Fun, frictionless publishing – the key to the future of Joomla

Published by Vic Drover

A love letter to the global Joomla community.

This weekend I attended Joomla’s Forum for the Future (FFTF) in Malaga, Spain. 

FFTF was a 3-day event that followed an unconference-style format where attendees brainstormed and networked on the future of Joomla. 

The conference was organized by the Joomla project leadership and was attended primarily by seasoned Joomla users/agencies, developers, service providers, experts, and project volunteers.

The event inspired me to write this “Love Letter to Joomla”. It summarizes my takeaways from the FFTF and my thoughts of Joomla.

If you’d like to co-sign this letter, please note that in the comments.

Please include your first and last name, and optionally your agency name or ‘freelancer’ status.

Joomla, I love you. Let me count the ways. 

You make me better by teaching me new things.

You make me independent by helping me change careers and run my own business. 

You make me feel proud when I can put food on the tables of my employees and business partners. 

You make me feel humble when I see all the folks around me who are smarter and better than I am.

You make me feel happy when I contribute something to the community that others will benefit from.

You make me heartsick when I am apart from my Joomla friends and colleagues. 

You make me more tolerant by introducing me to people from other parts of the world.  

For all this and more Joomla, I love you.

Something is different

But lately, things have changed. It felt like something was missing. The love is still there but perhaps the excitement is not.

Maybe I was not putting in enough effort. Maybe I needed to re-discover why I fell in love with you in the first place.

So I attended Forum for the Future as a therapeutic step in our relationship. 

I was excited to brainstorm the ways to reverse the drop in Joomla usage and restore our status as a relevant player in the world of online publishing. I was excited to find ways to fix our relationship.

It was disappointing to find that many Joomla insiders were perfectly pleased with the current state of our relationship.

It’s time for a reset

I believe it’s time for a more radical reset.

Many people sell Joomla-based sites and services to prospective web clients as a “fast, secure, and powerful” content management system. 

Unfortunately, these adjectives can be claimed by many website building tools. This includes WordPress which has been causing Joomla break-ups for many years and dominating the web development marketplace. 

Good friends try to help

But there is hope.

I was pleased to discover that a few of us — those who are heavily invested in the Joomla ecosystem as a whole — did recognize the challenges we are facing. I was happy to hear their ideas on ways for Joomla to recapture its relevance in the marketplace.

These suggestions included:

  • Add professional staff to Joomla’s virtual “front office”, including a product manager to help align the efforts of code contributors.
  • Follow the lead of other successful relationships like Typo 3 and WordPress who offer bounties for the development of critical new features and/or refactoring sprints.
  • Purchase an E-commerce system for Joomla that would be officially supported by the project and offered to the community for free.
  • Offer Joomla training to schools and universities to encourage more usage and engagement.  
  • Release a Joomla distribution tailored for educational institutions like schools, universities and libraries.
  • Promote future large-scale rollouts of Joomla as is being done for government sites at
  • Very long term support for major Joomla releases (5+ years)

All of these ideas have merits, and in a healthy relationship these would be wonderful experiments, like date nights or a romantic vacation. 

But in my view, these suggestions — though welcome and appreciated — still lack the transformational power needed to fix our relationship. We need to return Joomla to the innovative and influential position it once held in online publishing.

Other couples get it

Others have been down this road before and looked for solutions. In the WordPress and Drupal community, you will also find this similar fear of being left behind.

For example, WordPress pushed through the development of a highly controversial but exciting new editor. Have you tried it? It’s a lot of fun to use. The WordPress leaders fought a lot with their partners over the switch to this new editor. But I see the relationship improving every day.

I know you may think WordPress is a bit aloof and not capable of building powerful sites, but you really need to take another look.

Gutenberg, the new content editor in WordPress.

I also speak with Drupal users and they are adopting page-builders and layout builders. By the way, they see folks falling in love with WordPress, and between you and me I think they are a little jealous.

MailChimp has had a block-based, responsive editor for years. They recently launched websites as a core feature. 

MailChimps block-editor for E-mail.

And have you seen Medium? Their publishing tools are very easy to use. As a hosted solution, there’s nothing to install. This means I really don’t need to work that hard at building the relationship. Facebook has a similar publishing tool to Medium, and both are massively popular. 

Minimilastic editor at Medium.

Of course, these hosted solutions do not look like they are in committed, healthy relationships. And I hear a lot of people are breaking up with these platforms recently. That’s why I prefer relationships with Joomla: they are likely to be more permanent, but only if both sides put in the required effort to regain that loving feeling. 

And finally there is SnapChat, the tinder of the online publishing world. My publishing experience with SnapChat is very superficial and transactional, but “WOW” is it fun! And all the kids are in love with SnapChat. How exciting!

I know some people think online publishing is a problem we solved years ago, but WordPress, Facebook, Medium, and SnapChat tell a different story.

Even Joomla users love easy publishing tools. Page building applications like SP Page Builder are one of the most popular Joomla add-ons.

Back to basics

So how do we capture that magic we once had? When I first met Joomla, it felt so easy to use. So liberating. So free. 

Back then, publishing content seemed so easy when we worked together.

And the results were simply wonderful. What a breath of fresh air compared to my prior relationships with things like PHP Nuke and Adobe Dreamweaver.

We need to find a way to return to simplicity. 

I hear that Joomla 4 is coming soon with a new admin area design, as well as adding a new workflow feature. I know that you are committed to getting better and being the very best version of yourself.

But hard work alone won’t make me fall in love again if publishing remains held back by the same experience from nearly 20 years ago. If you compare these two screenshots, you can see that the Joomla editor today is essentially unchanged from that published in Mambo (the predecessor to Joomla) in 2003.

Mambo editor circa 2003
Joomla 3.x editor 2020

Remember that we fell in love when you made publishing feel exciting and easy. In today’s world, that can no longer be a box with dozens of buttons across the top. 

Today, we can’t be clicking across multiple tabs to add images and custom field data and meta data. 

Online publishing needs to be fun again. And it needs to be effortless. It needs to be mobile. Not “kinda” mobile: Truly mobile.

And online publishing needs to be intuitive. You can’t teach someone how to love you. 

Joomla, I shouldn’t have to learn how to love your publishing experience.

Rethinking online publishing 

Looking around, it is clear to see that the strongest relationships in online publishing are based on a fun, effortless experience. We’ve been toughing it out for years now with almost no change in this area.

But I don’t want us to just copy others. For our relationship to succeed, we need a unique solution that works for us. 

A new outfit — like the simplified admin template proposed in Joomla 4 — is not sufficient to attract new people and new partners.

Workflow is not a sufficient change if we want people to ask about us again at parties and in board rooms.

Updating underlying frameworks is not going to make people fall so insanely in love with Joomla that they will volunteer their time to work on the project and pay their own expenses just to travel and spend some time with you.  

No, we need to rethink our publishing experience and develop an innovative, new way to publish that is fun and effortless. We need a radical, innovative and highly visible change to the publishing experience if we want to recapture the love we once had and become relevant again.

Importantly, in our relationship I can’t think of one problem that won’t be solved or one target market that won’t be well-served by people falling in love again with publishing with Joomla.   

The future of Joomla

Look, I’m really glad we took the time to meet at FFTF. It reminded me of all the good times we’ve had and all the passion between us. 

The work done on Joomla is great, but let’s back up a little and view the bigger picture. I don’t want to push the release of Joomla 4 just because we think “people are waiting for it”. People are waiting to fall in love again, and we need to give them a compelling reason to do so.

How about we go on a date and leave all our expectations behind. Let’s all sit down together and ask a few questions:

  1. How do we create a publishing experience that people will love?
  2. How can we innovate the publishing experience of the future? We need to lead!
  3. What would publishing be like if we created it from scratch without being restricted to antiquated user interfaces. 

Here are a few ideas to get us started:

  1. Massively simplified publishing interface — Are tabs a good usability feature? In the same way that too many fields in a form reduces completion rates, tabs very likely slow down and discourage content creation in Joomla. Let’s ditch them. 
  2. Effortless media addition and markup — Why is uploading and managing images so hard? In 2020 and beyond, we should at least be able to drag-n-drop an image into the editor and have everything upload, resize, and reformat automagically. Simple image editing and markup would make a world of difference and be immediately familiar to younger users who are growing up on SnapChat. Audio and video embedding should be standard also.
  3. Customizable article types — I think we need a way to make it easy for content creators to make custom content types in the Joomla backend. For example, specialized article types for things like newsletters, events, catalogs. Then we can make unique links for content creators that clearly define what kind of content is being created. Our existing access control and custom fields would super-charge this feature well past WordPress. And importantly, site builders could leverage this feature to build custom, fun, and intuitive publishing experiences that users will fall in love with! At the same time, we get to very visibly show the world the power of all the incredible tools that we’ve been baking into Joomla over the last decade.
  4. Mobile-first publishing — For years we’ve applied a mobile-first strategy in everything from design to templates to SEO. We need to aggressively move towards mobile-first publishing if we expect young people to get on board. If that sounds unnecessary, consider that desktop behemoths like Adobe and Microsoft already have powerful mobile editing apps. Importantly, the mobile publishing capabilities of many of our competitors is rudimentary or non-existent. This represents a massive opportunity.

