Question 1. What are some real world examples of what Joomla! can do?

Joomla is used all over the world to power Web sites of all shapes and sizes. For example:

- Corporate Web sites or portals
- Corporate intranets and extranets
- Online magazines, newspapers, and publications
- E-commerce and online reservations
- Government applications
- Small business Web sites
- Non-profit and organizational Web sites
- Community-based portals
- School and church Web sites
- Personal or family homepages

Question 2. What's a content management system (CMS)?

A content management system is software that keeps track of every piece of content on your Web site, much like your local public library keeps track of books and stores them. Content can be simple text, photos, music, video, documents, or just about anything you can think of. A major advantage of using a CMS is that it requires almost no technical skill or knowledge to manage. Since the CMS manages all your content, you don't have to.

Question 3. Will I be able to make changes myself?

100 percent of the websites we build at Global Web Graphics involve a content management system (CMS), which is a web-based tool that allows anyone to be able to manage/update their own website. We utilize a couple different CMS tools, depending on the needs and budget of the client. No matter which CMS we implement for a website, the goal is to provide full flexibility, while at the same time offering a solid design structure and foundation, making it easy to add/update/delete content, pages, photos, forms, and more without “messing things up” visually.

Question 4. I want to show up in Google. Will my new site make that happen?

Unlike the “Field of Dreams,” if you build it, they won’t necessarily come! In order to be “seen” by Google and other search engines, you have to pay attention to several components – too many to list here – both on the site itself and outside your website. I go in to more detail in another post about “Common Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Questions.” But, going back to question #1 again, building a “cheap” site doesn’t usually involve much focus on SEO, because doing it the RIGHT way does involve time.

That being said, even a basic website should be designed with search engines in mind. The way our sites are built one can have a huge impact on its “search friendliness.”

Question 5. How do I create the best product images and descriptions?

Online shoppers don't get to see, touch, feel or smell your product, so the next best thing is a crisp, clear product image. While you shouldn't entirely cut corners on photography, you don't have to hire a professional to get high-quality images. But you should use "a 16-megapixel DSLR camera, decent lighting and a light box." A photo lightbox is a tent-like container with several light bulbs aimed at its interior that photography professionals often use to create well-illuminated images of objects.

Written product descriptions should be short, yet rich with enough interesting details to pique customer interest. Try to use compelling adjectives and phrases that evoke an emotion when someone reads your description, without getting too carried away or taking up too much space. In addition to noting the price, you may want to include product uses, dimensions and other defining characteristics.

Question 6. How can I best customize the overall look of my online store?

In most cases, if your company already has a website, your ecommerce site should reflect your existing online look, including your logos and color schemes. If you don't have a business website, choose background and accent colors for your ecommerce site that complement your logo.

Most design templates from ecommerce vendors come with preset theme settings that don't require HTML or CSS knowledge to customize. So, it should be relatively easy to upload your logo and product images and add banners, slideshows and more.