WordPress vs Joomla

WordPress vs Joomla – The Battle of the CMS!

When it comes to developing websites, one of the common contentions is the choice of the CMS. WordPress and Joomla are two of the most commonly used content management systems, but it can be quite complicated to choose one over the other. Both the systems can be good for certain application and you will be left thinking why not have a hybrid CMS. That may not yet be possible, but we can certainly look at some of the main features of WP and Joomla to determine when and where to use which system.

The following guide provides you valuable insight into the pros and cons of each of these CMS’s to help you make the right choice.

WordPress – The Ancient Giant

More than 3.2 million websites are powered by WordPress and it has a CMS market share of over 22% and open-source CMS market share of almost 61%. The most widely used content management system also powers the largest number of blogging sites.

What Makes WP the Giant

Open Source – It is open source, and draws everyone from the beginner to the advanced developer.  Open source also means that the software doesn’t cost you anything.

Easy to Use – WordPress used to be promoted as an easy-to-use platform for a long time, but now other CMS’s, including Joomla also offer convenience. However, WP can be easily setup in just a few minutes, which is still an advantage. WP is just a little bit more user-friendly and is easier to learn.

High Level of Customization – WordPress offers tons of free themes, followed by thousands of more themes from third-party providers. This means that anyone, with or without any experience, could customizer their site for commercial or personal applications. Then, there are thousands of plugins that have enabled developers create some of the most powerful websites – worth noting that the most popular websites in use today are developed in WP – Yahoo!, Forbes, Samsung, Ford, PlayStation, cPanel, Digg, GE and many more.

Drawbacks of WP

WordPress has been here for long and there are some “departments” where the guys at WP needed to improve!

Security – The open source CMS environment has always been vulnerable, but security concerns have always remained part and parcel of the WP package. While Joomla and other content management systems have provided better shields for their systems and users, the old giant has lagged a bit in that “department.”

Complex Advanced Customization –Customization is great in WordPress as long as you limit yourself to the drag and drop tools. Step into the advanced level and you must have some experience in web development. You may even have to get the help of a programmer.

Long Term Costs – Anyone can download and use WordPress for free! But maintaining your website doesn’t come free – add the cost of hosting, special plugins and e-commerce tools (if you want to develop an e-commerce site). WP has its long-term costs and it will be better to know about it before taking that leap.

SEO – This is one advantage to WP that has almost become a fact, something which is well accepted by the web development community! But that doesn’t mean that Joomla is lagging far behind, but it could be a little difficult to get it 100% right. WP’s SEO edge comes from the large variety of plugins available to it.

Joomla – Is it Second to WP

Joomla may have come a few years after the “ancient giant,” but it has a huge following with a market share of over 8% in the open-source-CMS segment. It is the second most widely used CMS!

The Joomla Advantage

What gives Joomla the edge and why it has been downloaded more than 50 million times? The reasons are as following:

Easy to Setup – Similar to WordPress, Joomla can be easily installed, and doesn’t take more than a few minutes.

Wider User Permission Levels – Large corporate sites can have multiple levels of user access. Joomla meets such advanced needs by providing as many as 9 different levels of user permissions. Organizations with Intranets will find this to be a highly useful feature.

Powerful Plugins – A large variety of open source plugins and modules are available so that we can enhance and customize our website.

Community & Support – It may come as a surprise, but Joomla seems to be more aggressive in its community-building initiative. The Joomla support forum seems to have more fire!

Drawbacks of Joomla

Joomla has an open-source market share of 8% compared to WordPress’ 61%. There are some solid reasons why we see the CMS lag behind.

Less SEO Friendly – The guys at Joomla want you to learn some tricks to be able to create SEO-friendly sites! At least that is what it seems to be. This doesn’t mean that the content management system is entirely SEO-unfriendly, it takes some learning to include SEO-friendly features into your site.

Complex Advanced Customization – Joomla seems to be following on the footprints of WP, when it comes to advanced customization. Do you need to include advanced features into your site? Hire the services of a programmer or a developer!

WP vs Joomla Comparison

WordPress is the better option if you are starting with a content-based site or blog. Joomla on the other hand, is your CMS of choice for developing corporate or static sites. When it comes to developing custom themes or templates, there is really not much difference between the two systems. However, there is a unique difference in terms of the purpose for which the themes are designed on both sides – WP themes are usually designed for specific purposes; Joomla templates are designed to be versatile (mostly!). Bottom-line – WordPress may just be focused on minimalistic design while Joomla is offering more versatility!

When it is about extensions, the two CMS’s have unique extension structures. Once you learn how to use Joomla, you will find its structure to be little more intuitive. But if you find the ideal plugin that meets the core functionality of your site, you can use any of the system for which the plugin was developed. Eventually, it comes down to your website’s specific needs.

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