WordPress vs Joomla 2013: Choosing A CMS

joomla-vs-wordpressWe use many different tools to deliver different types of sites, from customizations of content management systems like WordPress and Joomla, to custom developed applications.  Although we use many types of content management systems, for many sites it often comes down to a decision between WordPress and Joomla.  Why are these two CMS so popular?

WordPress versus Joomla

Both WordPress and Joomla are robust, mature programs with stable bases of code.  Both have an active plug-in development community so extending the core platform allows for extensive customization.

Joomla was released in 2005 and WordPress in 2003.  There are more implementations of WordPress and it continues to grow rapidly.  WordPress commands about 55% of the CMS market to about 9% for Joomla.

Joomla is better for more complex applications.  It has more robust capabilities and is built to be extended to the enterprise level.  WordPress is better for blogging and brochure type sites.  For lighter weight sites, WordPress can be customized to the point of not seeming like a WordPress site while maintaining all of the benefits of being a WordPress site.

WordPress is easier for non-technical content editors to use.  The back-end features are very user friendly and intuitive.  Joomla’s back-end has more power but is much more complex as a result.

Both platforms have an extensive number of plug-ins available to customize the system.  WordPress has more but Joomla’s component area makes it easier to find the best component for the task.  Both have extensive numbers of templates available and many vendors supply templates for both Joomla and WordPress.

Joomla is good at SEO but WordPress is better.  You would be hard pressed to find a better SEO CMS than WordPress.

In the end, choosing between Joomla and WordPress comes down to what you want the site to do.

We would recommend WordPress if:

  • You want a nice site with many of the same features as other company sites
  • The content managers aren’t very technical
  • Your business relies heavily on SEO

We would recommend Joomla if:

  • You need more heavy duty features and functionality over an average company site
  • The content managers are technically savvy and can understand complicated structures (or be trained)
  • You want good SEO but it isn’t the first thing on your list

In general, the more functionality you need, the more we would lean to recommending Joomla.  At a point, Joomla may not be a good answer and another CMS may be more appropriate.  If the application you want is completely custom, a CMS may not do the job that you need and you need a custom application in Microsoft .NET, JAVA, or PHP.  Of course, custom development from the ground up is more costly, so we try to use an existing infrastructure if possible.

If you are trying to decide between Joomla and WordPress, it generally comes down to the functionality you need from your site.  We are always happy to look at your requirements and make a recommendation.