In other words, let’s get out of our comfort zones and be innovative and creative. That’s when real growth happens. And that’s when I’ll fall in love again.

Otherwise, I’m afraid I’ll end up alone with all this passion and nostalgia and excitement. But you won’t be around to love me back. And that won’t be good for anyone.

Forever Yours,
Victor Drover

Co-signed by:

Mohamed Abdelaziz (JoomReem), Kawshar Ahmed (JoomShaper), Wilco Alsemgeest, Alex Andreae (SourceCoast), Mark W. Bender, Yannick Berges, Phillippe Bethencourt, Maarten Blokdijk (Cloudfaction), David Boggitt, Martijn Boomsma, Niels Braczek, Kendall Cabe, Joe Campbell, Randy Carey, Herve Daignau (freelancer), Emmanuel Danan, Mike Demo (Freelancer), Hugh Douglas-Smith, Mike Feng (simbunch), Yannick Gaultier, Laura Gordon, Richard Gosler, Jen Gress, Ed Hathaway, Stephan Herby (Freelancer), Aldemar Hernández, Adi Heutschi, Chris Hoefliger, Rowan Hoskyns Abrahall, Robert Jacobi, Soren Beck Jensen, Chris Keen, Derek Kernohan (Keys To The Net), Daniel Krajcek (, René Kreijveld, Sabuj Kundu (Codeboxr), Alejandro Kurczyn, Eric Lamy, Viviana Menzel, Brian Mitchell, Ian Nelson, Chima Ochiagha, Claus Ømand, Brian Peat, Roger Perren, Emili Pertussini (abacmedia), Alexis Priddy (YellowWebMonkey Web Design), Anibal Sanchez, Saurabh Shah, Romain Simon, Alex Smirnov, Geoffrey Smith, Niels van Strien, Toivo Talikka, Bill Tomczak, Patrick Toulze, Alejandro Vega, Johan van der Velde, Chuck Wadlow, SD Williams, Spyros Zoup.

If you’d like to co-sign this letter, please note that in the comments.

Please include your first and last name, and optionally your agency name or ‘freelancer’ status.


Joe+Campbell · September 23, 2020 at 11:12 AM

I am Joe Campbell and I co-sign this love letter. Vic – you did an AMAZING job crafting this message. I truly hope this inspires others to rethink their relation with the platform and Joomla Community. 

    Vic Drover · September 23, 2020 at 11:29 AM

    Thanks much Joe. Appreciate the support.

Alejandro Vega · April 2, 2020 at 12:33 AM

CosignedAlejandro Vega

    Vic Drover · April 2, 2020 at 8:54 AM


    Patrick Toulze · April 2, 2020 at 11:10 AM

    My last input:

    1- Stop the release of Joomla 4 until the Wow factor is back in.
    Note: I don’t think Joomla can survive to another version to show its real power… We need people to talk about the rebirth Joomla now!
    2- Continue to work on Joomla 4 actual administration design
    3- Take Kawshar template and rework it to be the MAIN new look of Joomla — Keep the actual design as a second template choice.
    4- Integrate a top-notch UX (ready to help for both design & UX)

    5 a) Construct a brand new top-notch WYSIWYG drag & drop editor that is identical in both frontend & backend
    Note: that will be a big job that I think will push the final release too far
    5 b) Work to better integrate one of the existing WYSIWYG drag & drop editor and help them make it better (UI-UX)
    — My first choice will be JSN PageBuilder as, contrary to others, it’s interface is identical and available in the backend edition of article and module (Necessary for a completely transparent Edition and keep the advantage of Joomla having both powerful possibilities (Backend/frontend)

    6- Better the system to produce and present in the front page top quality important section like Blogs/News, FAQ

    Also following the excellent ideas from this post will bring Joomla back where it should be, on top

      herve · April 2, 2020 at 11:21 AM

      I do not agree. I want Joomla 4 to be released as soon as too many developers or webmaster are waiting. It is not perfect but I thank everyone who worked hard for it.
      Now for the future with a more powerful Joomla 5 version. Yes! this probably requires a change in governance (new OSM team?) and a broad consultation / survey of developers, webmasters, customers, trainers, newspapers to make the future of joomla better

      Gutenberg is (if I understood correctly) integrable in Joomla!? This could facilitate migration in the other direction 🙂
      But of course leave the choice of those who want to keep the joomla 4 editor 🙂


Patrick · April 1, 2020 at 12:21 PM

Thanks by me and, I’m sure, the Joomla community for your letter.

But lately, things have changed. It felt like something was missing. The love is still there but perhaps the excitement is not.

I feel you, things have changed, but my excitement is to the max. It’s simple, Joomla in 2020, is simply the best CMS out there. Contrary to WP, you got a modern and concise inner code, total flexibility of design and a complete set of onboard tools to build and manage any type and size of top-notch web solutions. I sadly take care of some WP site and each time I open them I cringe at its inadequacy and pray that the next upgrade of its convoluted and sometimes outdated core code or its numerous crappy plugins freezes the site to a brick. Alas, my trustee Akeeba Backup & Admintools permit to keep them afloat.
I think you present here much good advice to Joomla, to us...
I’m boiling because I remember that Joomla 1.5 (around 2010) was neck to neck and even preferred over WP. At that time, I understand the choice from Joomla to sacrificed the backward compatibility to build a better CMS, and it was the right choice. Sadly, that passage was disastrous for people that were building web sites and were the spearheads of the Joomla brand and success. Most of these people didn’t have any choice to revert to WP to continue to feed their families.
Today Joomla has a fantastic CMS to present, again, to the world. Joomla 4 will is a lightyear in front of WP in quality and functionalities.
Joomla 4 is the contender that can bring back Joomla on top and probably the last chance to the title!
My advice to Joomla is to simply pause the release of Joomla 4 (Who Care?) and look at all the great advice out there and polish this great CMS until we can get that Wow! factor that will bring back web developer flocking to it.
I try to help Joomla to ameliorate the so crucial administration design that is far from a Wow! in Joomla 4.
Look at my post with 359,629 views on Joomla —>
All the advices here are good.
One piece of advice that I want to point here is about the drag & drop editors.  I think the edition system is one of the most important points after the administration design that will bring back the applause. Everybody is going there, it’s simple if the edition is complicated and fragile you don’t have a real CMS.
The next CMS that will present the best modern WYSIWYG  easy drag & drop page builder/ editor will become the next champion.
Wp Gutenberg is not that editor by far,
Now. For Joomla, to my part, you got only 2 choices.
One is JSN Page Builder This is the only one WYSIWYG drag & drop that respect Joomla backend & frontend edition and  completely Joomla friendly and integrated.
Second is the great trusty JCE Editor that brings in the later versions a great simple “Columns” tool. Not drag and drop yet but a solid solution with it’s templates system, easy custom styling and now fantastic “columns tools. More JCE also brings one of the best microdata tools out there.
I think it’s to late for Joomla to build their own editor but they should help to better and integrate one of the great solution already out there.
This is my advice to Joomla.

    Vic Drover · April 1, 2020 at 12:59 PM

    Thanks for the insight! Care to co-sign?

      Patrick Toulze · April 1, 2020 at 5:02 PM

      No problem, anything for Joomla, I Co-Signed

Wilfred M Rand · February 21, 2020 at 9:02 AM

I only have some thoughts from 30,000 feet:Joomla should have a platform tier, aimed particularly at ease-of-use clients, that developers can offer to clients who think WordPress is easy (if you want a serious site, it isn’t – Joomla’s easier). The package would include hosting, and perhaps some basic classifications: Blog, News, E-Store, Directory. Skilled Joomla site producers can still engage the back end as they always do for branding and other theming needs. Developers can create templates specifically for use on the platform – just as Shopify does.I produce sites in Joomla, WordPress, Shopify – and the idea that the WordPress is easy to work with is way oversold. It’s a straitjacket.Sign me up. Freelancer.

maarten blokdijk · February 12, 2020 at 5:29 AM

co-signed my Maarten Blokdijk

Vic Drover · February 9, 2020 at 4:19 PM

Unfortunately, not all Open Source CMSes are doing this nicely: both Joomla and Drupal have been losing market share again. Shopify is set to overtake Joomla! as the #2 CMS in approximately 7-8 months.

Daniel · February 9, 2020 at 7:38 AM

Happy to sign, Daniel Krajcek –
This comment stood out:”I have a lot to thank Joomla for and we have a strong relation: with ups and downs.”For many decades I’ve built careers on technology visioning, most here know what mean – employ the rigor of diligent research and comparison before throwing your hat in the ring. That’s how I became a Joomla user/advocate in 2007, when it was a top 3 contender amongst the 100’s of CMS possibilities for developers. Joomla became my choice for its ability to foster a long-term, legitimate and comprehensive solution, and at the time it was years ahead of WP. That decision was the ‘right’ decision for my business. Now, when I read these threads – and valid concerns – I agree that without that sustained (or renewed) vision, the J community will wander in the desert not realizing how close we are to a celebration of what has always been possible. I hope we can part those waters! 

    Vic Drover · February 9, 2020 at 12:13 PM

    Yes, you’ve expressed it well. Thanks for your signature.

