Joomla is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) for publishing web content, developed by Open Source Matters, Inc. It is built on a model–view–controller web application framework that can be used independently of the CMS.

Joomla! 3.x administration backend
Developer(s)Open Source Matters, Inc. and the Joomla community
Initial release17 August 2005 (2005-08-17)
Stable release
3.9.14 / 17 December 2019 (2019-12-17)[1]
Preview release
4.0.0-alpha12 / 17 October 2019 (2019-10-17)[2]
Written inPHP
Operating systemCross-platform
Size13.0 MB (compressed) 34.1 MB (uncompressed)
TypeContent management framework, Content management system

Joomla is written in PHP, uses object-oriented programming techniques (since version 1.5) and software design patterns, stores data in a MySQL, MS SQL (since version 2.5), or PostgreSQL (since version 3.0) database, and includes features such as page caching, RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, search, and support for language internationalization.[4][5][6]

Over 8,000 free and commercial extensions are available from the official Joomla Extensions Directory, and more are available from other sources.[7] As of 2019, it was estimated to be the fourth most used content management system on the Internet, after WordPress and Drupal.[8]

Historical background

Joomla was the result of a fork of Mambo on August 17, 2005. At that time, the Mambo name was a trademark of Miro International Pvt. Ltd, who formed a non-profit foundation with the stated purpose of funding the project and protecting it from lawsuits.[9] The Joomla development team claimed that many of the provisions of the foundation structure violated previous agreements made by the elected Mambo Steering Committee, lacked the necessary consultation with key stakeholders and included provisions that violated core open source values.[10]

Joomla developers created a website called (OSM) to distribute information to the software community. Project leader Andrew Eddie wrote a letter that appeared on the announcements section of the public forum at[11] Over one thousand people joined within a day, most posting words of encouragement and support. Miro CEO Peter Lamont responded publicly to the development team in an article titled "The Mambo Open Source Controversy — 20 Questions With Miro".[12] This event created controversy within the free software community about the definition of open source. Forums of other open-source projects were active with postings about the actions of both sides.

In the two weeks following Eddie's announcement, teams were re-organized and the community continued to grow. Eben Moglen and the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) assisted the Joomla core team beginning in August 2005, as indicated by Moglen's blog entry from that date and a related OSM announcement.[13][14] The SFLC continue to provide legal guidance to the Joomla Project.[15]

On August 18, Andrew Eddie called for community input to suggest a name for the project. The core team reserved the right for the final naming decision and chose a name not suggested by the community. On September 22, the new name, Joomla!, was announced. It is the anglicised spelling of the Swahili word jumla, meaning all together or as a whole that also has a similar meaning in at least Amharic, Arabic and Urdu.[16] On September 26, the development team called for logo submissions from the community and invited the community to vote on the logo; the team announced the community's decision on September 29. On October 2, brand guidelines, a brand manual, and a set of logo resources were published.[17]


Joomla has thousands of verified third party extensions which can be found on the Joomla Extensions Directory - There are also thousands of high end templates available, many of which are free. Paid templates are also available and come with support. Many templates provide a graphical user interface which allow you to change colors, fonts, layouts and features. Joomla has SEO tools built in. Includes Metadata and Keywords, Mod_rewrite support for SEF URLs and Menu creation for clear and consistent sitemaps.[18]

  • Multilingual: Offering over 75 languages.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Out of the box SEO & SEF.
  • Flexible: Make a blog, business website, intranet, community website… From the simplest to the most complex website.
  • Free: Joomla is free to use under GPL.
  • Extendable: Extensions are available to extend website functionality.
  • User Management: Access Control Lists allow management of the users of a website, and different groups.
  • Menu management: Create as many menus and menu items as you need.
  • Cache management: Caching for performance.

