Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

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Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by ym1 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:43 pm

Currently I use Wordpress for the majority of my sites. Lately I've been considering using Joomla for a few sites so I thought I'd post here to see if the Joomla community might sway me to use Joomla over Wordpress.

I'm planning on launching a new community site for a specific niche. While WP is great, it has some limitations in terms of being a non-blogging platform. For instance there is no way to remove dates in posts without going into the theme files and manually taking out the code or setting up a child theme. Post dates are still in metadata and I find it extremely frustrating.

For this site I just want to write undated articles as I will only update sporadically. I want it kind of feel like a "news blog" on the frontpage but the articles must be undated. Is Joomla ideal for this? Here it looks easy;

https://docs.joomla.org/Removing_author ... an_article

WP plugins I like to use currently are;
  • PrettyLinkPro - For cloaking affiliate links
    NextScripts - For automatic social sharing
    Yoast SEO - For doing SEO
    Ultimate Nofollow - Allows you to put in nofollow attribute for links
    Broken Link Checker - Check for broken links
    Redirection - Helps manage 301 redirects
I'm wondering what equivalent extensions/modules are there for Joomla?

I've considered using Buddypress and bbPress for this community site. I know Kunena is good forum software and is actively supported.

http://www.kunena.org/

There is Community Builder but it seems to get full functionality you need to spend the $400+ a year on the subscription. Is there a good free alternative for Joomla like Buddypress for Wordpress? The other plugin I'd use for this community site if I went with WP is S2member. Is there something like this for Joomla? What about WooCommerce or WPecommerce Joomla equivalent extension?

What about integrating RSS feeds from other sources? Is Feedgator the best extension?

http://extensions.joomla.org/extension/feedgator

Editing the backend of WP is great. I know natively most people don't' like Joomla so I guess most people install K2?

http://getk2.org/

Any other editing Joomla extensions that make editing articles easier?

I like in WP updates are a breeze (most of the time). From what I've read generally updating Joomla is not as easy. If you are used to WP updates how hard is it to update Joomla?

Any opinions or advice about using Joomla vs Wordpress would be appreciated.

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by slavelle » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:48 pm

Just wanted to make sure you got a reply to your query...

Turning off the dates is pretty straightforward as are a LOT of the options in Joomla! The biggest thing to overcome is that it is not WordPress. It's a different animal and you should learn the "anatomy" of how it works so that it doesn't frustrate you. It's a great system that I personally WAY prefer to WordPress. For the number of people that I've heard say "Wordpress is so easy", I find it cumbersome and very code driven for anything you want to do that isn't out of the box, where there are a LOT of options in Joomla, they are there because you can do so many things with it before you have to resort to code.

Also, as you have noted in your request, getting the right extensions is key to making your Joomla! site work the way you want it to. Like the Apple Store, there are a ton of extensions available, but this doesn't mean they are all GOOD ones. There are a lot that are great and some that are just plain bad. Use the Joomla Extensions Directory and the reviews there to help guide you to the ones worth using.

As for your specific questions:

PrettyLinkPro - For cloaking affiliate links
- not sure on this one
NextScripts - For automatic social sharing
- I use Social Backlinks, which is available here (not free, but inexpensive and connects articles, K2, and Zoo components to Facebook (x2), Twitter, LinkedIn, and another I don't know of): http://www.joomunited.com/products/social-backlinks
Yoast SEO - For doing SEO
- I don't use an SEO plugin, just supply the appropriate metadata for the menu items that link to the content. Yoast still seems very keyword oriented, which the search engines are less interested in than they used to be.
Ultimate Nofollow - Allows you to put in nofollow attribute for links
- not sure on this one
Broken Link Checker - Check for broken links
- I use Google webmaster tools to get a view from the outside on this. There is another local install tool that works well, again looking at the links from the outside: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html - not a very fancy website, but the tool produces a complete report
Redirection - Helps manage 301 redirects
- I have used ReDJ for this (http://extensions.joomla.org/extension/redj), though the sh404SEF tool seems to be the most popular option in the Joomla community for this and many other things like it: http://anything-digital.com/sh404sef/se ... oomla.html

I haven't used communitybuilder myself, but it is one of two that are popular on the Joomla side. In case you didn't see, there are three levels of CB - one is free with a limited feature-set: https://www.joomlapolis.com/memberships. The other option there is Jomsocial: http://www.jomsocial.com/ - depending on who you ask, you will find pros and cons for each, though jomsocial has no free version

As for feeds, it depends on what you want to do. You can display RSS feeds in any "module position" on the page using the built in module called Feed Display.

