Why You Need to Know about Joomla
Most small business owners are not aware that nowadays even a rather sophisticated website can be built for as little $3000. Most small business owners are not aware of the many advantages delivered by open-source web content management systems (CMS) in general and and Joomla in particular. It is important to have some basic understanding of why an open-source CMS like Joomla is so good to have.
- Save 70-90% in expenses you would otherwise incur if you get a website without an open-source web CMS or wil get yourself locked into a proprietary CMS
- Get your website up and running in a matter of days or weeks, not months
- Liberate you from web publishing software (DreamWeaver, etc.) or from having to know HTML, CSS and web design in general
- Simplify your website content management down to the process which is 90% similar to the way we use Gmail and Yahoo
- Liberate you from using a web designer for every little tweak and minor content updates
- It will ensure you have a truly professional website in a full compliance with all modern web design standards and regulations
- It will ensure that your website is 100% SEO friendly and that your SEO can be scaled further with the least amount of effort
- Additions of new features, such as installing a shopping cart or a newsletter sign-up, can be incorporated on the fly
- Moving your website to a new hosting provider is much easier than with commercial CMSs
- A complete make-over, with a totally new look and feel, would be a matter of several days of work, not a whole new web design project.
Before content management systems became widely available, every web element or feature needed to be coded indivudally by hand from scratch. This was very time consuming and expensive. With the advent of web content management systems, especially open-source web CMS systems like Joomla, it became possible to use pre-made components, modules and plugins that can be installed out of the box and configured to enable various functions and features. This practically eliminated the need for hand coding and saved 70-90% of development time. And it also enabled people who know nothing about web design to receive instant access to their website content and manage it in a fast and simple way.
Joomla is the world's largest and most popular open-source website content management system. The website design becomes a bliss when you use Joomla. We even called our company - Joomla Bliss - for this reason. There are many other content management systems, including Drupal and WordPress. We find that Drupal is more suited for technically savvy users whereas WordPress is not as scalable and flexible. Updates to WordPress require changes to the core and as a result, previous components break. It will take WordPress a few more years to catch up with Joomla or Drupal.
With 13+ years of development and series of upgrades, Joomla now has the largest support community on the web and the best-quality repository of free and commercial add-on extensions. The design community continues to produce plugins, modules and components as well as highly professional pre-designed websites, called "templates" or "themes" that can be modified and customized to create the desired look with minimum effort.
Once your Joomla website has been setup, it takes roughly 60 min to learn how to add and edit content on your website. The process of creating content is almost identical to the way we write emails in Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail or other web-based email system.
But above all, Joomla makes it much faster and easier to implement large-scale SEO, which to our clients means faster ROI and less spending. Without SEO, even the most advanced website will not be found by users.
Web Design Strategy for Savvy Business Owners
Business owners with limited budgets for web design do not need to sacrifice quality to get a highly professional and pleasant looking website:
- Download an open-source free web CMS like Joomla
- Source a quality pre-designed template (using highly reputable design houses) and upload this template into Joomla or other open-source CMS (do not get yourself locked into a proprietary CMS)
- Customize this template's visual elements, add your own content, logo, images and/or video and other elements - and voila!
You get a highly professional, SEO-proof, scalable, and easy-to-manage website at 80-100% of the cost of a custom design! The problem is... few business owners are aware of this route!
In fact, we discover on a daily basis that not only small businesses, but medium sized businesses and even technology companies are seldom aware of this opportunity. It is hard to believe, but hardly surprising when you become aware of the surrounding circumstances described in the next section.
Why Open-Source Means Higher Quality
With software products the situation is very different from furniture and other tangible products. For almost every commercial software program there is an open-source alternative of no lesser quality. For example, commercial Camtasia that allows you to create screen casts is not much better than its open-source alternative Camstudio. Photoshop is very powerful but GIMP is very good as well. "Free" or "cheap" does not necessarily mean "poor" quality in the software world. In fact, it often means the opposite. Here how things work in the web design field.
Joomla and other open-source web content management systems (CMSs) are developed and supported by an international design community. If you are a software developer, it is a great honour to work for an open-source project like Joomla. Open-source projects are funded by large corporations like Microsoft, Apple, Google, Sun, nVidia, etc. Only the best designers are selected for these projects.
When an open-source comminity releases a product, they receive feedback from users and other designers from all over the world. Being non-profit, they are not in a terrible rush to get to the market ahead of the competition. As a result, their products do not have the same types of "cutting corners" designs that commercial software companies have. In fact, software development companies very rarely test their products in the field, i.e. no real user feedback is gathered and analyzed (hard to believe, yes, but true nonetheless!).
Open-source software is less "buggy". Testing is conducted by dozens of designers from all over the world and in multiple rounds. There is no pressure to purposefully leave bugs in order to secure lucrative support contracts, a practice routinely employed by software development companies.
Product decisions are not driven by Marketing.In a typical mid-sized software company pf under 200 people, you will have 10-12 people at most involved in key product decisions. And none of these people have their reputation affected by releasing a poor product. Commercial software sales are often secured via personal connections of sales managers, not via real marketing or customer references. Whoever has the largest marketing budget and the best connections gets their software sold faster and grabs the largest market share, regardless of the quality of their products. This is very different from how open-source projects work.
