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 building a Joomla website for the first time, we recommend you see this Joomla 4 review 2020 first.
In this Joomla 4 review 2020, we have detailedly reviewed the cost/pricing, flexibility, security, etc., of Joomla 4.
Note: In this Joomla 4 review, at some point, we’ll use Joomla review 2020, and Joomla 4 review 2020 interchangeably. This is because we’re reviewing Joomla 4 and Joomla itself; the sections with notable Joomla 4 features/improvements will have Joomla 4 review, while the rest of the sections without Joomla 4, will review Joomla as a Content Management System.
Joomla 4 Review 2020
To be most comprehensive in this JovialGuide, we have broken this Joomla 4 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 4 review 2020:
Joomla 4 Review 2020
- Joomla Review 2020: Cost/Pricing
- Joomla 4 Review 2020: Ease-of-Installation
- Joomla Review 2020: Simplicity/Ease-of-Use
- Joomla 4 Review 2020: Appearance/Design
- Joomla 4 Review 2020: Blogging
- Joomla Review 2020: Control/Flexibility
- Joomla Review 2020: Ownership
- Joomla Review 2020: Suitability
- Joomla Review 2020: eCommerce
- Joomla 4 Review 2020: Security
- Joomla Review 2020: Popularity
- Joomla Review 2020: Jobs
- Joomla 4 Review Table
- How Much Does a Joomla Website Cost?
- What to Consider Before Building a Joomla Website
- What Do you Need to Build a Joomla Website?
- Key Features in Joomla 4
- Websites you can Create with Joomla
- Popular Websites Using Joomla
- Popular Joomla Competitors
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, which means that it is a software that make the creation, modification, deletion and publication of contents easy.
What is Joomla 4?
In a simple sentence, Joomla 4 is a heavily improved version of the Joomla series. It comes after Joomla 3.
It is a brand-new way for people to create and manage their contents. It offers you a platform that is steady, reliable, secure and fully furnished with variety of options to build any website.
According to Joomla.org, Joomla 3.10 is intended to be a bridge between the two major series (Joomla 4 and Joomla 3).
This Open Source Content Management System, Joomla, is free to be used because it is licensed under GPL (General Public License).
Joomla is self-hosted, which means that you are the one hosting the software/your website (you have 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.
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 supports. 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.
Note: Joomla 4 should not be confused with Joomla. Joomla 4 is an improved version of Joomla; it comes after Joomla 3. So, they’re exactly the same thing!
Pros of Using Joomla 4
Since the improvement of Joomla, Joomla 4 is not only a Content Management System, but a reliable and secure platform to build any kind of website.
The pros of Joomla are the good sides of using Joomla!
Below are the pros of using Joomla 4:
- Joomla 4 is multilingual-ready
- Joomla 4 is secure
- Joomla 4 is easy-to-install
- Joomla 4 is flexible
- Joomla 4 is SEO friendly
- Joomla 4 has advanced user management
- Joomla 4 has different templates for frontend and backend
Joomla 4 is 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 language to be installed. Moreover, you can also install your preferred languages even after installing Joomla.
Joomla 4 is Secure
Since security is a hot topic, the Joomla team takes it seriously!
Joomla 4 is Easy-to-install
Joomla 4 comes with a more simplified installation processes than in the older series (3.x, 2.x).
The installation of Joomla 4 is simplified, and comes with the default 3 stages, but with fewer, and needed configuration options to get a Joomla website running in less than 3 minutes. This makes it pretty easier for beginners to install Joomla 4.
Joomla 4 is Flexible
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!
Joomla can be used to build a blog, online store, membership site and many more through its extensions.
Joomla 4 is 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 4 Has 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 efficiently!
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.
Joomla 4 Has 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.
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 needs improvement!
Here is the downside of using Joomla:
- Joomla has no official repository for templates
Joomla Has 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 kind of 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.
1. Joomla Review 2020: Pricing/Cost
The cost of building a Joomla website, vary in the sense that; you have to choose from the paid self-hosted option, or the free website hosting services. If you choose the free web hosting service over the self-hosted, you will not pay for the website hosting services.
Self-hosting means that you are in-charge of everything!
