The new Joomla version 1.5.x is a much improved version and recommendable for making your own website. It has overcome some of the limitations of the previous Joomla version 1.0. The interface is now much sleeker and easier to use and a couple of other improvements that make it easier for customizing it to your needs.
Once you log in to the administrator page, you will still be presented with the same control panel icons. And of course there are the usual menus at the top bar. At first glance it looked the same as the previous Joomla 1.0, but after testing a few of the buttons, there were improved differences.
The Global configuration is simpler and has better control of the Joomla configuration properties. I could find what I wanted quite easily. It was now less clunky and easier to navigate.
The article management also see some changes. The previous Joomla has a two window editor box, one for the teaser, and the second for the main body. Now there is only one editor box, and the separation of teaser paragraph is by way of using a “Read More” button. Pressing this button will produce this HTML tag <hr id=”system-readmore” /> for separating the introduction and the main article. This was similar usage like those used by WordPress and Drupal where the introduction teaser was separated using the <!–break–> and <!–more–> tag respectively.
The best improvement so far is the Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URL and Plugin manager. The SEF url now makes a somewhat cleaner looking URL by way of using an alias which you could determine what kind of words you want to use for the address URL. This helps in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) internet marketing process and provides better standing with the search engines. In addition, it has also eliminated the SEF setup, it has eliminated the duplicate content issue as well. Though this was far more better than the previous Joomla 1.0 with its ugly URL, I’m still not completely satisfied with the improvement. Unlike WordPress or Drupal, the Joomla SEF still included the category and section in the URL details. What I would have like was just to have complete control of the URL address. Still this was markedly much better than Joomla version 1.0.
The plugin manager was also improved. All you need to do now was to look for plugins that could be installed automatically without having to sully yourself with code modification directly into the Joomla PHP codes. The last time I tried to install a plugin the old fashion way caused my Joomla installation to stop functioning thereby losing everything. Fortunately it was just a test site, but it left me weary of trying to install any plugins. With this plugin manager and with the appropriate plugin, you could just easily upload and install the plugin. I tried it by installing an XML sitemap plugin and it installed itself quite smoothly.
There were other improvements such as better media management, using your own native language for the administrator, and various enhancement, but personally the most significant improvement were as the above explanation.
Though Joomla was already a very popular CMS program to use, with the above improvement it is now a much better system to use and worth considering amongst the various popular CMS software around.