WordPress, Joomla & Drupal! Oh My! – A Comparison of all 3 CMS’s

WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are three of the top Content Management Systems (CMS) used to build a website. A CMS is software that is installed on web space and used to create a website. Using a CMS lets you add your own HTML content to different pages for a customized website without building it from scratch. You can build an impressive website using a CMS without any prior knowledge of programming, but you will need to know basic HTML.

WordPress began as a blog publishing software, but has grown to be a complete CMS program with many of the same features as Joomla and Drupal. All three of these programs are open source programs, which means they are free to use and customize. Each program has its own community of developers devoted to upgrading and adding extensions. In addition, support is available from the community, so even if you don’t have experience with a CMS, you can ask for help or find a previously released extension for your needs.

Drupal

If you prefer to code by hand rather than using an editor, Drupal is the CMS for you. It is more popular among those with programming experience than it is with those new to web development. Since the community is made up of mainly web developers, help is available for complex websites. Hand-coding also gives you the flexibility to create a feature-rich custom website rather than relying on premade extensions and plugins.

Drupal’s interface is not as user-friendly as other CMS’s because it is designed for web developers rather than the casual or new designer. Unless you have a lot of experience with Drupal and programming, publishing can be frustrating and time-consuming.

Joomla

Joomla is the favorite open source software among web developers because it has so many possibilities for customizing a website. It offers more freedom when creating a website than do other open source CMS’s. There is a large community of users sharing support and extensions to use to create your website.

Joomla is not a very user-friendly program, so it is not the best option for new web developers. If you do not have prior experience coding and designing websites, it can be confusing and hard to implement. Joomla does have a learning curve, but if you are willing to use tutorials to help you learn, you can great a feature-rich website by yourself.

WordPress

WordPress is perhaps the most popular CMS because it has been available for bloggers before it was turned into a CMS. The latest versions allow you to create a static page, so it is easy to use this program as a website development tool. WordPress has an easy to use interface and is easy to customize to fit the needs of your website. There are thousands of widgets and plugins available for a variety of web applications. WordPress is one of the easiest CMS programs for new web developers because it is easy to install and easy to use.

WordPress has a smaller community than either Drupal or Joomla, so you may not find be able to find the help you need. In addition, upgrades and plugins can cause your website to not work properly or worse, disappear completely.

The best CMS for you and your website depends on your level of programming knowledge and what features you want to implement. Websites with basic features can be built in WordPress or Joomla, but Drupal makes a better choice for very elaborate websites. However, Drupal has a larger learning curve and can be frustrating if you are a new web developer.

Discussion

  • http://twitter.com/vmasto Vassilis Mastorostergios

    “WordPress has a smaller community than either Drupal or Joomla, so you may not find be able to find the help you need. In addition, upgrades and plugins can cause your website to not work properly or worse, disappear completely.”

    Omg, for the love of God, educate yourself.

  • Jason

    WordPress has a smaller community than either Drupal or Joomla, so you may not find be able to find the help you need.

    What are you talking about? The WordPress community is HUGE. Much bigger than Drupal or Joomla.

  • Graham

    “WordPress has a smaller community than either Drupal or Joomla,”

    Err … Really? Did you actually research this statement?

  • http://www.voi.lt/ .m

    Source: http://trends.builtwith.com/

    - 4,532,795 websites using WordPress.
    - 1,673,076 websites using Joomla!.
    - 340,141 websites using Drupal.

  • http://www.wptavern.com Jeffro

    Boy Brian, you’re going to take a lot of heat for that statement you made regarding WordPress having the smaller community between the two. But honestly, I’d love to hear the ways in which you came to that conclusion.

    • http://icosmin.com Cosmin

      I guess he was trying to heat up a discussion, rather than presenting facts. WordPress users are known by now for how they defend their platform of choice and it’s a good firestarter :)

      Brian, I’m sure you did that on purpose. If not, 30+ million sites say you’re wrong :)

  • http://WordSkill.com donnacha of WordSkill

    Brian, I understand that you are being provocative in order to generate traffic but, in the longterm, is it wise to undermine your credibility with statements that even the biggest Joomla fans would know are ridiculous?

