? developing for joomla is like tattooing your genitals. It’s overly verbose and creating simple modules requires more files than you actually have lines of code. it’s pointless and overtly tedious. joomla was designed by a guy that had nothing else to do. he learned too much and decided that because he learned that you should be overzealous with your design as well. it’s pointless and a waste of time. because in all of the zealous activity that became joomla a massive security flaw(s) opened a world of debugging/testing that is completely unnecessary to the working world. if you want to create something of use, do it so that the rest of us can f-ing use it. joomla is the microsoft of the open-source world. they create shit and refuse to fix it. it’s pointless, and creates a problem for the rest of us that have sh-t to do. designing for it is way too pain-staking and requires a knowledge this aspect which some call “what the f-k were you thinking?!” My recommendation goes to only two open-source frameworks….drupal and wordpress. joomla is gay and has nothing that i can consider credible in terms of development or design. joomla is a php progammer’s masturbatorial way of saying, “hey, i know php and xml so, now, you f-kers have to deal with it!” F* that guy and f* all those whom can’t write legible code. Stop making your designs so complex, and especially, don’t introduce them to the open-source community if you can’t support it. Joomla sucks and F* those ex-Mambo guys for thinking that they are smart. joomla is the microsoft of the open-source web framework world… half-ass and shitty.

  78. 78


    There are a whole lot of professional people out there who really like using Joomla.

    If you don’t like it, don’t use it. That’s your choice. But you have no right to speak about the Joomla developers with such arrogance and venom.

  79. 79

    You can take a look at Lightnote CMS, here is a DEMO.
    Login: demo
    Password: demo

    And here you can see a short video about main features. This CMS has a simple interface and much more possibilities that WordPress or Joomla. You can program extensions in intuitive clear Object Oriented form. You can easy create a website in many languages…and much more…if you have any questions, suggestions what features must have good CMS, feel free to contact me!

  80. 80

    Hi all,
    Thanks smashingmagazine for this toolbox for Joomla. As usual, there are many comments comparing one solution to the other, and I believe many of them does not have much ground, as it requires much time to be really proficient with systems like Drupal, Joomla or WordPress. I browsed the comments here, and I’d like to point out the following for potential users :
    [ I am talking about Joomla 1.5.x branch, the latest, which became stable about a year ago]

    - Joomla 1.5.x is indeed fully UTF-8, it only uses this encoding
    - Joomla has FULL TABLE-LESS OUTPUT. Whether one uses tablefull or tableless layout is up to the template creator. Internally, Joomla can output all of its stuff either using tables or without using them. Of course this is not true of all extensions, but with so many of them, it’ll take time. Also there are, litteraly, thousands of free themes out there that are suited for table layout, and it’ll take time to upgrade that as well
    - Templating : has always been very easy, because Joomla totally decouples the html from the php (ie : a designer can style pages dealing only with html and css, not doing a bit of PHP – that’s why Dreamweaver extensions such as the one mentioned above are possible). WIth Joomla 1.5.x, this has became even more powerful, as the templating system allows the designer to “override” Joomla own php output, similar to the hooks provided by Drupal for instance
    - Security : this sort of reputation probably comes from stories about old, not updated extensions. Joomla itself is very much secure, not any less than drupal and wordpress for that matter

  81. 81


  82. 82

    Thanks a lot for this list. I do about years joomla development – nevertheless I got some new resources to know.
    Another great addon is the JCE Editor ( I almost use it with every Joomla! installation.
    On my site I wrote a short review of this article in german.

  83. 83

    Hello, this is information about the police

  84. 84

    Great to see some Joomla stuff on here!

    I’ve been using Joomla for about 3 years now and think it is a great cms for all kinds of projects. I recently gave WordPress a brief try and although I am far from understanding it on the scale I do with Joomla, it already seems a little on the drawn out side. I don’t like the fact I have x amount of php files to faff about with in order to edit a template, whereas with Joomla I have one index.php file and one css file. The system takes care of the rest.

