Joomla Review 2020 – Pros, Cons, etc

(Last Updated On: June 28, 2020)

The practice of reviewing a product or brand before getting started is a great and recommended practice, because it lets you decide if to get started with the product/brand or not.

Joomla is a great platform for building websites. However, before getting started with Joomla for the first time, we recommend you see this Joomla review 2020 first.

In this Joomla review 2020, we have detailedly reviewed the cost/pricing, flexibility, security, etc., of Joomla.

Joomla Review 2020

To be most comprehensive in this JovialGuide, we have broken this Joomla review 2020 into different detailed sections and subsections. You will get to know a whole lot of things as you read.

Here are the key sections in this Joomla review 2020:

  1. What is Joomla?
  2. Pros of Using Joomla
  3. Cons of Using Joomla

Joomla Review 2020

  1. Joomla Review 2020: Cost/Pricing
  2. Joomla Review 2020: Installation
  3. Joomla Review 2020: Simplicity/Ease of Use
  4. Joomla Review 2020: Appearance/Design
  5. Joomla Review 2020: Control
  6. Joomla Review 2020: Flexibility
  7. Joomla Review 2020: Suitability
  8. Joomla Review 2020: Security
  9. Joomla Review 2020: Popularity
  10. Joomla Review Table


  1. Notable Features in Joomla
  2. Websites you can Create with Joomla
  3. Popular Websites Using Joomla
  4. Popular Joomla Competitors


  1. Conclusion

Firstly, we will start with the first section – cost/pricing of Joomla, then subsequent sections in the order above follows.

What is Joomla?

Joomla is an Open Source software, meaning that everyone is free (without cost) to download, install, use and even study its source code. On the other hand, it is a CMS, meaning that it is a software that make the creation, modification, deletion and publication of contents easy.

Altogether, Joomla is an award winning Open Source Content Management System for creating simple, complex to small and big professional websites. It started on August 17, 2005.

This Open Source Content Management System, Joomla, is free to be used because it is licensed under GPL (General Public License).

This Joomla review 2020 is for the self-hosted, the free version of Joomla. It’s popular because it is free, and gives you full control over your website. We recommend it because of the control it gives.

Joomla is self-hosted in the sense that you are the one hosting the software/your website (you have the full control), and you are in-charge of the period of time you want your Joomla website to run. That means; you can take down your Joomla website based upon your own wish, any time.

So, when we mention Joomla in this Joomla review 2020, we are specifically referring to, the self-hosted version of Joomla.

Joomla is written in the most popular backend programming language, PHP. It is built on the MVC (Model-View-Controller) design pattern, and follows the Object Oriented Programming style.

Basically, Joomla is used for the publication of web contents. It is flexible enough to be used for the creation of eCommerce stores, blogs, business websites, portfolios, etc.

The core Joomla software is not flexible enough to be used for the creation of almost any kind of website. However, it is flexible because of the add-ons it support. This add-on is called Joomla extension. So, extension is basically the power and flexibility of Joomla!

Over the years, Joomla, as a Content Management System, have received numerous awards because of its performance, etc. Like in 2007, Joomla was awarded the best PHP Open Source CMS. And in 2011, they were awarded the best Open Source CMS. In 2016, Joomla was awarded the best free CMS. Above these, Joomla have received other awards and recognitions in different events.

Pros of Using Joomla

Joomla is beyond a Content Management System for building websites.

There are advantages that are associated with Joomla. These advantages are the pros of Joomla which we will show you.

The pros of Joomla are the good sides of using Joomla!

Here are the pros of using Joomla:

  • Multilingual ready
  • Flexibility
  • Advanced user management
  • Different templates for frontend and backend
  • SEO friendly
  • Large and Active Community
  • Etc.

Multilingual Ready

When it comes to multilingual readiness, you can use Joomla in almost any language of your choice. Joomla supports the installation and use of multiple languages, making it pretty easier for anyone to use Joomla in their preferred language.

During the installation of Joomla you can choose your preferred languages to be installed. Moreover, you can also install your preferred languages even after installing Joomla.

SEO Friendly

Joomla is SEO friendly. However, it cannot be completely SEO friendly without supporting Search engine friendly URLs. Joomla supports human readable URLs as well as ugly URL structure.

