Good coding standards are important in any software development project. These standards are even more important when a large, diverse and worldwide community of developers are contributing to a project. One of the things that sets good software apart from great software is not only the features or the actual function the software performs, but the quality of its source code.

In order to perform in the highly competitive Open Source and proprietary software industries, source code not only needs to be beautifully designed, it also needs to be beautiful and elegant to look at. The Joomla Coding Standards Manual is to help ensure our code is the highest quality which will make it easy to read, debug, and maintain.

Guiding Principles

Since readable code is more maintainable, the compass that guides us in achieving that goal is a set of well thought out coding standards for the different software languages that are employed in the Joomla software project. Joomla has a solid heritage of striving to support a great looking product with great looking code.

This manual compiles the collective wisdom of past and present contributors to the project to form the definitive standard for coding in Joomla, whether that is for the core Joomla Framework or an extension that forms part of the stack of the Joomla CMS. This manual also serves as a lighthouse to the Joomla developer community, to safely guide developers around the pitfalls of becoming lackadaisical with respect to writing clean, beautiful code.

The Joomla Coding Standards borrows heavily from the PEAR coding standard for PHP files, augmenting and diverging where it is deemed sensible to do so.

There are tools available to help your code conform to our standards.

Contributing to this manual

If you want to contribute and improve this manual, you can find the source files at