    Version 1.5 is easier from the admin side and makes more things possible from the configuration and template side of things, with fewer restrictions compared to previous versions.

    In terms of security, well all of these cms’ have security issues especially if not kept up to date or dodgy plugins are used from bad developers. I’ve not had an issue on 1.5 and I think in all 3 cases it is down to the site owner keeping the system and server up to date. In a lot of cases those which have been burnt are those with old outdated versions lingering about. It is no different to any other software tbh.

    g-off2damax, your post makes little sense to me… They clearly do fix issues that arise hense I update it and see new features in the version I am using. As for modules, I’ve never found it difficult to create such and not sure where all these lines of code are? If they exist then I’m yet to find them, or need them. In terms of a template, its nothing more than including the relevent php tag in the index file, then styling it. As for what goes inside such module, well that is the content from the admin panel… Quite striaght forward really! I’ve no knowledge on php and am fully capable of creating templates for Joomla.

    I can’t help but think many of those who slate it, actually don’t know much about it or how to use it in the first place, and just can’t be bothered to make any attempt to learn.


  85. 85

    Great list of Joomla resources. Definitely bookmarked.

  86. 86

    I am convinced that with a tool like Joomla-Builder Joomla’s chances to beat Drupal really increase. It builds Joomla installation pack with all necessary components pre-installed. Otherwise, you’d spend hours testing and installing. Joomla-Builder could be a great resource in your already great list.

  87. 87

    Be Warned: Joomla is a big waste of resources. You’ll spend time, money and gray hairs trying to get it to work together. This is not a commercial product. It is a cool experiment in what code can do, but free or not it will cost you.

  88. 88

    If you put as much time into learning the particulars of HTML and CSS that people must put into learning Joomla, you’re well on your way to being an honest to god web dev rather than an amateur with a crappy tool that spits out code catastrophes that are painful to work with.

    I’ve noticed a recurring wave pattern of Joomla jobs on Craigslist. First a bunch of entrepeneurs want some dumbass to build them their social networking app with Joomla for a song. Then a few months later there’s a bunch of lowball offers to have a real developer come in fix the messes they’ve made for themselves because they didn’t want to pay somebody who knew what they were doing in the first place.

    If you want to get paid to build stuff on the web, learn how to do it from scratch, understand how W3C standards are actually helpful to developers, and work your way up from there. I guarantee you will rue the time you pissed away on Joomla when you could have been learning something useful. Anybody, and I mean anybody can learn xhtml and css syntax. How far you take it from there might be up to the kind of brain you have but at least learn the basics of those two.

  89. 89

    Okay. I’m just curious with all the people who looooooove joomla so much, can I actually see some of the work you do? Some have been working with joomla since it came out. If that’s the case you must be doing some amazing work, no? So far I haven’t really seen too many joomla layouts that I was particularly impressed with.

    Most Joomla sites I see are just a typographical mess. Everytime I see two columns of text right next to each other it really pisses me off. I know there are some decent templates out there that you have to pay for. I just want to know how much time I’ll have to invest to actually make a Joomla website that doesn’t look like…well…….a joomla website.

    So if you have a good joomla website let me know. It might actually give me and others the inspiration to want to learn more.

  90. 90

    Great to see Joomla stuff on here!

  91. 91

    bmk81~ You’re wrong. Joomla is tableless, try updating to 1.5
    1.6 will also be out soon (in development now)
    As far as the security gaps ~ same problem ~ people being lazy about updating.
    JOOMLA ROCKS and those that don’t think so, probably haven’t taken the time to learn to use it. I see many well aged PHP developers who simply can’t wrap their minds around how it works because they think they know it all and refuse to read the first “How-To” article, God forbid it point out they really don’t know it all.
    To be up in this fast moving tech world we live in, you must read, read, read.
    As far as the people who’s only comment was “Joomla Sucks” Obviously we all want our sites to be perfect yesterday. Instead of writing how it sucks or how flawed it is, we’re all best served by continuing to share tweaks, mods and user settings to collectively build and optimize a better CMS.
    Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts.
    Enough said.

