Does Joomla Use a Lot of RAM?

by Solomon Poretsky

Joomla is an open-source content management system. Originally designed to run on the popular LAMP platform made up of the Linux operating system, Apache Web server, mySQL database server and PHP programming language, it now also supports the Windows operating system. Joomla provides a database-driven back end for websites, making it easier to build and update them.

Joomla System Requirements

Joomla requires a fully configured server. While most end users think of servers as being very large computers, serving a small- to medium-sized website is actually a relatively easy task for most computers. Although Joomla does not specify specific system requirements, any server with a Pentium III or faster processor with 2 to 4GB of RAM should be more than adequate.

Required Supporting Software

Joomla cannot run by itself. It requires a Web server, database server and PHP interpreter. For Joomla 2.5.x, the most current version as of February 2012, the developers recommend PHP 5.3 or newer, mySQL 5.0.4 or newer and Apache 2.x or newer. Joomla can also run on Windows Server platforms with either Apache or Internet Information Server version 7 or newer.

Joomla RAM Requirements

Third-party testing indicates that Joomla can run comfortably in between 3MB and 4MB of RAM. However, this figure is misleading because Joomla is essentially just a program running within another program. Joomla and some plugins can run together in as little as 32MB of dedicated PHP memory, but an article in Joomla Magazine recommends dedicating 64MB of memory to the PHP environment in which Joomla runs. With the additional overhead for the operating system, database and Web server, any server with at least 2GB should have enough RAM for Joomla.

Other Content Management Systems

Compared to the other two popular open-source content management systems -- Drupal and WordPress -- Joomla's memory requirements are middle of the road. While WordPress consumes more memory than Joomla and Drupal consumes less, all three have relatively minimal memory requirements. As such, for system administrators considering the addition of a CMS package to their server, total system memory should not be a major factor in the decision-making process.

About the Author

Solomon Poretsky has been writing since 1996 and has been published in a number of trade publications including the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." He holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Columbia University and has extensive experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology.

Photo Credits

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