You’ve got a good grasp on what your needs are today. But
what will tomorrow bring? Will you need to add new sections, new features and
services to your website? What will it cost? How long will it take?
Did you know there is a hidden "time bomb" in most websites built by web developers - a time bomb that is likely to mean you'll have to start all over again in just a few years?
This could get a little "dry" for some of you, but it is important to your website's success, so please try to bear with me..
Most web and desktop applications are written in what is
called procedural code. Until just a couple of years ago, this is how I wrote
all my programs too.
A better way is Object Oriented Programming, aka: “OOP”.
But it takes a more highly trained programmer to write OOP code, and it takes much longer.
What this means to you is that it is expensive to hire a
programmer to develop an entire custom website in OOP type code.
So what happens when your website is written with procedural
As time goes on and new features are added, changes are made,
etc., the code gets more “tangled” and it becomes difficult to work with
because a change in one place often affects code in other places and you get
“bugs” and other problems that may not be noticed right away.
And, there is a hidden time bomb - If you change developers, it is often not economically feasible
for your new web person to continue with your existing application because it
is too difficult to follow the code and understand the programming
logic. It is often actually quicker and cheaper to start all over again than for your new developer to spend the time to try and learn your old application.
After enough time, it can even get to be too much for your
original programmer to maintain. On several large projects, before I started using Joomla, I’ve even reached the
point where, after a few years, it became too difficult to continue to change and add on to one of my own big
applications and we needed to rewrite the website from scratch.
How is Joomla different?
Joomla is written in modular OOP style PHP code. code. Although it
takes a more highly trained programmer, OOP code is easy for an OOP programmer
to read and understand. Huge web programs are made up of many small, reusable,
well-tested modules and functions. No matter how large the application grows,
no matter how many features are added, there is no “tangled” code and each
module remains small, simple and easy to read.
With Joomla, you’ll rarely need a web developer, but if you do
and if you change developers, your Joomla website will be very familiar to
him. Nothing new for him to have to learn or to figure out. A big plus is
that the pool of Joomla web developers you’ll have to choose from is very
large, which not only means good availability but also that rates will be
Your Joomla web application will be continually updated and
you’ll be able to receive updates for free. Installation of Joomla updates
does not require a web professional – just a few mouse-clicks.
When you consider the thousands of extensions available for
Joomla, and all the features you can add with them, flexibility in terms of
power and features is nearly unlimited. New extensions are being written every
day, so you can be assured that your website will be able to stay on the
cutting edge of web features.
Same thing with web design. Tens of thousands of design templates are available for Joomla. Many are free, some have a small fee. New
designs are created every day. CompuSolver.com customers
can choose from the RocketTheme.com gallery of design templates at no cost.
RocketTheme.com offers a new design each and every month.
If for some reason, you can’t find a design you like from
this almost limitless array of themes, you can always have a custom Joomla
design template created for you, just ask us and we’ll make it happen.
Something we haven’t discussed is compatibility and Web
standards. Every couple of years, Web standards change, browsers change (and
they don’t always adhere to the “standards”!) and these changes often cause web
pages to break and error-out.
Most small business owners never know when browsers and
standards change to the point where some of their web pages no longer work
properly in some browsers. Visitors to their website who experience problems
will just click away and other than reduced profits, the business owner never
realizes what’s happening.
And if he did know, he’d be spending money to have a web
professional go completely through his website every year or two, looking for
things that may cause problems in one or more of the many web browsers that
each have their own quirks and compatibility issues, including –
With Joomla, you’ll never have to spend a penny to ensure
your website is always compatible with the most popular browsers. Joomla’s
large development community will take care of that for you and they’ll do it
for free! (Though it is a good idea to donate to the Joomla organization from
time to time.)
Making compatibility and usability even more complicated is
the growing popularity of PDAs and mobile phones that can surf the Web. At
this time, there are at least three free extensions available on Joomla.org
that will detect a PDA or iPhone, etc. and automatically allow switching to a
Beware, not all CMS systems are good -
There are some web developers touting various named "CMS" (content management systems) applications. I just did research on Oklahoma web developers and found several touting CMS systems that, as it turns out, they had written themselves! These will not have hundreds of developers supporting them like Joomla has; these will not have thousands of extensions available for free that can be installed with a few mouse-clicks; these will not have thousands of easily changable template designs for you to choose from. Most importantly, they do not have the tremendous support and security that Joomla has and they are still subject to the "time bomb" issues discussed earlier.
Hiring a web developer to write a custom web application for you, or to use a CMS system he has written, is a lot like getting married, because the larger the application, the more difficult it will be to ever change developers until you begin to feel you're stuck with him, "til death do us part"!
Keep your options open with Joomla, a well-supported, easy to use, open-source content management system.