WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla

engineachooInternet and Web Development

Dec 4, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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Content  Management  
System
 
(Comparison  between  Top
-­‐
Three  CMS  Platforms)
 



Documented  By:
 
Salar  Abbas
 






 


I
f creating a website for your business is on the horizon, you may be wondering which
content management system (CMS) is the best choice for you. The three mostly widely used
CMS
in these days
are Joomla, WordPress
,
and
Drupal. All three are open
-
source sof
tware, each
developed and maintained by a community of thousands. Not only are all three free to download
and use, but the open
-
source format means that the platform is continuously being improved to
support new Internet technologies. With all of these sys
tems, basic functions can be enhanced ad
infinitum with an ever
-
expanding array of add
-
ons, contributed from their respective
communities. But still there’s no one
-
size
-
fits
-
all solution here; it depends on your goals,
technical expertise, budget and what
you need your site to do. For a simple blog or brochure
-
type
site,

WordPress

could be the best choice (while very friendly for non
-
developers, it’s a flexible
platform also capable

of very complex sites). For a complex, highly customized site requiring
scalability and complex content organization,

Drupal

might be the best choice. For something in
between that
has an easier learning curve,

Joomla

may be the answer.

Let us discuss each one of
these CMS in detail and highlight their pros and cons with each other.


WordPress

started as a blogging platform, which has rapidly become the most popular
one. Because of its popularity and enormous community, it has evolved a lot from its original
purpose, and now it is not just a blog, but an all
-
in
-
on
e web publishing platform or CMS. It is
often labeled as the best CMS out there.
WordPress

has quickly grown into the most widely used
content management system hosted on SiteGround servers.
New York Times, CNN, Forbes and
Reuters


the list of
WordPress
.com clients reads like publishing dream
-
team. More than 68
million websites use
WordPress
, making it the world’s favorite blogging software. It is flexible
 
enough to power fortune 500 company blogs as well as sporadically updated personal journals.

Below,

we take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using
WordPress
:

Advantages of
WordPress




Multiple

Authors:

WordPress

was built from the ground
-
up to accommodate multiple
authors


a crucial feature for any serious publication.



Huge

Plugi
n

Library:

WordPress
’ is the poster
-
child of the open
-
source developer
community, which has developed hundreds of thousands of plugins for it. There are few
things
WordPress

can’t do with its extensive library of plugins.



User
-
Friendly:

WordPress
’ UI is easy to use and highly intuitive, even for first
-
time
bloggers. You can drop a theme, add a few plugins, and start blogging within minutes.



Strong

SEO

Capabilities:

With plugins like All in One SEO, you can start blogging
straight away without wor
rying about on
-
page SEO.



Easy

Customization:

WordPress
’ theming system is designed for easy
-
customization.
Anyone with a little grasp of HTML and CSS can customize
WordPress

themes to fit
his/her needs.



Flexibility:

WordPress

can be made to do virtually an
ything


run an e
-
commerce store,
host a video site, serve as a portfolio or work as a company blog


thanks to plugins and
customized themes.





 


Disadvantages of
WordPress



Security:

As the category leading software with millions of installations,
WordPress

is
often the target of hackers. The software itself isn’t very secure out of the box and you
will have to install third
-
party plugins to boost your
WordPress

installation’s security.



Incompatibility

with

Older

Plugins:

The
WordPress

team constant
ly releases new
updates to fix security loopholes and patch problems. These updates are often
incompatible with older plugins. If your site relies on older plugins, you may have to hold
off on updating (which makes your site all the more susceptible to hac
k attacks).



Limited

Design

Options:

Even though
WordPress

is infinitely customizable, most
WordPress

installations still look

like
WordPress

installations. Although recent updates
and improvements in plugins/themes have rectified this problem somewhat,
WordPress

is
still hampered by limited design options.



Limited

Content

Management

Capabilities:

WordPress

was originally designed as a
blogging platform. This has affected its ability to handle large amounts of content. If you
plan to publish hundreds of b
log posts per week (not uncommon for large publishers),
you may find the default
WordPress

backend a little underwhelming for such high
content volume.

Conclusion:

WordPress

is often called a ‘mini CMS’. It isn’t nearly as powerful or capable as Drupal or
Joomla, but is easy enough for any lay user. Use
WordPress

if you want a simple, easy to use
blogging solution that looks good and can accommodate multiple authors easily.

