As we countdown to 2019, we’ll be raising a glass (or two) to all our incredible volunteers who have made the leaps and bounds of 2018 possible.
Being proudly Open Source, we owe everything to the guys and girls around the world who put in a lot of elbow-grease, coding prowess and commercial savviness. So we say a HUGE "Thank you!". Here’s to 2018, the year ahead and the Joomla! world of volunteers - chink chink, this one’s for you!
We’d also like to show our heartfelt gratitude to our sponsors and partners – the businesses and brands that ensure Joomla! is up, running and moving onwards every day. Through financial backing and giving us access to products and services, they prove vital to our continual push forward.
Let’s take a look at all that we’ve achieved together over the course of 2018…
2018... Great steps forward for Joomla Community!
The year – In numbers
Over 1,200 commits were merged, thousands of edits/translations were made on JDocs; and our beloved CMS was downloaded over 11 million times (taking us to a staggering total of more than 99 million).
11 Patch Releases for the 3.x series
Since the launch of Joomla! 3 our community members have been beavering away – overcoming bugs and implementing improvements at superhuman speed.
Over the 3.x series, our developers have provided hundreds upon hundreds of improvements, bug fixes and security solutions.
In 2018 alone, we also released no less than 11 patch milestones - bringing more stability and boosted security to Joomla! Go team!
The Launch of Joomla 3.9 - The Privacy Tool Suite by Joomla!
2018 was a year of significant change for website owners and their responsibilities for protecting user’ data. In response, we created the Privacy Tool Suite.
Delivering more than 250 improvements, and including star features such as user consents, user information requests and user enriched privacy for extensions, this all-in-one release has made countless Joomlers lives that little bit easier (take that, GDPR!).
Three Joomla 4 Alpha Releases
Joomla! 4 is going to be our slickest release yet.
During 2018, we’ve released three Joomla! 4 Alphas – ready for taking for a spin by our many talented testers (thanks to all those who’ve taken the time to report bugs and share their ideas!).
Once Again, we Scoop the CMS Critic Awards: Best Free CMS
So in 2018, we were announced as the Best Free CMS, as picked by the CMS Critic Awards – for the fourth year in a row! In 2019, we’re going to be investing in a new trophy cabinet.
Winning awards is especially rewarding given our 100% volunteer organization status. Together we face plenty of challenges and a rapid pace of technological evolution, and we wouldn’t change a moment of it!
Sharpening our Marketing strategy - Loud and Proud in Paris
Back in May, we said "Bonjour!" to Paris, as we gathered together to sharpen the tools in our marketing arsenal. After a few years of explosive growth in the range of CMS systems, and attack from long-standing players such as WordPress, we debated and discussed – strategized and finalized our approach for growth in the coming years.
Among the strategies that are going to form our focus moving forward will be international grassroots initiatives (such as education, JDays, and new groups), which will mark our global footprint; as well as being propelled forward by the many new volunteers who’ve joined the ranks this year (which is a nod to the groups that have formed in 2018).
We’ve also launched Launch.joomla.org, which now serves as a hub to take on the myths and misconceptions that surround Joomla, allowing first time users and those taking another look a chance to spin up a fully functional Joomla site with no limitations, for free, in minutes.
Finally, we created a dedicated Twitter account for Joomlers (not following yet? Here we are).
Joomla! Turns Teenager (Happy Birthday to Us!)
Back in 2005, we launched to the world – something that would mark the start of an incredible journey.
How time flies. 15 versions, +10,000 extensions and thousands of volunteers later, and we were putting on our party hats and popping corks as we celebrated our 13th birthday.
Joomla! Join the 2018 Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit
For a decade we’ve attended and participated in each Google Summer of Code event, and 2018 was no different.
This annual event always serves up plenty of inspiration for future Joomla! Features. And this year, between October 12th to 14th Puneet Kala and Sandra Decoux, two of our Joomla! admins, headed off to Google HQ in Sunnyvale, California. Their aim was to learn how we could improve our participation in the program from fellow admins and mentors.
There was chocolate (lots of chocolate), insightful open discussions and a talk from Sarah Maddox, a tech writer at Google, about her ‘Google Season of Docs (GSoD) project.
Reaching 56 Certified Administrators
Over the past twelve months a record-smashing 56 certified administrators have joined us. Welcome, friends - you’re now part of a 216-strong team, and with Joomla! 4 coming soon, there are more exciting times ahead.
Official Event, after Official Event (11 in Total)…
You could say that 2018 was a busy one in terms of Joomla! events. In fact, we were social butterflies - positively flapping our way through all 12 months.
As well as 11 official events, there were also many Joomla! User Group meetings around the world.
Joomla! Begins Providing Retail Therapy, with the Joomla! Shop
You were forever asking us about mugs, beanies and tees to show your love for Joomla! to the world. Well my friends, in May, the day had finally come to open the doors to our online shop.
Coming up in 2019...
Joomla! 4 Looms Large on the Horizon
As we move into 2019 we look forward to another year of steps being made as we march toward Joomla! 4.0.
Good things take time, and boy, are there plenty of good things going to come your way with Joomla! 4. Get set for a cleaner, more powerful codebase, lightning-fast installation, a brand-spanking-new interface and fresh features that’ll bolster Joomla! security. It’s going to be the best generation yet.
Keeping a few surprises up our sleeves…
Over the course of 2019, you should expect the unexpected, as we’re continuing work on various top-secret projects. Mum’s the word!
A word from…
George Wilson, Joomla 4 Release Lead and Production Department Coordinator
2018 was a hugely exciting year for Joomla continuing our stable and secure Joomla 3 series, resources are being invested into making Joomla 4 our easiest to use product to date for site builders, whilst making sure the migration is as easy as possible for developers. I’m looking forward to stabilising the work and introducing it to the wider community over 2019.
Rowan Hoskyns-Abrahall, Joomla President
As 2018 draws to a close, I have come back to one train of thought time and time again. Why we do what we do. What we do is obvious, we make open source software that powers websites around the world. How we do it, is also clear, we work together in our spare time as volunteers to improve our codebase incrementally and continually introduce features.
In 2019 we need to put our personal differences aside, step back from them and remember why we do what we do and why it matters. Now, more than ever, we, as a community, need to remember we do this "because Open Source Matters". With all the developments in other platforms, especially the relentless expansion of closed source SAAS platforms and the direction some of our CMS "siblings" have taken, the values we were founded on should be at the front of our minds and in every action we take. Freedom and Openness, together as a whole.
We also need to adapt. We are too big to run on volunteer manpower alone. We need to introduce paid staff to help administer and manage our organisation. I know this is an unpopular viewpoint for many but with paid staff comes accountability on a level impossible to achieve with a volunteer workforce alone. There are many people in the organisation who work more than full time hours keeping the organisation going, we see high percentages of burn out and even higher levels of frustration from this. Introducing paid roles is far from the end of days those against the idea proclaim. Instead, it is an essential path we must start to walk down in order to switch from survival to revival, from keeping the lights on to shining bright among our peers.
We have already started the process of forming the Joomla Foundation, a full 501c3 (charity) and once fully set up, this will open up our organisation to support and grants that until now we have been unable to access. With this we will be able to operate far more efficiently thanks to programs available and with access to grants we can move forward with education initiatives and outreach to further our aim of providing free open source tools to everyone on the planet.
It is my wholehearted hope that in 2019 we can find the cohesion and passion that we collectively have for Open Source and the freedoms it brings and that together as a whole we can show a more positive, collaborative and inclusive set of behaviours.