The Best Joomla Hosting: Who's The Best For Your Site? [Updated: 2018]

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Joomla Hosting

Jooma Hosting

What is Joomla Hosting?

Free, easy-to-use, and customizable. Joomla provides you with a multitude of site-building options and is available with most hosting plans.

Think WordPress is the only game in town when it comes to content management systems (CMS)? Sure, it's pretty popular, mostly because it's so user-friendly. But even WordPress has its limitations.

That's where Joomla comes in. A powerful yet easy-to-use open-source software CMS. Joomla's advanced options allow for extensive customization. This makes it popular amongst Web publishers, businesses, and developers.

Managing E-Commerce Sites with Joomla

Need to manage your e-commerce site? Joomla can do it. Want to build a catalog of the products you sell? Try Joomla. Ready to try a custom reservation system for your restaurant? Get Joomla. It can do all these things and much more.

For the most part, though, and for most website publishers, Joomla is a convenient CMS. From personal websites and blogs to corporate sites, Joomla can handle pretty much whatever you throw at it.

The CMS isn't just for Internet-accessible websites, though. It can also be used to build company intranets that help employees stay in touch and informed.

Various Top Hosts Support Joomla

The key to using Joomla to build your site is to find a host that supports it. This is not a difficult undertaking. Many hosts make Joomla available via the majority of their hosting plans. It does install a bit differently than WordPress does.

Joomla is available as a script you can install on your site with just a click. The best part? It's free. Joomla (or, to give it its full name, 'Joomla!') is one of many applications dished out to web hosting customers for free.

An Ideal CMS for Developers

Joomla Control Panel
A quick overview of the Joomla Control Panel in the demo.

It actually goes one stage further: Joomla can be used as the basis for web applications as well. As well as being a content management system (CMS), it is also a web application framework. The two components of Joomla can be used together or separately.

Joomla is ideal for the development of portals, blogs, and corporate websites. It can also be developed into an e-commerce platform, an application bridge or a dynamic web application. Developers can extend the default features and code custom parts in PHP and MySQL.

History of Joomla

History of Joomla

Joomla was launched in 2005 as a fork from the now-defunct Mambo CMS, with 1.5 being released in January 2008 and version 3 appearing in September 2012. New releases are scheduled every six months.

The software is open source and freely distributable under the GNU General Public License. Like many other open source tools, it relies on the support of a network of developers who continue to innovate and breathe life into the software. To date, the software has been downloaded more than 50 million times.

Having an open-source software application can be beneficial for both the business and it's end users, check out the brief for some specifics:

  Security Freedom Quality Auditability Support
Business Benefits Issues and flaws in security and diagnosed an dealt with quickly No strict corporate or vendor guidelines to follow The more developers, the more errors spotted Better collective teamwork amongst development team Ability to interact with users directly
User Benefits Potential security matters are dealt with faster than average User visions can be catered for and advice can be taken on-board Fewer issues in terms of features and usability Thousands of developers to trust and rely on Instant support from IT professionals rather than agents
Overall Industry Quality Competent High High High Above Average

Joomla vs Wordpress - Not Better, but Different

Joomla Demo Registration
Joomla can be installed simply buy using Softaculous.

Many people weigh up Joomla and WordPress for websites, but the two applications fulfill different purposes. Joomla is based on a traditional 'model, view, controller' (MVC) architecture.

This supports the interactive controls and interfaces that users see. The MVC framework can be used without the CMS system. Joomla is enhanced using extensions, which are discussed further down on this page.

On a side note, Joomla can also be installed as a one-click install via Softaculous.

Joomla Extensions

5 Types of Joomla Extensions

There are currently almost 8,000 extensions available in the official Joomla Extension Directory (JED), and this includes a mixture of free and commercial extensions.

Many developers host extensions elsewhere, so the actual number is far higher. Not all extensions are compatible with all versions of Joomla, as you would expect. The extensions Joomla are split into five categories according to their purpose:

  1. Components
  2. Modules
  3. Plugins
  4. Templates
  5. Languages

Components

Components are packages of functions responsible for creating large areas of the web page and are therefore larger than other extensions. Look at them as site architecture tools.

Modules

Joomla Extensions
Extensions in the form of themes, plugins, components, modules, and templates are extremely simple to install.

Modules are a group of lightweight extensions, used for rendering page content. Typically, modules are as 'boxes' around the content

Plugins

Unlike the general use of plug-ins in Wordpress, Joomla plug-ins are different. They specifically serve as an executor of events, such as triggered events. These are able to execute events in sequence.

Templates

Extensions that control how the site looks (as they do in WordPress and other systems). From Joomla 3 onwards, templates are and have been responsive. The use of templates makes site design easier for novices.

Languages

Language extensions within Joomla handle translations, general site languages, and information of various fonts. Especially for multi-language and international sites, language extensions are vital.