Romain S · February 7, 2020 at 2:34 PM

CosignedRomain Simon

    Vic Drover · February 7, 2020 at 2:36 PM


      Johan van der Velde · February 8, 2020 at 5:57 AM

      Cosigned, Johan van der Velde

        Vic Drover · February 9, 2020 at 12:15 PM

        Got it, thanks!

Ehsan Riyadh · February 6, 2020 at 5:58 AM

” You make me independent by helping me change careers and run my own business. ”
I love you Joomla.

Ehsan Riyadh
Founder, ThemeWinter

    Vic Drover · February 6, 2020 at 10:48 PM

    Would u like to co-sign?

herve · February 6, 2020 at 4:57 AM

Too much success 😉
I gave my name and it seems to me other people have registered but have not been added to the list!

    Vic Drover · February 6, 2020 at 10:49 PM

    Hi Herve. If you’d like to co-sign, please send your full name. I have tried to add everyone who has asked to co-sign. Please let me know if I missed some.

      herve · February 7, 2020 at 1:50 PM

      HI Vic,
      Herve daignau freelancerFor the others, I hope they will see it because there are too many comments now.Have a good weekend

        Vic Drover · February 7, 2020 at 3:28 PM


Sabuj Kundu · February 6, 2020 at 3:49 AM

Sabuj Kundu
Founder & CEO, Codeboxr

    Vic Drover · February 6, 2020 at 10:52 PM

    Thanks for your support!

Vitaliy · February 6, 2020 at 3:34 AM

Good day! But may be not good in Future, we all can support the initiative to improve UX-backend template
Thank you for the article!

    Vic Drover · February 7, 2020 at 6:44 AM

    Would you like to co-sign?

      Vitaliy · February 8, 2020 at 2:54 PM

      Of course

      Vitaliy · February 8, 2020 at 2:55 PM

      And I want to ask: Why this site and article post in CSM WordPress?

        Vic Drover · February 9, 2020 at 12:14 PM

        Can you please post your full name so I can add it to the co-signers list? I don’t understand the last question you asked however.

        Wilfred M Rand · February 21, 2020 at 8:51 AM

        The question is: Why is this written on WordPress rather than Joomla? I have the same question.

          Steve Burge · February 21, 2020 at 8:57 AM

          Hi Wilfred. There’s a couple of reasons there:

          1. Watchful supports WordPress as well as Joomla
          2. WordPress probably offers a more frictionless experience at the moment

    Brian Mitchell · February 8, 2020 at 1:27 PM

    Hi Vitaliy,
    This was a difficult conversation. I think it came to the correct conclusion. Khonsu has a path forward and is not a blocker for J4. I am looking forward to a really nice Admin template option early in the 4.x lifecycle.

      Vitaliy · February 8, 2020 at 2:53 PM

      Hi Brian!
      It was a difficult conversation and a sad ending. Managers Joomla unfortunately do not see the problem and do not hear our voices.Kawshar from JoomShaper and Khonsu needs community support: issue and pull request.

Kawshar Ahmed · February 6, 2020 at 3:17 AM

Kawshar Ahmed
CEO, JoomShaper

    Vic Drover · February 6, 2020 at 10:52 PM


Phillippe Bethencourt · February 5, 2020 at 5:55 PM

Signed Phillippe Bethencourt long term Joomla ex mambo user

    Vic Drover · February 6, 2020 at 10:53 PM


Alexis Priddy · February 3, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Thank you for the post. I have not had time to read all the comments, so I apologize if this has been addressed.

One thing that I think would help enormously is to noindex the much older threads in the Joomla Forum. The majority of the time I google an issue, I get search results that are 5-15 years old. This makes Joomla look dated, gives users results that do not work, makes the platform seem like it does not have active support, etc etc. I almost never use the Joomla forums because of the difficulty of finding good solutions and as well as some rude/snarky comments. I love Stack Exchange and would love the forums to switch to a similar format.

    Brian Mitchell · February 3, 2020 at 10:07 AM

    Hey Alexis, Good to hear from you. I have been tracking the comments and I believe this is a new contribution to the discussion. I know the forums were discussed at the Forum [sic] as a pain point. I don’t know that I caught what the recommendation was. I DO appreciate you keeping this front and center and your suggestion provides a pretty modest adjustment that would be a good step toward a process to modernize the forum experience.

    Vic Drover · February 3, 2020 at 10:59 PM

    That’s a really interesting and new perspective. Thanks so much for adding that. I am sure Brian will move that along. In the meantime, care to co-sign the letter?

      Alexis Priddy · February 4, 2020 at 4:41 PM


      Alexis Priddy
      YellowWebMonkey Web Design

Geoffrey · February 3, 2020 at 3:44 AM

Signed Geoffrey Smith long term Joomla ex mambo user

    Vic Drover · February 3, 2020 at 10:57 PM

    Thanks for your support!

Mohamed Abdelaziz, · February 3, 2020 at 2:47 AM

Great article, thank you!

    Vic Drover · February 3, 2020 at 10:57 PM

    Thanks. May I add you to the co-sign list?

      Mohamed Abdelaziz · February 4, 2020 at 4:57 PM

      Yes please

        Vic Drover · February 6, 2020 at 10:59 PM


Mike Feng · February 2, 2020 at 2:36 AM

Great article Vic, and thank you for your years of hard work. The screenshots that illustrated just how little has changed since Mambo really brought the point home.

Publishing on Joomla is simply too technical – clicking through buttons and tabs is attractive only to engineers. We all know what the problems are, so we can start with the basic premise on what the “solution” should look like. Turning Joomla into a drag-and-drop page builder in and of itself, is, IMO, a good start.

The more immediate problem is with Joomla 4’s release date. It has become impossible for developers to keep one eye on Bootstrap 3 and another on future support and scalability. It is also challenging to build new projects knowing that a new version with many breaking changes will be released soon. This alone discourages new clients and potential developers alike, and prompts them to seek alternatives. I think the community has had more than sufficient time to prepare, and it’s time to, as they say, rip the band-aid off.

Co-signed Mike Feng, extensions developer,

    Vic Drover · February 3, 2020 at 10:56 PM

    A start, yes. But can we innovate again? I feel like page builders are already the past…

Chima Ochiagha, Freelancer · February 1, 2020 at 5:05 AM

Vic, I couldn’t agree more with the premise of your love letter to the global Joomla community, which I wholeheartedly endorse and cosign.

The only constant in life itself is change. Those who fail to innovate become casualties of disruption.

    Vic Drover · February 3, 2020 at 10:53 PM

    I couldn’t agree more.

    Vic Drover · February 6, 2020 at 11:02 PM

    @Chima Would you like to co-sign?

dpk · January 31, 2020 at 8:39 PM

There is Drupal Gutenberg, why no Joomlaberg?

    Richard Gosler · February 3, 2020 at 3:45 AM

    I agree with all of your sentiments. As a relatively recent convert to Joomla and an attendee of FFTF2020 I’m excited to see where Joomla will go.

      Vic Drover · February 3, 2020 at 10:49 PM

      Care to co-sign?

        Richard Gosler · February 4, 2020 at 2:16 AM

        Yes please.

    Vic Drover · February 3, 2020 at 10:50 PM

    I think we need to ask `What’s next after page builders`? Care to co-sign?

MikeDemo · January 31, 2020 at 2:53 PM


MikeDemo (Freelancer_

    Vic Drover · January 31, 2020 at 3:53 PM

    Freelancer?!? 🙂

Derek Kernohan · January 31, 2020 at 10:33 AM

I am a webmaster for 20 years and have performed daily maintenance of Joomla since its inception of mambo.I have used almost all of the other CMS and do so today. Like most blogs or discussions the protocol is weak and this undermines the efficacy, as a result people inevitably are contributing to confusion not production or development. This is why most comments are only useful for extracting beneficial information if you have the time. I like the premise and appreciate the candor but the lack of protocol eliminates my interest significantly. You should at minimum spend the necessary time to present properly what your topic is and who you would like to respond to it. Do not combine in order to cover what you think is clarification or elaboration they follow naturally sub-sequentially and should be presented as separate entities of discussion.

Priority is usually discovered by simplicity or less information. Something like “will Joomla survive?” may a higher priority like “is Joomla dying or prospering? “Then “what can we do to prosper or help Joomla survive?” which may evolve into “what is the top priority now for Joomla to survive?”My personal experience shows me:

  • Joomla is an excellent CMS
  • Joomla is a poorly marketed CMS
  • Joomla interface is not as easy or simple than the other CMS like WP  for almost all of my clients
  • Most of my clients don’t need the extensive ACL or “Enterprise” benefits of Joomla
  • Most end up changing to WP/Shopify for these reasons.
  • Joomla has excellent third party extensions that should have free versions automatically installed or option to install with the next version of Joomla
  • The priority is Gantry 5 and a few sample free templates… ecommerce,blog,magazine,newsletter
  • Next is Akeeba
  • Next is an Ecommerce platform like Virtuemart but the interface designed more like Gantry 5
  • Cache cleaner

As I do, you don’t show the back end to new clients anymore. I show them Quix or Gantry 5 or Zoo and modify the administrator panel to not even allow them to see anything else but what they need to use. Same thing with the ECommerce. I dont allow them to see anything but what they need. My new clients are very happy with this and often tell me how much “easier Joomla is than WordPress” now. This is how Joomla should be marketed and presented showing these backend interfaces and sample frontend results of course market with the frontend samples first.

