How to Blog with Joomla: The Necessary Plugins

Joomla Blog

When it comes to running a blog, Joomla leaves a lot to be desired. Despite its strengths as a content management system, it lacks some core features that we have come to expect in a blog. But that doesn’t mean it can’t make an effective blogging platform. It just requires a few upgrades.

“But why even bother? WordPress was built for blogging”

This is a valid question and I know it’s going to come up, so let me say this: There isn’t much of a debate about which CMS is better suited for blogging. WordPress wins hands down. If all you need is a blog and you’re starting from scratch, use WordPress This post isn’t meant to debate the merits of Joomla versus WP.

The point of this post is to help Joomla users obtain the tools they need to run a blog. It’s also directed at WordPress users who find themselves using Joomla for one reason or another, whether by client preference or because it ends up being better suited for a particular project.

Regardless of the reason why you’re using Joomla, it’s important that you have the ability to blog, so let’s get started.

Adding the missing features

Setting up a basic blog in Joomla is pretty straight forward. The ability to write posts (“articles” in Joomla) is standard, as well as the ability to organize them by category. All you have to do is assign a menu item to your blog category and you’re good to go.

And that’s about the time you realize what’s missing. How do people leave comments? Where’s the author information? Why can’t visitors share posts?

Thankfully, there are a variety of extensions available in the Joomla Extension Directory (JED) that make adding these missing features a breeze. Let’s explore each area in detail.
Comments

Perhaps the most obvious blogging feature that Joomla lacks is the ability for visitors to comment on your posts. At present, there are several dozen extensions that make commenting possible.

Like WordPress, Joomla has a mix of paid and free extensions available. Two of the top rated comment extensions that you can get for free are JComments and Komento.

Both have received the distinguished “community choice” designation from Joomla Magazine and are compatible with Joomla 2.5.

Author information

Another standard blog feature that Joomla lacks is the ability to display author information before or after posts. To add this capability, look no further than the Author Info Box. It’s free to use and compatible with Joomla 2.5. Using this plugin, you can display an email address, avatar, and description along with each author’s name.

Social sharing

A final piece that’s important for a successful blog is social sharing. At the time of this post, the two top rated social sharing extensions are AddThis for Joomla and Facebook-Twitter-Google+1. Both are compatible with Joomla 2.5 and provide the ability to share your articles on the most popular social networks.

An all-in-one blogging solution

If you would like to blog within Joomla and avoid installing multiple extensions, there are a few “all-in-one” extensions that will do the job.

In my opinion, the best option is K2, which is a powerful content construction extension that gives you complete control over your content in Joomla. It provides everything discussed in this post and more, including item images, image galleries, tags, multiple layouts, and user pages.

The only downside to K2 is that there’s a little more work needed to configure everything (nothing overly difficult, just more time intensive). However, if you do a lot of publishing on your site and need more flexibility, K2 is worth the effort. A great example of what K2 can do can be seen over at the CMS blog.

In conclusion

Joomla certainly isn’t the ideal blog platform, but everything you need to make it work is only a download away. And thanks to the awesome Joomla developer community, some of the best extensions are available for free.

Is there an important blog feature that I’m missing? An extension that deserves a mention? Please share with me in the comments!

Image Credit: Joomla

Article by Gere Jordan

Gere has written 1 articles.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Quality Seo Services December 20, 2012, 8:35 pm

    Joomla is the most popular content management system on the web. A lot of websites are built on Joomla & more are being built every day.

  • Jasmine December 20, 2012, 9:45 pm

    That’s for the quick tips, Gere. Joomla is a great application which’s very popular before the arrival of WordPress. But now, I am afraid that WordPress is the preferred application for blogging.

    Anyhow, Joomla is still a great software which is very powerful and features rich!

    • Gere Jordan December 21, 2012, 8:45 am

      Thanks, Jasmine. WordPress is the king of blog platforms, but Joomla brings a lot to the table. Appreciate the comment!

  • Flash banners December 21, 2012, 12:05 am

    Great article joomla have the most powerful CMS more then ever . So it is very helpful for blogging as well in the same means . Thanks for sharing this great article.

  • leeke December 21, 2012, 2:45 am

    Joomla is the most popular content management system on the web. A lot of websites are built on Joomla & more are being built every day.

  • Bijaya Ghimire December 21, 2012, 7:09 am

    Great article helpful like we people who would like to learn but have limited knowledge.

    • Gere Jordan December 21, 2012, 9:27 am

      Thanks, Bijaya!

  • Alex Dumpfree December 21, 2012, 7:28 pm

    Great info Gere, thanks. Wordpress now is the most popular platform in blogging but for sure Joomla has its own game also.

  • Raplus December 21, 2012, 9:07 pm

    Hi Gere Jordan,

    Great post. Everyone use only WordPress or blogger to create blogs. But now time to check Joomla. :-)

  • liveproject December 22, 2012, 5:49 am

    After reading this post i really excited should try joomla once. Thanks for sharing.

  • High Altitude Training December 25, 2012, 11:57 am

    Can you pls tell me how to do SEO of jomla website…

  • Preston Price December 26, 2012, 5:15 am

    Its good that Joomla already has a social sharing app for Facebook and Twitter. This would make the Joomla platform more marketable for site owners.

  • Lincoln Wiley December 28, 2012, 5:44 am

    I don’t think I’ll try Joomla since WP is far more suited for blogging. Why trying something else when you already have perfect tool?

    • Gere Jordan January 8, 2013, 9:34 am

      Hi Lincoln,

      Point taken. I wouldn’t switch either if I were you. If you’re used to WordPress, are in complete control of what platform you use, and don’t have sites with needs that Joomla is better suited for, then there’s no reason to make a change. However, for people who are used to Joomla or designers/developers who must work with different platforms, there’s often a need to achieve this functionality in Joomla.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Gere

  • mccartney paul January 8, 2013, 7:31 am

    Joomla has most useful application of most popular platforms its another benefits has we’ll be learning how to achieve better blog functionality in Joomla with extensions .

  • Bhupendra January 15, 2013, 10:12 am

    Tough i never have used Joomla but i must mention that after reading this post i am having a slight idea about it.
    Though the plugins are quiet similar to that of WordPress.