Have you ever tried to make a multisite with Joomla? The idea of having one Joomla install but with multiple instances and domains sounds really interesting and a crazy idea to make happen. This week I interview Edwin from JMS2Win who has done just that since Joomla 1.5. He's made it possible to have multiple Joomla websites on one instance of code.
A big shoutout to SiteGround, our wonderful hosting company, here at the Joomla Beat podcast. Head on over to joomlabe.at/siteground to get a huge 60% off your next web hosting account!
It is Joomla!'s 9th birthday! On the 17th August, 9 years ago, a group of brave soles decided to move away from Mambo - the original CMS that Joomla came from. If you go to Brian.Teeman.net you will be able to read all about it on Brian's blog post write up. While you're there, check out the slideshow reel of all of the logos that came in for the logo design competition for the original Joomla! logo.
Interview with Edwin
We'll jump straight into the interview with Edwin from JMS2Win.
The History of JMS2Win
The creation of JMS2Win was the result of a personal need by Edwin. JMS2Win is formerly known as Joomla Multisite.
He created it because the hosting company he was with provided him with 900 MB's of hard disk but gave the possibility to create 1000 domains. The problem was how to put 1000 instances of Joomla that takes up more or less than 35 MB. This results in 35GB, so how to enter 35Gb into 900MB? It is as if you are trying to fit a big car into a small box.
Edwin compares it to a program such as; Microsoft Word - you wouldn't want to install it every time you want to create a word document? So why do we need to install Joomla! everytime we want to create a website? With JMS2Win, you can use one install of Joomla over a range of websites.
Rather than backing up Joomla! and the content of all the websites each time, it only does one backup of Joomla! and then the content and database from all the websites. Which saves space.
It was a start for himself, but then he thought about who would benefit from this? Large countries such as Australia and the United States. Companies that have multiple websites such as car retailers and cannot manage this large number of websites.
It can take a large number of hours to install Joomla! over a wide range of websites, say it takes 15 - 30 minutes to install the environment. Multiple that by 300 websites, it takes 150 hours just to install. It is one man work, but with Edwin he can create 400 websites in 8 hours. This saves large amounts of time and money.
To do this, you Install Joomla once, install JMS2Win, then what it does is automatically makes a virtual instance of Joomla!, apply a domain name to it and do this hundreds of times. Which results in just one Joomla! install.
You can also do that from the front end and propose a kind of hosting system, there are tips for that on the JMS2Win website. It also gives users the option to select templates/looks for the website.
You will find that JSM2Win works on Joomla! 3 and will usually come out 2 - 3 weeks after a new version of Joomla! comes out. This gives Edwin time to sort out the bugs that may arise.
A typical case of how this can be used is for a company webshop for different cities. This can prove to be a problem with deliveries, due to distance and the warehouse where the product is located. They want websites depending on the starting point for the delivery.
It allows you to have 300 websites to deliver specific products depending on the cities. Also allowing for different prices and delivery systems, depending on the location. Another great feature is the special solutions with Hikashop, when you combine both, you have a new functionality which allows you to locate specific product from cities. In the coming weeks, you'll see currency and price adjustments accordingly. Different places could adjust prices according to where it is located, giving the option for excess.
If you have one Joomla! instance and it is hacked, does that mean all the websites get hacked?
The answer is yes. But it is easy to fix, because you only have one website to fix rather than 300. Edwin's suggestion is, not to put the master php code online. So you can protect your master and make it read only. Ideally the websites are virtual instances which are running off the master.
If a client wants to move away to another hosting provider and away from their current web developer etc. is there a way of doing this? Yes, there is a manual procedure to do that. It is explained on the forum on the website, there is not a component to do this.
If you are new to Joomla! you will need some support to setup JMS. So brush up on those Joomla! skills beforehand.
Thank you Edwin for joining us!