The protocol simply is:

  • Market the fontend samples to the public
  • Market the backend to developers
  • Developers market the restricted view backend to clients.

My opinion is without discussions formatted this way or Joomla remarketing these free interfaces and changes the future is limited and the present situation is very dire for Joomla. I have moved to Adobe and even Shopify or WordPress to a major extent in the last year because of how they have marketed their products and sold my clients, by showing front end samples only. They then after present the grim reality of backend work and additional costs to customize or make their product really work or be profitable to the public.

Joomla is a superior product but will not survive because of poor marketing not function.

P.s. put me on the list I like your concept and attitude Derek Kernohan (

    Vic Drover · January 31, 2020 at 12:09 PM

    Been working on some formatting solutions…

    Love your perspective here. At FFTF, we did discuss the who and the how, and spent a lot of effort on marketing and even discussed simple distros that hide most things from the end user (at least on first blush). I think we agree on the simplification. I’ll add your name above. Thanks!

Vic Drover · January 31, 2020 at 9:12 AM

Hey everyone. I’m loving the discussion this post seems to have generated. I’ve added the ability to upvote/downvote if you want to go back and highlight comments that stand out for you. Just click one of the hearts below.

Richard Powell · January 31, 2020 at 8:43 AM


I agree completely with your sentiments. I have used Joomla for clients and myself since it launched. Joomla is dying. One need only look at the adoption rate of WordPress, whose inferior core is made up for by a rich—almost too rich—ecosystem of plugins to see that Joomla is falling down. WordPress is so popular now it is a brand name in peoples’ minds.

The future lies in two areas in my humble opinion: security and content ubiquity. A more secure CMS (than WordPress) I can sell clients on all day long. For Joomla, this is low-hanging fruit. But only if Joomla is also dirt simple for nontechnical content creators to use. At the moment, it is not. A CMS that lets people create content and push it to multiple locations—their website, landing pages, micro sites, even social media sites, etc.—and reuse those blocks of content is fruit less easy to obtain, but is the future. Adobe will charge you thousands of dollars a month for a headless CMS today, but it won’t be long before someone open sources it in a really functional way or invents something that reduces the price tenfold and that little revolution will leave regular CMSs in the dust. Or, Joomla could lead here.

Why should I even build a website with a CMS today, let alone expect someone to pay thousands of dollars for me to do so for them when they can go to Wix or Weebly or Shopify, establish their web presence in two days and move on to driving value for their business or organization with social media platforms instead? I face this question in the minds of business owners and potential clients a lot these days.

I encourage the Joomla organization to find a sense of urgency soon. Ironically, you are where Boeing was 10 years ago when it had to decide whether to build a completely new plane, or spruce up a 40 year old 737 and call it the Max. At some point, you need to reinvent your product or disaster follows. Joomla needs to reinvent its product.

I say all of this in the spirit of exhortation not condemnation, and out of a deep love for the Joomla product and the amazing people who have devoted their time to make it available since 2005. I am a loyal user and fan, and I so want Joomla to succeed and find larger marketplace relevance again.

Thank you.

    Vic Drover · January 31, 2020 at 8:48 AM

    Well said. May I add you to the co-sign list?

      Richard Powell · January 31, 2020 at 2:16 PM

      Yes, please. I so appreciate you starting this thread, and the excellent comments I have seen from others.

Patrick Mouyade · January 31, 2020 at 8:28 AM

Yes, maybe it’s time NOT to add features but make them more simple to use

I started using joomla with 1.x and still use only my favorite cms, i’m not able to switch to another one cause i’ve been learning and meeting people online or in real life and i only know this community.

If i had to start using joomla now i will need 2 or 3 times more time to follow the evolutions.

I don’t want to co-sign this letter even if i agree with some of the keypoints

I understand Brian Teeman’s point of view.

I participate financialy to the project and will do it every or twice a year. I would like to contribute maybe by translating joomla in my own language, i already participate in the translation team but i am not confident with my work and i can’t participate in an other way cause i’m not a developper and i am a disabled worker and it’s hard to do more than what i do.

But I love Joomla, it gives sense to my life in the way that i am useful for others that don’t know a word of publishing content by themselves. And that is really the first thing we appreciate in web, what we publish can be visible by everybody.

Thank you Victor, your love letter to Joomla was needed and I truly appreciate all the comments but i can’t take position

    Vic Drover · January 31, 2020 at 8:31 AM

    No Problem Patrick! I appreciate your thoughtful feedback.

Brent Laminack · January 31, 2020 at 8:09 AM

Everyone’s just too polite to say “joomla’s dying and it’s the leadership’s fault”. But I’ll agree that something must be done.

    Vic Drover · January 31, 2020 at 8:24 AM

    It’s easy to point fingers, but my thought is that the Joomla project was designed to end up like this (as in, anyone can contribute and no one is actually providing direction). I think that’s changed the last few years, but there is also lots of resistance from folks who feel passionately that Joomla should remain as-is (and that’s totally valid). So the question becomes `will someone actually make a change`. Personally, I hope so as i am sure you saw above. Care to co-sign?

    Brian Mitchell · January 31, 2020 at 8:32 AM

    Hi Brent, I hear and understand your frustration. One of the most striking comments I heard at the Forum for the Future was that somewhere along the way we shifted from a culture of, “I will!” to “can I?”. People went from feeling this incredibly permissive encouraging environment to feeling like there was a structure that demanded adherence and permission.

    I am encouraging everyone to understand that all of our leadership and administrative structures are in place to empower our amazing of community of contributors to bring the best of themselves forward.

    You are right that we can and we must do better. My only contention with your post is that Joomla is not dying, but rather in that gawky early teenage years phase. Marketshare is an important data point but it is a trailing indicator of success. The real success to will move that needle is present in the exchange that Victor’s post has triggered, it was present at the robust exchange of ideas shared at the Forum, and it will be felt in the commitments made from leadership and participants.

    We have stumbled around quite a bit in the last few years, but we are finding our footing. Joomla is just getting started.

      Vic Drover · January 31, 2020 at 8:35 AM


Stephan Herby · January 31, 2020 at 7:57 AM

Hi, I’ve been working on Joomla since … Mambo. Today it too often happens that I wonder why I am staying on this technology, just thanks guys like you, Akeeba, Seblod or Yoo i.e. to make me stay here 🙂 It will be a pleasure to co-sign your letter : Stephan Herby – Freelancer

    Vic Drover · January 31, 2020 at 8:05 AM

    Will do Stephan!

herve · January 30, 2020 at 2:25 PM

Finally a positive dynamic of Love For Joomla. It gives me hope for a future for Joomla!
I gladly co-sign it if you communicate that I do not agree with everything, it’s just the desire to participate in this dynamic.

My main disagreement with the post (or comments) is that the Joomla problem is not technical, ergonomic (some points to improve as mentioned below) but above all communication and marketing. It’s like windows / linux. When people talk about website creation, they only know wix or wp. I built a lot of sites for associations by only giving them access to the creation / modification of content via the front-end (from mambo). That wp never did it and yet it is an advantage of Joomla !!!
I know many others like custom fields, ACL, multilingual. How to communicate around the benefits. Without making me dream, I have switched a certain number more towards joomla than wp.

** The most important points for me are: **
1 / find the financial resources to remunerate administrative, marketing, communication and even technical staff.
Lots of good leads such as sponsorships, crowfunding,% donated to joomla for pro sales via the JED.
2 / take into account the opinions of users, joomla communities, experts in the same way as coders through fresh studies, see survey (seen in cms communities).
3 / encourage use in schools, training organizations
4 / contact ambassadors, intermediaries in the press as well as web agencies.

I understand Brian’s post. Some shoot them, however I think it’s the dynamics around this post that is interesting. I have tried for years to alert / contribute in my own way to alert about the loss of influence of joomla / wp.
It is also energy. The product is essential but that’s not all, we need lots of other energies outside the technician and that seems difficult to me today in the official (but I don’t speak English well, I know Joomla a lot less than except that I started using mambo. I am a small integrator in a web agency. I fight (almost) every day so that the redesign of a joomla website does not go to wp .
I act at best. I look forward to the release of Joomla 4. Even if it is not perfect, it is an opportunity to communicate on it, see bounce for a wonderful version of Joomla 5.

Technical side:
I want to keep the tabs in part, this avoids too long pages which also cause problems. An interface adapted to its level is a good lead. Displayed a minimalist interface to a beginner, and give the possibility of customizing the admin interface to arrive as much as possible for the developer (without forgetting the advanced members).
Sorry, I can no longer code, but this is one of my customer returns.

Yes I think the wuten gutenberg editor is a real fluid advance. It seems that drupal has adopted it, why not joomla, since it seems to be a free brick !?

My next step: talk about it in the French joomla community.
The next step is to be able to act to make joomla grow and that it increases its market share / wp.

