Joomla Tutorial – Use Joomla to promote your web site

Joomla a very popular software for web sites that is Open Source. For users, Open Source means simply, great software that is also free.

Should you use Joomla for web site, if you want to run an effective web site promotion ? The answer is a definite yes ! Let’s look at the many benefits of Joomla, including good search engine optimization for your web site promotion.

First of all, Joomla is based on an open source programming model. Open Source is a win-win situation for computer users. In a nutshell, open source means you get great software for free.

The process to get a Joomla site up and running is not complicated. It can be done quickly and easily. With Joomla, you have a three step process.

First, you install the latest version of the Joomla software on your site. Second, you choose a template (design), from literally thousands of free designs on the Internet. Third, you add your own content to your web site, and change menu titles and other aspects of the site to suit your needs.

Other examples of Open Source software are WordPress blogging software, Firefox Internet Browser, a popular alternative to Internet Explorer, and Open Office, an alternative to Microsoft Office.

Of course, there are many different types of software for web sites, on the market. The main difference with Joomla is that it is not necessary to design a web site from scratch. There are thousands of templates available for free and many for very low cost on the Internet.

Templates are to Joomla, what themes are to WordPress. They are pre-designed web sites, (or blogs in the case of WordPress), that require the user merely to download the template, install it, and then add their own content to the site.

If you type “free Joomla templates” into Google you will get many sites, that have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of templates available to download. Even if you have little or no experience in web design, you can learn to set up a web site using a Joomla without specialized training.

I recommend that you use only free Joomla template sites that have a full-screen preview of the template, rather than just a thumbnail. Sometimes it is hard to discern what the site really looks like only from a thumbnail. It is much better to check a full-screen preview to see what the site actually looks like before you install it.

Joomla is the type of web site software, like WordPress, that is called a content management system. Without an detailed explanation of what a CMS is, for users, it means that your content information and the design programming code for the site are not tied together in an inseparable knot.

In some web design systems if you want to change the design, you have to basically start over again. That is definitely not the case with Joomla.

With relative ease, you can change your design by simply installing a new template. This is something that is often quite difficult to do with other types of web design software.

I was looking for something like Joomla for about 10 years. I used other web design software packages years ago, and I quickly realized that I did not want to design an entire web site from scratch. It was just way too much work from my point of view.

If you love web design, that’s fine, it was just not my thing, if you know what I mean. You have to set-up each page, decide on menus, graphics, check all the links between pages, and numerous other tasks before you even think about adding your own content.

I was looking for a web design system that could be called “web site in a box”. I didn’t want to do web design, I just wanted to set-up a functional site, and add my own content to the site, and focus my energy in that area. I am a writer, not a graphics designer, so that’s all I really want to do.

I did not want to have to concern myself with all the minute details of web design, I just wanted to approve the design and add content. Joomla is the closest thing I have found to what I have been looking for. It was first released in 2005, (I think), and it has been downloaded 10 million times. That is an impressive number of downloads in a relatively short period of time.

I have found that most web design software works well, if you have a knack for graphic design. I know what I like, and I do have a feel for graphics design, but I am not and I probably never will be a graphics designer.

All of the software outside of Joomla I have seen, looks like specialized desktop publishing for web sites. Joomla, is different, because there is a database behind it. Every web page you see, is created dynamically, or on-the-fly from the Joomla database. Web pages created by Joomla, are not at all like word processing or desktop publishing documents.

Because of the unique database Joomla creates, it has the ability to share the design expertise of skilled web designers that have already created working, full-function web sites. You can change the graphics, menu names, and even colors, (if you want).

If you use a Joomla design template it is like moving into a previously owned house. The house is completely built. All you have to do is move in your family, and all your stuff. You can decorate the house any way you want, and make it your own. You just do not need to do any construction.

When using Joomla, you will find that all of the links work, the layout is well organized on every single page, and there are many useful and easy to use options. Most of the templates have a large number of features that are built-in, that would be have to be customized by a web designer if a site was designed from scratch, such as a built-in blog, news feeds, RSS feeds, even custom forms can be added.

Did I mention that Joomla costs nothing to download ? That is probably the most outstanding and remarkable thing about Joomla. It is really almost too good to be true, but there it is.

In fact, my web hosting company, (see below link), had a push button Joomla installation, so it was extremely easy to install Joomla software to my web site.

Joomla also takes care of many search engine issues easily. With a push of a button you can create search engine friendly URL’s for all the web pages on your site. Many Joomla templates have built-in RSS feeds, news feeds, and a blog that you can update with fresh content. These are powerful features that can assist your web site promotion.

One final recommendation. If you are very new to the Internet, or to computers, you may want some assistance with your Joomla web site. It is relatively easy to set-up, configure and administer, but it is not a single push-button solution. If you have experienced any frustration with web design in the past, chances are you will be pleasantly surprised with Joomla.

Even if you want to have your web site customized by a web designer, you can probably find a designer who is familiar with Joomla. This will save you time and money, and give you increased flexibility. With Joomla, if you want to change the look and feel of your site sometime in the future, you can do it rather easily.

Good Luck with your web site promotion using Joomla !

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