For the last 2 years we spent most of our time providing our services to DPG Digital Media, creating and maintaining a number of news portals based on the Joomla! CMS.
Of course using some fancy technologies like Varnish proxies and NGINX micro-caching gave us some extra performance boost but i don't want to focus so much on the load speeds rather than to the unique Joomla! Flexibility.
Maintaining for more than 2 years big portals means changes... a lot of changes, introducing new features, layout modifications or even complete layout redesigns are some of our day to day tasks.
We recently had to redesign Queen.gr and we had to do it fast. A new sleek and clean layout was crafted by DPG designers and we had to implement this to the live site without affecting visitors or authors workflow. So we took the decision to do this by creating a new Joomla! template in the development environment, install this in the production site and then reset and publish all additional modules that any page required.
And here comes the Joomla! templating magic. We created a new set of module positions, assigned new/copied modules in those positions and all we had to do to proceed with the rest of the templating was to add to any page the new template variable, something like ?template=new-queen. The result of this process was that within almost a week we had a new fully functional template tested and ready to go live.
This was the most smooth redesign i had in my entire development life and i am sure that without the Joomla! clever module management and the unique template overrides that comes with it this could be at least a 2 month work.
Some say that Joomla! is for medium sized websites that do not require a lot of flexibility. Well in reality that is not true.
Although there is still work to be done, Joomla! can support large scale projects and in the same time provide unique features for a maintainable and flexible website.