Joomla vs WordPress: Two Popular CRMs Pitched Head-to-Head

Published on September 25, 2023 by Simon Wright

Are you thinking about building a website, but a lack of technical knowledge is holding you back? And are you worried that you may need an expensive web developer to get it off the ground? If so, a content management system will likely be your best way forward. Therefore, today, we’ll look at what those are and how one can help you build a great website. We will then pitch Joomla vs. WordPress by delving into the key features, advantages, and disadvantages of these popular content management systems. Once you have read this article, you will have the know-how to help decide which is right for you.

What is a Content Management System (CMS) Exactly?

Content management systems (CMS) are digital platforms aimed at helping people with little-to-no coding knowledge build and maintain websites easily. They behave like an online editor, allowing you to design and manage your website’s look, functionality, and content.

CMSs have many applications, ranging from super-simple to highly complex, with blogs, personal websites, business sites, and online stores being typical use cases.

For a more detailed overview of CMSs, please take a look at WP Bolt’s article “What Is a Content Management System (CMS)?

Who Can Benefit from a Content Management System?

CMSs can benefit almost every user type, including individuals, small businesses, blogs, non-profit organizations, or even major enterprises, because they simplify website creation and maintenance.

Furthermore, the time and effort CMSs save you in the website development and management processes can be used to focus on developing good content and ideas rather than worrying about the technical aspects of website development.

WordPress vs. Joomla: An Introduction to Each

1. WordPress

The WordPress logo is a registered trademark of The WordPress Foundation.

WordPress first made an appearance in 2003, initially as a blogging platform. However, it has since evolved into a highly versatile CMS, favored worldwide by novices and developers alike. In fact, statistics published by web technology survey experts W3Techs show that WordPress currently powers a whopping 43.1% of all websites on the internet, equating to a 63.1% share of the CMS market.

2. Joomla

The Joomla!® logo is an Open Source Matters Inc registered trademark.

On the other hand, Joomla first appeared in 2005 as a CMS designed for more complex websites and web applications. This platform is currently the force behind approximately 1.8% of websites, with an overall CMS market share of 2.6%, which is significantly lower than WordPress.

However, while Joomla is still a strong contender in the CMS world, its market share has shrunk progressively over the last decade or so, and WordPress continues to dominate the market. This trend is evident when comparing the search interest on Google Trends, which shows WordPress starting to overtake Joomla in 2010.

Joomla vs. WordPress: Ease of Setup and Use

1. WordPress

When it comes to ease of use and setup, WordPress is streets ahead of Joomla. This is because web hosts such as WP Bolt offer WordPress auto-installers and dedicated WordPress plans allowing you to set up a website with only a few mouse clicks and no prior coding knowledge.

Once installed, the platform’s intuitive interface allows even inexperienced users to set up a website and start creating content quickly. Moreover, the simple dashboard makes tasks like adding new posts and pages, embedding images and videos, etc., super simple.

One handy feature of WordPress is the Customizer. Working in real-time, the Customizer lets you alter things like colors, fonts, spacing, and backgrounds without messing around with code. The result is a highly streamlined design process, as you can see the changes the moment they happen.

Moreover, a dizzying range of page builder plugins is available for WordPress, which helps push website customization to a new level. Many of these plugins offer drag-and-drop functionality, enabling users to create and arrange complex page layouts effortlessly – simply choose elements like text boxes, images, buttons, and other content blocks and place them wherever you want on the page. Best of all, as there is no need to deal with complex HTML or CSS code, even beginners can create unique, visually appealing designs without assistance from a web developer or any understanding of coding.

Overall, WordPress’s easy setup, user-friendly interface, and integral Customizer make it the perfect choice for individuals, bloggers, small businesses, and larger organizations looking to quickly create and manage professional-looking websites without advanced technical skills.

2. Joomla

Despite being more beginner-friendly than other CMS platforms like Drupal, Joomla lags behind WordPress because it requires additional effort when setting up a website.

For example, unlike WordPress, Joomla users must create categories before they can start creating content. This is an extra layer of complexity compared to WordPress’s more straightforward approach, where users can create and publish content without worrying about creating categories first.

However, Joomla does come with a powerful editor called “Joomla TinyMCE Article Editor.” This is like the TinyMCE used by WordPress and allows users to easily do tasks like formatting text, adding images, and embedding media. Unfortunately, Joomla’s admin screens and the sheer number of backend options and configurations might overwhelm beginners unfamiliar with the layout and terminology.

Nevertheless, Joomla does have user-friendly editing tools to facilitate content creation. For instance, page builder extensions like those offered in WordPress are available that allow users to design and organize content using a drag-and-drop interface. These extensions make it easier to create visually appealing layouts without worrying about code.

