joomla ecosystemDeciding to use the Joomla Content Management System (CMS) to host your website may have you wondering how much support or extensibility Joomla offers – yes, it’s the cat’s whiskers and the bee’s knees, but if you ran into problems, or wanted additional utility beyond what came in the box (so to speak), what are your options? This article quickly runs through and exposes the comprehensive nature of the global Joomla ecosystem, and the richness of your options when deploying it.

Freedom of (platform) choice

While it probably is best to run Joomla on LAMP (GNU/Linux OS, Apache Web server, MySQL DBMS, PHP) architectures, Joomla runs equally well on WAMP (W stands for Microsoft Windows), WIMP (I stands for Microsoft’s Internet Information Services Web server), and even on Apple’s OS X (with some help from MAMP/XAMPP or a lot of elbow grease)! You can also use BSD – the possibilities are literally endless. Just to prove the point, BitNami is a company that offers 1-click installers which will take you from a base-OS install to a fully-operational Joomla platform, whether on your own machines, or on virtual machines (VMs), or even in the cloud.

Spoilt for hosts

Just as you have a wide range of computing platforms that you can install Joomla on, you have a similar plethora of choices if you decide to outsource your Web hosting, no matter where in the world you are. Good Web hosting companies now support multiple OS platforms and scripting languages, and a large number of them will even feature auto-installing the CMS of your choice (Joomla amongst them). Some of the better hosts will additionally provide you with support on working with Joomla. So whether you are in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the UK, USA, Canada, China, Malaysia, Kenya, South Africa, Panama or Argentina, there is a local Web hosting provider (and then some) ready to get yo rel="nofollow" target="_blank"ur Joomla-powered site up and keep it running smoothly.

Consultants, consultants everywhere

Joomla is incredibly powerful and infinitely extensible – but that very flexibility can also lead to many people thinking that complex = complicated. For such people, there are innumerable consultants that deal with every aspect of deploying Joomla –whether it be in installing, securing, using, extending or designing Joomla and Joomla-powered websites, these consultants will get it done.

Extend your reach

By far the most attractive part of Joomla lies in the power of its extensibility. Through the installation of various extensions both free and paid, you can get Joomla to do almost whatever you need. Do you need to use both WordPress and Joomla together? There’s an extension that runs WordPress within Joomla. How about connecting Joomla and Google’s services together? Extensions that do that include our own GCalendar and GCalendar Action Pack. Extensions exist to integrate cloud storage (such as SkyDrive, Dropbox, Box.net and others) into your website. You can make an all-singing, all-dancing Joomla-powered website by installing media-playing extensions. There are extensions providing email, forum, chat, even video conferencing functionality to your website.

Joomla has a rich user and developer base, with a large support structure. Take a good look around you – you’re sure to find exactly what you need.

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