Joomla Requirements

Find The Best Joomla Hosting For You

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SiteGround screenshot
SiteGround StartUp plan
  • Support 5 stars
  • Features 5 stars
  • Uptime 5 stars
  • Value 4.5 stars
5 stars
2020 user reviews
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$3.95/mo
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BlueHost Shared Basic plan
10GB 5GB
  • Support 3.5 stars
  • Features 4 stars
  • Uptime 3.5 stars
  • Value 3.5 stars
3.5 stars
480 user reviews
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$2.75/mo
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iPage Essential Plan
  • Support 4 stars
  • Features 4 stars
  • Uptime 4 stars
  • Value 4 stars
4 stars
435 user reviews
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$1.99/mo
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InMotion Hosting Business Launch plan
  • Support 4 stars
  • Features 4 stars
  • Uptime 4 stars
  • Value 4 stars
4 stars
554 user reviews
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A2 Hosting Lite plan
  • Support 4.5 stars
  • Features 4.5 stars
  • Uptime 4.5 stars
  • Value 4.5 stars
4.5 stars
229 user reviews
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$3.92/mo
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HostPapa WP Starter plan
  • Support 4 stars
  • Features 4 stars
  • Uptime 4 stars
  • Value 4 stars
4 stars
387 user reviews
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HostGator Linux Hatchling plan
  • Support 3 stars
  • Features 3.5 stars
  • Uptime 3.5 stars
  • Value 3 stars
3.5 stars
573 user reviews
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Fat Cow.com FatCow Plan
  • Support 2.5 stars
  • Features 3 stars
  • Uptime 3 stars
  • Value 2.5 stars
3 stars
142 user reviews
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$3.15/mo
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HostMonster Basic plan
  • Support 2 stars
  • Features 3 stars
  • Uptime 2.5 stars
  • Value 2.5 stars
2.5 stars
87 user reviews
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$4.95/mo
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GreenGeeks EcoSite Starter plan
  • Support 4.5 stars
  • Features 4.5 stars
  • Uptime 4.5 stars
  • Value 4.5 stars
4.5 stars
350 user reviews
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How to Deploy Joomla

Joomla is designed to work with Linux, Apache, PHP, and MySQL - otherwise known as LAMP.

Recommended Specifications and Server

Joomla Requirements
Should you want to check the requirements for your own specifications.

A Linux server is, therefore, the best option, although Joomla can also be installed on Windows servers.

Recommended specs for 3x are as follows:

  • PHP 5.4+ recommended / 5.3.10 required
  • My SQL 5.1+
  • Apache 2.x or IIS 7

Many web hosts advertise the version of PHP they're using. If yours doesn't, ask pre-sales advisors to confirm Joomla compatibility before you sign up.

Different Ways to Get Started With Joomla

There are two main ways to get started with the application for free. You can use a quick trial or a hosted trial account.

Joomla Quick Trial

Joomla Demo Registration
Try the Joomla demo for yourself.

Before you settle on a Joomla website, try the online Test Drive for an instant peek behind the scenes at the software. This is an anonymous demo that doesn't retain any of your information (it expires after 90 minutes).

It does give you control panel access with a click - which is handy for evaluation. Note the countdown in the footer that shows you how long you've got before it resets.

Joomla Hosted Trial

For a longer evaluation period, the hosted version of Joomla is free for 90 days. This gives you plenty of time to try out the tool and compare it to the alternatives. You get more functionality than the Test Drive.

You can also sign up for a SiteGround hosting account at the end of the trial if you want to retain your data. Get started with the official demo on the Joomla website. You can also access handy video content that will help you find your way around.

Once you're up and running, check out the Joomla forums for help and support.

Joomla via a Web Hosting Account

The majority of shared hosting and VPS hosting plans will come with a cPanel control panel. Very few host services advertise Joomla hosting specifically, but Joomla can be installed on just about any hosting service.

Let's recap the main factors which make Joomla worthwhile:

  • Open-Source Infrastructure
  • Simple and Easy Installation
  • Cross-platform support
  • Dedicated Community
  • Powerful Extensions
  • Scalability

Open-Source Infrastructure

Joomla has been created using primarily PHP as a programming language. The use of PHP made it simple to gain traction in the open-source community, with a variety of developers contributing regularly.

Simple and Easy Installation

At first sight, Joomla may be confusing, but it's simple to install. With the use of software such as Softaculous, it's just another one-click install like Wordpress.

Cross-platform support

As mentioned, previously, I recommend Joomla to be used on a Linux server. That aside, it is cross-platform compatible, making it a flexible application.

Dedicated Community

With the help of an open-source community, Joomla users are dedicated. Not only do they help each other, but they have a general interest in making the CMS constantly better.

Powerful Extensions

Joomla's five different extension types cater to a variety of user-friendly support options. Unlike Wordpress, Joomla has separate extension categories which specialize in specific departments.