Joomla is completely free, because it is an Open Source software. Nevertheless, there are a few things you need in order to build a Joomla website on a live server. These things are not part of Joomla, but are a must-have to get a Joomla website to the internet (live for everyone to visit).
These things are: hosting account, domain name and an SSL certificate. They are not offered by Joomla because they’re different services entirely. So, they require you to pay a fee before getting them.
Host 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 jovialguide.com). And an SSL certificate is to secure your connections.
Hosting – 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 hosting is cheap, while managed hosting is expensive. Of course, there are more to them than cost; the expensive one comes with a lot of services, while the inexpensive one comes with a few or limited services.
There are more to them than plan pricing. See our detailed shared vs managed hosting comparison for their differences, similarities, etc.
There are a lot of hosting companies that offers Joomla hosting services. However, for the sake of reliability, security and quality customer support, we recommend A2 Hosting (see review) or SiteGround (see review) for Joomla hosting.
See our JovialGuide for more about web hosting.
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 with a domain registrar.
Hosting plan, domain name and SSL certificate requires 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.
If you are desiring to setup a demo or test website, you can consider paid web hosting or free web hosting for minor tasks.
To learn more, see our JovialGuide on how much does a Joomla website cost? for a detailed answer.
2. Joomla 4 Review 2020: Ease-of-Installation
Since Joomla 4 is an excellent improvement of the Joomla series (3.x, 2.x), one of its major improvements is in installation.
Joomla 4 comes with a minimal, and a more simplified configuration options during its installation. By default, the installation processes of Joomla are divided into 3 stages, namely: the main installation, database installation and the overview stage. Each of these stages, apart from the overview stage, requires you to input different configuration options. Nevertheless, if you are a beginner, these configuration options could be overwhelming to you!
Fortunately, as at Joomla 4, the installation processes are still in 3 stages (by default), but simplified and comes with minimal configuration options to get you started. Basically, a new-comer, beginner, technical un-savvy, non-programmers, etc., can easily install Joomla 4.
Installing Joomla used to be an uneasy task, meant mostly for developers and the experienced users, however, as at Joomla 4, you basically don’t have to be experienced or be a developer, but you can now install Joomla with a minimal or no experience at all!
Because of the simplification of the installation of Joomla 4, absolutely anyone can install Joomla 4 in less than 3 minutes.
If you are on Android, you’d want to see how to install Joomla 4 on Android for detailed instructions.
Note: after installing Joomla 4, (which takes upto 3 minutes or less), there are other essential things you should do after installing it.
3. Joomla Review 2020: Simplicity/Ease-of-Use
Honestly, Joomla is not simple, beginner-friendly and easy-to-use.
If you are a beginner with short time, then 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.
The control panel of Joomla is very broad with a lot of functionalities. Nevertheless, as a beginner in Joomla, you may have to read several tutorials to be able to make use of the functionalities in Joomla.
The reason Joomla has a steep learning curve, is because it is a developer CMS, and has lots of built-in functionalities that it comes with (they’re part of the core Joomla software), and you also have to learn how to use them, in order to have a fully configured and professional Joomla website.
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.
4. Joomla 4 Review 2020: Appearance/Design
Joomla uses templates. Joomla templates are available in the market. Knowing the best, and the right one that would match your business website could be a great challenge. In our JovialGuide, we have detailedly listed out the things to consider when choosing a Joomla.
Joomla templates are available in both free and premium versions. If you are about to create a website, blog, etc., you’ll come across free Joomla templates, as well as premium Joomla templates. To know their differences, and how to choose between them, you’d want to see our free vs premium Joomla template comparison for more.
Joomla comes with lots of templates for different uses, that is; 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 business type, website type, or niche.
Furthermore, when you use Joomla, you can change or install a Joomla template without stress. This is because it is simple, and requires no technical knowledge. Even a beginner can change a Joomla template!
You can customize, or redesign your Joomla website without knowing Joomla template development. This is possible through
Joomla 4 has a more responsive, and an improved backend, with quality UI and UX, built with the latest web technologies.
One of the major draw-backs in Joomla is that; Joomla has no official repository for templates, thus, making it difficult to find Joomla templates to use.
