The power of the Joomla brand

April 23, 2009

Reading time ~3 minutes

I have to be honest and say I was nervous when I pushed the button to announce the fork away from the Mambo project August of 2005. I really had no idea whether we’d make it through even the first year. Well, we did and the fourth anniversary of that fateful day is only four months away. Joomla quickly eclipsed the Mambo project on every metric and eventually even the most hardened of fence-sitters had to concede that the fork had indeed stood it’s ground and achieved success in its own right and the Joomla-versus-Mambo days are long past. So how has Joomla as a brand performed over this time?

There is no definitive way to exactly measure the size or popularity that the Joomla brand has achieved. We have to rely on anecdotal methods. provides an interesting aggregation of that anecdotal data for domains around the world. It’s interesting to observe the results of Joomla today particularly when you consider that the project started with nothing but the passion and ideals of a community devoted to a cause.

The following table provides a look at Joomla relative to Mambo and the other notable CMS players.






August 21 2005
March 05 2001
July 19 2005
April 30 2008
April 26 2001
March 03 2000

Some explanatory notes and observations:

  • These results were current as of 23 April 2009 from but I don’t think the creation dates are accurate.
  • was the project’s home page at the time of the fork.
  • was created shortly after the fork but a schism between the Mambo Foundation and the owners of means this is now the Mambo project’s official home page.
  • is the most recent of a long line of subsequent forks in the Mambo project (Joomla being the first). I add this to provide a relative comparison between the Joomla and the MiaCMS as forks in their own right. This one is small but I believe it returns the project back to the ideals and values that we had in Mambo prior to the Joomla fork.
  • Drupal and WordPress are the other two projects most compared to Joomla. Drupal is a true multi-purpose CMS like Joomla while WordPress has a more refined feature set that is more suited to blogging sites.
  • WordPress receive a slightly unfair advantage in the metrics due to hosted blogging networks.
  • The Domain Value is just a number the dnScoop works out. The actual value is not as important as the relative value. What it shows is the strength of the original Mambo brand and how the Mambo Foundation has not been able to really capture that back. Yet, has fallen from grace in the area of page rank. It also shows the difference what a unique brand can make. Mambo the CMS has to compete with the very strong apparel brand of Mambo clothing and is of course further diluted by the dance of the same name. Joomla, Drupal and WorkPress do not suffer from this problem.

What does this all mean? Brand is everything. Joomla, Drupal and WordPress all have very strong brands but also put a lot of effort into keeping that brand reliable and unified. Mambo is an example of what happens when that does not occur.

Open Source solutions are being looked at with even closer scrutiny during these hard economic times due to their inherent tenancity. People are going to look to the strong existing brands to survive and rebuild. In terms of solutions for true content management Joomla, is arguably the leading brand. It’s a wise choice for investment for any business seeking more economically reliable content management solutions.

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