Joomla 3 is much improved on the backend to Joomla < 3.x. I guess it depends on what you like, but K2 is not necessary for this unless there are specific things that you want from K2. K2 is, however, a decent Blogging component. We also use it for our WebSite Portfolio. YooTheme's Zoo is also good for a Blog. Both are free and both are CCK (content construction kits) where you can include things like extra fields and other more advanced things. Each one can be pretty deep too both from a capabilities perspective and learning curve. Worth the effort to learn, in my opinion.

I would recommend getting JCE for editing. It's free unless you want the additional plugins for it. Some people like JCK (or now called Arc editor I think). Both allow drag and drop of images directly into their editing window from your local computer, so no "media manager" required for this.

Most Joomla updates are simple. You go to the component, select the updates you want (like whether to use Long Term Support versions, Short Term Support versions, Test versions, or custom URLs for your updates. Then you select "Install the update". Then it's done. Pretty simple.

That said, you certainly want to back up the site before you do this and know your restore procedures because updates CAN break things sometimes. Use the free Akeeba backup component to get a zip file of the whole site and THEN do your upgrade.

There are also "magical" updates to some extensions that are "one click" though I usually steer clear of these because I like to control things a bit more. Also, if you customize a template (WordPress theme), you will want to make sure you know how to restore your customizations to that before you just update to a new version of a template, which might mow down your customizations.

If you are looking to use a template, I can recommend that you check out a few of the free options from JoomlArt. Their templates are built on their own T3 Framework, which definitely changes a few things about the admin, but adds a lot of functionality as well to the base Joomla.

I hope that this response has useful info in it and that maybe it will get spidered by the Search Engines for others looking for breakdown.

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by ShibumiDesign » Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:39 am

You also mentioned Kunena forum extension... I have built 3-4 dozen Joomla sites over the years, from as far back as when it was Mambo CMS! I currently run and maintain about 10-12 Joomla sites on an ongoing basis, and have a couple that run phpBB forums within Joomla with the JFusion extension. The nice thing about Kunena is the extension integrates everything right into Joomla - no bridge required, no dual logins (one of the biggest issues I had with using phpBB was the dual login broke every time you updated Joomla)

I tried out WordPress, but being a Joomla user for almost 20 years, I could not wrap my head around WordPress, I also tried Drupal CMS and couldn't even get it installed properly to even start setting it up! I guess I am somewhat biased to Joomla in that respect... BUT... I find Joomla tends to be much easier to use, once you get used to how things work. Templates for Joomla... I purchased my own copy of Artisteer (their ad runs quite frequently in these forums) to create my own custom templates which is a great wysiwyg template editor/creator tool, but can be a bit frustrating at times if you want a little more control over your template layout. I recently started working more and more with RocketTheme's Gantry framework based templates, and man they have some very impressive stuff - based on twitter's 12 column grid responsive framework, grantry based RT templates are incredible, and if you can wait a bit, RocketTheme is currently hard at work on their next generation Gantry 5 based framework - check out Gantry 5 blog page from RocketTheme - what they have coming looks absolutely incredible! This short [youtube] video shows the template layout manager.

slavelle was pretty bang on about the article stuff - each article can be individually controlled to display what you want, or you can "globally" set what to display for all articles, and then still override individual articles to show something different. Another great feature/ability of Joomla is you can also create "Language" overrides, as Joomla uses language "definition" files, for example, COM_CONTENT_LAST_UPDATED="Article Updated: %s" in my language overrides, means that in the component php file that calls COM_CONTENT_LAST_UPDATED it will show Article Updated: %s where %s is the date the article was modified instead of Modified Date: %s. Nice thing about the Language Overrides, is whenever Joomla gets updated to the most current version, your modifications aren't lost or reverted back to the Joomla Core stuff! And then you also have Template overrides as well... I've been making a lot more use of these since Joomla 3.x also has the ability to create override files for components, modules, and layouts - copying the files necessary into the html folder in your active template directory.

Functionality, flexibility, extensibility, responsive grid system templates and so much more, I think makes Joomla unquestionably the top CMS out there!

