CMS Guide: WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal

Posted in Featured Article on Mar 28th, 2011 |

CMS guides: Joomla vs Drupal vs WordPress

Be honest. What are the top three things that come to mind when you think CMS? It’s Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress. I know.

Whenever someone comes to me and asks me for advice on the best CMS, I always have these three in mind. Then I leave it to them to pick one among them. It’s hard for me to make a choice because these three are all actually very different. It all depends on what Web site you want to make and just how savvy you are in making your way through the Internet world. You can actually work on all three of them and can even convert WordPress templates to Joomla or Drupal and vice versa.

I’m clearly saying it out right from the start—there is no better or best CMS from among the three. You have to know exactly what you want your Web site to be and how good you are at making it so you can take your pick. Is it Joomla? Is it Drupal? Is it WordPress?

Here, I’ve created a quick summary of the pros and cons of using each CMS. From there I hope you can make up your mind and move on to setting up that Web site.

WordPress – Easy as 1-2-3

WordPress is most notably known for being the king of blogging platforms because it is excellent that way. Anyone can easily work well within the realm of WordPress because it doesn’t require you to have the technical know-how commonly needed to put up your own Web site. WordPress is simple, user-friendly, and provides you access to built-in widgets that you can readily install without having to learn advanced HTML or other programming languages. If you want to set up your Web site and get it going really quickly, then I recommend using WordPress. The same is true for people who don’t know much technical mumbo jumbo and don’t have time to figure it out.

On the downside, WordPress isn’t really that great for designers and designers because it lacks customization features that allow you to create just about any Web site you like. I may be able to create a social networking site on WordPress, but I wouldn’t expect too much from it. I think WordPress was designed that way anyway so people can stay with the same basic blog template WordPress provides. I’ve also noticed that every time WordPress gets an upgrade, some plugins that used to be there were suddenly gone—as in gone without a trace. But overall, I can figure things out in the end just fine.

Dig deeper, read Best WordPress Hosting.

Drupal – A Haven for Developers

I think Drupal is your go-to CMS if you like working with codes and are good at it. This is not for the non-tech-savvy though, because even some of the best developers can take days, or weeks, even months before they can figure out just how the system works. Drupal offers almost an unlimited number of functions and tags that you can place anywhere you like, and that’s what sets it apart from WordPress and Joomla—you can make practically anything on Drupal. BBC, MTV UK, and Greenpeace UK all have Web sites made on Drupal. You can also create RSS feeds, single and multi-user blogs, forums, template systems, and menus. They also have a great developer community residing in Drupal, so you can ask for help from a lot of people who have more experience working on it.

On the downside, a lot of Drupal Web sites don’t look as good as those made on Joomla. I think it’s because Drupal themes were made by developers instead of designers. If you really want to use Drupal, you have to get yourself ready for the onslaught of hard work that you’ll have to pay in exchange for bringing to life that extremely cool Web site you have in mind.

Dig deeper, read Best Drupal Hosting.

Joomla – Everyone Loves Joomla!

In Swahili, Joomla means “all together” and I think that’s why the makers of Joomla named it that way—because everyone likes to work on it. At least, that’s what I think. Newbies will definitely find their way through this CMS with much ease because it provides a lot of tools that are simple to understand and easy to use. Developers also like this system because if offers much in terms of customizing the Web site. Joomla has recently introduced a new framework that anyone with developer’s knowledge can pass over without actually altering the original code. Above all, though, I think designers prefer Joomla over both WordPress and Drupal because it allows more control over how the Web sites will look. Many sites designed on Joomla are actually pretty good-looking, if you ask me.

But, and here’s one big but I’d like you to take heed of here, Joomla still slides behind WordPress in terms of simplicity and Drupal in terms of flexibility. Some parts of Joomla just can’t be customized to as far an extent as with Drupal, and I know a lot of users who don’t know how their Web sites work and just don’t have the time to learn it still prefer using WordPress. It’s up to you, though, so examine your needs thoroughly before you pick a good CMS.

Dig depper, read Best Joomla Hosting.


Top Web Host Reviews

Shameless Plug: Check out these popular web hosting reviews by our editors.

iPage Hosting Review BlueHost Review FatCow Reviews JustHost Reviews
iPage Review BlueHost Review FatCow Review CoolHandle Review JustHost Review


Comments On "CMS Guide: WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal"

  1. Alec says:

    Nice write up – which CMS to focus on was a decision I had to make in 2007. I was recently asked the same question about WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal. We’ve developed for all three. My vote was for WordPress and really, really not to consider Joomla/Mambo.

    The code for Joomla/Mambo is really old and stale. I think WordPress has really moved forward since you wrote your article. I’d say there’s nothing you can’t do in WordPress now, social or otherwise. On the other hand, some prominent web folks have recently gone 100% Drupal. I’m thinking of Aaron Wall at for instance.

Have Your Say

Have your say! Leave us a reply and tell us what you think about this article.