    Vic Drover · January 30, 2020 at 2:52 PM

    Great comment! Talk with Eric Lamy, Emmanuel Dannon, and Yannick Gaultier. All will enjoy the conversation in French 🙂

    If you’d like to co-sign, please reply with your full name.

    herve · February 3, 2020 at 3:58 AM

    Count me in!
    Herve daignau

Aldemar Hernández · January 30, 2020 at 8:01 AM

Count me in!

    Vic Drover · January 30, 2020 at 8:14 AM


Micker · January 29, 2020 at 12:58 PM

about new drag and drop experience seams realy interesting …

    Vic Drover · January 29, 2020 at 2:20 PM

    Yes, I discussed this with some folks in the project the other day. Randomly, I know a colleague of the developer!

Michael Babker · January 29, 2020 at 9:58 AM

> Very long term support for major Joomla releases (5+ years)

3.x is 7 years old, what else do you want, WordPress levels of B/C and long term support (like how their security team continues to backport security patches to a version released around the same time as Joomla 3.2)? IMO, go to WordPress if that’s the type of long term stagnation you are looking for.

> Customizable article types — I think we need a way to make it easy for content creators to make custom content types in the Joomla backend.

This is a mix of the failed UCM concept and just installing different components. Articles are articles in the most generic sense of the term. Use a platform that matches your workflow and required use cases if Joomla doesn’t fit it.

Honestly, a lot of what this blog post and the follow on comments are advocating for is “See what WordPress and Drupal and TYPO3 and concrete5 and Mailchimp and Shopify are doing? Joomla should do the exact same thing.” and that bothers me. Why have 3 products on the market that do the exact same thing in the exact same way? Joomla should be unique, and it was once upon a time; now it’s just an underwhelming product in an overcrowded market and struggling to survive because it is still trying to rest on the laurels created with Joomla 1.5, 13 years ago.

    Vic Drover · January 29, 2020 at 10:06 AM

    Doesn’t LTS begin when a product is not being developed any longer? That’s the time frame I was referring to. In any case, I 100% agree that we shouldn’t try to copy the publishing workflows of others. I’m advocating innovation to find the NEXt big step in publishing, not just throwing in a page builder. As for borrowing internal processes like bidding (TYPO3), all that is secondary if we don’t want to truly innovate. And you’ve nailed it here: “…it’s just an underwhelming product in an overcrowded market and struggling to survive because it is still trying to rest on the laurels created with Joomla 1.5, 13 years ago.”

      Michael Babker · January 29, 2020 at 10:31 AM

      If that’s your definition of LTS then that needs to be outsourced, much in the same way as the Drupal 6 LTS program. Joomla does not have the resources to provide that level of extended long term support. For me, the support lifetime of a major version branch begins with its x.0.0 release. No, not everyone is going to upgrade to it on day one (nor should they), but I don’t believe you should only turn on the clock for promised support windows once you declare a version as LTS (which for a lot of people seems to mean it isn’t being actively developed on anymore (new features), at best you’re getting higher priority bug fixes and security fixes). By that argument, do you wait until Microsoft or Apple declare their operating systems LTS before upgrading to them? How about MySQL or PHP or Apache? Is a 5-year LTS (after 7 years of active development) actually healthy for a website platform?

        Vic Drover · January 29, 2020 at 10:43 AM

        Outsourcing 4 sure. Enterprise users expect to pay for pro LTS.

Micker · January 29, 2020 at 6:01 AM

maybe we need two team,
– the core team for most important change in core concept mvc etc
– ui team, not to design a new new admin template but working in ui enchanced (editor, end user feature etc)
It will be more simple to only have a dev vision (not bad but sometime too strict) but mix the of twice !
i realy think we have a good ressource on it but they can’t participate becaus the dev team is to strengh (lol)
i tink the actualy core team do an fantastic works ! we have a very promise j4 version i didn’t think we need to do mor on 4.0 but maybe enchance editing for 4.5

Emili Pertussini · January 29, 2020 at 4:46 AM

I am in love with Joomla and I agree with your words. I feel that Joomla is moving on some very important issues and that a lot of good work is being done. The more you use Joomla, the more you fall in love with it, but I agree that we are lagging behind in the more “seductive” part for new users.

Please add me to the co-sign list.
My name is Emili Pertussini, and my agency’s name is abacmedia.


    Vic Drover · January 29, 2020 at 6:45 AM

    Will do. Thanks!

Claus Ømand · January 29, 2020 at 3:32 AM


I cannot agree more!

Also, you make Joomla have inbuilt custom fields but no easy way to use them in the design of a page. WHY? It’s an awesome feature for me, but not for the average “I want to just have a blog”

Page builder oh god yes. If we want to reach a broader audience that’s what we need.

We definitely need to be better at promoting Joomlas strong points like User management and built-in multilanguage (because you can do it in WP, but sigh…).
Anyway, i will gladly co-sign this and also help out in any way I can to promote Joomla.

    Vic Drover · January 29, 2020 at 6:44 AM

    Thanks Claus. A note though on custom fields: currently they can be added to the default template automatically, and of course hard-coded. Did I misunderstand your comment?

      Claus Ømand · February 1, 2020 at 5:13 AM

      No you are right but for it to be available to a larger audience there should have been built ind a layout builder.
      So you make your new fields, then place them in a sort gantry style framework. THAT would have been awesome.

      So now the not technical minded food blogger for example make his/her own blog just the way they want.

Brian · January 29, 2020 at 3:05 AM

It really saddens me to see many of the comments in this post.

Ideas and agreement are awesome things to have but without the people prepared to “scratch that itch” and do something you will never achieve anything.

It is very easy for anyone to say that something must be changed. It seems that far too many people think that their involvement stops there. No amount of project management, blogs, meetings or discussions can solve that. The only way you can see change is to roll up your sleeves.

For far too long people invested in the success of Joomla have sat back and watched others do the work. Expecting them to put food on your tables as well as on their own. It’s no surprise that a large percentage of those of us who do contribute have at various times suffered burnout and mental health issues.

Writing a blog post like this is a start.
Writing a comment on the blog post is a start.

But unless you stand up, roll up your sleeves and say “what can I do” then that is all it is. A start with no end.

Putting your name to someone else’s words might make you feel good but that will wear off in about 30 seconds.

Many, if not the majority, of the people who write the code that you use everyday – do it for love. They have no professional involvement with using Joomla. Yet you all feel entitled to comment, criticise and blame them for your perceived failures in Joomla.

Most of the people I see commenting here are business owners.

Do you ask your staff to contribute?
Do you encourage your staff to submit their fixes or do you keep them for yourself?
Do you support your staff to contribute to Joomla by giving them some paid contribution time?
Do you make a financial contribution to Joomla?

You want changes but you want someone else to do it.
You want changes but you are not prepared to spend time in testing those changes.
You want changes but you haven’t even looked to see that many of them are already ready and waiting for you in Joomla 4
You want the freedom to use, adapt and change Joomla to suit your own needs but you expect someone else to do that for you.
You want free food but then you complain that it’s not the type of food you wanted.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

    brian · January 29, 2020 at 3:06 AM

    grrh and I spent so long formatting that comment for readability and clarity and wordpress stripped everything out

      Micker · January 29, 2020 at 4:16 AM

      i didn’t think this message is for man how to work on j4 but its to create synergy to add more dev in same vision
      i know you do an big big works on j4 and especialy on accessibility ….

      Rowan Hoskyns Abrahall · January 29, 2020 at 6:25 AM

      I strongly suggest everyone else scrolls back to the beginning and listens to the talk from KevinJohn Gallagher too.

      Vic Drover · January 29, 2020 at 6:42 AM

      Thanks for your insight Brian. Many of the folks signing are also volunteers so i don ‘t I don’t see them as asking for something for free. That said, I’d love to make it easy for companies to contribute time. A roadmap with deliverables and deadlines is one way to address that. I hope that came out of the blog post.

    Michael Babker · January 29, 2020 at 9:50 AM

    Can I co-sign this comment?

Micker · January 29, 2020 at 2:19 AM

yes we already propose to use oembed to parse and display video in editor but rejected … dommage
i think about 3-2 things to imporve joomla user workflow
– enjoying editing content BUT becaurfull gthu.. is a nigthmare for accessibility it’s not a good solution … Joomla need to be for every one ! solution via drag and drop are cool but difficult to use only with a keyboard …
=> Maybe trying to enchance a tiny mce via 1 display plugin module video with a real display (like wodpress with shortcode) 2 add an editing column system (grid and flex), link to content generator(item categorie mailto tel ..). I think we can’t say that can be add via an other extension. Joomla need a good editing experience out of box
– we need a better menu creation experience. WP creation menu is simplier but limited . Its an hard work but create a menu link + module association is realy difficult for end user. Drag and move item in all items in all level (see menuck manager by cedric keflein)
– i realy think we need to unify and propose a universal template modificator, all provider can connect to it and propose a good systeme of customisation for end user. For template provider that can be a good saving time (not at first) !

i create many site site with WP and many with J and I realy think we have the best CMS for many case. Better code, better admin, better security OUT OF BOX but…

Finaly we need to offert more robust function for end user ! we don’t need to copy WP but we need to listen that joomla is harder for end user and integrator can’t wast is time to create override adding plugin (quid for any update) to create a good user experience …

    Vic Drover · January 29, 2020 at 6:38 AM

    Agreed Micker. If you’d like to co-sign, please post your last name.

