* Joomla!* - "The platform millions of websites are built on" (it's free) * First an intro to newbies, find the best extensions listed below. Introduction to Joomla! Anyone and everyone who is interested in setting up a website for Any Purpose, is highly advised to consider using Joomla!. It's pretty much plug and play, there are nearly infinite designs to choose from (to get an idea of how many, see googles listings for free joomla templates), and perhaps the most valuable thing about Joomla! is that it is very easy to add new functionality for forums, photo galleries, chat rooms, social networking, advertising systems, ad infinitum.. (see over 10,000 extensions) Joomla! is the most popular, and very amazing, free and open source 'Content Management System'. It's the go to solution for publishing content, running membership based sites, e-commerce, and most other online website purposes. Note- If your main purpose is to Blog, consider Wordpress instead. Joomla is designed as a core platform for operating a website without any need to know code. "How easy is Joomla!, Really?" I hear you cry. Get a taste and find out in seconds here: demo.joomla.org -From the 'horses mouth' Explaining Joomla! for Non-Techies Joomla! is designed to be relatively bare bones in it's initial installation. From there, a website owner has the ability to add pretty much any functionality a person could think of, and a bunch of other functionality that might not occur to you but may be irresistible once you see the options. Site owners add functionality to the Joomla! core through a simple upload of what are broadly called Joomla! Extensions. Extensions are built and distributed by anyone in the Joomla! community. Some are free, and others are sold as 'commercial'. Any extension listed in the Joomla! Extensions Directory (aka the JED) are required to be released under the GPL or General Public License. This means that even though the individual and independent extension developers may charge a fee for downloading the extension they made, or for support, the code itself is unencrypted and therefor can be customized and further developed by anyone. What this means to site owners: Joomla! is constantly evolving!From the Joomla! website:
The Joomla Project is a GPL community, which means not just that a particular Free and Open Source license is used for Joomla software, but also that we believe in the mission and values behind that license. These include collaboration, community, and freedom. The GPL license embodies these values.
-----> This may be more than you need to know! <----- If you are new to all of this, don't worry right now about understanding the GPL license. Just know that the Joomla! project is dedicated to collaboration, collaboration, and freedom. To make sure you understand the importance of this, consider that Joomla! and the extensions listed in the JED have evolved very organically through the contributions of the community, weather it be in the form of code or bug reports or feedback or whatever! Joomla! is many years old and has come a long way. Joomla! has and always will grow as a community project. Yours truly finds this to be one of the greatest achievements of humanity. And it's all that it is because of contributions from (get this) Millions of participants! Most are normal people like you :) You are normal aren't you?