CMS Comparison: Joomla vs WordPress vs Drupal

matt@onblastblog.com by Matt Banner | 6 COMMENTS Add yours here | Last Updated on

We’re about to stack up three blogging platform titans in the greatest battle this world has seen since, well, ever. Welcome, to the triple header cage match! We’ve got Joomla vs WordPress vs Drupal.

Joomla vs WordPress vs Drupal

Let’s start by examining our contenders, and what they each bring to the table. Then, it’s time for our battle of the century.

Wait, Time Out. What’s a CMS?

Seriously?

CMS stands for “Content Management System.” It is essentially a program, or computer application that allows for publishing, editing and modifying your content however you see fit.

Every single website that’s been made and published on the internet generally employs some sort of content management system that allows them complete control of their content.

When you create a blog, this is the program that will keep all the wheels turning. Here are some things that each one of today’s contenders have in common:

Universal Traits of CMS Platforms

  • WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are all free and open source programs licensed under GPL.
  • All of them are primarily written in the PHP coding language.
  • All three support MySQL as the database management system. WordPress sticks to this one exclusively, but the other platforms let you choose other options if you’re inclined.
  • All three utilize themes or templates to create the visual design of your website. Plugins, modules, and extensions are also present in every platform.
  • They all have major communities that work within the open source program to constantly make improvements and support others using the program.

Joomla vs WordPress vs Drupal: CMS Comparison Infographic

Comparing CMS: Joomla vs WordPress vs Drupal

In the Left Corner: Drupal the Dominator!


Standing at sixty billion lines of code tall, and weighing it at some immeasurable and abstract number, we have Drupal the Dominator!

Drupal came out in early 2001 and that makes it the ancestor of more modern CMS options. This is the second most used CMS available.

If you’re a technically savvy person, this program would appeal to you.

Drupal can be used to create a simple blog, but it’s mostly used by massive corporations because of what it offers.

What does it offer you ask? Oh, I thought you never would.

Drupal’s Strengths

  1. It’s smart, like, really smart

Drupal is advanced. Sorry, let me rephrase that, Drupal makes SkyNet from the Terminator series look like a toddler in comparison. Of these three, it is the most intelligent and advanced blogging platform.Durpal

It doesn’t need anywhere near as many resources as WordPress which makes it less taxing on servers that a corporation would use. Because of this power, owners won’t have to upgrade to more expensive hosting options for a while.

  1. Drupal is more flexible than you would think

Whether you want something real simple when you build a blog, or you happen to be the owner of a huge corporation and you need hundreds of pages to be supported at once without any crashing, Drupal has you covered.

Not only is this monster of a platform strong, but it can be as gentle as a fluffy kitten, or as menacing and powerful as a Viking warlord. Whatever you need, it can provide the support for it.

  1. Faster loading times and better response times

Because of the power that Drupal wields, loading web pages and content posts is far faster than other competitors who happen to be in the ring, like WordPress or Joomla.

You will notice that your pages load faster when using Drupal, but adding plugins can drastically lower this time.

  1. Developers are welcome

I myself know a thing or two about HTML coding and blogging, but I’m not a developer by any means.

That being said, Drupal is tailored to be extremely open to those who know how to make a computer purr as it were. The actual installation doesn’t include a whole lot, and that’s fine.

Developers can create custom solutions that allow them to fully customize the platform to their needs.

  1. You can Customize it, and it’s free!

Drupal loves its supporters, so it also has a lot of different plugins and themes. Even more so, you can go into the actual files of the program (since it’s open source) and modify them to change even the slightest details, assuming that you know what you’re doing.

Drupal’s Weaknesses

Drupal has some weaknesses, like anyone.

  • That learning curve. Wow, if you’re moving from something like WordPress to Drupal, you’re going to feel like you stumbled into a physics experiment. Everything is really complex, which can turn off those who wish to get a soft start in building a blog.
  • Where’s the free plugins? Drupal calls these “modules” but the simple fact of the matter is that most of these essential tools aren’t free.
  • I need themes, now! Yeah, well, Drupal doesn’t offer any real themes. When you first start out, your page looks like the hallway of a hospital: bleak and sterile. To really make the most out of Drupal, you need to have a really good designer, or you need to become one yourself.

 

In the Right Corner: Joomla the Jumper


After much seclusion and solitary training, Joomla the Jumper has emerged as a platform that combines the promising aspects of WordPress and Drupal into one super-CMS that may, or may not, be greater than the sum of its parts.

Let’s see how the hybrid Joomla the Jumper stacks up against the competition.

Joomla’s Strengths

  1. The power to connect

Having a strong network of contacts, followers, and other like-minded individuals is one of the greatest things a blog can possess. Joomla makes this extremely easy and allows you to create a spider web of connections both with speed and ease.Joomla

  1. Supports online commerce

If you’re trying to go up against EBay or Amazon, well, good luck, and if you want to set up an online shopping website, Joomla has the advantage of making this quite easy. You can create a site like this with the other contenders, but no one makes it easier than Joomla.

  1. Simple to use

As I mentioned earlier, Joomla has been referred to as a healthy balance between WordPress and Drupal. This is no more true than in the managing of your site. The technical aspects of it are, for the most part, held to the side which makes it easy to use and intuitive for those without a degree in computer science.

