Designing and Building a website can be both very easy and extremely difficult. Easy because you can get ready made "off the shelf" sites on hosted servers that allow you to populate a template with your content, move things about and ét voilá you have a website. Fine if you need a quick and simple build, if you're happy to use someone else's design and layout and great if you know nothing at all about coding.

The only real drawback with these type of sites is that it's not YOUR design, it's someone else's and another site built using the same template can look very similar if not identical to yours.

Designing and building from scratch with bare basic HTML or PHP is the other end. You need to know and fully understand the code, it's foibles and it's secrets. If you leave one security hole unpatched, you will get hacked.

Using a built, tested and secure platform like Joomla allows you the freedom to create your own unique layout, page style, input and output by building on the knowledge shared by others in the open-source community. There are templates and modules, components and plug-ins that you can make use of to add value to your site and save on hours of head scratching coding. Of course you can code if you want but why reinvent the wheel? If someone has been there done that and wants to share their hard work for a few quid, why not take advantage of it. Modules often come with great technical support from the coders so if you can't make it work out of the box they can help, guide and fault find.

I have been coding sites for years yet I fnd using Joomla so much more rewarding by allowing a fast build in a safe environment. Once built you can even give access to others to add to and expand your site. Joomla was built on the foundations of Mambo an early CMS and allows the creation of a web site where different users can have different access rights. Essentially you could build a publishing empire with it. Tomorrow the WORLD!!!

So there we are. What next? Some interesting additional features which can be added to a site to gain that all important "Feedback" from users. After all, if they don't tell you whether its a good site or not, how are you going to know?

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