Some frequently asked questions on the Joomla Content Management System (CMS) that we use.


What can't Joomla do?

Not much! Joomla has over 2,500 standard extensions covering pretty much any application you need. And if there isn't something off-the-shelf, the Open Source nature of the Joomla framework caters for the creation and integration of custom designed functionality to suit your specific needs.  

What else can Joomla do?

As well as being a good general content management system, Joomla can be extended with a huge range of additional plug-ins to meet pretty much any normal need:

• Ecommerce
• Newsletter and autoresponder email management
• Directory
• Forum / Bulletin  Board
• Community / Social media
• Property sales and rentals
• Classified Advertising Management 
• Banner / Media Advertising Manager
• Photo Gallery

This makes it suitable for almost any type of website, from commercial business type sites to media, and social community sites. And if there isn't a standard plugin available, Joomla's open source framework supports the development and integration of custom built plug-in components.

If you want to know if Joomla will suit your own particular need, ask us and we can advise you about what's available.

What is VirtueMart?

VirtueMart is a plug-in component for the Joomla CMS that provides fully integrated ecommerce facilities. Unlike stand-alone shopping cart solutions like osCommerce, Zen cart and Magento, the Joomla and VirtueMart combination provides a single integrated management system where you can control both site information content and manage your e-commerce shop, making it perfect for both simple e-Commerce stores, or where you need a store that will integrate with other functionality such as community, social, and marketplace sites.

General Features

• Supports Secure Sockets Layer (https) Encryption (128-bit)
• Flexible Tax Models : Ship To Address-based Tax Calculation, Store Address-based Tax Calculation, and EU Mode (Store Owner based Tax Calculation when Customer comes from an EU Country)
• Shoppers can manage their own user accounts
• Multiple shipping address management
• Order History: Shopper can view status of current orders and details of all their previous orders
• Automated order management and e-mail system
• Multiple currencies
• Multi-vendor capability
• Fully integrates with Joomla MVC template management, providing total layout flexibility without compromising ability to keep updated to the latest version

Product Catalogue Features

• Powerful web-administration interface
• Manages an unlimited number of products and categories (we've built a site with over 400,000 products!)
• Can be used as a shop or just as an online catalogue without prices
• Internal search engine
• Product ratings & reviews (moderated or auto-published)
• Featured products
• Product availability management
• Handles downloadable products
• "Product is back in Stock" notification for subscribed customers

Administration Features

• Multiple images and files (brochure / specification sheet) by product
• Product attributes (like size or colour)
• Parent / Child product relationships
• Custom fields
• Shopper groups allow different price levels and payment options
• Multiple prices per product (quantity based and/or shopper group based)
• Flexible price display (number & currency formatting; including or excluding tax)
• On-the-fly price conversion between different currencies using Live Rates from the ECB or other banks
• Stock level control
• Order management with order history, customer notification, and order editing
• Basic reporting
• Order status management
• Manage different currencies, and countries

Payment Modules

• Capable of live credit card processing
• Pre-defined payment gateways like®, PayPal, 2Checkout, eWay, Worldpay, PayMate and NoChex
• Can be extended with other payment modules using the Payment Module API (e.g. Protx/SagePay)

Want to see some example Virtuemart sites? See our portfolio

Can Joomla handle eCommerce?

Joomla does not handle ecommerce transactions directly. Instead Joomla provides a core CMS framework that allows it to be expanded with the addition of 3rd party components, including ecommerce components. There are several Joomla e-commerce components, and the one we use is a component called VirtueMart.

VirtueMart is a sophisticated ecommerce component that can handle the sale of physical or virtual (downloadable) products. It has full product and inventory management capabilities, the ability to mix retail and wholesale customer groups, quantity discounts, and all the features you would expect from a high quality e-commerce package.

More about VirtueMart

What is Joomla?

Best Open Source PHP CMS e-Content Top 100 2008-9

The content management system we recommend as standard is the multi-award winning Joomla CMS. Joomla has become one of the most popular CMS systems in the world, powering millions of websites: it has been estimated that around 5% of the world's corporate websites now rely on Joomla.

So what is Joomla? Joomla is a very highly featured content management system released under the Open Source GNU GPL licence that can be used for everything from simple websites to complex corporate applications.  It is based on "LAMP", the ubiquitous Open Source web server configuration: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP, and is consequently fast, robust, scaleable and secure.  It is a non-proprietary system, supported by a wide international developer community with a high level of standard features built-in, and a huge range of third party plug-ins that suit nearly every conceivable application.

The Joomla MVC model of integrated templates, components and modules couples editing simplicity with great flexibility of design, and the system can accommodate sites with both a high design ethos as well as standardised template layouts.

Content editing is web based through a secure back-office system, utilising WYSIWYG forms for text and media, which means no knowledge of HTML is required for content creation or editing.  A wide range of publishing controls are also available, allowing items to be prepared and published and unpublished automatically at some future date.

Included as standard are components to manage FAQ's, links, banners, news/blogging (including RSS content syndication), multi-level editors, trash management, page version control, basic user statistics, content rating, and and advanced multi-level Access Control Level (ACL) system. And combining Joomla with the Virtuemart e-Commerce component, creates a hugely powerful and fully featured e-commerce store. 

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