  1. Free to install, great support included

Joomla offers the program for free to be installed on your own domain, and there is also a fantastic page where you can receive support and troubleshooting. You can visit the community page by clicking here.

Joomla’s Weaknesses

  • There is still some learning to be done here. This blogging platform isn’t something that a casual blogger can jump into and start making posts. The software requires some getting used to, but it’s not as difficult to grasp as Drupal in this regard.
  • There aren’t many SEO options to help you make your posts keyword rich and efficient. Without a strong knowledge of the concept, or the money to hire someone to optimize your posts, this can be a rough patch.
  • Depending on the size and use of your blog, Joomla does not fully support something called Access Control Lists. These are ways to allow various levels of access to different users and if your blog is a corporate machine, you will need this fully supported.

 

In the Back-Left Corner: WordPress the Wrecking Ball


You’re here because you want to build a website, a blog, something that stands tall on the wall of the internet. We respect that, and while we’re here to debate which CMS is the best, this is when the true battle begins. You see, WordPress didn’t show up to the cage match alone, it brought some friends.

How many? Oh, about 68 million of them.

If you look over to the V.I.P section of our audience, you’ll notice that it’s filled with several highly recognizable companies who use WordPress to create and maintain their own websites and blogs. Look, there’s the New York Times, Forbes, and CNN.

Let’s see how it stacks up.

WordPress’ Strengths

  1. Support for multiple writers

From the beginning, WordPress was meant to allow multiple writers to work on a single blog. If you have a massive publication like this one, then most times you’re going to need multiple people to jump on and create content.Wordpress

  1. Massive amounts of Plugins

WordPress is very supportive of people who create content for the blogging platform, and as such, people in the community have developed thousands of various plugins. Everything from placing a share button on your page, to optimizing your SEO in each post. It’s all there, and it covers the needs of just about any blogger out there.

  1. Very, very easy to use

Most people run screaming for the hills when they hear things like HTML and SEO uttered, but WordPress is fortunately one of the easiest blogging platforms out there. When you put it up against the competition, this is the ultimate winner in the user-friendly category. In fact, the process of setting it up is so simple; I decided to do a step-by-step guide about it.

  1. Plenty of SEO options

There are multiple options for plugins that will help support your blog’s SEO by ensuring that certain keywords are present in the right places. This is the only one of the three contenders who offers this level of SEO optimization and in a world ruled by Google, this is something you want to be very comfortable with.

  1. Varied customization options

With a wide selection of themes and options to tailor the blog to your liking, WordPress makes it easy to create a blog that stands out with color and pizazz. If you have some HTML experience, you can also tailor and tweak the themes and layouts to your liking, adding another layer to the options available.

  1. It can do anything

If you want to build a website, WordPress has you covered. Want to have a personal blog about your daily life? It has you covered. Everything from an online store, to a company blog, to an online portfolio, WordPress is the ultimate solution for all of your needs when it comes to creating online content.

WordPress’ Weaknesses

  • Since this is the largest blogging platform out there, it has been targeted by hackers in the past. Once you have it installed, choose a strong password and look for plugins to further boost your security.
  • While the software is constantly updated to fix all manner of errors, this means that older plugins will sometimes lose their compatibility.
  • Customizing the look of your blog, while possible, is not as robust as the other contenders. At the end of the day, you can tell it runs on WordPress, which isn’t a bad thing, but people who want to build a site from the ground up may want more options.
  • If you have a massive blog that posts hundreds of articles a week, WordPress isn’t quite equipped to handle this kind of flow.

 

Results of the Cage Match Showdown

WordPress.

The existence of these blogging platforms offers you, the people, the ultimate selection of power, technical prowess, and user-friendliness to meet your needs.

In the end though, this competition breeds new innovations that can only benefit all the bloggers out there.

When it comes down to Joomla vs WordPress vs Drupal, collectively, WordPress is the expert’s choice. See how WordPress has ascended to the top over the last few years.

I personally love the ease of its interface and the power it has to support multiple authors, plugins, and themes.

Thanks as always for reading folks and remember to choose the CMS that works best for you. Most people think that’s WordPress, but ultimately the decision is yours. Just don’t forget to take advantage of that offer above.

Did you Make a Choice?

If you have started a website yet, utilize one of these helpful guides below to get started with your website or blog:

I’ve chosen WordPress, what will you go with? Share with the rest of us in the comments section, which content management system you’ve decided to entrust with your website. Let’s discuss together!

Intelligent Opinions
  1. jeff@jeffries.com'Bronson

    Fantastic breakdown of strengths and weaknesses. I think WordPress is the route for me to take. Thank you for the helpful insights!

    Reply
  2. DMeagle@Yahoo.com'Donna

    Yup – sounds like WordPress is the route I should. Extremely information post on the 3 most popular platforms. Anyone starting a new website NEEDS to read this. I’ll do my best to share it! 🙂

    Reply
  3. alexb@pswebsitedesign.com'Digital Agency

    Really great article Matt – it’s so refreshing to read something which is original and fun / entertaining to read! I think that if you’re a new business, whether you’re looking to setup an e-commerce store or you’re just looking for a brochure style website, the key is to think about your business model. How’s it going to function? What are your requirements? what are the core things which you are going to need to efficiently manage your business online? Only once you have got a blueprint of your business model can you start to decide which platform is best for you. When you’re at that stage come back and read this article – oh wait you’re already here! 🙂

    Reply

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