Joomla.com hands on review - JoomShaper

Joomla.com hands on review

24 August 2015
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4 min read
Joomla.com hands on review

Joomla!, one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) in the world has launched a free website hosting service Joomla.com earlier this year. Anyone can visit Joomla.com and open a new website with example.joomla.com URL structure. A site with Joomla.com sub-domain will enjoy free hosting (with 200MB space) for lifetime and there is no limit on how many pages or posts you can publish.

 

Although there is no custom domain option, but the user can transfer or export the site to his own hosting account. Recently I've opened my first Joomla.com site. Here I'll share my experience with the service.

Starting With Joomla.com

On www.joomla.com there is a simple way to register for the service. You will find three input boxes- one for the site address, another for the user's email address and the remaining one is for password. As you type your desired site address (to be used before ".joomla.com" part), the site doesn't show any information if the name is available for registration or someone has already taken that.

I typed a name, filled the remaining boxes and clicked the "launch your website" button- but the the next page showed an error because the site address I typed was unavailable. Then I picked another name and it worked. I was required to verify my email address before being able to log-in.
This is how the Joomla.com dashboard looks like.

The Profile section lets you create another site, upgrade the plan, change user-details, visit support center and sign-out from the dashboard.

And here is my first Joomla.com website.

Working With the Site

On the dashboard, next to the Access Admin button, there is a gear icon which brings some basic settings options for the site.

From here, one can change their site's look and feel by changing its template. The site URL (the part before .joomla.com) can also be changed using the Change Name option. If you want to move the free site to your own hosting account, use Export or Upgrade feature. The gear menu also allows you to change login information and even delete the site permanently.

The Administration Control Panel

The administration control panel can be accessed from the Access Admin button. This is how it looks like. This page offers the whole collection of administrative tools.

Adding an Article

Click Add New Article (found in the Content menu) to add your first article on the Joomla.com site.

The text editing interface is fine. If you are habituated with MS-Word type document editors to write texts, remember pasting the content as plain text into the Joomla.com text editor box. Otherwise formatting related inconsistency may appear on your published posts. In the current version of Joomla, adding images in posts is a bit complex than WordPress. You cannot add media files directly from the text editor box rather than insert media via links. It requires you to upload photos in advance via the media manager and then link them to posts or pages.

This is the media manager.

Communications

Currently Joomla sites don't come with a built-in comment system. You need to integrate a third-party comment method to enable visitors interact on posts. Please see this official documentation to know details about integrating Disqus comment plugin with Joomla.com sites. You can also send private messages to your site members via its preloaded messaging feature. Visit Components > Messages to use this utility.

Customizing the Site

In the control panel, there is a Template Manager option from where you can change and customize your site's template.

Visit this page to find more templates.

Joomla offers tons of administrative tools to build a powerful website for corporate or blogging purpose. You get lots of built-in extensions, modules and plugins.

Upgrades

If you want to add your own custom domain to your Joomla.com site or just decide to move to your own hosting server, there are two options. One is exporting the site and then use the backup to rebuild it as you like. The second option is upgrading via Joomla.com's official hosting partner Siteground. Please find details about the upgrade process here.

The Bottom Line

From the viewpoint of a general user, this a brief overview of the services offered by Joomla.com. If you are a developer, you can try the free platform to have a test drive with the latest Joomla platform. It possesses extensive admin control features essential for large scale complex sites. And yes, if you want to build a simple website, you are also welcome.
Did you try Joomla.com? How was your experience? Please share with us via comments. Thanks.

Arafat Bin Sultan

Arafat Bin Sultan

Arafat is a tech-enthusiast with a keen interest in space, photography, and video making.

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