    I mean, you can certainly say that, in your opinion, the Joomla community is better or smarter or more beautiful than the WordPress community, those are all subjective, but it is dumb to contradict established facts, such as size and popularity, especially when you provide no sources to back up your incredible claims.

    In terms of active websites, WordPress is at least three times more popular than Joomla and has been more popular among professional web developers for quite a while. To drag up that old canard about WordPress being for blogs lazily echoes prejudices that have had no technical validity for years.

    Joomla is better for sites that involve bookings or reservations, but for everything else WordPress tends to be a better choice.

  • http://ipstenu.org Ipstenu

    “In addition, upgrades and plugins can cause your website to not work properly or worse, disappear completely.”

    FUD, man. This is pretty rare. Upgrades very rarely cause your site to disappear, and plugins certainly can, but so can 3rd party Drupal Modules. Any poorly coded bit of add-on can bugger any site, and it’s no more endemic to WP than Drupal than Joomla.

  • John P. Bloch

    LOL. The story is tagged “SEO” even thought that’s not a topic of the story in any way.

    LINKBAIT.

  • http://www.wpbeginner.com Syed Balkhi

    All I am going to say is read this article on Drupal’s website:

    Wake up community – WordPress.org should scare you!

    http://groups.drupal.org/node/136294

  • http://www.brianalexflores.com Brian Flores

    Wow! Very surprised to open my inbox this morning and notice that my article has gotten so much attention. Let me clarify some of my statements and definitely keep this conversation flowing.

    1. “WordPress is perhaps the most popular CMS because it has been available for bloggers before it was turned into a CMS.”

    While I agree that it is the most popular CMS, the actual user base might be much closer to Joomla than you think. The fact is many wordpress.com bloggers are padding the #s and make it seem like WP blows away the others.

    2. “WordPress has a smaller community than either Drupal or Joomla, so you may not find be able to find the help you need.”

    By community, I don’t mean user base. I mean the community of developers and programmers that are actively involved in providing help and support, especially for very technical issues. Yes, there are a lot of hard core WP users in the community, but I’ve found that I’ve gotten more in-depth help in the Joomla and Drupal communities.

    3. In addition, upgrades and plugins can cause your website to not work properly or worse, disappear completely.”

    I work for a web hosting company and have to hear our tech support team tell WP users to disable plugins on their websites because they are poorly developed and resource-intensive. Often these plugins slow down the performance of the site and the severs that they are running on to the point that we have to suspend their accounts.

    Additioanlly, I’ve also been the victim of upgrading my WP and experienced my site “breaking” because a popular plugin I had wasn’t compatible with the new version of WP.

    These are simply my experiences…

    • http://WordSkill.com donnacha of WordSkill

      Brian, your post got featured on WPTavern, which is one of the main sites covering WordPress, that is why there has been this surge of interest. WPTavern is edited by Jeffro who has also commented here. His WPTavern post has comments that you will find interesting too.

      • http://www.brianalexflores.com Brian Flores

        That explains why I’m getting such interest. haha. Thanks for giving me a heads up about their comments…it seems I am sparking up an interesting debate there as well.

        To appease my WP Fans…honestly, I more often recommend WP CMS to my clients. I felt very confident that my clients (many who weren’t technically savvy) could get a good command of the CMS for content creation.

    • http://www.wptavern.com Jeffro

      I still disagree with your notion that the WordPress community is smaller in any way you want to put it. However, I think if you would have structured that statement around the fact that the centralized WordPress community being the WordPress.org support forums does not have the hardcore developers to help people out, then you might have had a case.

      It’s also an interesting point to make that because the developer community is spread out amongst different sites such as WPAnswers or WP Stack Exchange or the Hackers Mailing list that not knowing where to go or even knowing those sites exist could give you the perspective that the development community is smaller.

      In that light, I would probably have agreed with you.

  • Jason C. Levine

    “WordPress has a smaller community than either Drupal or Joomla,”

    [citation needed]

  • http://www.itoctopus.com itoctopus

    Check the compete rank for Joomla.org, WordPress.org, and Drupal.org, I think you’re wrong… WordPress is by far the one with the largest community.

  • Chip Bennett

    By the way, your post feature image is using the WordPress fauxgo.