A human readable URL is super helpful for Search Engine Optimization.

Furthermore, there are Joomla extensions used for optimizing Joomla websites for search engines. See best Joomla SEO extensions & tools for more.


Joomla comes with built-in functionalities. However, these functionalities are not powerful enough to extend Joomla.

Fortunately, Joomla supports the use of add-ons. When these add-ons are installed, they extend Joomla’s functionalities to the more advanced level. These add-ons are called extensions. They are used for extending the functionalities of Joomla!

Extensions are the power of Joomla! Joomla extension extends Joomla, by adding advanced functionalities that are not part of the core Joomla software.

Joomla can be used to build a blog, online store, membership site and many more through its extensions.

Advanced User Management

Joomla gives you the ability to properly manage the level and permission of your users, by letting you assign them to different user groups. You can set which of the user groups has the permission to publish posts, modify posts, post comments, install extensions, etc.

Currently, Joomla boosts of a more advanced and powerful user level and permission management. You have the ability to manage your Joomla user permissions more effectively!

Using Joomla, you can group all of your users to different user groups. Each of the Joomla user groups come with different user permissions. And each user group is restricted to doing one thing or the other, except the group of the super user. The super user group has the over all permission, and it is not limited to doing anything.

This advanced user management functionality is the main reason Joomla is suitable for membership websites.

You would want to see how to create and modify Joomla user for more.

Ability to Use Different Templates for Frontend and Backend

Joomla comes with a powerful functionality that lets you set different templates to be used on the different ends (frontend and backend) of Joomla.

It lets you use different Joomla templates for the frontend (the part where your website users/visitors see and interact with) and a different template for the backend (administrator).

Large and Active Community

A community is a group of people who share the same understanding.

Some people may prefer a community (forum) over plain tutorials because they find it more interactive with solutions from different point of views.

Forum or community is basically known or good at the production of multiple solutions for just one problem.

The Joomla software has a large and active official community, with users who are ever ready to offer you help and support whenever you are trapped. The Joomla official community is a put-together of novice, amateur and professionals in Joomla. Most of the Joomla related questions you may have, have already been answered!

Cons of Using Joomla

Considering the fact that everything with advantages must have disadvantages. This Open Source CMS, Joomla, have pros as well as cons.

The cons of Joomla are the areas that need improvement!

Here are the cons of using Joomla:

  • Not beginner friendly (complex)
  • No official repository for templates

Not Beginner Friendly (Complex)

When it comes to beginner friendliness, the Joomla administrator or backend of Joomla is not at all easy for beginners.

Due to the largeness of the backend of Joomla, if you are new, you will have to spend sometime to learn and understand how it works and how to use it.

If you are new to Joomla, see our post on how to learn Joomla and how to use Joomla administrator for more.

At JovialGuide, we offer free and comprehensive Joomla tutorials. Get started with our Joomla tutorials. Stay updated by subscribing to our email list.

No Official Repository for Templates

Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, Joomla does not have an official repository where you can find templates (whether free Joomla templates alone or paid templates). This is the reason finding Joomla templates are always difficult!

A repository is a location for storage. Joomla, being a CMS that let its users develop templates and extensions for use, has no official template repository! They are expected to own an official repository for free templates alone or both (paid), where they store templates like the official Joomla Extensions Directory – JED.

Joomla Extensions Directory, JED, is the official repository for Joomla extensions.

You would want to see our post on free vs premium Joomla templates and why you should avoid nulled Joomla templates for more.

1. Joomla Review 2020: Cost/Pricing

Joomla Review 2020 - Cost/Pricing

First of all, Joomla is an Open Source software, meaning that everyone is free (without cost) to download, install, use and even study its source code. On the other hand, it is an already-developed software ready for use. Basically, Joomla is a ready-made web application waiting to be used.

Joomla itself is completely free of cost, because it is an Open Source software. However, there are a few things you need to setup a Joomla website on a live server. These things are not part of Joomla, but they are a must-have to get a Joomla website to the internet.

These things are: hosting account, domain name and an SSL certificate. They are not offered by Joomla because they are different services entirely. So, they require you to pay a fee before getting them.

