Is Joomla Dying?

Webbing Wednesdays Week #7

Is Joomla Dying

Joomla! One of the most fascinating and highly feature-rich CMS back in 2009 has been disappearing from the industry, because of few very obvious reasons it seems. Joomla came up with their first CMS version of 1.0 back in 2009, and was able to grab maximum attention because of its functionalities, backend user friendliness, updates and it was highly robust. This version was pretty much suitable for small to large website.

Joomla 1.0.15 had Mambo, which the team at Joomla completely thought of eliminating with the new version of 1.5 and destroyed the legacy of mambo. However it was just a very amateur behavior from team considering they put stability and continuity at stake. Every single user of Joomla was still happy using 1.5 because of the structural ability and the advancement of Modules and Plugins it had. However, it got worse when they started releasing the new updates and continued with the same practice of completely abandoning the old version and offering something entirely different. This was a wrong practice however, with the new versions they also abandoned the support for 1.5 and 1.0 including the plugins and including the components. So, every loyal Joomla user was left with no choice but to build the entire website from scratch and start all over again. The upgrade of Joomla was not seamless and again because of the backward compatibility issue it was always a nightmare for website owners. This leaves development companies with no choice but to let their customers choose the CMS which they are comfortable with and not the CMS which every time upgrades talks about the new website altogether. In merely 18 months the upgrades were necessary and it has been tough to convince not only the customers but any of the prospects to build the website the way it should be running. Over the period of years we have seen Joomla evolving in terms of CMS but website owners have always been reluctant in using it because of this very reason as it has not come down to the trust factor.

To build small scale website Joomla 1.0 would have been a best fit, however to build a 5 pages website, if we were to use Joomla 2.5/3.0/3.3 we would simply say AVOID, because of the only reason that its too much clustered to be useful for the same. We rather recommend to use CMS like WordPress which has evolved to a greater level and its lite enough to be used for the same.

It is important here to understand that the team of Joomla! has been most innovative and certainly of its kind, however the decisions they took somehow don’t seem to be customer centric and rather it more or less points to what they want to build as part of the CMS. It certainly is a good personal decision however, on a corporate level its really not creating winning situation for the users and because of which the less amount of people have been sticking to Joomla! Clear mode of catching this glitch is checking the Joomla Forums, they might have been dead for few years now or they might have had very less activity in last couple of years.

Techtic Solutions, was the biggest fan of this amazing CMS and we certainly weren’t the only one. Strangely we don’t like saying it, but the way it is at this point, Joomla is certainly dying!

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18 thoughts on “Is Joomla Dying?

  1. Hello Nisarg,

    Have you used joomla or what is the basis of you recent research ?

    If you look at the number of commits and releases Joomla has had on github you can see it is very active.

    The forum on jooml.org has many posts each day so I dont see how its dead, and there is now enough support for its own joomla stack exchange http://joomla.stackexchange.com/questions

    The other of your white board questions which I think are mostly valid questions, why would you want backwards compatibility ? what is it you want to move backwards? most extension makes build that can work over multiple version as the code base allows. I have never wanted to down grade a whole site, so not sure on that one.
    If on the other hand you mean support for the very old version 1 and version 1.5 then those changes where shown in joomla announcements for many months. You can not support old versions for ever and like WordPress and many others have to support the newer few versions and encourage people to move forward.
    There was a big system change after that version that was a positive thing and there are never guarantees to not have to rebuild. Drupal for example Forces a major change for each major version,6 -> 7 -> 8. Moves from Joomla 2.5 to 3.x were not the same work as before and new model has moved to small feature updates not big ones that make updates much easier for 3rd parties.

    Support in the community is still very good and all companies show for how long they will support versions, so support has been for 2 years for each long term version. Open Source cant be said to abandon after that, and others fill in.

    Only point which is something but is being examined by the joomla marketing team is the number of searches on joomla. Now this is just a proxy and not a real amount of joomla being used but how many people are searching for news on it on google. Because it is true open source and not backed and lead by a big profit making company like WordPress and Drupal who need people writing and making press releases and finance news on the brands for investors, it is as noted down. This is only in the searches on news, the number of downloads and installs is on a strong rise as reported from the download joomla servers.

    There is no way of knowing apart from what you like and maybe what a client or you know about installs to know how big any product is online as there is no scripts in them that phone home and report.

    Try version 3 for yourself and see it is not so different from WP and much easier than Drupal. The templates and overrides are much easier and cleaner to do than on the others though.

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    • Hi Tristan,

      Thanks for your inputs.

      By backward compatibility what we meant was, they took out the entire code and reengineered the engine, but made it even more heavier. Drupal is really not a comparison as we all know that we use Drupal for larger scale of websites. Joomla was used for smaller websites but they don’t have any button which says upgrade, neither do they have anything which is in lines to upgrading the version automatically without affecting the files, if the theme is built the right way. On many incidents it is evident that the website crashed because of the upgrade without having to change the core files.

      Talking about the extensions Joomla currently is serving 8186 extensions to the community which is way too less than what we have for WordPress. Again, the downfall of Joomla search given in the Google trends graph itself is talking a lot.

      It was one of the most favourite CMS and very well recommended to all of our clients but these days it just feels that is it on the right track, looking at the drastic fall of Joomla! in Google Trends!

