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Joomla 3.3.3

Joomla Editor's Review

Joomla is a free, open-source content management system (CMS). It can be used to build online stores and sites with membership areas, such as networks and message boards. Joomla is similar in some ways to weblogging software like WordPress; the main difference is that Joomla is designed to create networks and portals rather than blogs. Written in PHP, Joomla is a complex piece of software with a lot of built-in adaptability.

The software supports third-party plugins and there are plenty to choose from, both free and commercial. These can dramatically expand the functionality of the software; they also help in patching some of the gaps in Joomla's capabilities. The lack of "friendly URL" support means that you're stuck with long, random URLs unless you use a plugin. There's also no built-in commenting system.

When you access your back-end site, you're presented with a menu containing icons for Joomla's key managers -- Article, Categories, Menu, etc. It's relatively easy to create your basic navigation structure -- Joomla doesn't require you to learn HTML. Things rapidly become complicated, however, with a wide array of available options that can daunt the new user. The menu is easy enough to navigate, but the depth of the software means that it'll take some time to master.

Pro's: Versatile, powerful and open-source with plenty of additional plugins.

Con's: Hard for a beginner to use. Lack of search-friendly URLs or comment system.

Conclusion: A great CMS, provided you can invest the time to learn it.

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