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by MrCollins » Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:47 am

I'm about 3 months into my first joomla site and I'm very impressed. I've built 7 wordpress sites and bought thesis and elegant themes. I can do more with joomla3 on Gantry with a template than I could on wordpress. There's definitely more technical know how needed in joomla but it's mostly knowing where to go find which setting or menu item to turn on or off that covers the item in question. I haven't had to write one single html or css line yet which was guaranteed with wordpress. For a simple site, wordpress works, if you want something beefier but don't want to be a developer with drupal or something bigger, then joomla is the sweet spot.

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by ym1 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:18 am

Thanks for the lengthy reply Scott. It was extremely helpful.
slavelle wrote:For the number of people that I've heard say "Wordpress is so easy", I find it cumbersome and very code [drive] for anything you want to do that isn't out of the box, where there are a LOT of options in Joomla, they are there because you can do so many things with it before you have to resort to code.
Can you give some specific examples? What type of sites were you building?

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by ym1 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:31 am

ShibumiDesign wrote:I tried out WordPress, but being a Joomla user for almost 20 years, I could not wrap my head around WordPress, I also tried Drupal CMS and couldn't even get it installed properly to even start setting it up! I guess I am somewhat biased to Joomla in that respect... BUT... I find Joomla tends to be much easier to use, once you get used to how things work.
Why couldn't you get your head around WP Shibumi? I generally find it easy but there are frustrating things about it. Drupal is impossible, built by devs for devs.

How long did it take before you were proficient with Joomla?
ShibumiDesign wrote:slavelle was pretty bang on about the article stuff - each article can be individually controlled to display what you want, or you can "globally" set what to display for all articles, and then still override individual articles to show something different.
Great, this is what I wanted to know. A feature that should be native in Wordpress imo.

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by ym1 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:39 am

MrCollins wrote:I'm about 3 months into my first joomla site and I'm very impressed. I've built 7 wordpress sites and bought thesis and elegant themes. I can do more with joomla3 on Gantry with a template than I could on wordpress. There's definitely more technical know how needed in joomla but it's mostly knowing where to go find which setting or menu item to turn on or off that covers the item in question. I haven't had to write one single html or css line yet which was guaranteed with wordpress. For a simple site, wordpress works, if you want something beefier but don't want to be a developer with drupal or something bigger, then joomla is the sweet spot.
So the issue you were finding was that you were buying themes and you couldn't customize them easily and to your liking? Do you know HTML and CSS?

Some WP customizations can be frustrating as you have to do PHP changes. I'm not allergic to code but the majority of time most people don't want to deal with coding if they don't have to.

Thanks for the advice @MrCollins.

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by foreverfan » Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:39 pm

I got 3 Joomla websites and used them over a several years now.
I always use http://extensions.joomla.org/ and i also look at the reviews before installing anything

I tried other systems like Drupal (trying them on wamp) i managed to install it
It looks good, because you can use the admin on the frontpage and it looks very simple.

I tried wordpress, i managed to add text, templates, etensions, but i found it harder to change the templates, and i think joomla is easier in that part.


I worked on fiverr and i moved almost any kind of website, cms systems are as far of i know based on php scripts so moving them works the same, you need to move the sql, and the files and change the configuration file to the new database

I like the huge extension database of Joomla. I always sai i never move to Joomla i used Mambo before, but after an update Mambo didnt show my website correctly, and i tried installing the Joomla script, my site was up again. I didnt return to Mambo again, because Joomla was working for me, and i never moved, even though i tried several systems.

wordpress and drupal look more simple, but i dont like simple, i like to be able to adjust things, install plugins, modules, components and work with them. And i know how to work with them. If to easy building a website is not a challenge anymore... and challenge is what you are looking for move to Joomla :D

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by ym1 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:35 pm

Seems a good ecommerce solution for Joomla is Virtuemart.

http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions ... virtuemart

Looks pretty customizable and it has a lot of extensions but I don't see as many nicely designed ecommerce themes as I do for WP.
Last edited by ym1 on Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by foreverfan » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:58 pm

i can relate to how you feel. If you are using a cms that cms seems better but if you are using Joomla for a while you find more templates, etensions, plugins and find Joomla better.

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by slavelle » Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:34 am

I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of Virtuemart. Yes, it's popular and there are a number of themes available for it, but it's a bit cantankerous to work with in the back end. There are a lot of features that are really hard to find or for which you must resort to the PHP to get to them - things that seem like they should be fairly simple to accomplish, like who to email when orders come in or to change the name at the top of an email for example.

