Article about Joomla

Turn off things you don’t need

Published: September 4th, 2018

One of the things I often hear people say about Joomla is that it’s complicated and confusing, and I do agree with that to a certain extent, but there are ways to minimise the complexity.

The first thing to remember is that although Joomla can be a DIY solution for people with little or no technical skill, it isn’t really aimed at that market. If you look at rankings of the top 3 CMS platforms (WordPress, Joomla and Drupal) it really does site in the middle in terms of use and its target market.

Jooma is a very mature and flexible platform on which to build your website – whether that be a 5 page simple online brochure, or a large scale site for a multi-national corporation with lots of content, features and functionality.

The main reason I believe people find Joomla to manage is that it’s been poorly setup – whether by themselves or a developer, and I see this a lot. Out of the box Joomla has several core components that to be honest I have never used, so why should they appear in the system for customers to get confused over?

The first thing I do when starting a new Joomla website is to turn off a bunch of things. This means they don’t appear in the admin interface, so don’t confuse the customer, but it also means that the website isn’t loading unnecessary files which can slow down the site.

What do I typically turn off?

Well here is a list of what I always turn off:

  • Contacts – there are much better ways to have a contact page/form on the site.

  • Banners – this is more about advertising banner than a pretty slider.

  • Newfeeds – who uses newsfeeds these days?

  • Association – this is used for multi-lingual sites and given over 10 years I’ve one 2 sites this isn’t really needed.

  • Messaging – even in large sites this isn’t useful. People won’t communicate via the CMS, they’ll email.

  • Redirect – a relatively new component that is meant to be used to manage redirects from old to new URL’s, but I’ve never got it to work.

  • Plugins – there are a bunch of these I turn off. I might make that into its own blog post.

There are also a couple of components that I sometimes use, but if I’m not they get turned off:

  • Search / Finder – if I’m building a simple site then there is no need to add search functions so it gets turned off.

  • Tags – I only use this on some sites with large blogs that need to have their articles tagged – like my blog.

My other tip is only install what you need – don’t go and install a bunch of components just because – they’ll just slow down your site and add to the confusion of managing the site.

The other thing that helps demystify how to manage a Joomla website is training, but I’ll talk about that later.

Note: some of the components that I turn off can only be done so by editing the extensions database table.

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I am the Head of Arts & Crafts (and co-owner) at Mity Digital, a Melbourne-based digital agency specialising in functional web designJoomla, Statamic and Shopify CMS platforms and beautiful graphic design.

Mity Digital