Phil Taylor – Joomla Expert & PHP Developer

Why on earth did I ever choose WordPress?

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So many of you have now had the chance to visit my new website, and have discovered (some to your horror, some to your pleasing) that my website is now running WordPress!

So, why did I choose WordPress?

Its true. I actually made a conscious decision to choose WordPress for my site over Joomla, the CMS that I’m famous for promoting, working with, developing, extending and securing over the last 5+ years.

Simple, its all about using the right tool for the right job, and not using the wrong tool just because that’s the platform you are famous for using and know inside out.

My main website and blog contain very minimal information.  There is a homepage, an about Phil Taylor page, a contact page and a blog.  Thats it! nothing special at all, nothing that requires any additional wizardry, plugins, extensions, components or 3rd party integration (ok apart from nice things like tweet buttons that I added)

WordPress is a blogging platform that allows additional “pages” (Homepage, Contact Page, About Page) and a very mature blogging feature whereas Joomla 1.5 provides a base CMS which provides sections, categories, content items, frontpage manager, modules, extensions, plugins and a whole lot more features than my site actually needs.

So what do I think WordPress gives me over Joomla?

Power in simplicity!

Joomla has moved away from its mambo roots where “Power in simplicity” was our mantra. If I installed Joomla for this site I would first have to start stripping away unneeded features, locking down & securing, and I would have a lot of bloat in my filespace that I just don’t need to power this simple site.

Now when I want to blog – I blog.  No need to add a section, a category, a menu item, assign modules, assign templates… you catch my drift…

What else – the integrated WordPress Plugins Installer?

One of the features I loved playing with while building this site was the integrated Plugin installer in WordPress admin console.  This allowed me to search a database of free WordPress plugins right from my admin console, select a plugin to view its details, and when I was happy I could install it with a SINGLE CLICK! – I must have installed 30+ plugins just because it was so easy and I wanted to “play” – in the end I settled on a very small number of plugins (3 in fact – Tweetpass, XML-Sitemap, Useful404)

If this had been Joomla I would have had to visit the Joomla Extensions Directory, Search, Ponder the reviews, Go to the Developers Site, Download (or seek out first!) the zip file, install it in Joomla admin, configure it and publish it…. With the integrated “extensions directory” in WordPress admin I was up and running in a lot faster time.

But seriously why wordpress?

Another reason then.  Granular caching, The w3-edge performance plugin for WordPress and offloading to CDN‘s.

My new site is run 100% form memcached caches. This is made possible by the w3-edge plugin for wordpress and gives me granular controls over my caching.  As my site doesn’t change that much there is not a lot of PHP processing to do – therefore why use cpu cycles when you don’t need to. Also I love fast loading websites, and by loading my whole site form a cache it flies!

All the css, js and images are served from the Rackspace Cloud.  This means that they are served from a server much closer to you than my UK Webserver, unless obviously you live in the UK. This drastically speeds up the loading of the pages on the site.

Could you not have done this site in Joomla?

Of course I could! – But I made a choice not to.

Lastly…

I’m famous for being the Joomla Expert.  I have been around since the beginning of time with Andrew Eddie, Brian Teeman (and some others).  Since I gained my PHP education from Andrew (Thanks!!, Bit Masks in Mambo at midnight were a killer!), Mambo and these projects I have now become a much sought after developer – but little has been known of my non-Joomla skills until now.

Later in 2010 I will be releasing a brand new hosted service for Joomla Administrators. Something that has never been tried in the Joomla eco-sphere. The service is 100% written in Zend Framework.

Currently I’m working with Comic Relief, a UK Charity that processes over 450 donation transactions a second on Red Nose Day.  I’m currently working on the High Availability, Drupal website for them, and integrating backend Zend Framework webservices, API’s SOAP calls and other scaleable, multi-tier web applications and services.

Conclusion

Joomla is a great PHP Application – but remember its only one of many solutions for building a website.  You should not blindly choose it because its all you know, or feel comfortable with.  Sometimes Joomla is overkill, sometimes its not powerful enough and sometimes its just not the right platform to use.

And sometimes you just need a change…

(Ok so I also needed to update my old aging site that looked terrible – nothing a quick off the shelf template for WordPress could not fix though…hehe)