Hosting is where your website files will be stored; basically, where your website will be hosted on. Domain name is the unique name your visitors will use in locating you (like And an SSL certificate to secure your connections.

Joomla generally requires a hosting plan to be able to be hosted on a live server. Hosting plans are available in different sizes and types. These types are shared and managed Joomla hosting. You have to understand the differences between them – shared Joomla hosting is cheap while managed Joomla hosting is expensive. Of course, there are more to them than cost; the expensive one comes with a lot of services while the cheap one comes with a few services.

There are more to them than plan pricing. See our detailed shared vs manged Joomla hosting comparison for their differences, similarities, etc.

Shared Joomla hosting plans usually start from $2.99/month to $5.99/month, while managed Joomla hosting plans usually start from $8.99 and higher per month. The respective cost of shared and managed Joomla hosting plans is determinant by the size of plan you choose and the size of your website in most cases.

You would want to see our best managed Joomla hosting post for more.

There are a lot of hosting companies offering Joomla hosting services, but we recommend A2 Hosting or SiteGround for reliable and budget friendly Joomla hosting services.

In our detailed best Joomla hosting post, we explained everything you need to know about Joomla hosting services.

Domain name vary in prices based upon the domain extension you go for. Domains are registered with a domain registrar. SSL too are subscribed to from a domain registrar.

Hosting plan, domain name and SSL certificate require renewals, that is; if you subscribed annually, or biennially, etc., you have to renew your subscriptions before the expiration date. Generally, as long as your website is live on the internet, you’ll continue to renew your hosting plan, domain name and SSL certificate. Without that, your website will not be accessible.

In conclusion to this section, Joomla is an Open Source software, meaning that it’s free. However, there are cost on the other side when it comes to setting up a live Joomla website. These costs are attached to: Joomla hosting, domain name and SSL certificate. And the price in-total, depends entirely upon the plans you choose.

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2. Joomla Review 2020: Installation

Joomla Review 2020 - Installation

Joomla comes with several processes during its installation. These processes are divided into 3 stages. Each of these stages are loaded with advanced and powerful configuration settings for your website. Above these, they are not difficult to start with.

During the installation of Joomla, you will come across several configuration settings. These configurations, include the basic configuration and the database configuration details. The last stage is just an overview stage.

After the installation of Joomla, you can complete other settings in the Joomla administrator.

In conclusion, when Joomla is attempted to be installed manually (without any 1-click software installer), it becomes difficult, time consuming and intimidating to non-techy and inexperienced users. However, when any 1-click software installer is used to install Joomla, the processes become fairly easier, and takes less time than installing Joomla manually. Installing Joomla with a web app installer takes less than 20 minutes to complete the installation.

A typical example of a 1-click software installer is Softaculous. It is the most popular web software installer.

You would want to see our JovialGuide on how to install Joomla on Android to get started locally.

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3. Joomla Review 2020: Simplicity/Ease of Use

Honestly, Joomla is not simple, beginner friendly and easy to use.

If you are an inexperienced or non-techy person, Joomla may not be the right CMS for you to build a website, basically because it requires a lot of time, and has a very steep learning curve.

If you are new to Joomla, you will have to spend some time in learning Joomla. We recommend you see how to learn Joomla and Overview of the Joomla administrator for a start.

The admin panel of Joomla is very broad with a lot of functionalities. Moreover, as a beginner in Joomla, you may have to read several tutorials to be able to make use of the functionalities in Joomla.

At JovialGuide, we offer completely free and comprehensive Joomla tutorials for beginners and advanced users. Furthermore, if there’s any question about Joomla, or tutorial you would like us to write on, please don’t hesitate to reach us using our contact us form.

For Joomla tutorials, see our Joomla section to get started.

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4. Joomla Review 2020: Appearance/Design

Joomla Review 2020 - Template page

Joomla as a CMS supports the use of template add-ons that can be used to change the appearance of any Joomla website.

There are different Joomla templates for almost any kind of website you would want to create in Joomla. Moreover, there are uncountable numbers of both free and premium templates. You have to choose the one that matches the type of website you run and your budget.

Moreover, Joomla templates are customizable. They could be modified/customized to your taste. However, one will need to hire a Joomla developer or have some coding knowledge to be able to further customize a Joomla template.

