Industry Analyst & Strategist

What for Joomla?

Two great posts over the last few weeks and months about the communities and decisions being made for WordPress and Joomla provide a lot of food for thought regarding community and viability. I’ve already touched on Vic Drover’s Joomla thoughts (original) and I still have more to say.

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Joomla has had a very rough go of it over the last two years. New leadership at that time and through 2019 caused a ton of friction from dedicated developers to marketing to finance. While most of that noise stayed in house, it can’t be ignored that Joomla curious people peeking behind the curtain didn’t want to be a part of it. Developer focus and ability to excite people outside the community disappeared, with the results being a near 20% drop in usage and over 30% decline in market share.

Ugh. Let’s take a look at Disrupting WordPress by Mark Uraine. And start with the end:

If there’s any rebel in you, or any aversion to complacency and the status-quo, then I invite you to join the disruption taking place in the open source project, WordPress. There’s a place for you.

That sentence must be the wake up call for Joomla. Not only is it accurate for WordPress, it is also why 99% of open source projects exist in the first place. Someone is fed up with an existing solution, rips out hair, and just goes for it with a new solution. Communities are grown and people are made happier. For a time. The trick is building a layer/community that both welcomes change as well as absorbs change. To Mark’s many points, Gutenberg did not blow up WordPress, it pointed to a future and executed.

Joomla needs that disruption, that courage, and that leadership – not by-laws and 501(c)(3) hand wringing. Joomla needs a tear down of the product, to expose what works best and toss out the rest (that’s why extensions exist).

WordPress is slowly gaining Joomla features and executing in a consistent manner. What’s the Joomla plan (not for competing with any other CMS but for providing value)? Take a hard core approach and let the eco-system solve secondary issues.

Here’s my Joomla platform wish list:

  1. Core functionality fully API driven / documented / examples
  2. Push everything to optional extensions with hyper easy install and updates
  3. Gutenberg, if it’s good enough for Drupal

Here’s my Joomla community wish list:

  1. Stop naval gazing, get out into other communities and collaborate (online and in person)
  2. Consolidate the silos (community, volunteers, etc., etc., etc.) there are too many cooks in the kitchen, consistency and focus are lost
  3. Clean house, we can’t have the toxicity that causes votes of no confidence

Let’s find out what Joomla is for and make it happen.

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