Am I asking too much for a CMS?

I’ve got a limited amount of html, css and js background and was about to dive into PHP and mySQL to update my sorely ancient website when I was advised to look into a CMS system. Somehow I keep gravitating back here to Joomla as it seems to be the CMS that will best suit my needs… But before I dig into this too deeply I would like to know if there are things in the list below that I will not be able to accomplish with Joomla. Your recommendations for a template or “helper system” such as Artisteer or the JA3T Framework I have seen are welcome.

I run a small sporting business with online needs of:
• e-commerce (ZenCart or OpenCart?)
• product gallery for non-online commercial items
• Blog (easyBlog?)
• forum (phpBB?)
• Coaching component with media (youTube) as well as an online help desk
• Guest, Registered Member and Agent Access
• then all the rest of the usual contact and about us pages…

I just need to know if I’m really heading in the right direction here… going with a CMS like Joomla… my web host recommends this over WordPress but did suggest there were integration problems with eCommerce solutions and Joomla unless a bridge was available

can I do everything from the Joomla admin panel or would it be easier with Artisteer or JA3T? Does anyone have any experience with these or their support?

Hey there, as you probably already know there are tons of CMS solutions out there, and the short answer is: Yes - joomla can be made to support all the features in your list, but doesn’t provide them “out of the box”. My usual approach is, for low content sites I usually go for Wordpress, for sites like yours I would probably recommend Joomla.

I’m wondering though, how big an eCommerce and forum solution do you need? Both ZenCart and PhpBB are really great stand-alone components which can be bridged with Joomla, but there are “smaller” alternatives that plug directly into Joomla, such as Kunena ( and my favourite NinjaBoard (Light weight, that adapts to your Joomla theme) [URL=“”] , being forums and I’m sure there are eCommerce solutions too.

All in all, yes Joomla can do all of the things mentioned in your list, so can other CMS solutions, but before you start putting stand-alone components together, check out the extensions for Joomla and see if they suit your needs.

Hope that helps,

Thanks Behati

It’s nice to know I’m not heading off on the wrong track altogether!.. I have downloaded Kunena and it does indeed look like it will do the trick… plenty big enough for my purposes and the admin part is very easy to understand… will take a look at ninjaboard as well…

as per ecommerce, that’s the problem… not sure how far I want to take this… I can probably get by with PayPal to avoid all the CC company overcharges and am looking at OpenCart with the AyelShop configuration… I’ve heard too many things about VirtueMart to head that route I think

also looking at EasyBlog for blogging but I know there are probably lots of others out there too

I think WordPress is probably the best CMS solution for most anyone’s needs. You can do eCommerce, Galleries, Blogs and forums. There are multiple plug-ins and extensions that allow your to have customized functionality. The best benefit is you can typically find developers for around $15-$25 an hour.