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3 CMS (2017): WordPress vs. Joomla vs. Drupal

Building your own website is easier than ever - thanks Content management systems (CMS). With these platforms, you don't have to write a single line of code for activities like developing content, installing a theme, and adding features.

Statistics show that WordPress is the most popular CMS in the online world today. It activates 27.8% of all websites on the web. with around 50,000 new sites being created every day. Just because it's the most popular CMS doesn't mean it's the only option.

When it comes to web design and development, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Whether you are an aspiring blogger, entrepreneur, or company, your website serves as a digital extension. To build your authority, you need to incorporate your personal brand into everything - from the blog post to the layout of your website.

By choosing a CMS, you are essentially setting the direction of your web development activities. Most CMS can accomplish the same goal, which is to create a professional looking website in a matter of hours. However, there are a few key differences that will affect the way you operate and manage your website.

In this article, we'll look at the differences between the three most popular CMS platforms: WordPress, Joomlaand Drupal.

A quick comparison

First of all, here is a brief overview of the three platforms (based on data from Internet Lives Stats):

scope of application311.682 million26.474 million31.216 million
Free themesOver 4,000Over 1,000Over 2,000
Free pluginsOver 45,000Over 7,000Over 34,000
advantagesCustomizable, easy to use, tons of learning resources, excellent community and supportEasy to learn, great help portal, can be used for social networks, updates integrate seamlessly, more integrated optionsMore technically advanced websites generally offer better enterprise-level security
disadvantageRequires code for important visual adjustments. Updates can cause problems with pluginsModules are hard to maintain, medium sized CMS (not as simple as WordPress, not as advanced as Drupal)Users need a basic knowledge of HTML, PHP, and other web development languages

WordPress versus Joomla

WordPress is considered to be the most suitable platform for beginners. Joomla isn't too far behind, however. It also has a smooth learning curve, easy-to-use interface, and modules that make adding features a breeze.

Whether you are a new blogger or a seasoned web designer, bothSystems are great options for you.

WordPress vs Drupal

Without a doubt, WordPress is a lot easier to learn than Drupal. However, it is nowhere near as strong or as secure as Drupal. You don't have to be a programming expert to work with Drupal, but you still need some experience to build functional functions.

If you are new to blogging then WordPressis the better choice for you. But if you have any experience with HTML, then Drupal gives you better scalability.

To help you decide, we're going to take a closer look at each one.


Let's start with the most popular in the pack.

WordPress is often considered to be the best CMS for beginners and simple bloggers alike. Nirav Dave, CTO and Co-Founder of Capsicum Mediaworks, believes there are 100+ reasons to love WordPress. It's perfect for those who want to get a website up and running in no time. With a plethora of themes, plugins, and external tools available, you can create just about any site you can imagine in less than a day.

Pro # 1: Easy to use and customize

One of the advantages of the most popular CMS is that most hosting platforms already come with simple installation functions for WordPress. These one-click tools save a lot of time and prevent common mistakes new website owners make.

Apart from the installation, the WordPress dashboard also makes it very easy to bypass the CMS. Everything from blog posts to website settings is directly accessible here. You can start writing your own blog posts in minutes. If you are not happy with the look and feel of your dashboard, you can choose your own theme by going to User> your profile and edit your "personal options".

Note that WordPress installs a default theme for new websites. You can easily change this by going to Appearance> Themes. Although there are thousands of free designs for WordPress, it's still easy to build a generic site.

Fortunately, any design allows you to quickly customize certain visual elements like background images, menus, and headers. Aside from themes, you can also customize other aspects of your website such as menus, pages, and the commenting system.

When it comes to adding functionality, WordPress can be relied on Plugins to quickly integrate certain functions for you. Be it for an opt-in form, image slider, or contact forms - all you have to do is install the right plugin and you're good to go.

To find plugins that meet your needs, go to Plugins> Add New.

Pro # 2: Lots of learning resources and excellent community

Thanks to its popularity, the internet is again filled with WordPress tutorials, how-tos, and other learning resources. A good place to start is the Wordpress Codex, which is the CMS 'official knowledge repository. You can also access the support forums for answers to your specific questions.

Of course, you can't expect users to become experts just by reading online guides. That's why you need to look for multiple learning resources to hone your skills - be it a YouTube tutorial series, an eBook, or a WordPress blog. Individual plugins and themes also come with tutorials to help you get the most of it.

