Joomla and the Internet design monster

I’ve been experimenting a little bit with Web site design in order to put together a good resume/work samples site to represent me, and once again I’m reminded of why Web site publication is such a laborious and time-consuming project.

I decided to try out Joomla, as it is supposed to be user-friendly, fast, offer the latest technologies, and be a robust Content Management System.

I spent hours yesterday sifting through various tutorials and templates. And Joomla is neither fast nor user-friendly. I’m reminded again that the type of minds that develop and create these programs/systems are not in tune with the creative minds who use them.

Nor does Joomla have strong competitors who do any better. Drupal templates, for example, seemed extremely elementary and limited, and frankly unattractive.

You can always go with a wordpress authoring tool, but that’s limiting in terms of what you can do. And the templates aren’t always very good. I had to cobble together a Web site quickly, and used wordpress to author it with limited success. You can see that Web site at LATapestries.com. I don’t know about others, but I’ve had loads of trouble getting wordpress to do simple things such as embed video, or to even organize Manu options and Web pages in the hierarchical order I want.

And this is where Apple has done it right yet again. Macbooks have a Web authoring tool called iWeb. If you’re a PC user, you’ve probably never heard of it. But believe me, it’s worth the price of a Mac just for iWeb.

I have never experienced a simpler, quicker, and more intuitive Web authoring tool. It’s also robust and allows publishers to do all the basic things that you’d need to do just to get going. In the fraction of the time that it took to create a bad LA Tapestries Web site, I was able to create two other Web sites recently. Including, a quickly whipped up novasafo.com site which I hoped to then rework with Joomla, but which I may not leave alone because Joomla seems so cumbersome and time-consuming.

Granted, iWeb is simple. There are a very few templates, and they all do conform to a basic 5-6 function Web site theme. But 90 percent of non-commerce, non-corporate Web sites would probably be served just fine with iWeb.

Outside developers who create authoring/CMS tools such as Joomla and Drupal would be very well served to take a good look at iWeb and figure out how to incorporate it’s fetures.

What’s most astonishing is that iWeb’s basic and simple designs are actually generally speaking more elegant and beautiful than almost all of what I saw sifting through Joomla templates yesterday.

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