Q: What is Joomla!?
A: It's a Content Management System for your website - and the ! is part of the name.
Q: What is the 2.5 upgrade?
A: An important "migration" from the old 1.5 version for security, continued support, and loads of new features.
I say migration and not just upgrade because going from the 1.5 version to the 2.5 can be a pretty involved process, depending on the complexity of the site.
Why do you care?
Depending on who you are, you might not care at all, but there are two groups who will:
- Those who want a new, easily updated website but don't already have one
- Those who have a Joomla! 1.5 website and want continued security updates and support for their current extensions.
Whichever group you fall into, Joomla! 2.5.x is the current long-term supported release, replacing 1.5.x, 1.6, and 1.7. April 2012 marks the last month that Joomla! 1.5 will be supported with patch releases - security mostly.
Much of the appeal of Joomla! is how many ways it can be extended. As of right now, the official Joomla! extensions site is showing 9,464 different extensions, each one offering a different take on a huge variety of content types, ranging from Facebook Like buttons and Twitter activity feeds to complete payment management systems for private content, political contributions, or donations of any kind. As sites and users move to 2.5, extension creators will also stop supporting their 1.5 extensions.
A few of the New Features
Aside from the security patches and extension support, version 2.5 brings a number new, very notable features. Two of these new features are:
- A richer user management and ACL system (Access Control Lists = permissions)
- Nested categories
The New Access Control List feature
There are a lot of applications for the ACL feature, but the most immediate use is to allow registered members to access some content that the general public can't. Where this is better than Joomla! 1.5 is that there are many more levels of control and granularity. In the old version, you could only assign either "public" or "registered" levels of access. But what if you want only a certain group of people to access a certain group of articles? This is where the 2.5 ACL comes into play. You can have any user access any article (or not). This really allows for a content subscription site or other "fee for information" site. It also works well for a membership or team site.
The nested categories feature isn't completely new. In the old system, you had two available levels: section and category. Now you have basically as many nested levels as you need. While only 2 or 3 layers may be needed for most practical cases, there is no actual limit. This is a much more flexible content architecture than before, enabling all sorts of categprizatoin for your website content.
- Do you have a website that needs some freshening up, especially if you want to be able to easily update the content, such as picture galleries, news and updates, blog posts, or even entire user forums?
- Do you have a Joomla! site based on version 1.5 and want to get on the newest release?
- Do you want to setup a new website that you will be able to easily maintain with new content, but that is built completely from scratch - no free templates, no purchased templates, no template generators?
Joomla! may be the solution for you and Technical Resource Solutions can probably help.