What you don't like about WordPress:

  • Learning how to use each plugin can be a chore. While new plug-ins are very easy to install, users may be confused about how to change their settings. Most of the settings can be found under Settings. Plugins can also be integrated directly into the dashboard, which makes it much easier to find and modify them.
  • Comprehensive customization requires programming skills. WordPress has a very high cap when it comes to what you can do. Under Appearance> Editor you can change every single element of your site via PHP, HTML and CSS. However, experimenting with small changes can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. So you have to be patient to learn these languages.
  • Certain plugin and theme installations can compromise your site. In addition to the WordPress library, you can also get themes and plugins from external sources. Be careful, as these third-party sources can contain security holes that compromise the integrity of your website.
  • WordPress can be resource hungry. Overloading plugins can slow down and compromise the website User experience and your website's ability to generate traffic. To compensate for this, you may need a more powerful hosting solution, which increases the overall cost of maintaining your website.


Popular Websites Powered by Joomla:

Joomla is similar to WordPress in many ways. It's also easy to use, easy to install, and easy to expand with the help of Modules - the equivalent of WordPress plugins. As a result, it is the second best option for beginners.

Pro # 1: Easy to use and learn

While appearance is a matter of preference, Joomla's user interface is more modern and cleaner. One of the advantages over WordPress is that the menus have already been expanded to boot. This allows you to easily bypass the CMS and perform functions such as creating new articles, configuring templates, and so on.

However, beginners may be intimidated into exploring Joomla due to the number of options available. In addition to the left menu, there is also a menu in the top bar just above the "Control Panel" logo. Remember that some of the items from the left and top menus are similar, including Contents, Users, and Extensions.

Just like WordPress, Joomla has a few styles and templates that can quickly give your website a distinctive look. Of all three content management systems, Joomla offers the simplest solution for creating a social network. With platforms like EasySocial and JomSocial, you are minutes away from your own social networking website.

Joomla also has great support through the Community Portal. Here you can find useful information such as instructions, tips and tricks. You can also read the security checklist for a step-by-step guide on how to protect your Joomla website.

Pro # 2: Seamless updates

With WordPress, updates can cause compatibility issues with plugins and prevent your site from working properly. With Joomla, this is almost never the case, which is why it's a little less of a hassle in the long run.

To update Joomla, simply check the Maintenance menu until the system checks for new updates. Both the CMS and the extensions to the extensions are checked when you switch to the control panel. So check often.

Pro # 3: More built-in settings

Compared to WordPress, Joomla is much more comprehensive in terms of configuration. By going to Configuration> GlobalYou can also specify SEO settings that can improve the ranking of your website in search engines.

Although there are many more options, the Joomla configuration page is much more navigable as it already has settings for all Components.

What you don't like about Joomla

  • Just like WordPress plugins, modules take more time to learn and manage. In addition, the number of modules available for Joomla is significantly less than the number of plugins for WordPress.
  • The user interface is not very beginner friendly. Given enough time, one could argue that Joomla has the better interface in terms of organization. But it can be downright confusing for beginners.


Popular Drupal websites:

Experienced web developers confirm that Drupal is the most powerful CMS. However, it is also the most difficult to use. Because of its flexibility, Drupal is the second most widely used CMS in the world, but it's not a favorite among beginners.

Pro # 1: Most advanced CMS

A key difference between Drupal and other content management systems is the installation process. With Drupal you will already be asked to configure your site during the installation. Just follow the on-screen instructions and you'll be fine.

Although a bit more advanced, Drupal offers a simple, minimalist interface.

You should be able to use basic features like adding content and installing themes easily. These are all accessible from the main Drupal menu, which can be found at the top of your website by default.

However, Drupal takes a more technical approach to the layout and structure of your website. For example, website sections such as menus, headers, and content follow the "block" system. Each block is created and executed using pure HTML code. There are a number of pre-made blocks for common items like shortcuts, footers, and messages, but you will most likely spend a lot of time coding your own blocks in the future.

Fortunately, there are still guides available that can help you learn and understand Drupal. They also offer extensive documentation and great support through their website. You can rely on it too Distributions this can give you preconfigured structures and components - so you can quickly create a certain type of website without extensive coding.

Pro # 2: Business security

For a CMS that powers government websites, there is no reason to doubt the security features of Drupal. As soon as security vulnerabilities are discovered, they immediately publish them on their site to keep users informed.