      Micker · January 29, 2020 at 6:43 AM

      Yes yannick berges

Toivo Talikka · January 28, 2020 at 9:48 PM

Happy to co-sign your positive input to the ongoing development of Joomla, the CMS that has kept me employed since 2007 until last year, Very refreshing!

All of us should keep an eye on the future, the big picture and forget about bunfights, so common in forums and developer communities!

Toivo Talikka

    Vic Drover · January 29, 2020 at 6:37 AM

    Thanks Toivo!

Niels van Strien · January 28, 2020 at 4:34 PM

Hi Vic, Great article! I’m a Joomla user for over 10 years, but running into these same issues over and over again. I’m happy to co-sign!

    Vic Drover · January 28, 2020 at 5:42 PM

    Added. Thanks for your support!

Mark W. Bender · January 28, 2020 at 4:28 PM

Great article, Love it and Joomla!
May Joomla! Live Long and Prosper!

    Vic Drover · January 28, 2020 at 5:17 PM

    Would you like to co-sign Mark?

      Mark W. Bender · January 28, 2020 at 6:41 PM

      Most Certainly, sign me up! Mark W. Bender

Ningning · January 28, 2020 at 3:18 PM

I have been saying these points for years!!
1. Improve the damn editor!!
2. Image uploading is such a painful painful painful way. Needs improvement there too.
3. Easily change the format of the page from within the editor sidebar like WordPress. I can have multiple designs for blogs/newsletters/articles etc. difficult in Joomla!

I have been using Joomla since mambo days but today, most of my clients prefer WordPress. Sad.

    Vic Drover · January 28, 2020 at 5:16 PM

    Would you like to co-sign? If so, please reply with first and last name.

    dpk · January 31, 2020 at 8:48 PM

    Not sad at all! WordPress is better for your clients.

    Mambo (after the fork) had an internal plugin and theme installer and updater. When that came to WordPress, it was probably a game decider — or at least one of them.

    Instead of trying to catch up and copy, maybe look where the game is going to be. Maybe Headless Joomla?

Brian Mitchell · January 28, 2020 at 11:54 AM

Hey Victor, I am so pleased that we had a chance to connect at this event. This is an outstanding summary of much of the discussion that happened at the Forum for the Future.

Framing this as a Love Letter is perfection. Love is a constant longing for and striving for the good of the other, in this case Joomla! Vic, you have always been a strong advocate and I am thrilled to be sharing this leg of the journey with you.

Please add my voice and my signature to the chorus of voices above.

All together! We love you Joomla!

    Vic Drover · January 28, 2020 at 12:15 PM

    I feel the same. And I thought you moderated well at the event and kept things moving positively while giving everyone — especially the vocal folks like myself — a chance to voice their opinions. Looking forward to lunch soon!

Bill Tomczak · January 28, 2020 at 11:31 AM

Thanks for this Vic! Sign me in!

    Vic Drover · January 28, 2020 at 12:13 PM

    You got it Bill!

Alejandro Kurczyn · January 28, 2020 at 11:00 AM

I fell in love with Joomla over ten years ago and like many others I can see the sheer potential to do incredible things and want to see them come true. Thank you for such an encouraging article, I’m glad to cosign!

    Vic Drover · January 28, 2020 at 12:12 PM

    Thanks Alejandro!

Randy Carey · January 28, 2020 at 10:54 AM

Add my name.

To be candid, I have become skeptical that significant progress will be made by a herd-of-cats approach to decisions and development. I think the best progress will come from the few with a unified vision of what could be and the drive to build it as product that extends Joomla – then let the marketplace decide. After all, Joomla is based upon the concept of “extension” where one does not have to ask permission in order to build an innovative solution or feature.

My point is, while I am glad to see things like FFTF, new ideas and features are more apt to come from individuals and small teams who build those innovations without having to seek permission.

BTW, I smiled with approval when I saw you wearing the retro jersey 🙂

    Vic Drover · January 28, 2020 at 12:12 PM

    Yes! Picked up that jersey over XMas on a Lambeau tour and brought it to FFTF for the NFC Championship game. I mean, what do you wear on Sunday if it’s not Packers gear! 🙂

    I agree with your assessment on ‘herd of cats’. At FFTF there was talk of hiring a product manager to do the shepherding. Let’s see if that happens!

Soren Beck Jensen, · January 28, 2020 at 6:33 AM

Words taken right out of my mouth. Co-signed!

    Vic Drover · January 28, 2020 at 12:09 PM

    Added! Was great chatting with you on this topic at FFTF and catching up.

Niels Braczek · January 27, 2020 at 5:02 PM

Great article, Vic!
Some of the new ideas have been around for years already, but weren’t heard. I’m so excited that the ground finally seems to be ready today for a major step into the future.
Please, add me to the co-sign list.

    Vic Drover · January 27, 2020 at 10:59 PM

    With pleasure Niels!

Saurabh Shah · January 27, 2020 at 2:29 PM

Well documented Vic. Thank you for taking time to write everything. There are lot of points to be consider with this draft and gladly would love to co-sign. Cheers!

    Vic Drover · January 27, 2020 at 3:26 PM

    Great seeing you at FFTF!

Emmanuel Danan · January 27, 2020 at 3:26 AM

Excellent article Vic, I just added your post to the Trello of the technology group and will be pleased to co-sign it as well. Cheers, Emmanuel.

    Vic Drover · January 27, 2020 at 3:05 PM

    Thanks Emmanuel! Let’s keep building that convo on Trello!

Ruud van Lent · January 27, 2020 at 2:08 AM

Hi Victor,
Thank you sharing your insights and thought.
for me the love is still there but the difficulty is in sharing the love, in making others fall in love with Joomla.
Don’t get me wrong: Joomla is still ‘talk of the town’ but… talk of the town in the retirement home. All people there love Joomla and we do our best to share that love and to nourish Joomla. But what are our true intentions? Do we want to make it better and loved by more people, or are we holding on to our own love for joomla: the change and effort we invest is there to keep the status quo.
But status quo for me is not enough if Joomla is on the demise (and it is).
Falling back in love for me is easy: I have a lot to thank Joomla for and we have a strong relation: with ups and downs. Surely everybody present at the FFTF has this same (historic) love relation.
But the hard part is to make others fall in love with Joomla as well and that is where i think the real challenge is: are we able to let Joomla go so it is able to renew it self, to be great again, to shine, to be wanted. To be able to make Joomla sexy again (that for sure would help) for the ‘new’ generation to jump in, or are we to restrained by our own ‘what is in it for me’ and ‘yesterday everything was better’ relation?

Let’s NOT go back to basics, that’s like giving an elderly some hot flashy clothes…
It is ME that is holding Joomla back, if I am able to let Joomla go for sure great innovative things will happen and we will once again be talk of the town again, and not only in the retirement home.

just my 2cents 🙂

    Vic Drover · January 27, 2020 at 3:03 PM

    Love it! Care to co-sign?

Alex Smirnov · January 27, 2020 at 1:41 AM

Thanks for your work, Victor!

Happy to sign.


    Vic Drover · January 27, 2020 at 3:01 PM

    You rock Alex. Added!

Kendall Cabe · January 26, 2020 at 3:56 PM

I think your article is spot on! I’ve had discussions with other Joomlers around the world and a lot of this has come up in those discussions too. We need some momentum and the community wanting to get behind a “big and radical change” that needs to happen for Joomla to stay relevant. Innovation is key.

Count me in on co-signing.

Kendall Cabe
Times Two Technology

    Vic Drover · January 27, 2020 at 3:02 PM

    I read this on another post about self-disruption: “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” Added you above Kendall!

Ed Hathaway · January 25, 2020 at 5:30 PM

Outstanding article and generally 100% spot on. I will co-sign with one comment… Putting out Joomla 4 just because, is not a good enough reason unless you’re willing to be apart of a global divorce! It needs to be something better and something very special as you thoughtfully stated. Oh, and something that does not take extra components/plugins to successfully migrate from Joomla 3.x. Thanks Vic for sharing this with us.

    Vic Drover · January 27, 2020 at 3:01 PM

    Thanks Ed. Glad to have your voice in here!

David Aswani · January 25, 2020 at 10:01 AM

Great insight and very healthy arguments there Victor. A lot can be picked from this to make Joomla win on that date. Wonderful article.

    Vic Drover · January 25, 2020 at 10:23 AM

    Care to co-sign?

Jenn Gress - Snapdragon Services, Inc. · January 25, 2020 at 7:54 AM

Happy to co-sign

    Vic Drover · January 27, 2020 at 3:00 PM

    Super! Added you above. Nice to hear from you!

      Jenn · January 27, 2020 at 4:56 PM


Ian Nelson - Neltek web design · January 25, 2020 at 6:22 AM

Happy to sign. Have lots of thoughts mulling around. Was great to meet you at FFTF. Love Joomla and main current challenge is creating a usable interface for the non techy business owner who wants to edit ‘pages’ on their site.
Just tried to create an account on volunteers portal on my phone, upload picture… “too big, please resize ” … to what? How big is accepted? How, I’m on my mobile… hit back and lost all name and data entered… gave up. !