Version history

Joomla versions[19]
Version Release date Supported until
1.0 September 22, 2005 July 22, 2009
1.5 (LTS) January 22, 2008 December 1, 2012
1.6 January 10, 2011 August 19, 2011
1.7 July 19, 2011 February 24, 2012
2.5 (LTS) January 24, 2012 December 31, 2014
3.0 September 27, 2012 April 2013
3.1 April 24, 2013 October 2013
3.2 November 6, 2013 October 2014
3.3 April 30, 2014 February 2015
3.4 February 24, 2015 March 2016
3.5 March 21, 2016 July 2016
3.6 July 12, 2016 April 2017
3.7 April 25, 2017 September 2017
3.8 September 19, 2017 October 2018
3.9 October 30, 2018
3.10 (LTS) 2020
4.0 2020
  Release no longer supported
  Release still supported
  Future release
  • Joomla 1.0 was released on September 22, 2005 as a rebranded release of Mambo that combined other bug and moderate-level security fixes.
  • Joomla 1.5 was released on January 22, 2008, and the latest release of this version was 1.5.26 on March 27, 2012.[20] This version was the first to attain long-term support (LTS); such versions are released each three major or minor releases and supported until three months after the next LTS version is released.[21] April 2012 marks the official end-of-life of Joomla 1.5; with Joomla 3.0 released, support for Joomla 1.5 faded away in April 2013.[22][23]
  • Joomla 1.6 was released on January 10, 2011.[24][25] This version adds a full access control list functionality plus, user-defined category hierarchy, and admin interface improvements.[26]
  • Joomla 1.7 was released on July 19, 2011, six months after 1.6.0.[27] This version adds enhanced security and improved migration tools.[28]
  • Joomla 2.5 was released on January 24, 2012, six months after 1.7.0. This version is a long term support (LTS) release. Originally this release was to be 1.8.0, however the developers announced August 9 that they would rename it to fit into a new version number scheme in which every LTS release is an X.5 release.[29][30] This version was the first to run on other databases besides MySQL. Support for this version was extended until the end of 2014.
  • Joomla 3.0 was released on September 27, 2012.[31] Originally, it was supposed to be released in July 2012; however, the January/July release schedule was uncomfortable for volunteers, and the schedule was changed to September/March releases.[32] On December 24, 2012, it was decided to add one more version (3.2) to the 3.x series to improve the development life cycle and extend the support of LTS versions.[33]
  • Joomla 3.1 was released on April 24, 2013.[34] Release 3.1 includes several new features including tagging.
  • Joomla 3.2 was released on November 6, 2013.[35] Release 3.2 highlighting Content Versioning.
  • Joomla 3.3 was released on April 30, 2014.[36] Release 3.3 features improved password hashing and microdata and documentation powered by MediaWiki Translate extension.[37]

On April 25, 2014, the Joomla Production Leadership Team announced that it started following 'Semantic Versioning Scheme' for new Joomla builds. The earlier LTS (Long Term Support) and STS (Short Term Support) lifecycle policy is no longer observed.[38][39] Joomla version 3.3.1 was the first version released under the new development strategy.[40]

  • Joomla 3.4 was released on February 24, 2015.[41] Release 3.4 contains improved security advancements, composer integration, Google's No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA, and several new features. Extensive security revisions were rolled out in October 2015 with the release of v3.4.5.
  • Joomla 3.5 was released on March 21, 2016.[42] Release 3.5 contains download system information, category item counter, insert modules in articles, drag & drop images.
  • Joomla 3.6 was released on July 12, 2016.[43] Release 3.6 contains download subform field, show all menu items, improved UX, improved Joomla updates, Menu type ACL, categories on the fly.
  • Joomla 3.7 was released on April 25, 2017.[44][45] Release 3.7 contains Custom Fields, Improved Workflow, Multilingual Associations Manager, Backend Menu Manager, improved update system, cache systems and package/extension management, Easier Extension Maintenance, and UX improvements.
  • Joomla 3.8 was released on September 19, 2017.[46] Release 3.8 contains Improved Routing System, Joomla 4 Compatibility Layer, Installable & Multilingual Sample Data, Code Improvements and Encryption Support (using Sodium extension on PHP 7.2, or via sodium_compat polyfill for lower supported versions).
  • Joomla 3.9 was released on October 30, 2018.[47][48] Release 3.9 provides users with a comprehensive ‘Privacy Tool Suite’. This facilitates the compliance of Joomla websites with laws and regulations, most notably GDPR. The release includes over 250 improvements.
  • Joomla 3.10 release will be the last scheduled minor release of the Joomla 3.x series and will be a long term support release.