You can go too Manage> Configuration> System> Cron So that the CMS automatically searches for updates.

Because Drupal-enabled sites rely less on plug-ins, they tend to get better results - provided they are configured properly. The main reason for this is that they are less resource intensive.

What you might not like about Drupal

  • Drupal has a steep learning curve. To successfully build a "full" website, you need to get your hands dirty and learn the basics of coding. It is also a challenge for beginners to orientate themselves in the CMS.
  • Important updates require intensive work. The upgrade to Drupal 8 from Drupal 7, for example, is a complete redesign. Although content can be easily transferred to the newer CMS, you may have to rewrite some of your code.

WordPress vs. Joomla vs. Drupal - Which is Best for Beginners?

David Attard from Dart Creation recommended WordPress as a CMS for beginners. "As a web designer who has used all three of the above CMS, I can tell you without a doubt that WordPress is certainly the simplest of the three."

Joomla has been around longer than CMS and has mostly focused on the CMS aspect of things, while WordPress first started as a blog and then went on to become a CMS.

While WordPress has always focused on keeping things simple, with the general idea that it would be used by the public, Joomla's audience has always been a bit more technical. In fact, most Joomla beginners will complain about the steep learning curve - although once you get over it it is very powerful. However, if you need to set up a website quickly and without much prior knowledge, WordPress is the way to go.

Drupal on the other hand has always been a small niche tool for designers / developers and should always be used and built by developers who work on websites for their clients.

David Attard, DART Creations

Jerry Virgo, owner of Virgo Web Design, mentions, “All 3 can make great websites. However, with the popularity of WordPress, there are more options available for designing themes that will be of great benefit to beginners. So it's easy to recommend them as a Go. for beginners. "

Of the three, Drupal is by far the worst for beginners. The counter-intuitive user interface is difficult to use and many tasks are best performed from the command line, creating a steep learning curve.

WordPress has the easiest interface to use and is also the easiest to develop as users become more familiar with programming.

Joomla is somewhere in between as its user interface is almost as easy to use as WordPress while it still has a more modern architecture (MVC), but developing or modifying extensions will also have a learning curve as the MVC architecture is more difficult to understand is.

Modern architecture and an inherited development framework like Drupal and Joomla are ideal for developers, but beginners have less difficulty getting started with WordPress.

Jerry Jungfrau, Virgo Web Design

Reed Adler of Comrade Web Agency mentioned that their clients chose WordPress over others. "When it comes to user-friendliness, most of our customers have chosen WordPress."

As a professional website design and development company based in Chicago, we've been creating websites for nearly nine years. Of course we experimented with a variety of platforms.

[Our customers] tell us that managing their websites [with WordPress] has never been easier. For most, the ability to add, delete, and change text, photos - and even videos - gives them a sense of control over their own digital destiny.

Beginners love the intuitive features of WordPress.and in particular the ability to revert to saved previous versions. That way, page enhancements can easily start over when they get out of hand.

In contrast, Drupal offers a plethora of options and often confuses inexperienced webmasters. To improve the choice on a silver platter, Joomla creates duplicate buttons and shortcuts that provide the same functionality.

Reed Adler, comrades web agency

Nick Savov, the Director of Support at OSTraining, chose WordPress as the best CMS for an absolute beginner. "Since OSTraining is the world's leading training center for open source CMS, we are in the unique position to objectively analyze these 3 CMS."

For an absolute beginner, WordPress is definitely the best CMS to get started with. It's simple and easy to use. The user interface is intuitive and once you are familiar with the simple workflow you can easily manage the site.

Because it powers 25% of the web, it has a great community and ecosystem. Corporations and individuals have developed a variety of products and services to help you and your website.

For example, there are themed companies, WordPress-specific hosting companies and training companies.

If you need a plugin to expand the capabilities of WordPress, there are 50,000 available. The plugin search makes it easy to find the one you want and discover new ones.

Finally, WordPress offers excellent backward compatibility between upgrades.

For these reasons, WordPress is our first choice for absolute beginners.

Choosing a CMS is a crucial step for potential website owners. Make sure you find the right platform that suits your needs.

About Christopher Jan Benitez

Christopher Jan Benitez is a professional freelance writer who provides small businesses with content that engages audiences and increases conversion. If you are looking for high quality articles on everything digital marketing related then this is your type! Feel free to say hello on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.