I have some thoughts on components and the ‘joomla package’ – will work out where to publish them

    Rowan Hoskyns Abrahall · January 25, 2020 at 7:58 AM


      Ian Nelson - Neltek web design · January 25, 2020 at 8:59 AM


        Vic Drover · January 27, 2020 at 3:00 PM

        Added you Ian!

Chris Keen · January 25, 2020 at 3:04 AM

Thought provoking piece.
I’m happy to co-sign

    Vic Drover · January 27, 2020 at 2:59 PM

    Added you Chris. Cheers!

Spyros Zoup · January 24, 2020 at 4:23 PM

Couldn’t agree more. I cosign. Spyros Zoup.

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 5:32 PM


Brian Peat · January 24, 2020 at 3:53 PM

I’ll gladly sign. I mocked up a new design for the article edit window YEARS ago but it never got any traction. I’ve been talking about article types for years also. Honestly I build in WP these days because I just can’t find anything in Joomla for small websites that excites me or is a selling point over WP for my clients. It didn’t use to be that way. The new face on J4 doesn’t excite me at all as it appears to just be a bit of menu reorg and a new look to the same interface everywhere else.

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 5:32 PM

    Yep. Exactly correct. The value proposition for Joomla is now shared among many platforms. I wonder if we can get some traction this time?

René Kreijveld · January 24, 2020 at 3:30 PM

It was a pleasure to meet with you again. You are one of many Joomla friends I got to know over all these years. And I love our talks about our lives and families besides Joomla.
This post is spot-on. Sign me up as co-signer.

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 5:30 PM

    I love it too! Can’t wait for more!

Laura Gordon · January 24, 2020 at 3:12 PM

Thank you Vic for a well put article. I’m on board! Please add me to your list of signors!!! Thank you for everything that you have done for the project and continue to do.

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 3:25 PM

    Thanks Laura! Was great seeing you on the weekend!

Viviana Menzel · January 24, 2020 at 2:19 PM

Thanks for your love letter. I would like to co-sign this.

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 2:26 PM

    Many thanks. I have added you and the others.

Adi Heutschi · January 24, 2020 at 1:29 PM

Very interesting contribution. Sign gladly.
Pagebuilders are the future. SP Pagebuilder and Yootheme do it.

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 3:05 PM

    Page Builders are already the past. What’s next? That’s what I want Joomla to discover. Thanks for signing!

Eric Lamy · January 24, 2020 at 12:14 PM

Hi Victor,
Once again we agree. On the observation and on the incredible energy that was declared last weekend and that I see every day since my return. Glip groups are bubbling with ideas, proposals and goodwill, meetings are organized day after day and in each team I can see joomlers ready to work on the new roadmap.
So yes I agree to co-sign your excellent article!

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 2:25 PM

    C’est bon! (I’ve now exhausted my French … nearly 🙂 ). I am re-joining Glip myself. Let’s see if we can do something!

Chris Hoefliger · January 24, 2020 at 12:08 PM

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I do agree with most of what you write and I’d like to co-sign this.

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 2:24 PM

    Thank you!

Alex Andreae - SourceCoast · January 24, 2020 at 12:01 PM

I’ll gladly co-sign. The biggest issue with Joomla is by far the publishing. I’ve worked with so many clients, friends and family that write a beautiful article/post and then drag a photo into the editor area only to have the browser redirect from that page to show the image full screen. Clicking back, the article contents are gone. You’ve either lost them at that point or 10 minutes later when you’ve explained the separate media upload area, necessary content area image icon and select to insert mechanics that are archaic nowadays.

What is still a powerful editing platform is lost due to simplicity in other platforms not being carried over.

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 2:23 PM

    I have done so myself even! Thanks for supporting!

Roger · January 24, 2020 at 11:34 AM

Thanks for this great article. You wrote down my thoughts in exactly the same way…
Will you put me on the co.sign list too?
Thank you in advance and keep the good work here!

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 2:21 PM

    I certainly will. Last name (i’m afraid to mis-spell it 🙂 ).

Robert Jacobi · January 24, 2020 at 11:13 AM

This is spot on and discussed by me in private and public over the last two years. Honored to co-sign. I’m glad FFTF brought these ideas to light. A reinvigorated leadership will be required to make this happen. We can’t accept a 20% decline over two years and think anyone new will be inspired.

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 11:17 AM

    Yes, this decline is the heart of the matter. Thanks for your support!

Chuck Wadlow · January 24, 2020 at 10:42 AM

This is a well written, very polite post that I agree with. As for the next versions, I’ll leave that to the Developers, but I’m also leaving them this:,_release_often

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 3:06 PM

    And if you ask me, no backwards compatibility breaks 🙂

      Anibal Sanchez · January 25, 2020 at 3:04 AM

      Yep. In this new cloud world of online services, no backward compatibility breaks.

Anibal Sanchez · January 24, 2020 at 10:38 AM

Great stuff. It has been an immense pleasure to work with you these days. I am looking forward to more collaboration.

Please, add me to the co-sign list.

PS The love letter is not exactly how I would have written the post ? , but it is certainly very creative!

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 10:44 AM

    Haha! It didn’t start out as a “love letter”. It was a bit more more like your FFTF blog post but had a bit more of my concerns built in. So I got to thinking how “radical changes” might be best communicated in a positive way? That’s when I got the idea 🙂

      Rowan Hoskyns Abrahall · January 30, 2020 at 1:20 AM

      Anibal is a fighter not a lover 😉

Wilco Alsemgeest · January 24, 2020 at 10:21 AM

Hi Vic,

Great write up!
I would still love to see you in our Professionalization team, to share your thoughts, ideas and anything else.
Most importantly work together to prepare the future.


    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 10:28 AM

    Hi Wilco. It was great to meet you last weekend! Normally I would be there in a heartbeat, but my schedule until summer won’t allow it. I’m happy to pop in for sprints though, so keep that in mind.

    May i add you to the co-sign list?

      Wilco Alsemgeest · January 24, 2020 at 10:31 AM

      Off course!

Martijn Boomsma · January 24, 2020 at 9:58 AM

Love the story and agree in many ways. But who is going to do the work? It seems Joomla has no or not enough (motivated or qualified) developers and who is going to get them? But maybe that’s details, details ;-). A product manager with a good team might make the difference.

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 9:59 AM

    Care to co-sign?

      Martijn Boomsma · January 24, 2020 at 10:05 AM

      Of course!

SD Williams · January 24, 2020 at 9:30 AM

Wonderfully written confession of love for Joomla! I too, love Joomla and it brightened my day to see that I am not alone. I was only able to attend FFTF virtually, but I came away feeling like the important conversations where starting to happen. This inspired me to increase my level of involvement, to do what I can to be apart of the solution.

Consider this me, co-signing.

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 9:33 AM

    Thanks! Will add your name to the main article.

Dave · January 24, 2020 at 9:14 AM

Great article and thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts. Is this enough to co-sign?

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 9:15 AM

    Just need last name. Feel free to add ‘freelancer’ or agency name.

      David Boggitt · January 24, 2020 at 9:34 AM

      David Boggitt

        Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 9:38 AM

        Awesome! Added your name above.

David Steadson · January 24, 2020 at 9:11 AM

That Mambo vs Joomla editor side by side is … ouch. Deadly.

Really though it needs to be Joomla 5 (or whatever more exciting name we can come up with). We need to get the processes and organization professionalised and then we can (hopefully) much much more efficiently create a whole new Joomla.

Sometimes the problem with Joomla is people try to get too much done, and nothing is done.

Better done than perfect?

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 9:17 AM

    Thanks for the reply David. Can we do both at once? As for versions, unless we have a seamless update process between J3 and J4, I’d put a pin in that. Care to co-sign?

      David Steadson · January 24, 2020 at 10:33 AM

      just checking there’s nothing too egregious I might disagree with 🙂

        Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 10:47 AM

        Keep me posted… 🙂

          Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 10:48 AM

          Also, it’s not needed to agree with everything. The idea is that we can re-focus on the publishing experience and then decide how to get there. My specific ideas above were meant as starting places for discussion.

Rowan Hoskyns Abrahall · January 24, 2020 at 7:45 AM

Have I mentioned I love you today? If not, I do!

    Vic Drover · January 24, 2020 at 7:46 AM

    Care to co-sign??

      Rowan Hoskyns Abrahall · January 29, 2020 at 3:52 AM

      OK here goes. Let’s start with these …

      Add professional staff to Joomla’s virtual “front office”, including a product -manager to help align the efforts of code contributors.

      • This is something I believe in strongly. I have seen people bankrupt themselves (myself included) volunteering for Joomla, I have seen people get very ill (myself included) volunteering for Joomla.

      • Our volunteer base has declined to critical levels and the work is being done by fewer and fewer people with some working over 60 hours a week (myself included) for Joomla, when do they get time to work and pay their rent?

      • This is Open Source Slavery and it is wrong. Most people buy fair trade coffee and chocolate, avoid palm oil, carbon offset, but at home, it is fine to work someone to death for Joomla? NO, IT IS NOT!