If you decide to change the template of your Joomla website, you can easily do that by getting a copy of the template you want, install and activate the new template. It basically doesn’t require you to hire a Joomla developer to write fresh lines of code. Even a beginner can change a Joomla template!

Inasmuch as you need to know coding to be able to customize a Joomla template, you can still design your Joomla website to your taste without knowing how to code by using drag and drop Joomla page builder.

Joomla comes with thousands of free and premium ready-made templates (put together), you can change your design anytime by uploading, installing and activating the new template. This processes do not require any lines of code to be written.

Above these, With the high number of Joomla templates available, you have a large number of templates to make your choice from.

In addition, if you need a custom design, you would have to hire a Joomla developer to do that for you.

Furthermore, you can get beautiful, responsive and multipurpose Joomla templates from reputable Joomla template providers like: TemplateMonster, JoomShaper, JoomDev, etc.

One more interesting thing about using Joomla is that; there are different templates for almost any kind of website you would like to create. Is it a blogging site? Portfolio? eCommerce? etc., there are different Joomla templates available for each of them.

Joomla templates are available in both free and premium versions. The premium versions are more professional, beautiful and unique when it comes to design. The premium versions of Joomla templates are usually sold at $24 per template, $44 per template and even $70 and higher per template. It depends upon what the template comes with and the Joomla template provider you are buying from.

You would want to see our free vs premium Joomla template comparison.

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5. Joomla Review 2020: Control

When you create a website with Joomla, Joomla gives you complete control over your website.

You can alter the core Joomla source code to create the custom website that you want. This control is because Joomla is an Open Source software, anyone can use and even study its source code.

Basically, you have absolute control over Joomla and your website when you create with Joomla.

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6. Joomla Review 2020: Flexibility

When it comes to flexibility, Joomla is a very flexible and extendable web application. It comes with the ability to install add-ons called extension. Joomla extension provides additional functions and/or customization to the core Joomla software. This means that; when you install and activate a Joomla extension, it will give you other functionalities that are not part of the core Joomla application.

Joomla comes with lots of extensions that provide additional functionalities for almost anything you would want to do in Joomla. In simpler words; there are Joomla extensions for almost anything you would want to do in Joomla. Like: Joomla SEO extension – for managing Joomla SEO, Joomla eCommerce extension – for creating powerful online store in Joomla, etc. Joomla extensions are meant to provide additional functionalities and to make things easier.

Basically, Joomla allows for the creation of websites. However, the type is limited, and the complexity is limited to only the creation of simple websites. But with Joomla extensions, you can create almost any type of website with Joomla, from simple to complex, and small to large websites. Examples are: blogging site, portfolio, eCommerce store, business website, church website, and many more with Joomla extensions. So, extensions are the power of Joomla!

See what Joomla extension is for more.

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7. Joomla Review 2020: Suitability

Joomla was created for publishing web contents.

Generally, Joomla can be used to create almost any kind of website through its extensions.

Below, we’ll show you some of the type of websites Joomla is suitable for.

Here are the type of websites Joomla is suitable for:

  • eCommerce store
  • Membership website
  • Business website
  • Church websites
  • Social networking site
  • Blogging site
  • Etc.

At first, Joomla was not perfect nor recommended for blogging. However, due to the improvements in Joomla and the development of Joomla blogging extensions, blogging is now a lot easier and perfect with Joomla.

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8. Joomla Review 2020: Security

Joomla Review 2020 - Security

Joomla on its own is a secure Content Management System that can’t be hacked easily.

It comes with built-in security functionalities to secure your Joomla website. These built-in Joomla security functionalities are purely functional without the use of Joomla security extensions.

Furthermore, Joomla comes with a lot of security extensions (both free and paid) to further secure your website. Meaning that; there are Joomla security extensions you can use to harden your Joomla website.

The core developers of Joomla are professionals who work as hard as they can to keep Joomla up-to-date. They release security updates, patch and release an updated version to replace the previous version of Joomla. They do these as soon as bugs/vulnerabilities are discovered or reported.

