Joomla is an incredible platform when it comes to developing a website quickly. However, more can be done to the site than just sticking with the defaults the system comes with. Although the website may be functional out of the box, there is something to be said about delivering a unique look and feel to visitors.
One of the reasons why many people choose Joomla hosting is because of its capacity for customization and ease of use. With a few changes here and a couple of extensions there, nearly any Joomla-based website can become a success.
So, what is the best way to approach developing a website while using Joomla?
Step 1: Identify the Purpose
Every successful website has a specific purpose behind it. Whether it’s selling goods or providing a blog, the purpose of the site dictates how to approach its development. For instance, it wouldn’t make sense to install an eCommerce module if the owner doesn’t plan on selling goods.
Having a clear plan for developing the site will help the owner choose modules, install themes and develop content. It can help reduce clutter and improve the site’s online reputation. After all, you wouldn’t see content regarding toasters on a site focusing on swimming pools.
Step 2: Choosing the Right Template
One of the key elements to Joomla is the ability to change how the site looks with a few clicks of the mouse. The overall appearance of a website plays an important role when it comes to retaining visitors. Owners shouldn’t skimp out when it comes to finding that perfect template.
Free templates are nice in that they offer a quick way to alter the site’s appearance. However, not all of these fit the topic of the website perfectly. To top it all off, it may also reduce the sense of individuality. As most people will look for free templates, it increases the chances that two sites will look identical.
Paid Premium Templates
Premium templates are usually those that have a greater touch of a professional appearance. As they are also less likely to be used, there is a better chance of offering an individual look and feel. If the site’s purpose is to sell products or reinforce a strong method for making money, then the template is but an investment much like a brick-and-mortar location for a retail shop.
Customizing designs for Joomla is one of the best ways to offer a completely unique appearance. While a custom template can be more expensive than the others, they are tailored around the specific purpose of the website. Hiring professionals is often the way to get this look and feel. However, some developers feel comfortable using tools like Artisteer and Photoshop themselves.
Step 3: Choosing the Right Modules
Modules are the easiest way to add functionality to Joomla. Users can choose from thousands of available tools that add a myriad of features to the website. Unfortunately, many people will load up the site with too many of these. Depending on the module, this will affect the site’s performance causing it to rank poorly in search engines.
Things to ask before installing a module in Joomla:
- Does the tool make sense for the website’s purpose?
Keep the extensions to something that would be seen on the site based on its focus. Installing a Google Map would be pointless unless the content was location specific.
- Is the module absolutely necessary to the website?
A lot of site owners will add extensions because they may be fun, entertaining or just to add more features. Unfortunately, many of these may directly affect the site’s speed and performance. Stick to modules that are only necessary.
- Is there a module already like it installed?
Sometimes people will find better versions of extensions but will often forget about removing the old one. This can bog down the website quite a bit.
Most visitors are going to the website because of content. Don’t add too many tools as it may appear more like clutter than functionality. Not every site needs a weather plugin, map or chat service.
Step 4: Marketing the Site
There are a number of extensions for Joomla hosting that center around marketing the website. From social engagement to newsletters, some of these platforms will make a great impact in bringing in traffic. The hardest part is finding platforms that are best suited for the site.
For example, a newsletter would be pointless if it’s not set up to distribute content or if the owner doesn’t plan on using it regularly.
Email marketing is one of the more effective forms of promoting a Joomla website. This platform has been around since the development of the Internet and remains one of the most cost efficient forms of marketing. Extensions are available that can help owners manage these campaigns directly from the Joomla admin dashboard.
Landing pages can also be incredibly useful depending on the purpose of the site. In fact, the right extension can help manage contact information from those pages while potentially improving sales and leads. For instance, the Landing Page Contact extension does everything automatically and includes social buttons as well as MailChimp subscriptions.
Step 5: Creating Quality Content
This last step is perhaps the most important of them all: creating quality content. After all, it’s the content visitors are coming for and it’s the text that will be crawled by search engines. Because sites like Google put such an emphasis on quality, it’s imperative that owners create content that is informational and well developed.
In this environment, modules that will improve writing and grammar are very important. However, the use of headers and other formatting tactics will also weigh in keeping the audience engaged and the search engines happy.
Get the Most Out of Joomla Hosting
The Joomla CMS offers an excellent way to create a robust and engaging website. It’s a way that even the most novice of developers can create an amazing site in a relatively short amount of time. Don’t let the Joomlainstallation go to waste and explore what it can offer.