Joomla! continues its rise as one of the most popular Web CMS systems in the world, let alone one of the most popular open source versions.

Hitting the 36 million download mark this week, Joomla! will be featured in a graduate level course on content management at the Harvard Extension School this Fall. 

Joomla! 3.0 + Ballooning Growth in 2012

In just the last year, Joomla! has grown from 25 million downloads, a 27% growth rate. In September, Joomla v3.0 debuted, and the system is now optimized for use on mobile devices -- though most organizations have yet to upgrade.

Near the end of last year, Joomla! ranked quite high on the Water&Stone Open Source CMS Market Share Report, but the 2012 report isn't out yet, so we can't compare them. That report looked at a variety of metrics to see which open source Web CMS had captured the largest audience. Water&Stone looked at the the highest number of downloads, third party support and bookmarking activity among other measures.

Extensions Helping Drive Adoption

Because it is open source, Joomla! developers are free to build all kinds of add ons for the free system. They've built over 1,500 of them in the last year, and this has helped drive Joomla! adoption by making it more valuable to a wider audience.

One area where Joomla! use has really taken off is with government websites. Nearly 3,100 government agencies' websites and blogs are powered by Joomla!, and overall, it runs nearly 3% of all websites worldwide. That is likely one of the reasons it was selected to be used in the Harvard Extension School program. 

In this online program the class first goes over several systems like WordPress and Wix, and then uses Joomla! in the second half of the program to go more in depth, according to The Joomla! Community Magazine.

The magazine is part of the network of Joomla! enthusiasts. Below is brief introduction video to the Joomla! system. Tell us in the comments if you think the future of open source has ever been brighter.