      • I have been accused of trying to move towards this to line my own pockets, I am in no way looking for a paid position myself, if I am re-elected I will be here for another 6 months to finish what I started and then I will be leaving as I have done my time (7 months on CLT, 1 Year as Events Director, coming up to 2 years as President, will be 2.5 if I am re-elected) and for me, the summer will be the time when I move on.

      • We need to pay the people working more than full-time jobs in Joomla a Universal Basic Income (UBI), otherwise, we are just using people, sucking them dry and spitting them out when they are broken in hope of finding a new schmuck to take their place and go through the same thing.


      Follow the lead of other successful relationships like Typo 3 and WordPress who offer bounties for the development of critical new features and/or refactoring sprints.

      • This is also something I have been strongly trying to push for years. If someone is going to write a major feature or refactor a large part of our existing codebase and they are going to be working on it full time. They deserve just like above, at very least a Universal Basic Income whilst they do it.

      • UBI does not mean Rockstar wages it means a roof over their head, food on table, heat, light, power (to run the computer they are going to work on) and water. Anything else is slave labour and morally reprehensible.


      Purchase an E-commerce system for Joomla that would be officially supported by the project and offered to the community for free.

      • This one I disagree with. What we should do is guide new and existing users to best of breed extensions from the JED that suit their specific goals for their site.
      • We have an amazing third-party ecosystem and we should make more noise about it both within and out-with our core software.


      Offer Joomla training to schools and universities to encourage more usage and engagement.

      • This has been a big point of mine for years, but again a lack of staffing and to some extent cash has held this back, with the 501c3 in place later on this year (when they finally give us it) we will be able to tap into grant money and get a full educational programme set up. I envisage having 4 levels of this.
      o Early learners – unsure of age but get ‘em young and show them Joomla first
      o Teens – show them how to turn hobbies into small businesses or share information with others using Joomla as the tool of choice
      o University students – make sure we get into degree courses so that young IT professionals leave University with Joomla in their toolbox
      o Adult Learners – whether that be the unemployed, rehabilitation programmes or old people. Ensure that Joomla is on the map in these sorts of programmes and courses.
      Release a Joomla distribution tailored for educational institutions like schools, universities and libraries.
      • I have been talking about and asking us to aim for a certified version of Joomla ISO or similar, in my view, this would be a paid version with a higher level of support that allows institutions to consider Joomla knowing that it meets their QA requirements for a platform.
      • This would put us on the map in the sub-enterprise ecosystem and generate funds to support the rest of the project.
      Very long-term support for major Joomla releases (5+ years)
      • I would rather see less “break the world” when new versions come out, easy migration paths, less OMG its all broken.
      • This one I have less to say about as I am unsure how this would work in the real world and I’ll leave more qualified people than I to comment here.
      Now for the meat …
      Massively simplified publishing interface
      • Take a look at EasyBlog’s composer, sadly that can’t be just transliterated into core due to the way EB works, but that is a much better interface and in my view an excellent “starter for ten”.
      • If people still want the old fashioned way (and some people do because they are used to it, older and less good with learning new tricks) they will still have the more office style JCE to use.
      • JCE and EB Composer both have better image handling and a whole load of tricks up their sleeves, that we could take a leaf out of, whilst adding a modern interface at the same time.


      Effortless media addition and mark-up
      • The new media manager was a great start, but even that work is now nearly 3 years old and therefore dated. Again, EasyBlog’s composer and JCE’s media manager go a long way towards being better and should 100% be used as examples of how this could be better.
      • Audio and Video are essential these days and if we fail to get them in, we fail.
      Customizable article types
      • We already have these, but I think we should provide some more sample data examples of how a combination of layouts and custom fields can create almost anything if you have a bit of knowhow.
      • Geraint’s Easy Layouts goes a long way towards this with his drag and drop interface. That said we want to make sure that we don’t step on the toes of our third-party extensions too.
      • We should celebrate the line where Joomla stops and they take over, whilst making it easier for them to build fantastic additions to our system.
      Mobile-first publishing
      • We were the first CMS to have a mobile-friendly Admin interface and then we just stopped there, those laurels that we have been rested on have long since turned to dust and we must revisit this urgently.


      My 2 cents …

      In my opinion, we should get 4 out of the door ASAP. Strip anything that isn’t finished yet and bring it in later in the series.

      We should ensure that the upgrade path is smooth and there are minimum BC breaks and then look at 5 as being a complete rethink, start it now, and get it done as fast as quality allows (hopefully with the help of paid developers for larger features to ensure both quality and timely delivery)


      Last year I tried to get a pattern library built for Joomla, but sadly was shot down in flames by production. I had the best person in the world to do this willing to do it for a fraction of her normal price, but I was told in no certain terms that I was meddling with production and to sod off.

      There have been many initiatives like that which have died in the same way, mostly with the (said or unsaid) reasoning of “go away you stupid little girl, know your place”.

      This stupid little girl has been in the IT industry for 25 years and does know a thing or two about this stuff, but that’s just chauvinism in action and boy do we have a lot of it around here.


      Now that I’ve brain dumped this much, I am delighted to put my name to this initiative, I could probably write page upon page right now, but I need more coffee.

      Finally, thank you, Vic, for writing this, giving everyone food for thought and I hope that this gets people’s creative juices flowing and we start moving forward instead of standing still or going round in circles, which is what has been happening in production for far too long.

      My final words on this, for now, are

      “If we have no product, we have no community”.

        Soren Beck Jensen, · January 29, 2020 at 3:57 AM

        – I agree that we should not put e-commerce in core

        – Not so sure there is a point in getting 4 out the door unless it has some radical positive changes.

          Rowan Hoskyns Abrahall · January 29, 2020 at 5:27 AM

          To remove the lock to bootstrap 2?

            Vic Drover · January 29, 2020 at 6:35 AM

            Thanks Rowan! I’ll add you. As for legacy frameworks, we strip those out pretty easily in the template:


            Could be added as a switch in global config, no?

              Michael Babker · January 29, 2020 at 9:47 AM

              No, that should NOT be a global config switch. Extensions should be able to enable the media they need, templates should have ultimate say over the rendered output (even if that means turning off media that someone else turned on). A majority of users who will see that type of option in the user interface will have no idea of the types of consequences it could cause. Take a page out of WordPress’ book and make decisions over giving user options for once, it’s not like there aren’t already 1239075 other options that users have to try and wrap their heads around.

              Part of the media problem is Joomla has never had a proper asset management API (similar to WordPress’ enqueue/register functions for scripts and stylesheets), the Document API is FIFO and relies on paths to manage things (so you lack features like asset dependency tracking and are forced to make sure those arrays ultimately end up in the right order). And the version going into 4.0 is IMO unsuitable for production use and just makes things worse (of course nobody wanted to believe me when I wrote a 7 page document explaining the flaws and the right way to migrate to that type of API).

          Ian Nelson - Neltek web design · January 29, 2020 at 10:48 AM

          Soren I think the release of Joomla 4 has arguments both ways. Release with not much in may bring negative comments about the ‘new release’ but equally at the moment, no new release for so long is giving the impression Joomla is not going anywhere and not alive. So on balance I would suggest to release 4 asap with very little impact on upgrade path to show there is activity to the wider world, and then publish a roadmap or something similar for future ideas publicly on the Joomla website to show work on 5 is being done

          Brian Peat · February 10, 2020 at 7:22 PM

          I don’t think the point was to put it in the core. Woocommerce isn’t in the core, but it’s THE shop to use if you need a shop in WordPress. In joomla, there are a mish mash of options, many with absolutely HORRIBLE interfaces. I’ve used 4 or 5 of them. If I have to use joomla, I end up with J2Store most of the time because it just works, but if I have a choice, I turn to WP and woo because it’s got a massive eco system and it’s just solid. Joomla doesn’t really have anything like that.

        Mike Feng · February 2, 2020 at 1:56 AM

        > There have been many initiatives like that which have died in the same way, mostly with the (said or unsaid) reasoning of “go away you stupid little girl, know your place”.

        I find such sentiment especially common in a project sustained by voluntarism. Most volunteers possess the mentality “I’m doing this for free, therefore it should be done my way”, especially when charged with making changes that would otherwise be inconvenient. I absolutely agree that people primarily working on Joomla must be paid. This discussion is almost as old as Joomla, and it’s unfortunate the project is still influenced by so much puritanism.

        Alexis Priddy · February 4, 2020 at 4:36 PM

        I would love to see the bounty system put in place and would gladly contribute to it. Once the 501(c)3 is in place, the project should use the Google for Nonprofits Google Ads to really push marketing. They give $10,000/mo in free advertising.

        Alexis Priddy · February 4, 2020 at 4:38 PM

        Also, I noticed that the advertising is no longer on and the Google search disabled. Will those be coming back?

          MikeDemoi · February 4, 2020 at 4:59 PM

          OSM switched to Carbon ads in areas like the docs:

            Alexis Priddy · February 5, 2020 at 5:52 AM

            Will they be adding back to the forum? We offer monthly maintenance services, so that is the best place for us to advertise. Thanks!

      Hugh Douglas-Smith · January 30, 2020 at 3:10 AM

      Victor, great article, I would be pleased to co-sign. Hugh Douglas-Smith

        Vic Drover · January 30, 2020 at 8:14 AM

        Thanks Hugh. Added!

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