In any discussion of WordPress Vs Joomla Vs Drupal it is essential to leave your personal preference and experience behind you, and discuss the pros and cons of each dispassionately and objectively. Many people are quick to offer subjective opinions simply because they may be familiar with WordPress, but not with either Drupal or Joomla.
All three are CMS systems with their own strengths and weaknesses, and which you select for your project will very likely be influenced by your past experience of any of these and the type and scale of your development. Here are some comparisons between WordPress Vs Joomla Vs Drupal that might help you decide which you are best to use for your own project.
There are many ways to compare these three options, and here we shall simply list the advantages and disadvantages of each, and then comment on which CMS system is best for each type of project.
We start with WordPress because it has a simple interface and also enables fairly simple customization by means of the many templates and plugins that are available online – many of them free to use.
WordPress CMS: Pros
- Very simple to change themes: thousands of templates are available online, either commercially or free, and it is easy to switch between them.
- Plugins are available for just about everything you can think of and are not difficult to use.
- WordPress is easy to use by developers and by website owners, and is not restricted to blogging. Due to its coding, themes and plugins, WordPress sites need not look like blogs, but have ‘blogability’ whenever required.
- Most themes are easy to edit and customize, although not all are well coded and some might not be customizable by any but professional developers.
- This CMS system has a massive following, and a very large community of developers using it and continually creating and publishing new themes and plugins to improve its functionality.
WordPress CMS: Cons
- Because themes and plugins are designed both by commercial developers and amateurs, many of them are faulty. They not only look bad, but faulty plugins can ruin your website’s performance and its functionality.
- Many themes are difficult to customize, and also make it next to impossible to change themes without losing your existing content. That is contrary to how a ‘content management system’ should operate.
- The code is not as strong as that of Drupal, but better than Joomla! However, due to its large community and very able developers, WordPress is continuously improving in the respect – Joomla does not seem to be doing the same.
- There are too many upgrades issued in order to introduce security updates. Upgrades are not always compatible with your existing plugins.
In the WordPress Vs Joomla Vs Drupal comparison, WordPress is easier to use than Drupal or Joomla. You also get better forum support with WordPress. However, Joomla has its advantages, one of which is security that will be discussed later. Joomla is an offshoot of the Mambo CMS, formed in 2005 by Mambo developers who decided to create their own CMS system. Since Joomla can generally do what Mambo does and a lot more, we shall focus on Joomla here. Incidentally, Joomla is Swahili for ‘all together.’
Joomla CMS: Pros
- If you prefer static pages to a blog presentation, then Joomla scores over WordPress. Although it can be use for blogging, that is not its prime purpose.
- Its menu system is very good and easy to use and modify.
- Joomla has excellent integrated community and membership functionality.
Joomla CMS: Cons
- It is very difficult to get a Joomla site not to look like one: it is difficult to theme to your preferences and the majority of plugins that actually do anything cost money.
- The core coding is not elegant, and it is not easy to modify if you have an issue. Even just posting an article on your blog or website takes a bit of doing since the interface is not the same WYSIWYG as WordPress offers – Drupal is complicated, but not as much as Joomla is.
- The performance of the website is not as smooth as that of WordPress or Drupal, but the system is under constant development so hopefully this problem will be resolved.
- The blog, while functional is not nearly as strong as WordPress and the latter is preferred for those whose primary use would be blogging.
Joomla is generally rated below WordPress for almost all applications, but better for security (though not as good as Drupal!) Most developers would rather not use Joomla, unless their existing architecture is already based upon this CMS system. However, Joomla has its adherents that will use nothing else – and this is a personal review.
Drupal is regarded by many as the Rolls Royce of popular CMS software, but it is not perfect and is not as easy to use as WordPress by those that are not developers. While WordPress is practically turnkey, Drupal requires developer knowledge. It shines above Joomla and WordPress for breadth of application and purity of coding.
Drupal CMS: Pros
- The main positive aspect of Drupal is its extremely clean code. It is cleaner for developers to use in comparison to Joomla.
- There are many more coders available that you can use to code your application – many of these of a very high quality because the best coders flock to Drupal rather than Joomla or WordPress.
- Since Drupal 7, the CMS has become very user friendly and not just the domain of expert coders. The introduction of modules, including Views, Webform and Panels, has enabled end-users to create their own websites.
- The CMS system has a fairly large development community committed to helping improve it. As these developers come across problems with the system, they solve them and then tend to share their work with others.
Drupal CMS: Cons
- Still not as user friendly as WordPress, although future developments should improve this aspect of Drupal.
- It has fewer developers than WordPress, with a resultant higher cost to use their services.
- There are few plugins for Drupal that can ‘plug in and go’, and most modifications have to be made by hand – this CMS is not for the ordinary guy wanting to create a website/blog using themes and plugins.
Security Aspects: WordPress Vs Joomla Security
WordPress is well known for its lack of security in comparison to Joomla. Drupal beats them all, but if you had to choose between Joomla and WordPress for security alone, it would have to be Joomla in spite of it being the inferior CMS overall. Because WordPress is used by so many people, there have been more hacks and it is now regarded as being fairly easy to hack.
Not only that, but as each develops, there are more fresh security weaknesses found in WordPress than in Joomla. Additionally, most people use proprietary and ‘home-made’ themes and plugins that are easy to infect and also easy to hack. Drupal is one of the most secure CMS systems on the market (the White House uses it), but between Joomla and WordPress, Joomla wins – possibly only because of its lack of popularity compare with WP.
SEO: WordPress Vs Joomla SEO
There is really no contest here: Joomla has poor built-in SEO, and cannot compete with WordPress in this regard. Even the WP SEO plugins are better than Joomla. The main SEO plugin for Joomla is very user unfriendly, and is impossible to alter to suit your website without having a good understanding of the Joomla coding.
CMS Comparison: Joomla Vs Drupal Vs WordPress YouTube Video
Conclusion: WordPress Vs Joomla Vs Drupal
In comparing WordPress Vs Joomla Vs Drupal it has to be kept in mind that each of these content management systems are different, and we are not comparing like with like. However, in general, WordPress comes #1 for ease of use by ordinary people that are using the system to create a website or blog.
Drupal comes #1 for those professional developers seeking a fully functional CMS that can be employed to design large-scale applications of various types with varying degrees of functionality. However, if you do not want to use Drupal, and security is a major concern, then you might find that Joomla will fit the bill. It may require a developer experience in Joomla to design a project, and there is not as much help from the community with Joomla as you will find with Drupal and WordPress.
Ultimately, Drupal is tops for larger and more complex CMS projects for businesses and corporations, with WordPress best for ordinary individual users. Joomla may have niche uses between these two extremes, particularly due to its superiority over WP in terms of security.
Recommended Reading: WordPress Vs Blogger.
WordPress Vs Drupal Vs Joomla Infographic
Following infographic designed by DeviousMedia which would help you to select one of these CMS to use for your site.
Note: This Infographic was created on Jul 12, 2011.