Like many other web applications, Joomla may be run on a LAMP stack.[49]

Many web hosts have control panels for automatic installation of Joomla. On Windows, Joomla can be installed using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer, which automatically detects and installs dependencies, such as PHP or MySQL.[50]


Joomla utilises a configuration file (configuration.php, usually located in the root of the Joomla installation) to control various settings including (but not limited to) database connection settings. Due to the use of a configuration file, migrating from one server to another is relatively simple.[51]


There are two large Joomla conferences each year. Joomla and Beyond is a conference largely aimed at Joomla developers and site integrators and is hosted in Europe around May each year. The Joomla World Conference that brings together developers, designers, site administrators, business owners, and community members is held in the latter half of the year. Each year Joomla communities hold their own country or regional JoomlaDays. Joomla also, like many coding communities hosts many regional user groups as well.


Joomla extensions extend the functionality of Joomla websites. Eight types of extensions may be distinguished: components, modules, plugins, templates, languages, libraries, files and packages.[52] Each of these extensions handles a specific function. Many of the extensions built by the Joomla Community are not free but require a payment for download.

  • Components are the largest and most complex extensions. Most components have two parts: a site part and an administrator part. Every time a Joomla page loads, one component is called to render the main page body. Components produce the major portion of a page because a component is driven by a menu item.
  • Plugins are advanced extensions and are, in essence, event handlers. In the execution of any part of Joomla, a module or a component, an event may be triggered. When an event is triggered, plugins that are registered to handle that event execute. For example, a plugin could be used to block user-submitted articles and filter text. The line between plugins and components can sometimes be a little fuzzy. Sometimes large or advanced plugins are called components even though they don't actually render large portions of a page. An SEF URL extension might be created as a component, even though its functionality could be accomplished with just a plugin.
  • Templates describe the main design of a Joomla website. While the CMS manages the website content, templates determine the style or look and feel and layout of a site.[53]
  • Modules is dynamic or static output in a template position. Templates define dynamic positions that can be assigned modules. An example could be a boxed login form in a sidebar. This could be compared to another CMS's "widgets in sidebar". Multiple modules can be assigned to each position and each module's assignment can be controlled per menu item. Historically, modules are assigned to sidebars around the main component output.
  • Languages are very simple extensions that can either be used as a core part or as an extension. Language and font information can also be used for PDF or PSD to Joomla conversions.
  • Libraries are usually extra php libraries that provide functionality for a component, module or plugin to work correctly (such as Google APIs).
  • Files are single files that can be installed anywhere in the Joomla file system. Examples of this include allowing extension developers to provide extra template views.
  • Packages allow user to install combinations of any other extension type listed above. This allows related packages to be installed and uninstalled in one action rather than as separate entities.


The Joomla CMS has received many awards and recognitions since it was created in 2005.[54]

  • 2005
    • Linux & Open Source Awards in London Best Linux / Open Source Project
  • 2006
    • Packt Open Source Awards - Best Open Source CMS
    • UK Linux & Open Source Awards Best Linux / Open Source Project - Joomla Wins Again at UK LinuxWorld
  • 2007
    • Packt Open Source Awards - Best PHP Open Source CMS
  • 2008
    • Packt Open Source Awards
      • Open Source CMS Most Valued Person - Personal award Johan Janssens
      • 1st Runner-up Best Open Source CMS
      • 1st Runner-up Best Overall Open Source CMS
  • 2009
    • Packt Open Source Awards
      • Open Source CMS Most Valued Person - Personal award Louis Landry
      • 1st Runner-up Packt Hall of Fame CMS
      • 2nd Runner-up Best Open Source CMS
  • 2010
    • Packt Open Source Awards - 2nd Runner-up Hall of Fame CMS
  • 2011
    • Packt Open Source Awards - Best Open Source CMS
  • 2012
    • Infoworld Bossie Awards - Best Open Source Application
  • 2014
    • CMS Critic People's Choice Awards - Best Open Source PHP CMS
  • 2015
    • CMS Critic People's Choice Awards - Best Free CMS
  • 2016
    • CMS Critic People's Choice Awards - Best Free CMS
  • 2017
    • CMS Critic People's Choice Awards - Best Free CMS [55]
  • 2018
    • CMS Critic People's Choice Awards - Best Free CMS [56]

