Joomla! for Dummies

Author(s): Steve Holzner Ph.D Nancy Conner
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Pages: 360
ISBN: 978-0470432877
ASIN: 047043287X
Release Date: 16th January 2009


What is this? A review of a for Dummies book? Yep - no snobbery on this website. Content Management Systems (CMS) are the flavour of the moment in the IT industry and there is a clamour to jump aboard the bandwagon. Any fresh-faced CMS enthusiast may be overawed by the bewildering choice of products (open source and commercial) and may also be wondering what all the fuss is about. It would be a recommendation for anyone ready to make the leap into CMS to consider an open source product for starters. The two likeliest contenders with the best balance between functionality and simplicity would be Joomla! and WordPress. Having built sites using both, my feeling is Joomla! just edges it.

So having made the decision to look at Joomla!, where does the feldgling website builder turn for guidance? Joomla! for Dummies would be a good decision. The concept of CMS is easy to grasp for a seasoned IT pro, but the implementation of a CMS website requires careful planning and consideration. The book walks through the entire process, and points out potential pitfalls along the way. Some of the Joomla! 1.5 administration backend is arcane in the extreme and a novice could become quickly lost - for instance it is not immediately obvious that many content settings are on the content's menu page.

Covered in great detail is the notion of publishing and the rights Joomla! can confirm on a budding publisher; in that respect this book is ideal to give to clients to skim and that has been my policy in the past - this book comes into its own as a general overview and feature list for Joomla! and as such every client should read it to gain an appreciation whilst they compile their requirements documentation.

Like many books, and not just the for Dummies series, it could be argued this book does little more that trot out a series of screen images covering every possible menu item. But that would be disingenuous - this book has its niche, and that niche is for the CMS / Joomla beginner and the customer.