5. Joomla 4 Review 2020: Blogging
When it comes to blogging, Joomla comes with a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor, an editor with all of the post formating options you need, from basic to the advanced. So, with the WYSIWYG editor present in Joomla, you can easily: create, format and publish your blog posts without basic knowledge of HTML and/or CSS.
Joomla is extensible, comes with the functionalities you need to start blogging right away, and above all, comes with a lot of blogging extensions that are ready for you to use. So, you can add more functionalities to your Joomla blog by using blogging extensions.
Joomla 4 is great for blogging, as it comes with different editor extensions that you can switch to at any time. This is one of the advantages of blogging with Joomla, because of the variety of editor extensions it has.
Blogging with Joomla is not that easy, as the software itself has a steep learning curve.
One of the key features of Joomla 4 is workflow. Workflow allow users manage contents more efficiently. In addition, you can create and manage any workflow to meet your needs.
6. Joomla Review 2020: Control & Flexibility
Joomla is a flexible Content Management System that gives you complete control over your website.
It is completely flexible in the sense that; you can add more functionalities that are completely not part of the core Joomla software. This is done through Joomla extensions. So, you can extend your Joomla website, by using Joomla extensions.
Joomla as an Open Source software, also lets you alter the core software code in order to meet your own needs.
An interesting thing about using Joomla for your website is that; its flexibility doesn’t end by adding more functionalities to your website, but extends to letting you create almost any kind of website you’d like. This is still done through extensions; one that has the functionalities of the type of website that you want to create.
With Joomla extensions, you can create from: small to large, simple to complex websites.
There are different extensions for the type of website you would want to build in Joomla. Whether you want to create an eCommerce website, business website, real estate, blog, etc., there are a whole lot of extensions for Joomla.
In addition, there are generally extensions for anything you’d like to do. Is it to add a contact form?, Manage users?, secure your website?, etc., there are extensions for them. So, extension is the power of Joomla!
Joomla extensions reduces the need to hire a developer, because they aim at providing functionalities that are not part of the core software, and also to get the job done easily! They are basically there to make things easier for you!
It 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. Like: Joomla SEO extension – for managing Joomla SEO, Joomla eCommerce extension – for creating eCommerce websites using Joomla, GDPR Joomla extension – for making your site GDPR compliant, etc.
You can install Joomla extensions right from the extension installation page of your Joomla website, and they are easy to install too.
Also, there is an official Joomla extension directory, where you can find a whole lot of Joomla extensions, based upon categories.
7. Joomla Review 2020: Ownership
Joomla is a self-hosted Open Source CMS, which means that you are completely in charge of your website in Joomla, you host it by yourself, and even decide how long you want to run it (that is; when you want to shut it down).
You have complete ownership over your website; how you want it to be, run, etc., simply because it is self-hosted.
Self-hosting gives you complete control over your website! Joomla is self-hosted in the sense that; you decide how long you want it to be available. That is; as long as you are paying for your hosting plan, your Joomla website will still be available. So, you are the rightful owner of your website, with 100% control.
8. Joomla Review 2020: Suitability
When it comes to suitability, Joomla is perfect for different type of websites.
This ability to create different types of websites in Joomla, is from its extensions.
Here are the suitabilities of Joomla:
- eCommerce store
- Membership website
- Business website
- Real estate
- Church website
- Social networking site
- Blogging site
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.
9. Joomla Review 2020: eCommerce
Joomla is a very great option for creating an eCommerce website. It comes with a whole lot of eCommerce extensions you can use to create and manage your powerful online store in Joomla.
To beautify your eCommerce website in Joomla, you have to use an eCommerce template that’s best for your store. Joomla comes with a whole lot of eCommerce templates that you can use to beautify your online store.
Joomla has HikaShop as one of the best Joomla eCommerce extensions. HikaShop is loaded with a whole lot of powerful eCommerce functionalities that you need to create an eCommerce website using Joomla.
HikaShop, as one of the best Joomla eCommerce extensions, comes with tons of powerful features to enable you create an eCommerce website using Joomla. Above all, to beautify your eCommerce website, it comes also with beautiful Joomla HikaShop templates with full support for your store.