  92. 92

    I’m a Joomla developer, and after reading through the comments here, I’m hearing nothing new. A lot of people like Joomla and a lot of people hate Joomla. I program in many different languages, php is not the best, but it is simple, and in its simplicity comes its power for open source. A lot of people are able to take part in building this “experiment” as another commenter called it. Joomla IMHO is the quintessential open source framework. Its good, but not great, just like open source. Its powerful because of the community.

    My company provides free advanced Joomla packages that anyone can use as a foundation to building a good joomla system. Some Joomla configurations will suck, but its not the fault of Joomla, its the fault of the developer or wannabe developer who put it together. Its Joomla’s attractiveness to people who don’t know what they are doing that gives Joomla a bad name to some people. Joomla is a fantastic frame work to build your site in.

  93. 93

    please help me understand if you can help me create a great logo

  94. 94

    And for those who would rather have someone else do there joomla development

  95. 95


    I wrote a tutorial for people interested in getting started with Joomla development.

    The tutorial can be found here

    Please let me know if it is any good.

  96. 96

    Jonathan Hinshaw

    July 6, 2009 7:36 pm

    OK. So, I was reading through and since I don’t see many articles on my favorite platform, I’ll put my 2 cents in. *Thanks for this post!

    As the owner of a professional design firm, I can say Joomla! 1.5.x works for a variety of needs, but not for all needs… (I only wanted to mention I owned a design firm to validate my points, my team has used a variety of tools for CMS, so we’re up on all the latest and greatest stuff!)

    True, a beginner could use Joomla to put together a great site if they use a template first (especially from the Rocket Theme crew, we love them!). But to make the site Secure, SEF, and Standards Compliant, you’ll need more than a fancy theme! You’ll need experience, patience, and more experience. We’ve created over 100+ Joomla websites and every one gets better and better!

    My team has been using the Joomla Platform for about 4 years. We’ve spent hours studying best uses and we’ve been there from the beginning, helping to grow the Joomla Movement. Why? Well, because with our experience we can literally put together a full CMS website with a Forum, User Community, and Online Store within about 30 days. It’s the greatest for rapid development, but you must have some experience with Joomla in order to keep it safe and secure. It’s taken us 3 years to get to the point where we are now, but the sites we put out with Joomla are amazing! As a professional, it works for our clients so they can put more of an investment into the Graphics and Pages rather than trying to re-build the wheel on a custom CMS. It’s a great deal for all!

    IMPORTANT!: Since it’s Open Source – Hacker Crazed Internet Criminals love to mess with Joomla Websites. So, you have to follow a few security guidelines, seen here: Joomla Security – Read that through before you even download Joomla…

    IMPORTANT #2!: Make sure you get a good host like – – I wish I’d used them, I currently use Dream Host (Private Server Only) and they leave a bit to be desired…. Anyways, just get a good host!

    All-in-all, Joomla is a fantastic platform for building a truly dynamic website is a short amount of time. Not all of our clients want to spend the kind of money it takes to creat things from scratch, so for those on a budget, they can still reach their goals using Joomla’s plugins and extensions. Joomla has changed our business forever.

    And, if you’re a pro looking for residual income, Joomla is fantastic! You see, it takes effort to keep the platform up to date, safe, and secure. So, our clients pay us a fee every month to keep the site running smoothly. It’s a win-win for everyone. We’ve even built our our systems to do these standard updates for us!

    True, we didn’t get here overnight, but we’ve found Joomla to be the best choice for a variety of use cases seen below….

    Forum Sites
    User Communities
    Dynamic Sites and Power Blogs
    Content Heavy Sites
    And More.

    PS. If you’re looking to build an online store, we recommend SHOPIFY, don’t use Joomla, it’s just going to give you a head ache!

    Thanks for listening and have fun with Joomla!

    PS. We like WordPress too, but this post was about Joomla. We use them both, they both have their place in the Professional Field of web design.

