The number 3 dominated the Joomla landscape this year, so it is fitting that I review my 3 highlights for Joomla in 2012.
1 - Joomla 3
The latest major release of Joomla was released, on time, in September and promises a better user experience. Joomla 3.0 has developers excited because it is built on the Twitter Bootstrap Framework. End-users can have a frustrating time using extensions because the method to achieve a particular result in one extension is not necessarily the same method in another extension. Bootstrap provides a set of tools that allow developers to build a common interface resulting in a better experience. There is also code to make the job of building mobile-friendly templates much easier.
Version numbers continue to confuse many of our students. Although Joomla 3 is an official release (it’s not a beta version), it is not yet recommended for the majority of websites. Joomla 2.5 is the most stable version and depending on what you need to do with your website, you may not be able to find a suitable extension for Joomla 3 yet.
2 - The Rise of Responsive Design
There are all sorts of figures floating the Interwebs about how mobile devices are set to become the most popular way of browsing the web. It’s quite a design challenge to squeeze all the content on a typical web page into the small space provided on a smartphone. One common approach is to build a separate, mobile-friendly version of the website. But 2012 saw the rise of an alternative solution; Responsive Design. Sites employing this approach modify the layout of each page based on the available browser width.
It seemed that every new template release this year featured a responsive design and this is a trend that’s sure to continue.
3 - Joomla World Conference
As Robert reported last month Joomla fans descended on the eBay Town Hall in San Jose for the inaugural Joomla World Conference. There was a massive range of presentations packed into three days and Robert found it to be a very beneficial experience. He writes:
One of the main things that stood out for me about the Joomla World Conference, which was my first Joomla event, was how important it is to meet the people in this community. You get a much better sense of who you come in contact with and who you may potentially work with in the future. It sets relationships much more strongly than simply working online.
The fun and the camaraderie you feel at an event like the Joomla World Conference spills over into much stronger relationships with the people that you work with now and helps to create numerous opportunities for new working relationships as well.
Pulling off a major event like this takes a massive effort and we congratulate all involved. Looking forward to the next one!
What’s in store for Joomla in 2013?
Now let’s take a look at 3 things in store for Joomla in 2013.
1 - Joomla 3.5
The most stable (known as long term support) version of Joomla is due for release in September. This will be version 3.5. It will be preceded by version 3.1 in March. Yep, that’s how the numbering works. The long term support (LTS) version now gets a .5 tacked on the end. That’s why the current LTS is version 2.5. Weird, I know, but that’s the system that’s been adopted. If you always stick with the x.5 version, you’re on the right track.
2 - Joomla Certification
The Joomla Project is planning a certification programme and it is hoped that this will be launched in 2013. As we provide Joomla training, this is an exciting prospect for us. More importantly, this will benefit employers seeking Joomla experts to help determine whether the candidate truly has the skills they’re claiming. And vice versa - Joomla certified providers will be able to boast that they have passed a test that was created by the Joomla Project.
3 - Our Tutorials
We plan to add a bunch more tutorials to both our Beyond the Basics and Joomla Pro courses. All existing tutorials will also get an update. The only bad news is that the price for both courses will be going up. Joomla Pro is the best value as it includes Beyond the Basics. Kick off 2013 with a new website with the help of one of our training courses. There are no subscriptions! For a one time fee you get lifetime access, lifetime updates, a lifetime guarantee and in the case of Joomla Pro, lifetime support.