Jojo CMS started out as an unnamed PHP CMS circa 2000AD for small business websites. Without a name, it was simply referred to as "your admin section".
This early CMS was used for small websites with custom databases to manage - product databases, invoice databases and other custom functionality. At this point in time, SEO was non-existent in the product, and we told people that Google would just find them in it's own time, and meta tags would help.
In 2005, gardyneHOLT rewrote the CMS and named it Alexandria. The look and feel was similar, but the code was version managed to make maintenance easier. As it was rewritten, we also started including some SEO features based on what we had learned about this rapidly developing area. At this point, we started experimenting with rewriting URLs, and in late 2005 we created our very last tables website ever, and moved to full CSS.
As we continued to develop the CMS, we liked how we could write some code and reuse it on another project. At a business level, this saves time and allowed us to be more competitive and more profitable. Technically, we improved at least one feature on every site we did. Sometimes a new type of menu, or a new admin screen. with each project, the CMS got better.
In late 2006, we realised that we now had 50+ sites running on Jojo, and all quite different types of sites. Having had success with Jojo internally, we decided to release the code open source for other developers to use.
To do this requires a lot of work - mainly in relation to documentation, code audits and cleaning up some of the bugbears from old versions. 3 developers have been working hard on Jojo to bring it up to a standard where it can compete with other excellent and free offerings available.
By mid-2008, we have had many more sites up on Jojo, and many opportunities to further extend the range of features and plugins. We were pleased also to see that the interested developer community had grown, and we've enjoyed the feedback and responses we've been getting.
Now, in early 2009, we're close to releasing a stable version 1. This has taken longer than anticipated because we're also busy doing paid assignments and earning our rent. However, we feel very strongly about Jojo, and we like the benefits that Jojo offers many of our projects. With the imminent release to come, we anticipate more Jojo users and contributors. We're also working on bigger Jojo sites, as well as additional community support through this site.
What is our motivation for this?
Some would say that helping your competition does not help you, but we disagree. Having participated in many forums and usergroups, notably the New Zealand PHP User Group
(PHPUG), we can truly appreciate all the help and support the PHP community has offered us, and we have also helped out many PHP developers. By releasing our source code, we hope other developers will start using the CMS, make their own improvements and make these improvements available to the community (which benefits everyone).
From a business point of view, we think a busy site can support itself through donations, advertising, and additional design / SEO business generated, so it's not all a labour of love.