Scalability

With some technical knowledge, Joomla can be optimized to handle large traffic volumes. That being said, it is equally as useful for novices to start out with.

Simple Installation via cPanel

While each host can customize cPanel for their customers, there's usually at least one script installer, like the Softaculous script installer.

These installers in your hosting account let you pick a content management system like Joomla and does all the setup on the server for you.

A Few Things About Joomla

Since you have a ton of options in terms of selecting a Joomla host, you need to keep some things in mind. Here is a brief sum-up of what to look out for:

  • Support for PHP and MySQL database
  • SSD disk space and caching for speed
  • Automated backups

Joomla Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Joomla?

    Joomla is a free and open-source content management system written in PHP.

    By "free," it is meant that the software is available without cost and also without restriction. By open-source it is meant that the source code for the application is available for review and modification. Open-source also refers to the method of development. The software is developed by an open community of developers, not a private corporation.

  • What is a content management system?

    A content management system (CMS) is a software application that provides a way to easily create, edit, store, and display content on the web. In most cases (as with Joomla), there is a graphical user interface for adding and editing content, which could be pages, blog posts, images, or any other form of content. There is a database that stores content, and there are templates which display content to website visitors.

  • Is Joomla a popular?

    Yes. Joomla Runs over 30 million websites and is the second most popular content management system on the web, behind WordPress.

  • Is Joomla well-supported?

    Yes. There is complete documentation, a community forum, a magazine, events, workshops, mailing lists, video tutorials, and blogs. There are also a number of commercial companies that provide paid, premium support and consulting for Joomla.

  • What kind of websites can I build with Joomla?

    Almost any kind of content-focused website would be a good fit for Joomla. Many experts say that Joomla is especially good as the basis for an ecommerce or social networking site.

  • How can a CMS be used for ecommerce?

    Products are a form of content.

  • Is there any kind of website that wouldn’t be considered "content" based?

    Yes. Here are a few examples: web-based applications for editing media like video and audio, command-and-control apps that run physical devices, and heavy-duty data analytics.

  • I’m a beginner. Is Joomla a good choice for me?

    Maybe. But other options might be better. Joomla is easy enough to learn, but is more popular with developers than with inexperienced users. If you use a platform like WordPress, which has a larger base of beginner users, you might find it easier to get help and tutorials about your specific issues.

  • I’d like to start a blog. Should I use Joomla?

    If the only thing you are planning to do is run a blog, Joomla might be overkill. Another CMS that is more focused on blogging, like WordPress, might be a better choice. That being said, you certainly can run a blog on Joomla, and if you want to run a blog as part of a larger website (like an ecommerce site or a social media platform), Joomla might be a great choice.

  • Does Joomla have the functionality I need?

    Probably. Joomla has over 8,000 extensions. Additionally, there is a very robust hook and filter system in place that makes it easy to add functionality and develop new extensions as needed.

  • Can I make a Joomla website look the way I want it to?

    Yes. Joomla has over a thousand free themes available, many of which are customizable. It is also relatively easy for an experienced developer to build a new theme based on a custom design, and there are a large number of professional developers you can hire to do this for you (and lots of tutorials if you want to learn to do it yourself).

  • Is it hard to get set up with a new Joomla website?

    Not at all. Many web hosting companies provide one-click installation of Joomla from the control panel through tools like Fantastico or Softaculous. Even without an installation wizard, the install and setup process is not difficult.

  • Will Joomla run on my hosting account?

    Probably. Joomla requires PHP and MySQL, which are both widely supported by web hosting companies. You should double check, but if your hosting plan can't support Joomla, that’s a red flag that you might not have quality hosting. (The exception to that, of course, is specialized hosting dedicated to some other specific software application. But again — that's an exception.)

  • What are the major alternatives to Joomla?

    The two biggest competitors are WordPress and Drupal. They are both open-source and written in PHP.

  • How does Joomla compare to WordPress?

    That depends on what you are trying to accomplish, and also how well you know the platform. If you just want to get a quick, simple website up and running, WordPress is definitely the way to go. If you are building something with a lot more custom content types, this can often be done more easily with Joomla.

  • How does Joomla compare to Drupal?

    Again — it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Joomla is more popular. If you need a lot of custom content types and are trying to do something complex but relatively common, Joomla is probably a good choice. If you are doing something truly novel, with a lot of custom functionality and logic, Drupal might be a better way to go.

  • How do I decide between Joomla, Drupal, WordPress?

    Most of the applications that can be built on one platform could be built on any of them. In some cases, there is a specific reason to use one platform or another. For example, if you are just setting up a blog and nothing else, you should use WordPress. Or if you need the features built-in to a specific distribution of Drupal, like CiviCRM, your choice should be clear. However, if you are not a developer and you need something new built from scratch, it is much better to find a developer you like and trust, and then let them select a platform based on their own comfort level and the needs of the specific project.

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