Joomla! 2.5 - Things you need to know
The release of Joomla 2.5 is a step which marks a big and long-term change in the Joomla Community. No matter whether you have used Joomla before or are just learning about it now, you will find it necessary to know more about the latest version: Joomla 2.5. All of the basic questions you wonder about will be fully answered in this article.
What does Joomla 2.5 allow the user to do?
If you thought that only developers can build and run a website, it’s time to forget that. With Joomla 2.5, you are provided with a foundation framework to build your own website. If you’ve dreamed of having your own website, nothing can prevent you from trying to build a good one with Joomla. Joomla gives you all the things you need, and now you just need to learn how to master Joomla.
Joomla 2.5 is the latest version of Joomla; it was released in January, 2012. This is a long-term version in comparison with Joomla 1.6, Joomla 1.7. Basically, there are no big changes in this current version compared to the previous version. The interface as well as the basic structure of Joomla 2.5 is similar to Joomla 1.7, but there are some new features added in. These improvements give you a new experience to perfect your website with every passing day. The latest version of Joomla 2.5 is Joomla 2.5.4 (at the time of writing this article).
Here are some things you can do with Joomla:
- allows you to install Joomla templates as well providing you with the basic tools to customize it
- brings you a lot of useful components, such as search, contact, banner, messaging, etc.
- plug-ins help you to perform some functions automatically
- modules help you to render your web pages with different kinds of content
- allows you to build a multi-language website with the Language extension
- Extension Manager helps you to manage, install or uninstall a new extension
- allows you to create content using Article Manager, Category Manager and Media Manager
- allows you to create menus, sub-menus and nested menu links to be shown on your site in Menu Manager
- allows you to manage various kinds of users intelligently with User Manager. You can assign users to various user groups as well as give them certain permission to the different kinds of content on your site
What are the new features in Joomla 2.5?
In the Joomla 2.5 Administration interface, you are able to check whether your current Joomla version is updated to the latest version or not. If it is not the latest version, it looks like the figure below. To update, simple click on the icon
Click on the icon to update to the latest Joomla version
Now you will be redirected to Extension Manager; in the tab “Update”, check the box next to “Joomla” and then click “Update” on the toolbar.
Smart Search Component
In the previous Joomla versions such as Joomla 1.5, 1.6 or 1.7, the Search Component is built-in. You will place this component on your site so that visitors can search for the information they need. In Joomla 2.5, we have Smart Search; this is a good new feature although it hasn’t been made default instead of Search yet. Smart Search provides you with smart features for searching such as advanced search which allows you to search based on categories, authors, type and so on.
Captcha is newly-added plug-in in Joomla 2.5. It helps you to prevent spammers from logging in to your site. To use this plug-in, you need to go to http://www.google.com/recaptcha, and then follow the instructions to get a private key and public key. After that, you need go to User Manager >> Options and then in the tab Component, choose Captcha-Recaptcha for the drop-down Captcha.
User notes is a new feature which helps the user makes notes, events, memos. You can create a certain category and then add notes into it.
The features I mentioned above are just some examples of popular new features of Joomla 2.5. You can read a full article about these new features here.
Which kind of website can a user build with Joomla 2.5?
Joomla is suitable for all kinds of website, whether your website is for business, photography, entertainment, News, education or non - profit organization. Don’t believe me? See the Joomla Showcase now. There are many remarkable Joomla websites that belong to various different fields which you can find here. Some might inspire you to create your own future website.
The University of Notre Dame website http://ace.nd.edu/
The newspaper website www.kukksi.de
The country club China Fleet website www.china-fleet.co.uk
The Joomla 2.5 demo websites
The puzzle show website
Built based on Joomla 2.5, http://www.puzzleshow.com/ is an interesting website for entertainment. They provide you with hundreds of jigsaw puzzles at different levels, such as easy, medium, and difficult. This website is nicely-organized, easy to navigate and very vivid.
Tabletdoekjes.nl is a web shop built with Joomla 2.5. This site has its own template created by its own webmasters which is really elegant and clear. Some extensions used in this site are Chronoforms, Xmap, Snippets, JCE, JCE Mediabox, Gavick News Show, Gavick Image Show, etc.
The website “www.tabletdoekjes.nl/”
The Anaheim University website
Anaheim University is the preeminent online educational institute offering degree programs in TESOL. This website is an example of building an educational website with Joomla 2.5. It was built with Joomla 1.0 before and now this site has been converted to the latest version (Joomla 2.5), migrating over 1200 articles and videos as well. With a large website like this, they have attempted to create a nice design with 400+ menu items organized well. Visit it to get inspiration for your website!
I hope that this article gives you an overview about what Joomla 2.5 is. Although you will have to learn more about Joomla 2.5 in detail to know how to use this CMS to build a complete website, all the things I showed you above will convince you of the possibility of building different kinds of website based on Joomla 2.5. Will you get started now with Joomla 2.5?
What do you think about the information I have given you above? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us by leaving comments here!