  97. 97

    I’m not a militant dude, especially not insulting an entire hard working community. But let’s put one thing straight: it doesn’t require deep mathematical skills to understand that a pseudo relational database model is a huge overhead of queries, a concept that does not allow normalising data has missed the point.
    And for being pretty primitive in its architecture it still requires lot of time to get into it. Not because its difficult but because its a mess, sort of a chaotic type of design, missing fundamental aspects of how it is working – and I am a system developer coding assembler and above.
    BUT – from an aesthetic point of view it is really nice, good for web designers with customers focusing on “sexy” websites and so do I serve them as well for the hell of it.
    If you look for scalability, robust and performing framework I can only advise you to give
    It may scare some how little the focus is being set on the look, but check out

  98. 98

    fuck joomla!

    time is gold and just learning joomla wastes a lot.

    too steep a learning curve if you are going to extend it.

    WordPress FTW!

  99. 99

    Joomla! 1.5 can work as fast as Drupal or even faster. There are a number of possible solutions, i.e.CssJsMinify, JRE, but the most powerful is Web Optimizer (with Joomla plugin which enables System-Cache properly). It’s really a must-have addon.

  100. 100

    Speaking of Fuckjoomla , check out Fuck Joomla

  101. 101

    this is a very best article

  102. 102
  103. 103

    Love for Joomla ! Anytime ! :) Good post …

  104. 104

    If your looking for a commercial support company for Joomla! you should consider host

    I think some of these people saying rude things here about Joomla! have no clue what they are talking about. Joomla! is a very powerful Frame Work with a wonderful community.

    Go Joomla!

  105. 105

    I’ll plug open-source concrete 5. The interface is great and installation, upgrading and templating is pretty easy. It also has page versioning, a decent set of permission tools, a bunch of useful core modules/blocks you can pop into the your content areas (autonavs, search, contact forms, polls, video, audio, maps, etc.) and a click and drag sitemap to help you organizing content intuitively. And no, I’m not a member of the concrete 5 dev team, lol. Just someone who really likes the CMS in comparison with Drupal. and joomla. That said, I’m still going to use Drupal for large community content driven sites but concrete5 is a great choice in my opinion for small to medium sized sites.

  106. 106


    Another useful module tutorial that does more than just create “Hello World” can be found at:

    It will show you how to use the Google Analytics API in a module so that you can display your visitor numbers on a world map.

  107. 107
  108. 108

    Have a look at K2, flexicontent etc

    Great article though

  109. 109

    Joomla is seriously a total nightmare and I’m completely baffled as to why it gets such rave reviews from everyone. It’s like the Star Trek 2009 of the CMS world. Not only is this thing over six megs (even when packed… what exactly am I installing here?) its code habits and syntax are so ass-backwards and counterintuitive that I almost get the impression a team of coders were split and locked into separate rooms and told to come up with something that’d be put together after the fact. The templates and plugins are so poorly documented (following Joomla’s lead I suppose) and clash with each other so badly that you can actually spend months rewriting code that would’ve taken less time to just develop yourself from scratch.

    Mystery to me.

  110. 110
  111. 111

    I worked with mambo and joomla since very long and In my view Joomla is the best known CMS around on web and the beauty is that it’s free for everyone.

    I like to thank Steven for his hard work in compiling such a good list but I’m still wondring that how he missed so many other good Joomla resource sites operated by core Mambo and joomla team members like YooTheme, Gavik etc..

    Anyway… Still got good resource list here…Much appreciated effort !!

    Thank you Again,


  112. 112

    joomla developer

    April 7, 2011 4:35 am

    The various features provided are very helpful from the developers point of view and will make the new learners aware of the tools which they need to be familiar with.

  113. 113

    It is time to update to Joomla 1.7

  114. 114

    I think that I`m a little old to learn joomla coding but I`m an ambitions old man. I`m still looking for new resources to learn more. If you are curios of my process you can check my site .

  115. 115

    Codefire Technologies is providing joomla plugins to block access of the site from any IP in in certain countries and to display author details on Joomla articles.


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