WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla?
Behind every good website is an easy to use and powerful content management system (CMS). These CMS’ allow you to make changes to your website without having to touch a line of code. Even some of the world’s biggest companies like The New York Times are using a CMS platform such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal.
WordPress, Drupal and Joomla all offer some great features, ease of use and fantastic security. Did I also mention that all of them are free? Choosing the right option can be hard, as they all have different pros and cons. Chances are one of these will fit your needs.
Let’s see how they compare to find the perfect choice for you:
WordPress: With its ease of use, this is the best choice for beginners. It works really well for small-medium size businesses and smaller e-commerce stores.
Joomla: A Great solution for e-commerce or social networking sites. It does require some technical skills to use.
Drupal: The most powerful of the three, but the most difficult to use. Drupal is used by a lot of government sites in the US. It requires a familiar knowledge of HTML, CSS, and PHP.
WordPress has become the world’s MOST popular CMS, by a long shot. From its humble beginnings as a simple blogging platform, it has taken the world by storm. WordPress now powers over 61 million websites worldwide. If you aren’t already impressed, WordPress dominates over 40% of CMS based websites. What has made WordPress so popular though?
- Ease of setup: The vast majority of hosting companies. offer a one-click installation of WordPress. This means for people looking to go from zero to a functioning website it can happen in under 5 minutes. It will take you longer to go brew your coffee than to install WordPress.
- Highly customizable: Plugins, widgets, themes, forms, layouts, the list goes on. Due it’s wide-spread popularity WordPress attracts more 3rd party developers than the other two CMS platforms. This means you will have more options in terms of the customizability of your WordPress site.
- Community Support: WordPress offers a support forum that is moderated by both the general population and WordPress Moderators to help solve any questions or queries you may have. Responses are fast and you will have your answer
- FREE: If you want, running a WordPress site can be completely free.
WordPress isn’t perfect though, it does have its drawbacks. Namely would be that to achieve the same level of customizability you may require multiple plugins that can affect the scripting of the site itself.
Joomla makes for a nice compromise between power and eae of use. It doesn’t require the same technical knowledge as Drupal, but it offers a similar ease of use like WordPress.
Joomla is what I envision if WordPress and Drupal had a love child. It has a lot of themes and plugins available. For those looking to use it some knowledge of HTML and CSS would be advantageous but not necessary. Here are some reasons as to why Joomla may be a good solution for your website.
- Social Networking: If you’re looking to create a social networking site, Joomla is a great option for this. Joomla makes creating a social network quick and easy for the user.
- Commerce Sites: Joomla makes this nice and easy to create. Drupal and WordPress both have capabilities to create commerce sites, they do however require more specialised customisation to do so.
- Not to Technical: Joomla is that nice middle ground where you get the some of the power of Drupal and ease of use of WordPress. The good news is that most non-tech savvy people should have the skills to be able to run a Joomla site without technical support.
- Help Portal: Just like WordPress, Joomla has a help portal where the wider community and contributors can help solve any questions you may have.
- FREE: Once again, it is free to get Joomla, however unlike WordPress, Joomla has no free hosting option.
Joomla users love that their sites brilliantly combine the power of Drupal with the ease of use of WordPress. This makes it the perfect middle ground in the market for people.
Drupal is the second most used CMS available today, it is used by sites both large and small. Drupal is the most powerful open-source CMS available, with that comes a learning curve which is a little steeper. Here is where Drupal earns its keep:
- Customizable: Drupal is extremely easy to customize with a plethora of plugins and themes available. It also allows access to the root files to edit directly, which is great for developers that need to make more significant changes.
- Technically Advanced: This is great news for the technical people that like to get their hands dirty. Drupal offers a more technically advanced CMS then it’s two counterparts.
- Improved Performance: Generally speaking, Drupal websites will have a quicker response time than other CMS platforms. This is due to Drupal not being as resource heavy. However, if you add too many third party plugins it will start to slow down.
- FREE: You guessed it, just like WordPress and Joomla the Drupal software is free to download and install on your hosting server.
Drupal is by far the most powerful out of the box CMS available, with great power comes issues for some website owners. Anyone considering using Drupal will need at least a basic knowledge of PHP, HTML, PHP and most common web programming language. Now, you don’t need to be an expert but just have a solid foundation. This is to help deal with any error messages or coding errors that may occur.
So…..Which one do I choose?
The all important question, which one do you choose. This comes down to what your needs are. For the most part WordPress will be the best option simply due to its ease of use. If you are looking to use Joomla or Drupal there will generally be a reason that pushes you towards one of those platforms. There is no one size fits all solution, but as mentioned, WordPress will be the likely choice for most people initially.