      I sincerely thank you for throwing the lights on this topic, please keep reviewing our work and keep giving your valuable inputs on the articles. We appreciate it and express our gratitude!

      Thanks!

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      • I’m on Joomla since it was Mambo. It seems, that you try to start a holywar on the field WP vs Joomla with a linkbite intention.

        “8186 extensions to the community which is way too less than what we have for WordPress”? is that your quality criterion?

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      • No that is really not a criteria however, the work on Joomla! has significantly reduced. Less people are talking about it and certainly there is no war my friend. Its just something that we felt and raising our concerns.

        However, War is off the story, we love Joomla as much as we love WordPress, but reducing the popularity drastically means there is something wrong which we tried to identify and found plenty of reasons however we chose to put forward these major points.

        Thanks for the note though!

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      • Thank you for taking the time to reply and see that your thoughts are coming from your use and not just posting for links which some might

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      • Hi Tristan,

        Thank you very much for your note of gratitude. We have a team of 42 professionals working for us. We work with some of the small medium and large scale companies across 22 countries. So, yes the ideas that we are putting forward may not be at its best, but that shows our experience towards Joomla.

        To tell you the story, we used to build all the websites in Joomla until 2010 or late 2011, and then trend completely changed to WordPress and Joomla was something that no one was asking for, neither was talking about. There was always a scared feeling that if they upgrade their version they may have to rebuild the website if the upgrade is not improved. So, because of this belief in the customers, it was always hard to convince them for Joomla. I still like Joomla and I think they have a long way to go, but some decisions were harsh to the consumers, this is exactly what we have to say.

        Thank you once again and lets keep in touch.

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      • I just wanted to respond to two points in this comment:

        “but they don’t have any button which says upgrade”

        Since the 2.5 release there has been a built-in upgrade feature which is pretty seamless. You can also upgrade extensions within Joomla’s updater if they support it. I can only assume this is referring to *seriously* old Joomla sites, e.g. 1.5 and earlier.

        “neither do they have anything which is in lines to upgrading the version automatically without affecting the files, if the theme is built the right way.”

        As above. In virtually every case I have ever seen of a site ‘breaking’ since 2.5 when an update has been applied, it has been due to the following:

        1. Extensions needing to be updated beforehand (if this is the case the extension developers generally make very public announcements to that effect)
        2. Poor coding practice (e.g. hard-coded hacks in Joomla files) by whoever designed the site
        3. Bloated templates which have dependencies on deprecated code

        The above issues are not anything that Joomla as a project has control over – it’s up to developers and website designers to make sure they are following best practice, and to us as administrators to ensure that we follow best practice when updating sites 🙂

        Hope that brings a bit of balance 🙂

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      • Thanks for the counter arguments, however don’t you think that there are many of these arguments where Joomla! has actually failed to keep themselves up and running?

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  2. Don’t forget that the usage of Joomla is very high in non english speaking countries. Infact the spanish speaking community is huge.

    Here is a great presentation done by Jessica Dunbar that talks about the stats and usage of Joomla and why it may seem like it is dying ~ it’s just spreading wide.

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  3. I can not confirm, at least not for our agency. We are getting more requests for Joomla! than for WordPress or Typo3. But this may be because in Germany Joomla! is very popular. It must also be seen, in which region joomla! much is used. In addition, there are many developers, Joomla! is constantly being developed and compared to, for example, wordpress, it has great benefits that you can on our website http://www.webdesign-kummert.de/cms-firma also read well. Best regards Jan

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  4. Joomla! Is dying
    because they has canceled the STS/LTS strategy, and they end of it because they
    cannot develop a J! X.5 with a high new functionality that make developers wait
    for it anymore.

    IT is
    dying because they say that Joomla! 3.5 will out in March 2014 and we are now
    in 07/07/2014 and it is not released yet, they say that it will be amazing and
    full of great functions and more and more…

    HOWEVER,
    there is nothing!

    Peoples
    has no long confidence on it anymore, developers, designers, customers…

    Peoples
    want to trust things, want to trust on what they work,
    wants to trust on the future of theirs Jobs, I am a Joomla! Developer and I am afraid
    to continue with it, Joomla! Can easily close the door and that is all, they
    write an article on their website and we finish, that is ALL.

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    • Thank you for the insights. I think we agree to all of that mentioned in your comments. Thank you for comprehensive email and thank you for your efforts.

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  5. I’m a fan of Joomla, heck – I have 36 extensions in the JED (many #1 in their categories, in one category my extensions rank the 1st ,2nd , 3rd and 5th). But the truth is plain to see – something is wrong with Joomla.

    You say it keeps up with trends? I asked the core devs about Bootstrap 3 and was told maybe they’ll think about looking into it in Joomla 4. For the longest time I asked if they’d update MooTools and they didn’t, instead they implemented jQuery alongside MooTools and now as a dev I have to be able to support both in my extensions (written with compatibility in mind).

    Many of the core devs suffer from the same “Not Invented Here” dysfunction as Daniel J. Bernstein (the author of qmail) – while it works well for DJB, I see many things implemented in Joomla that have been implemented better else where. Why didn’t they use an existing proven solution? I say it’s vanity.

    I’ve spent a lot of time developing in the Joomla universe – and I’m sad to see it go this way. At some point you’ve got to stop bailing and find a life raft.

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