JoomlaBookIn the process of investigating what open souce CMS packages are out there, the three I found interesting were Plone, Joomla, and Drupal.

Now being a review on a Python users group site this review may be a little out of place as it's written in PHP.  But it was the first book I picked up on the above three CMS's.

Okay, so what about the book? What about Joomla! ?

First the book, it's very well organized with twelve chapters total progressing in a very logical sense.  Unlike many other technical books, there wasn't many (any?) times I had to go to the index and look up something just mentioned where I had to go read part of a later chapter to understand the current one. Also there were very few if any typos and/or editing errors which have been a plague lately in other technical books I've read. So I give this book an A for quality.

Let me list off the Chapters, then I'll write a bit about notable ones.

  1. Content Management Systems and an Introduction to Joomla!
  2. Downloading and Installing Joomla!
  3. Joomla! Administration Basics
  4. Content Is King: Organizing Your Content
  5. Creating Menus and Navigation
  6. Extending Joomla!
  7. Expanding Your Content: Articles and Editors
  8. Getting Traffic to Your Site
  9. Creating a Pure CSS Template
  10. Creating a School Site with Joomla!
  11. Creating a Restaurant Site with Joomla!
  12. Creating a Blog Site with Joomla!

For me the most interesting chapter was #8 which was a great introduction to SEO.  The author does admit that this chapter is not the end all of information, and as with almost every other chapter in the book, lists several sites to go to learn more.  A very thorough explanation of many factors which go into the search ranking, how to setup your site to help you achieve reasonably high rankings. Also a section on tools to help figure out which keywords you should emphasize and which ones might be worth spending $ on google adwords for.

If you've never used a Content Management System (CMS) before, and want a good (maybe great) introduction to one, with concepts explained which likely apply to most of them, then this is the book for you.

I believe they also sell a PDF ebook.

So what about Joomla, well I worked through almost all the examples in the book, and it's pretty easy to set up a very professional looking site.  There's lots of extensions available (which are separated into: components, modules, plugins, and templates).  A fair amount of which are opensource and free, but interestingly there seems to be a large community of non-free, but very reasonably priced extensions available.

I've just picked up a book on Plone (what runs this website) so that'll likely be the next CMS Book I review.