 


Next one is Drupal which is the
granddaddy of CMS systems on this list


it was first
released in early 2001. Like
WordPress

and Joomla, Drupal too is open
-
source and based on
PHP
-
MySQL. Drupal is extremely powerful and developer
-
friendly, which has made it a popular
choice for feature r
ich, data
-
intensive websites like Whitehouse.gov and Data.gov.uk.

Advantages of Drupal



Extremely

Flexible:

Want a simple blog with a static front page? Drupal can handle that.
Want a powerful backend that can support hundreds of thousands of pages and mill
ions
of users every month? Sure, Drupal can do that as well. The software is powerful and
flexible


little wonder why it’s a favorite among developers.



Developer

Friendly:

The basic Drupal installation is fairly bare
-
bones. Developers are
encouraged to cr
eate their own solutions. While this doesn’t make it very friendly for lay
users, it promises a range of possibilities for developers.



Strong

SEO

Capabilities:

Drupal was designed from the ground
-
up to be search engine
friendly.



Enterprise

Friendly:

Strong

version control and ACL capabilities make Drupal the
CMS of choice for enterprise customers. The software can also handle hundreds of
thousands of pages of content with ease.



Stability:

Drupal scales effortlessly and is stable even when serving thousands
of users
simultaneously.

Disadvantages of Drupal

 


Steep

Learning

Curve:

Moving from
WordPress

to Drupal can feel like walking from
your car into a Boeing 747 cockpit


everything

is

just

so

complicated
!

Unless you have
strong coding capabilities and like to

read tons of technical papers, you’ll find Drupal
extremely difficult to use for regular use.



Lack

of

Free

Plugins:

Plugins in Drupal are called ‘modules’. Because of its enterprise
-
first roots, most good modules are not free.



Lack

of

Themes:

A barebones
Drupal installation looks like a desert after a drought. The
lack of themes doesn’t make things any better. You will have to find a good designer if
you want your website to look anything other than a sad relic from 2002 when using
Drupal.

Conclusion:

Drup
al is a full
-
fledged, enterprise grade CMS. It’s recommended for large projects where
stability, scalability and power are prioritized over ease of use and aesthetics.



Last but not the least, yet still the most powerful CMS platform is Joomla.
Joomla is
open
-
source content management software forked from Mambo. It is one of the most popular
CMS solutions in the world and boasts over 30m downloads to date. Joomla powers such
noteworthy sites as Cloud.com, Linux.com, etc.




 

Advantages of Joomla
:



User
-
Friendly:

Joomla isn’t
WordPress
, but it’s still relatively easy to use. Those new to
publishing will find its UI polished, flexible and powerful, although there is still a slight
learning curve involved in figuring everything out.



Strong

Developer

Community:

Like
Drupal
, Joomla too has a strong developer
community. The plugin library (called ‘extensions’ in Joomla) is large with a ton of free
to use, open source plugins.



Extension

Variability:

Joomla extensions are divided into five categories


com
ponents,
plugins, templates, modules and languages. Each of these differs in function, power and
capability. Components, for example, work as ‘mini
-
apps’ that can change the Joomla
installation altogether. Modules, on the other hand, add minor capabilities

like dynamic
content, RSS feeds, and search function to a web page.



Strong

Content

Management

Capabilities:

Unlike
WordPress
, Joomla was originally
designed as an enterprise
-
grade CMS. This makes it far more capable at handling a large
volume of articles
than
WordPress
.


Disadvantages of Joomla
:



Some

Learning

Involved:

You can’t jump right into a Joomla installation and start
hammering out new posts if you’re not familiar with the software. The learning curve
isn’t steep, but it can be enough to intimidate

casual users.

 


Lacks

SEO

Capabilities:

Making
WordPress

SEO friendly is as easy as installing a free
plugin. With Joomla, you’ll need a ton of work to get to the same level of search engine
friendliness. Unless you have the budget to hire a SEO expert, you

might want to look at
alternative solutions.



Limited

ACL

Support:

ACL (Access Control List) refers to a list of permissions that
can be granted to specific users for specific pages. ACL is a vital component of any
enterprise
-
grade CMS solution. Joomla sta
rted supporting ACL only after version 1.6.
ACL support is still limited in the stable v2.5.1 release, making it unsuitable for
enterprise customers.

Conclusion:

Joomla enables you to build a site with more structural stability and content than
WordPress
,
and
has a fairly intuitive interface. If you want a standard website with standard capabilities


a blog,
a static/dynamic front
-
end, a forum, etc. then use Joomla. Joomla is also a good option for small
to mid
-
tier e
-
commerce stores. If you want something

more powerful for enterprise use, consider
Drupal.