Your Own Magazine Online

How’d you like to have your own, very professionally designed online magazine? What if I told you that one of the hottest open source content management system (CMS) packages, Joomla, had a plug-in component that would give you that capability?

iJoomla is a Joomla component that is a framework for module placement so that laying out a magazine online is a relatively trivial pursuit. I say relatively because truly architecting, installing, developing and deploying a scalable, CMS-driven web site or magazine requires skills the non-technical person doesn’t possess. Yes, Joomla can be downloaded and installed in a fairly easy manner. Yes, it’s kinda, sorta click-n-configure. But to truly set it up so that it’s architected to scale, prepared for adding on other components and modules (like a shopping cart or forum) requires technical savvy or ALOT of time in climbing a learning curve.

Still, from what I know of jobs underway with Joomla an installed and deployed Joomla instance — with a magazine component like this one installed and running — would be under $20k (your mileage may vary dramatically depending upon specific effort required). Having been at Vignette for four years during the dotcom heyday, we wouldn’t even take a phone call from a prospect if they didn’t have $500k to spend on software and services, so this price/performance is pretty amazing.

I know, I know…comparing Joomla to Vignette is like a Honda scooter to an Acura MDX. But still the power and inexpensive nature deploying Joomla let alone it as an online magazine, makes a guys mental wheels turn.

By the way, I continue to be delighted and somewhat taken aback at how virtually the entire Joomla ecosystem simply “gets it” on the importance of design. Even this inexpensive magazine component site is absolutely first-class!

About Steve Borsch

I’m CEO of Marketing Directions, Inc., a trend forecasting, consulting and publishing firm in Minnesota. Prior to that I was Vice President, Strategic Alliances at Lawson Software in St. Paul where I was responsible for all partnerships at this major vendor of enterprise resource planning software products and services. Read more about me here unless you’re already weary of me telling you how incredible and awesome I am.


  1. I have to agree, Steve. When I first downloaded and installed Joomla on my home LAMP server, I was frustrated with changing the default soccer team site into something I could use. I ended up struggling with the CSS and gave up.

    I tried again later because where I work did not have an intranet and I was looking for a quick way to get one started. I reinstalled Joomla and spent some time understanding its functionality better. Sure enough, within a couple hours, I have a beautiful looking site that represents our organization and provides a publishing platform for nearly everyone in the company.

    I also had a running blog commentary with David Churbuck on the absense of a middle-ground in the CMS space. There are Vignette and Interwoven at the high end and Joomla and others at the low end (which likely requires some consultant money to customize and style). But there is nothing much in between. Nothing really useful for those companies who need something in the middle. I understand that some folks from Documentum are working on such a product; I believe it is a strategy based on free software and costs for support.

  2. Steve Borsch says:

    There really isn’t a middle ground…is there? The CMS space is still a tough one. Open source CMS’es are pretty phenomenal, but it’s a pretty big leap from a robust Joomla or Drupal implementation to a true enterprise CMS.

    I’m going to do a post about this…thanks for sparking the thoughts!

  3. Intresting component. But expensive for me 🙁

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