10. Joomla 4 Review 2020: Security
Joomla comes with lots of security extensions in both free and paid versions, that lets you add another layer of security to your Joomla website.
As part of the best Joomla security practices, it is recommended you run the latest version of Joomla, template and extensions. If you notice strange activities in your website, quickly report to your security team. However, if you do not have, contact your hosting provider as soon as possible for assistance!
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.
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 website.
One more thing! If you are using an insecure host, your Joomla website could be at risk. You need a secure hosting company to host your website. We always recommend A2 Hosting or SiteGround, for Joomla, because they’re secure, and they invest a lot to secure their server.
Inasmuch as Joomla 4 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.
Another advancement in Joomla is improvement in security. Joomla 4 comes with support for prepared SQL statement, and increase in the minimum technical requirements, which, basically, makes your Joomla website secure from hackers.
For detailed instructions on how to secure your Joomla website, see our ultimate Joomla security guide.
11. Joomla Review 2020: Popularity
Joomla is a very popular Content Management System. It currently stands as the second (2nd) most popular Open Source Content Management System after WordPress.
When it comes to market share in the CMS market, Joomla holds a second market share, after WordPress.
So, Joomla is popular, and currently holds the second position in the world of Content Management System.
12. Joomla Review 2020: Jobs
Joomla offer jobs, or career opportunities to its experts. These job opportunities are of high demand and attractive salary.
You can work with a startup, agency, or company, with your Joomla skills, as they are of high demand.
Furthermore, if you don’t want to work with an agency, startup or company, you can still make a decent amount of money with your Joomla skill(s) by doing Joomla related jobs as a freelancer. This is usually termed as work from home job!
Joomla freelance developers are available on freelance sites like Fiverr.
If you think that you have acquired a great knowledge of Joomla, you can start-up your own web agency for Joomla.
Here are the jobs available in Joomla:
- Junior/Senior Joomla developer
- Joomla template developer
- Joomla extension developer
- Joomla teacher
Also see our JovialGuide on the best Joomla affiliate programs to make money online.
13. 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 4 review 2020, will show you mostly the features of Joomla in detail.
Is a CMS
Used for Creating Websites
Cost of Setup
Budget friendly (based on your plan and website size)
Simplicity/Ease of Use
Requires some learning curves
Gives Control Over the Website
Availability of Jobs
Perfect for Blogging
Perfect for Business Websites
Perfect for eCommerce Store
Template and extension
How Much Does a Joomla Website Cost?
If you want to build a Joomla website, then you’d want to find out how much it would cost you to build a Joomla website.
Finding out how much a Joomla website costs, gives you an idea of what your budget will look like, and also helps you from overspending.
You’d want to see our JovialGuide on: how much does a Joomla website cost for a detailed answer.
What to Consider Before Building a Joomla Website
There are a few things to look at before building a Joomla website. When these things are looked at, they save time, make building Joomla a lot easier, cause less stress, and also save you from overspending.
Below are what to look at before building a Joomla website:
- Your budget
- Features for the website
What Do You Need to Build a Joomla Website?
To build a Joomla website, you need an SSL certificate (HTTPS), domain name and a Joomla hosting account.
SSL certificate uses HTTPS for a secure connection. It basically lets you transfer data over a secure connection.
Domain name is the unique name your website users will use in finding your Joomla website. For example; jovialguide.com is the unique name of this website!
After purchasing a web hosting package, the next step is to install and setup Joomla.
Key Features in Joomla 4
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 4 we will show you below, are part of the core Joomla software, and are completely functional without Joomla extensions.
Here are some of the notable features in Joomla 4:
- Install Joomla in a blink of an eye
- Fully rebuilt media manager
- Brand new User Interface (UI)
- New workflow
- Support for web services
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 workload 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
- Membership website
- Business website
- Blogging website
- Portfolio website
- School website
In our detailed JovialGuide, we listed out for you, the types of websites you can create with Joomla.
Popular Websites Using 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.
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:
Popular Joomla Competitors
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 of 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:
You can learn more about Joomla by seeing our Joomla comparisons:
This Joomla 4 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 4 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 of our Joomla tutorials for more.