Joomla: 5 more reasons to switch from WordPress
Discover the power, features and flexibility of the CMS that can provide an alternative to WordPress
Joomla is one of the most innovative and most storied open source projects around. With origins as far back as 2000, Joomla was at the forefront of many innovations in the PHP/MySQL space that includes WordPress, Drupal, Magento and so many others. It remains the second most popular content management system (CMS), behind only WordPress.
Now with the development of Joomla 3, there is even more reason to get to know the service. Here we offer another 5 reasons to consider Joomla to accompany our original 5 reasons post.
Finding and editing your site from the frontend is made as easy as possible with Joomla
When normal people are working on a CMS site, it can often be quite difficult for them to understand exactly what it is that they need to edit – that block on the right-hand side… is it a plug-in? A widget? A module?
It can also be hard for users to accurately preview their content before publishing, finding that it looks great when they write the article in the administrator, but it looks a mess when they publish it.
We mentioned before that Joomla has many of the strongest features that can be found in WordPress. Well, when it comes to front-end site management, it starts to more closely resemble Drupal. In both Joomla and Drupal, you can hover over almost any item on a page and see an Edit button. Whether it’s an article, a block or a menu, your users are only ever one click away from being able to edit anything they need to.
Joomla has fully featured front-end article editing. When you’re editing content you’ll see the full WYSIWYG toolbar and it’ll be directly inside the content area, with no pop-ups or admin features. So, you’ll be able to see what the content will look like when you publish it.
Security and two-factor authentication
To help keep your site safe from hacking, Joomla now has a strong passwords feature and requires a two-step sign in
Over the last few months, Joomla has really focused heavily on improving security. One of the most useful additions was two-factor authentication. Joomla now ships with the integration to Google Authenticator and YubiKey.
Once the two-factor authentication feature is turned on, it can be applied to any user account. Each user can go to their account, click the two-factor authentication tab and get set up. When you use Google Authenticator for your Joomla sites, when you try to log in from a new location, you’ll need to verify your identity. If you don’t want to tie your accounts to Google, you can the Yubikey USB drive.
Joomla has also launched a strong passwords feature as hackers have been able to break older forms of password encryption. As a result, Joomla enhanced the encryption of all its password hashing and storage using BCrypt.
Joomla is also raising the bar on PHP version usage. Many people are still using Joomla, WordPress and other platforms on old, unsafe versions of PHP. As a result, Joomla has just set its minimum required version of PHP to 5.3.10.
Joomla ships with excellent support for the LESS preprocessor that makes your CSS much more efficient
CSS preprocessors are really popular, and one of the most commonly used is LESS. LESS isn’t designed to replace CSS but it does give you lots of extra functionality such as variables, mixins, operations and functions. LESS basically allows you to streamline exactly how you create and manage CSS files.
Imagine being able to define a colour once and then use it in multiple places. Imagine being able to create rounded corners without needing to remember the styles for all the different browsers. Imagine being able to create gradients in CSS by telling it the colours you want to use.
It’s often compared to SASS, which you can use SASS in your Joomla projects. You don’t have to use either LESS or SASS, it’s just Joomla has gone with LESS as a default.
All of Joomla’s Bootstrap CSS files are already complied with LESS. Joomla also has a feature in the admin area, which allows you to easily compile your own CSS files.
Make use of Joomla’s powerful and flexible access control system
If you’re going to use software in an enterprise environment, you need some kind of access control. If you’re going to have customers accessing their orders on your site, you need some kind of access control. If you’re going to use software for a membership site, you need some kind of access control. Finally, if you have more than one or two people running your site… you know where this is going.
WordPress is brilliant software, but by default it provides really quite limited access control and it can also be difficult to customise. Out of the box, Joomla has a powerful and flexible access control system that works in two ways, using groups and access levels.
Groups are the more flexible system. People can be placed into multiple groups depending on their roles. For example, one user might be placed into the ‘Forum moderator’ and ‘Content editor’ groups. Another user might be in the ‘Site administrator’ and ‘Technical support’ groups.
Access levels are more broad – essentially, they are groups of groups. For example, you might create an access level called ‘Registered users’ and include all users in all groups who have an account. Or, you might create an access level called ‘Staff’ and include all users in all groups who work for you.
User-friendly and accessible admin
The Joomla admin area has been refreshed with Bootstrap
The Joomla admin area has evolved slowly over the last eight years. It is still recognisable from the original version 1, but there have been several iterations over the years to make it radically overhauled.
The new Joomla admin is completely responsive, thanks to Bootstrap. The content management system now has a visually striking colour scheme, with the most important action buttons being much more clearly marked in strong greens, reds and blues, signifying a clear visual hierarchy of importance.
The use of Bootstrap has also led to a visual consistency with third-party extensions. If you’ve ever used a busy WordPress site, you know how messy things can become with the visual clutter. The Joomla admin now largely presents a consistent, clean and intuitive experience.
Joomla is also a leading CMS in presenting an accessible experience. There’s a default admin template called Hathor, which is accessible using the WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines. More governments, educational institutions, and even companies are requiring web accessibility. If you want to build a website for use in those environments, Joomla would be a good choice.