What is Joomla & Best Practices for Webmasters
Joomla is one of the most powerful open source content management systems on the planet. It powers everything from government and corporate sites to ecommerce and hobby sites.
There are over 20 million websites powered by Joomla on the web. Some of them look great and are successful sites. Some of them don't and are a money pit for the webmaster.
What Is CMS And Why Joomla?
A Content Management System (CMS) allows you to make changes to your website easily with just a few clicks. The modifications you make are instantly applied to your website. The days of updating outdated links or content on every page of your website are over. Joomla offers a user friendly interface that can be learned within a few hours so that basic updates can be performed in-house.
What Types Of Sites Can I Build With Joomla?
Joomla is scalable as well as extremely customizable. Whether you are creating an online store or a simple 5 page company overview, Joomla offers the flexibility to change applications on the fly. Some of the types of websites you can run with Joomla are:
• Portal websites
• Member Based Websites
• Online Stores
• Blogs or News Sites
• Corporate Websites
• Personal Websites
How Is Joomla Going To Help Me Personally?
1. Are you paying a webmaster to update basic sections of your website? Why?
2. Would you like to be able to add/delete/modify the articles (pages) of your website including graphics and videos?
3. Would your company benefit by obtaining emails from interested customers who register on your website?
4. Would your company benefit by having a secure login section and the ability to access business critical information by authorized users only?
5. Are you using or plan to use an Email Marketing Company like iContact or Constant Contact?
6. Would you like to see an actual demo of how easy it is to add, modify or delete a website page in Joomla including menu navigation?
7. How much should my web hosting cost me? Unless you are paying for a dedicated server, anything more than $25 to $50 per month is likely too much.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Can Indeed Help Customers To Find You. It Can Also Be A Money Pitt If You Are Not Careful.
1. Is SEO just another money pit for those who understand just how simple SEO really is? It can be, but there are honest providers of this service. You can find them if you know what to look for and the right questions to ask.
2. What are the top three things that will improve my website SEO? You will be shocked to find out how easy they are and how little time they require to implement.
3. What is Google Analytics?
4. Does one have to be a scientific programmer or a marketing guru to understand Google Analytics? If you can read, add and subtract you can learn Google Analytics.
5. How much should SEO cost? With a little training you could maintain most if not all of your own SEO in-house.
6. Should I pay a monthly fee for SEO? Only if you require your service provide to clearly demonstrate what you are paying for. Do not accept just a sales pitch unless you are the kind of person that buys used cars "sight-unseen". It is wise to require a clear and detailed demonstration before you make your decision.
7. What is "Pay Per Click" advertising? This is an Internet SEO model to place you at the top of search engines to drive traffic to your website. You pay when your link is clicked. This service does make a difference in your SEO, even with a modest budget.
What Should I Know About Managing My Webmaster?
Great question. You should be the one managing your webmaster, not the other way around.
1. Have they documented your site?
2. Do you have a disaster recovery plan including what happens if your webmaster's service is unacceptable?
3. Do you own a complete, current backup of your website?
4. Have you learned how to backup your own website?
What Are Some "Best Practices" That I Should Require From My Webmaster In Case I Change Service Providers?
Here is where the good, the bad and the ugly come into play. Whenever a programmer is asked to take over an existing program, the new progrmamer is usually not too excited. The question that we all ask is what kind of a mess am I getting into, and is there any documentation? How many unsolved bugs are there that I do not even know about and the list of Murphy's items go on...
1. The webmaster should clearly document the layout and design of your website so that a non-programmer can understand it. Then if someone else has to take over your website for whatever reason, they will have the original webmaster's documentation.
2. Make sure you purchase and own your Domain, or website URL.
3. When you pay for a Webmaster's services, you are paying for all rights to the services and content they provide to you. Remember, you are not just buying the design services of a webmaster, you are also purchasing ALL of their work including documentation, backups, URLs and basically everything you need should you wish to change webmasters.
4. What is the most important thing a webmaster must do for their customers? Provide you with a "BACKUP" of your site and the ability to perform your own backups. If a webmaster is not willing to relinquish control of YOUR coded website - do not hire them. Information is power, but using information to protect ones job security is dishonest at best. The best job security plan I know is great customer service with clear and understandable documentation and honest work ethics. "Always ask for references".
In summary if a webmaster is willing to provide you with excellent documentation, a transparent explanation, and a meaningful demonstration of their services, then you are off to a great start. Be sure to take the necessary time to acquire comparative quotes. A responsible webmaster will take the time to explain, document and demonstrate what they are charging you for.
You do not have to spend countless hours trying to learn everything a webmaster knows because that is what you are paying them for. However, find one that is transparent and willing to teach you enough to where you feel you are getting a fair ROI. You are the one paying for their services. Great webmasters will work with you, as well as for you.
Jerry Angeletti is a former Scientific Oracle Warehouse Developer for Upjohn/Upjohn Pharmacia/Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. Jerry's career included assigning doctors, hospitals and HMO's to USA Territories for Sales and Marketing. He was also a Medical Programmer coding Efficacy and Adverse Event algorithms for FDA submissions. His final programming position was as a Scientific Programmer responsible for Oracle Warehouse Modeling. He developed a warehouse joining clinical and genetic data for statistical analysis with a new Scientific Informatics Unit. After a twenty year career he accepted an early buy-out and started his own business Angeletti Pictures in June of 2004.