Open source projects do not conduct agreessive consumer-oriented or B2B marketing campaigns to promote the benefits of their products. They are funded by large corporations, but they are, nonetheless, separate non-profit entities. They rely on the knowledge base of their design community and the reputation they have within its members. Reputation and user references are the main marketing vehicles of most open-source products.
Furthermore, most web design shops are not interested in decreasing the development time if bill their clients per hour, so they do not go out of their way to introduce or explain the benefits of open-source CMSs. So if you are not aware of Joomla or other open-source CMSs in the first place, you might not come across this information when you do your web design research.Most people end up learning the hard way: by making a mistake and locking themselves into a proprietary CMS sold to them by their web design firm. They end up eventually changing design firms and hosting companies before someone tells them or they stumble upon advice about using Joomla or other open-source web management systems.
Then, there is a lot of misinformation on the web promoted by commercial CMS providerswho conduct routine marketing campaigns by submitting articles to various online media. Their most common claims are that open-source software is not flexible, does not have enough features or that it is hard to learn. All of these claims are far from the truth.
Take all these factors together, and it becomes easy to see why large open-source CMSs typically are of a much higher quality than their commercial counterparts and also why so few people know about the advantages open-source CMSs deliver.
Joomla Bliss Website Design: Value Proposition
We developed what we believe is a phenomenal value proposition for all types of web design projects. Here is what we offer:
- Fixed quote. Predictable expenses. Joomla Bliss is a web design firm that does not bill per hour. We provide our clients with a quote and we never exceed this quote. If we made a mistake with estimating the time required to implement a particular feature, we swallow the consequences. This applies even to our custom website design projects, not only to template customization projects.
- High quality designs complete with the world's most loved CMS Joomla. We use high quality website templates provided by the best design houses in the world. We go an extra mile to source the right web template, i.e. a template that would suit your particular business requirements in the best possible way. We make sure we explain to you what is involved in selecting the right web template and what factors you need to consider if in the future you decide to add additional features or change the look and feel.
- Live design process with you involved. For both template customization and custom website design projects, we stage a live demo for you and send you a link where you can watch the design of your site in progress. With us, you never get unpleasantly surprised or have to accept something you are not entirely happy with.
- Solid SEO from the grounds up. All websites we produce have a 100% search engine friendly design. In addition, we implement basic SEO on all websites of Gold website design and Silver website design packages. You can order additional SEO or large-scale SEO separately, but even if you don't, your website will have a solid SEO infrastructure wired into it from the grounds up, and for some small businesses that alone can be sufficient. If you order additional SEO, you will benefit from our time-tested SEO methodologies and techniques that have consistently delivered top results for our clients even in very competitive fields. Many web design firms claim to have SEO expertise, but few pass the real test if you take care to subject them to it. Joomla Bliss, on the other hand, is a web design branch of an Ottawa-based SEO firm that has been doing SEO since 2001. And, in addition, our Ottawa clients always enjoy great SEO perks and discounts.
- Personal training and enhanced support. Joomla Bliss is a boutique web design firm that truly cares. We are a small firm and we want to stay small. When we provide hands-on training and support, which are always included in the total - always fixed - quote, we do not bill you for every additional 15-30 minutes or every additional email outside the scope of our agreement. Our typical process is that we meet with you for an hour and explain how we work and at the end of the project we schedule a training session which is typically 1.5 hour long, but if you need more, we'll work with you more. In addition, you will receive free support for the first 2 weeks after your website is launched live.
Custom Web Design or Template Customization?
As a web design firm, we can tell you that it is very rare nowadays to build a website completely from scratch. Most professional website design firms use pre-made website templates and themes, which they sometimes develop in house, sometimes purchase from template design houses and sometimes a bit of both. Most web design firms re-work and enhance those templates to accommodate to their clients' requirements. The end result is presented to clients as custom design, and in many cases this becomes true, as the original template gets reworked and customized so significantly that it is virtually impossible to see how the final website was based on it.
Take a look at this example. Can you recognize the original template in the customized version?
It is possible to take this approach a step further. We invite our clients to have a say in the process of selecting the base website template. Using website templates provided by some of the most reputable design houses in the world, we help you select the most appropriate template for your needs, which we then modify and customize to reflect or create the desired look and feel for your business.
Website Design Packages for Various Budgets
You will get a great website even if a custom-designed website does not fit your budget. In fact, the end result can be much better than many "custom" websites we come across nowadays. We use website templates provided by the most reputable design houses in the world. There are many free and commercial Joomla templates. But there is a huge difference in quality between them which may not be immediately apparent. We will recommend the best web templates to you.
Please take a few minutes to review our web design packages:
- Gold website design package
- Silver website design package
- Bronze website design package
- Custom website design
- Ottawa website design promotion
When we customize the look and feel of the selected template, we change the color scheme, navigation structure, fonts, and other visual elements - to simulate or create the desired look. We then install and configure into the website various pre-made modules and components to enable the functionalities you require, such as a registration form, newsletter subscription, e-commerce shopping cart, polls, forum, user comments, photo galleries, etc.
Our clients watch the site's development through three stages, and at each stage they are invited to provide feedback and make recommendations. Once the website is launched, we provide training to you on how to manage it and add content to it at no additional charge. Please download our web design questionnaire to find out what type of information we will need from you to start working on your website.
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