I had to use it on a site where they needed a particular feature (which was available via a plugin) to gather a lot of form fields along with a purchase - in this case it was for a high school football team registration where they could fill the form with all the player details and pay for the registration at once. Worked fine, but was a bear to get going. Unfortunately, at the time the site was made, Virtuemart was not yet compatible with Joomla 3.x, so we had to go with 2.5. This was a sacrifice JUST to get that function. Otherwise, it would be on 3.x and not need to be upgraded now.

Maybe the newest version is better than the one I used, but the 2.x version was terrible to use, template, etc in my opinion.

The best no-nonsense, get a cart up and running that we've found is eShop from joomdonation.com. It wouldn't have worked for this particular site, but it's been great to work with in getting a few simple stores setup and working without a lot of hassle. It's not free, but only $35 for the 6 month subscription. I EASILY wasted far more than that just trying to get the Authorize.net SIM plugin working with Virtuemart.

As for your other question above regarding specific examples of where WordPress was more difficult to use than it seems it should have been...

I have had to take over a few sites that were built by other developers and they were done on "free themes". It seems in each of at least three of these cases, the only parts that are easy to manipulate have been the POSTS/PAGES themselves. Every other thing has required that the template code was messed with, and in many cases in very inefficient ways: having to create menu items manually, having to deal with poorly written image sliders, having to update the "header" of the page for a phone number or something, and a few other issues. None of these things would have required anything outside of the Joomla admin had they been done there. These were maybe examples of bad developer practices, but in any event, I've still not found that WordPress, even for the updating of posts and pages is any easier to use than Joomla, really, so I don't GET the hype around its popularity.

I'm not really that interested in learning it at this point either to a real depth since I've yet to see anything it can do that Joomla cannot. Just my opinion of course, and my experience/self-training, but I prefer Joomla's interface and just about everything else about it.

I realize that as a site builder, I'm going to have to get into the code once in a while, and I actually sometimes like this. I think it's what allows me to stay in business where I don't think and end-user should need to understand that to update their site just about completely, and I've just found that for those things, the code has to be seen/touched in WordPress for many of the basics where it just doesn't seem like the site-OWNER should ever have to deal with it. THAT is why they hire my company to build them a website and teach them to use it.
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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by Gany » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:10 am

That confirms my impression of Virtuemart. What shoppingcart would you recommend?

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by hazel1919 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:59 am

Hikashop!

:)

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by foreverfan » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:08 am

I tried Virtuemart before, i think its a difficult shop (and im not a joomla novice) that you have to configure entirely. There are better options in the shop category of the Joomla extensions

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by slavelle » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:59 am

As mentioned above, I have had a good experience with eShop for http://joomdonation.com
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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by ym1 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:31 pm

foreverfan wrote:I tried wordpress, i managed to add text, templates, etensions, but i found it harder to change the templates, and i think joomla is easier in that part.

I like the huge extension database of Joomla.
Many WP themes are not made to be customized even if they advertise they are.

WP has a much better plugin database.

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by slavelle » Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:05 pm

Hey ym1 - please explain what you mean by WordPress having a better plugin database?
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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by Gany » Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:38 am

WP is made for blogging. I find most WP plugins are focused on that.

Yes, WP has 3x more extensions available than Joomla. But most of them are entirely focused on blogging. However, if you exclude typography extensions, Joomla has more extensions to choose from than WP.

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by ShibumiDesign » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:02 pm

Not sure if anyone uses or follows RocketTheme's Gantry Framework and/or Templates, but they have a new version of Gantry (5) coming soon, and the potential with this for Joomla is absolutely phenomenal! When it comes to templates, or styling your Joomla site, I think RocketTheme will take the prize here. Check out their blog posts regarding the NEW Gantry 5: I was using Artisteer to build my own templates and never was really big on RocketTheme stuff, until I recently started playing around some of their newer Gantry driven templates, and Gantry standalone... and I AM IMPRESSED - Gantry 5 I think will change the way we look at Joomla in general and will be - in my opinion anyways - a major game changer!

I agree with Gany, WP is a blogging platform, Joomla has far more flexibility.

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by ym1 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:08 am

slavelle wrote:Hey ym1 - please explain what you mean by WordPress having a better plugin database?
A lot more plugins with more functionality. More developers offer freemium options with WP from what I can tell.

