Joomla!™ User Group Milton Keynes
An appraisal and business review of Joomla
One needs to examine any website from the perspective of any longer term maintenance overhead cost you would bear.
The perspective I advocate is a win-win where source development and open source sharing gives back to the community at large. These are my personal opinions but I will be frank and plain talking because I value the following honest understanding:
"The Internet is a gamble or business speculation which has both costs and rewards"
This is perhaps the first honest Internet appraisal you have come across and you may not have experienced this before. The Internet is so super charged with potential prospects and opportunities that little room is left to communicate the truth, the truth you already know deep down but nobody is actually telling you this truth.
My Truthful Joomla Appraisal
Most of the time business people will have a website built for them a few years ago or they will use an 'easy template' and then add their own words and perhaps images. If you are lucky the site looks clean in appearance but it is dated and crippled in several ways:
- The product or service content becomes in need of update and out of date
- The web build technology is a dead end full of future overhead costs for you
- No additional added value can be applied without great additional cost
- Your website performance is low with...
Few visitors due to having a website that's not SEO ruthless and targeted.
Let's be honest you have very few paying web visitors?
IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY - TAKE CONTROL!
Normally, the key problem is with...
"The vehicle that's carrying your words and content is the wrong vehicle!"
Your website is not built upon a content management system. The site is not data driven with online storage of your edit changes and easy online edits. Even if your website were to be re-written, to be data driven (a typical custom programmer approach), it would not encompass all of the features and options you can implement if you had your site converted into a major CMS system.
You note that I say that the vehicle is wrong and not that the wrong content is being carried. I say this because you can always change the content of your pictures and words once you switch to using a proper content management system.
There are three major offerings of CMS systems:
- Joomla! = Business website
- Drupal = Business website with high customisation overheads
- WordPress = Blog based, inefficient data storage system for large non-blog websites
That's a very crude interpretation because you can do almost anything with any of them. It is a matter of undertaking the costs and skills to change or enhance each one of them so that they can do what you want them to do. The one which stands out is Joomla! This is because Joomla fits most business structures and approaches to market. It also needs the least amount of skilled custom work and effort to make it do anything special.
The licence conditions imposed upon any author or developer using Joomla dictate that they will hand over the full source code so that you may carry on developing the site or opt to select another developer. This is in compliance with using Open Source and GPL v2 (or above) licence terms and conditions. A big win-win comes out of this because any custom adoptions can be made and offered back into the community for other developers.
There are many things I could say about the quality and robustness of making Joomla your choice but from here on I am going to save time and assume that you go with my judgement to make Joomla your chosen CMS.
So what are the costs involved to port such your site into Joomla?
1) Develop a style sheet template which looks similar to the existing site
2) Port the existing pages, as articles, into Joomla as a standard site
That gets you to where you are now.
3) Change and adapt the existing content to update any products.
That makes the site current according to your product offerings.
With consideration to duplicate content issues and Google SEO you should consider updating the content of the website during its conversion from the old to the new content. I have found that this is a painless process of simply overlaying Joomla on the old website content and files. If Joomla is pre-built offline and all converted then this is very simple. Google knows that the site is still under the same ownership and the same site because the old files still exist. The old files soon loose favour and the new Joomla site takes over. Very simple to do.
There are actually two ways of looking at website costs
If you undertook to accept the above and took on the responsibility of both operating within the constraints of time and the big benefits a major CMS can bring then you work 'within the system' rather than battling against the system to create something which may itself turn out to be just a speculation. What am I trying to say?
I have in my hand Joomla with 1001+ options and can achieve your look and feel style in less than one hour but to get it 100% exactly the same costs a further 20 hours. Those 20 hours could have been used to implement a social web 2.0 free download forum enhancement for your users. You have to ask 'why create the exact same when you may prefer to change and market A-B test between two styles?' - you can switch the template style appearance of a Joomla website in under 20 seconds if you want to test two templates for A-B market testing.
What you really need to do to target markets and keep up with trends.
To do this you need a system which can adapt while also not getting too tied up with the shape of a graphic button or the wrong colour of blue. The overall impression is important and your branding is an issue but the real long term and lasting evidence comes from making the right choice and increasing sales and that's the truth.
My bottom line Joomla appraisal & conclusion for you
Join me in selecting Joomla and join my Milton Keynes Joomla User Group for free. Undertake my outline plan above where you get 95% of the existing look and feel but can move forward with many other options open to you - all of them under free Open Source GPL v2 licence terms. It's simply the time cost of making correct and reliable add on choices.
It goes without saying that you need good looks and good SEO and Joomla is capable of delivering both in a reliable and robust manner. Nothing onerous to JUG Milton Keynes membership, just simply your open minded commitment to look at taking on Joomla and using open source as the way forward for your CMS/website.
Hope that you find this useful and good common sense it is my personal opinion after developing or rather deploying many websites.