See also


  1. "Joomla! 3.9.14 Released". 17 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  2. "Joomla! 4 is on the horizon …". 17 October 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  3. "About the Joomla! Project". Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  4. Introduction for developing a Model-View-Controller Joomla! 3 Component
  5. New Features in Joomla! 2.5 | Joomla! Community Portal
  6. Joomla! 3
  7. "Home – Joomla! Extensions Directory". Open Source Matters. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  8. CMS Usage Distribution in the Top 1 Million Sites
  9. "Mambo Foundation Web site, Goals and objectives". 9 January 2006. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
  10. "Joomla Forum Discussion by Development Team members and Community". 7 May 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2007.
  11. Eddie, Andrew (17 August 2005). "Mambo Open Source Development Team — Letter to the community". Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  12. Shreves, Ric (21 August 2005). "The Mambo Open Source Controversy — 20 Questions With Miro". Archived from the original on 1 September 2005. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  13. Moglen, Eben (August 2005). "Why I like Open Source Matters (was Why I Like Mambo)". Retrieved 8 October 2008.
  14. Russell, Peter (2005). "Award-winning Development Team Welcomes New Arrival — Joomla!". Retrieved 8 October 2008.
  15. "Partners". Open Source Matters. Retrieved 8 October 2008.
  16. "Joomla!". Open Source Matters.
  17. "Logo Usage and Brand Guide". Open Source Matters. Retrieved 8 October 2008.
  18. . Core Features.
  19. Up-to-date version support references are found at the Joomla! documentation website page entitled, Joomla! CMS versions
  20. Joomla! 1.5 version history
  21. "Development Strategy". Open Source Matters. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  22. "Farewell my Joomla! friend… Adios!". Bang2Joom. Bang2Joom. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  23. "Joomla! CMS versions". Open Source Matters. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  24. Johnston, Mike (13 January 2011). "Joomla! 1.6 Review". CMS Critic.
  25. "Joomla! 1.6 Has Arrived!". Open Source Matters. 10 January 2011.
  26. "Joomla 1.6". Open Source Matters. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  27. Johnston, Mike (19 July 2011). "1.7 released with focus on enhanced security". CMS Critic.
  28. "Joomla! 1.7 Released". Open Source Matters. 19 July 2011.
  29. "The Version Votes Are In". Open Source Matters. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  30. "Vote for the Version". Open Source Matters. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  31. "Joomla 3.0.0 Released". Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  32. "Joomla discussion - release cycle status". Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  33. "IT'S OFFICIAL – JOOMLA! CMS TO ADD 3.2 RELEASE". Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  34. "Joomla 3.1.1 Stable Released". Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  35. "Joomla 3.2 Stable Released". Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  36. "Joomla 3.3.0 Released". Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  37. Localising Joomla! Documentation, by Tom Hutchison, February 24, 2014.
  38. "Release and support cycle". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  39. "Joomla Development Strategy". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  40. "Past release and support cycle". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  41. "Joomla! 3.4 is Here". Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  42. "Joomla! 3.5 is Here". Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  43. "Joomla! 3.6 is Here". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  44. "Joomla! 3.7 is Here". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  45. "Joomla! 3.7 Landing Page". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  46. "Joomla! 3.8.0 Release". Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  47. "Joomla! 3.9.0 Release". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  48. "Joomla! 3.9 Landing Page". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  49. "Technical Requirements". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  50. "The Easy Way To Install PHP on Windows". SitePoint. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  51. "How to Move a Joomla Site to a New Server". Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  52. "Joomla's Extension Types".
  53. "Joomla Template Documentation". Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  54. "Joomla! Awards"
  55. CMS Critic Awards 2017
  56. CMS Critic Awards 2018 Video
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