Gantry5 is for WP and Joomla @ShibumiDesign. Also it looks like the RocketTheme blog is run on WP, unless that is Gantry running on Joomla. :)

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by darb » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:08 am

http://www.rockettheme.com/blog/team/17 ... ut-manager

This is Joomla. Why you think its WP?
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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by ShibumiDesign » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:06 pm

@ym1 yes, Gantry is for both, so are their templates... but I think if you read deeper, Gantry 5 is designed more with Joomla in mind than WP, and Gantry 5 will make using Joomla even easier.

RocketTheme site is a Joomla site
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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by slavelle » Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:55 am

YooTheme's Warp framework and templates are also both Joomla and Wordpress friendly. I still have opted to continue my use of the JoomlArt T3 framework - I just haven't settled into learning another one at the depth I know T3 and I just am not convinced about the "better-ness" of WordPress to make it worth my while.
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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by ym1 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:38 am

darb wrote:This is Joomla. Why you think its WP?
Haven't seen Joomla blogs that look that clean. It is a company that sells themes though.

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by slavelle » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:03 pm

Hey Ym - in this case, The RocketTheme site's blog appears not to even be a "blogging" component on top of Joomla!, rather just category/article layouts made to look blog-like with Disqus comments on the bottom.

If you use one of the modern frameworks with a decent template (custom or bought), you can get a very clean look. It just so happens that so many sites are poorly done (in Joomla! and in other things) that people assume that all Joomla sites MUST have to look crowded and undersigned. It's just not true. If the developer know what they are doing, you should really be able to tell from the front end of any website what it was built with unless you look to the code behind it.
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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by darb » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:33 am

ym1 wrote:
darb wrote:This is Joomla. Why you think its WP?
Haven't seen Joomla blogs that look that clean. It is a company that sells themes though.
FYI.

Hmmmm if you cant judge if its Joomla or Wordpress bloging site then its difficult to have an opinion of each other if you don't know what you compare? Rocketheme and Gantry5 is developed of one of Joomla old funders and have lately also start doing Wordpress themes.
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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by ym1 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:35 pm

I've tried playing around with Joomla. To be honest there are certain things I like about it but in general it's a PIA. Doesn't seem to be a way to easily remove numbers in the URL structure and not have pages be in a category.

I'm sticking with WP.

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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by darb » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:47 am

ym1 wrote:I've tried playing around with Joomla. To be honest there are certain things I like about it but in general it's a PIA. Doesn't seem to be a way to easily remove numbers in the URL structure and not have pages be in a category.

I'm sticking with WP.
Well of course if you just start to use Joomla instead of Wordpress things working differently.

So what numbers are you talking about removing? Dont you use htaccess or what?

Joomla have the most powerful nested hierarchies categories structure with granular ACL that you also can use as menu structure also so what do you mean?

What numbers are you talking about? Its a setting in the backend use ht access and use Search Engine Friendly URLs = yes User url rewriting= yes. Its fundamental things :pop

Give some example if you are so "deep" in really try to use Joomla bcs you are used to Wordpress so of course its different and especially if you are not a developer.

Maybe we can help you understand what you can do or find solution for what you want to achieve i f you describe your problems a little bit more..?
Success in the long run Its not about the code its about the people and community that's make it!
Its not what you say its what you do that matters!

Darb - aka ssnobben

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JAVesey
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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by JAVesey » Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:18 am

darb wrote:So what numbers are you talking about removing? Dont you use htaccess or what?
darb wrote:What numbers are you talking about? Its a setting in the backend use ht access and use Search Engine Friendly URLs = yes User url rewriting= yes. Its fundamental things :pop
@darb
Do you use Joomla's SEF/htaccess yourself? If you did you'd see that the URL's generated have the article number in them and then you wouldn't be so dismissive of the question or the user who commented.

Your posts are reading as though you are being dismissive of other users comments and concerns. Maybe try reading what you have typed before hitting the "Submit" button? ;)
John V
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Re: Sway me to Use Joomla (over Wordpress)

Post by darb » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:04 am

ok to make it quick with a article I have here..

http://www.staging3.dreamhouses.com/hom ... bers-where

What, where are you talking about numbers in an article?

Please help me understand what y o u mean and whats the problem?
Success in the long run Its not about the code its about the people and community that's make it!
Its not what you say its what you do that matters!

Darb - aka ssnobben


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