WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla – CMS Battle
Content Management System Overview – What Website Design CMS should you use and why?
We get asked this question quite often.. “So what is the difference between WordPress, Drupal and Joomla?”
When it comes to starting your web design project, many people plan out what information they are going to have on what pages, and how customers will interact with the website. They imagine what the website is going to look like and how it is going to work. Then, when they start working on putting that website up, they run into a crucial decision: what CMS (Content Management System) to use…
What is a CMS?
A CMS is a content management system. It is basically the operating system for your website. Your computer runs on Windows, Mac, or Linux. Any website you visit runs on a CMS, which may be WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, possibly Magento or many other systems. The CMS is the way you interact with your website: how you create pages and upload content, how you design features for your customers to interact with, etc.
What are my options?
There are many content management systems out there, but there are three major players in the game that we are going to discuss here:
- WordPress (One Size Fits All)
- Drupal (Large Scale Projects with high volume traffic)
- Joomla (Large Scale Projects with high volume traffic)
- Magento (Typically Used for Ecommerce)
- Hubspot (Gaining Popularity for Inbound Marketers and “Growth Hackers”)
- GoDaddy Website Tonight (Beginners Only – Not many Options
- Wix (Beginners Only – Not many Options)
- Weebly (Beginners Only – Not many Options)
- SquareSpace (Gaining Traction – Beginners and Advanced Users)
They have different strengths and weaknesses, and they are targeted to different users. Let’s look at the different features of each (3 main platforms – WordPress, Drupal and Joomla) so that you can determine which is best for you and your website.
WordPress for Web Design
WordPress is best known as being just a blog site, but it is so much more. It is also a platform for creating websites with static pages. Many people use WordPress to create pages that have blogs attached, so that they can constantly upload new content while also keeping the information that end users need to access easy to find. WordPress can be customized in just about any option you can think of. From standard 5 page mom and pop shop websites to full blown custom Ecommerce Website Design projects with WooCommerce, WordPress can get just about any job done that you need. There are literally thousands of themes or “templates” available for WordPress that range from Social Media, Directory, Corporate, Sports, Restaurants, Etc. You name it, WordPress has it. If for some reason, you don’t find a theme that you love for WordPress, a web developer can build you that custom website design project you are looking for.
- Easy to use
- Free to use, with paid options
- Easy to get help with
Easy to Use
WordPress is the easiest to use of these 3 platforms. The interface is user-friendly and simple (Given you have a user friendly WordPress theme). In just a few minutes most moderately tech-savvy users can create an attractive site that has some solid, basic features. The CMS is designed for people who may not be experts at programming but who want to be able to manage their own websites.
Free and Easy to Host
WordPress is free to use and host. There are also many paid options if your website needs go beyond the standard package they offer for free. There are many free themes and formats that you can use, and many more that you can pay for. In addition, you can have WordPress host your site for free up to a certain size, and pay for additional space. You can also create your site on WordPress but have it hosted somewhere else.
Large group of Developers and Community Support
WordPress is the most popular CMS with the largest group of users. This also means the largest group of developers is here. WordPress is highly customizable because of all the apps and plugins that other developers have created for it. The large community of users also means that WordPress is the easiest CMS to get help with. If you have a question or a problem, chances are someone else has already had it and has asked about it on a forum. The huge network of users means that you can get the support you need on the WordPress CMS.
Search Engine Optimization Features
The SEO or “Search Engine Optimization” features for WordPress can be boiled down to one industry standard word “Yoast”. SEO Yoast is a WordPress plugin that offers users a wide variety of tools and SEO guides that can help achieve online marketing goals, even for the novice internet marketing person. The plugin allows users to understand on-page optimization, keywords, keyword density, meta tags, descriptions, English reading scores and much more. SEO Yoast has given the WordPress community the ability to target keywords and compete in local and national markets. This plugin combined with the WooCommerce plugin and extension will allow for incredibly smooth on page optimization for Ecommerce SEO professionals as well.
Drupal for Web Design
Drupal is the most robust of all the CMS systems. It is also the most difficult to use. If you want a website that will be able to do absolutely anything you could possibly want it to, and if you don’t mind the headache of having to take five steps to do what WordPress could do in one, Drupal is an excellent choice for you. Benefits of Drupal are that it is:
- Open Source
- Free to use, must host yourself
Less Resources = Faster Website
Drupal uses fewer system resources than WordPress does. This means that you won’t have to upgrade your hosting and storage as quickly as your website grows. If you’re looking at significant long-term growth, this sort of system efficiency is very important.
Incredibly Advanced and Customizeable
Drupal is the most advanced of all the content management systems. Quite simply, it can do the most. If you need to set up a massive online store or a huge directory that can be searched many different ways, Drupal is the CMS for you.
Drupal is open source software. This means that it is highly customizable. You can get into the system code and change it to make your website work exactly how you want. If you’re not up for doing the raw programming, you can use many different add-ons and plugins that other users have created and offer for free.
Drupal is Free
Drupal is completely free – free to use the base program and free to use the user-created add-ons. You are never going to have to pay more to upgrade or to access more advanced features. That said, Drupal is not free to host. Drupal itself does not offer hosting, so you have to host it on another service.
Joomla for Web Design
Joomla is the perfect medium between Drupal and WordPress. It is almost as easy to use as WordPress, and almost as powerful as Drupal. Joomla is especially well adapted for social networks and ecommerce sites. Joomla is:
- Relatively easy to use
- Fairly powerful
- Good for getting help
- Free to use, must host yourself
Intermediate to Advanced Experience Needed!
It does not require a ton of technical expertise to create and run a site on Joomla. You may run up against issues where you need some help, but for the most part, most users can get a great looking site up without too much trouble. Joomla has a lot more options and capabilities than WordPress, making it the more powerful of the two platforms.
Joomla has its own help portal, which means you can get help from Joomla itself instead of just from other users. However, the pool of users is not as big for Joomla, which means there is not as much peer-to-peer help as there is with WordPress.
Open Source/ Free
Joomla is completely free to use on your own hosting server. Like Drupal, you will never need to pay for upgrades or additional functions. However, Joomla does not provide its own hosting so you have to host it somewhere else.
Website Design with Front Street Media
At Front Street Media, we are happy to create websites for you using WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla. Give us a call today to discuss which option is right for you and your company! Contact Front Street Media today to get a better idea or which CMS you should be using. If you are currently running one of these platforms, we manage them all so rest assured, we can handle your project and on-going support.