First, some facts...Joomla 1.6's life cycle is very short. Just 6 months. By July 2011, the Joomla team will end development and proceed to releasing Joomla v1.7.This is very disturbing for many big projects like K2, considering all the big changes that 1.6 has introduced in its framework (language files, content elements, classes, functions, ACL etc. etc.) and the unnecessary workload added (see language files going back to Joomla 1.0 days), especially for free extensions like K2, Virtuemart and many more...
Many developers have expressed doubts about 1.6. Jen Kramer also nailed it in her recent blog post: Joomla 1.6 and Beyond: Should I upgrade? Should I build my new sites in it?
So did Andy Miller of RocketTheme fame on: Should I upgrade to Joomla 1.6?
Back to the title of this post...
Although improving Joomla's performance is a task that requires in-depth analysis, I thought I'd just write a couple of words on improving one aspect of your site's performance quickly and efficiently: PHP execution by using the APC or APCu opcode caching modules. Keep in mind that APC is compatible with PHP up to version 5.3.x. APCu replaces APC for PHP versions 5.4.x or newer and it's currently under active development.
Since PHP 5.3.x is considered obsolete, I'll cover the steps to have APCu installed on your server. If you run PHP 5.3.x either consider updating to 5.5.x/5.6.x or follow the steps below making sure you replace any "apcu" reference with just "apc" (minus the "u").
We all know Feedburner. The cool service offered by Google that makes distributing your RSS feed a lot better with analytics, various RSS feed reader support and so on...If you wanna use Feedburner, you just sign up for the service with your Google account on http://feedburner.google.com and then provide your "home page" RSS feed (usually something like mywebsite.com/?format=feed). Feedburner will in turn give you back a new RSS feed link (something like feeds.feedburner.com/mywebsite) which you can use to "proxy" people who read your feeds via Feedburner and enjoy all the goodies the service can offer.
The frontpage of the site is missing many things. Let's start from top to bottom...
The slideshow navigation may be confused with the actual content being on top. A better front/back control would fix that. Also, titles in "italic" is really too much. The font is just fine to display "normally".Moreover, it's missing important elements for newbie users and not only.First, it's missing an "about" block. What is Joomla in short? If I were a newbie I'd have no idea what this site is about.Newbies should also see a block with resources like: "New to Joomla Get started" and a list of things to do (what Joomla is, read the intro guide, how to install, where to seek help etc.).There should also be only one block for news/announcements. Having stories dating a month back in your frontpage is not that good.It's also missing links/buttons to the social channels Joomla has a presence on like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr etc. A block with the latest official Tweets would not hurt too.A block with a few screenshots would also be good to quickly show users of other CMSs what Joomla looks like, as it's one of those CMSs with a distinct backend and not one that mixes frontend/backend all in the same place (cough Drupal).We have a great video for Joomla, called Joomla-la-la. It would be uber cool to have it there. Shows visitors that there are dedicated and fun people involved in this community. We're serious at what we do, but we're not M$ serious.It would also be helpful to have a random showcase of sites built with Joomla. That could be a feed from the featured picks in the Joomla Showcase site.As you can see, there are many things to add in the frontpage. The joomla.org redesign team could do that in several ways, without sacrificing height (e.g. using tabs or sliding panels).Oh, and btw: the inner page/Forum page has the "active" menu wrong ;)
What do you think?
(this post was submitted as a comment to the joomla.org post as well, slightly modified...)