One more thing! If you are using an insecure Joomla hosting, your Joomla website could be at risk. Some Joomla hosting providers are not secure enough to protect the websites hosted on their server. We always recommend a Joomla hosting company like SiteGround because they’re secure and they invest a lot to secure their server.

Inasmuch as Joomla is secure, it is a very good practice to follow the best Joomla security practices to avoid having your website hacked. Best security practices like: using strong password, running the latest version of Joomla, etc., are expected to be followed.

Worthy of note is that; there’s no web application that is completely secure (Joomla inclusive). However, we always advice you to follow the best security practices to secure your Joomla website.

For detailed instructions on how to secure your Joomla website, see our ultimate Joomla security guide.

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9. Joomla Review 2020: Popularity

Joomla happens to be one of the most popular CMSes and the second most used CMS in the world after WordPress. When it comes to building websites with CMS, WordPress and Joomla are always the choices. Moreover, WordPress is always the first choice for most people while Joomla comes as their second choice.

In most cases, WordPress is always preferred for simple websites while Joomla for complex websites because of its functionalities. This is one of the reasons Joomla is most popular and the first choice in the area of creating complex projects.

The popularity of Joomla increases year by year!

Joomla is popular in the area of creating business, school, membership, etc., websites.

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10. Joomla Review Table

There are a whole lot of things about Joomla. These things are completely beyond using Joomla to make a website.

Joomla as a CMS, comes with a lot of features. These features are its greatest strength.

This section of this Joomla review 2020, will show you mostly the features of Joomla in detail.



Licensed Under

Is a CMS

Open Source

Used for Creating Websites

Cost of Setup
Budget friendly (based on your plan and website size)

Installation Steps
Easy (through web application installer)

Simplicity/Ease of Use
Requires some learning curves

Gives Control Over the Website



Market Demand

Availability of Jobs


Perfect for Blogging

Perfect for Business Websites

Perfect for eCommerce Store

Has Backend

Backend Technology

Uses Add-ons

Supported Add-ons
Template and extension

Uses Database

Supported Databases
MySQL, PostgreSQL



Updates/Security Patches

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Notable Features in Joomla

Joomla is a general/multipurpose software that lets you create almost any kind of website. It has grown in popularity because it is a general-purpose software through its extensions.

The notable features in Joomla we will show you below, are completely functional without Joomla extensions.

Here are some of the notable features in Joomla:

  • Built-in performance boosting feature
  • Advanced user management
  • SEO functionalities
  • Etc.

Websites you can Create with Joomla

The strength of Joomla is in its extensions! Joomla extensions can be installed to Joomla to create almost any kind of website you would want. And there are different extensions for almost anything you would want to do. So, the work load is easy!

In addition, there are a lot of websites you can create with Joomla. However, if you are new to Joomla, you would want to find out.

Here are some of the websites you can create with Joomla:

  • eCommerce store/website
  • Membership website
  • Business website
  • Blogging website
  • Portfolio website
  • School website
  • Etc.

Joomla is a general/multipurpose software that lets you create almost any kind of website. It has grown in popularity because it is a general-purpose software through its extensions.

It is a multipurpose web application because it can be used to make work load easier. Be it an eCommerce store, membership site, etc., there are powerful extensions and templates that match these categories.

This section is intended to show you some of the popular websites running the Joomla software with links to their official sites respectively.

Here are some of the popular websites using Joomla:

Whether Joomla is the second best and most used CMS, it may not be the best choice for some people; maybe because it’s not beginner friendly (as it is commonly believed), maybe you don’t just want to use it, or because of any other reasons you may have.

There are other platforms that can be used if you don’t want to use Joomla. These platforms are the competitors or alternatives to Joomla.

Below, we will show you some of the popular Joomla competitors with links to their official websites respectively.

Here are some of the popular Joomla competitors/alternatives:


This Joomla review 2020 has shown you what Joomla is, pros and cons, cost of Joomla, suitability of Joomla, etc.

Joomla is a powerful Content Management System. This is the reason for this Joomla review 2020.

Moreover, Joomla comes with lots of functionalities and extensions to customize your website to your taste. There are loads of Joomla extensions for almost anything you would like to do. They are available to make things a lot easier for you. This makes Joomla very flexible and popular in the CMS market!

See other tips and tutorials on Joomla for more.


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