While Joomla requires a little more initial familiarization and learning, it can be a rewarding choice for users seeking a feature-rich CMS. Given time and practice, users can become comfortable navigating Joomla’s interface and using its advanced capabilities to build sophisticated websites.

Joomla vs. WordPress: Customizing Your Website with Plugins, Add-Ons, and Extensions

1. WordPress

Both WordPress and Joomla offer plenty of options for enhancing your website’s functionality and appearance. However, WordPress has the most extensive range of plugins and themes by far.

The WordPress plugin repository boasts almost 60,000 free plugins, offering users every conceivable tool for adding additional features and enhancements to their websites. Moreover, thousands of premium plugins are available from third-party vendors, offering even more possibilities. So, whether you want to create contact forms, add social media integrations, optimize SEO, set up eCommerce functionality, or improve website security, there’s likely to be a plugin to help you do it.

Alongside the huge range of plugins, thousands of WordPress themes are also available, giving even greater scope for users to customize the appearance and layout of their websites. With these, it is possible to find designs aligned with your desired brand, style, or industry.

Thanks to the huge range of available plugins and themes, WordPress is great for users of all types, allowing them to create websites personalized in line with their specific needs and preferences.

2. Joomla

Joomla has far fewer add-ons to choose from than WordPress. That said, its official extensions directory does offer almost 6,000 extensions for things like image galleries, social media integration, user community management, SEO optimization, and more. And while Joomla has fewer extensions and add-ons than WordPress, its developers and community are constantly adding to its extension library, so users will always have access to essential tools to enhance their websites.

Unlike WordPress, there Joomla does not have an official theme library. However, a quick internet search reveals a wide range of premium Joomla themes and templates available from third-party developers and marketplaces. These offer attractive designs and advanced customization options, allowing users to give their websites a unique, professional look. Moreover, many premium templates come bundled with extensions to enhance website functionality and overall user experience.

Although WordPress undeniably has a more extensive range of plugins and themes available, it’s worth noting that both platforms offer a good deal of variety for users to choose from. While the availability of extensions and templates on Joomla might be smaller in comparison, it still caters to the needs of most website owners, especially those seeking more advanced features and a robust CMS for their projects.

Joomla vs. WordPress: Security Considerations

1. WordPress

Security is a fundamental consideration when choosing a content management system and is something WordPress takes seriously.

Not only does the platform feature secure core software, updates are released as soon as vulnerabilities are identified. Furthermore, plenty of third-party security plugins are available to enhance website protection.

However, in terms of security, WordPress is a victim of its own success, being a continual target for hackers and scammers. In fact, in a sample of the hacked websites analyzed by web security experts, Sucuri, 74% were running on WordPress. However, it’s important to understand that these figures don’t necessarily indicate any intrinsic weaknesses in WordPress itself, plus the platform does have the lion’s share of the CMS market.

2. Joomla

Like WordPress, Joomla’s developers take security seriously.

In common with its main competitor, Joomla’s core software includes robust security features, while regular updates are released to quash the latest potential vulnerabilities. For more robust security, users can further add third-party extensions specifically designed for this purpose.

According to Sucuri’s data, Joomla accounted for 17% of the hacked websites in their sample. As with WordPress, these statistics don’t suggest the platform itself has any inherent security flaws; instead, they emphasize the significance of maintaining current software and abiding by strict security procedures. This is demonstrated by the data indicating that most hacked Joomla sites were running outdated software, reinforcing the importance of timely updates and implementing extra security measures.

Irrespective of which CMS platform you choose, remember that outdated software and neglected security practices are the main contributors to security breaches. Therefore, remain vigilant about updating the CMS core software and all installed plugins, add-ons, and extensions, and conduct regular security assessments to mitigate potential risks effectively.

Other Key Features of WordPress vs. Joomla

1. WordPress

The online industry regards WordPress as the most user-friendly content management system, being ideal for anyone with little or no coding knowledge. It provides a seamless blogging experience thanks to a clear distinction between blog posts and static pages. Furthermore, the huge number of plugins and themes available for WordPress provide mind-boggling expansion options.

WordPress is incredibly well supported by the community, and users may obtain information and resources from documentation, forums, blogs, user groups, tutorials, and many other places. Moreover, WordPress generally incurs lower development costs due to its large and competitive community.

2. Joomla

Joomla has more sophisticated user management features than WordPress, making it appropriate for websites needing complex access controls. Its components and modules provide flexibility for displaying non-standard content types. Moreover, Joomla has integral multilingual support and eCommerce features – WordPress needs third-party plugins for those. Also, Joomla lets you use multiple theme templates for different pieces of content, which is impossible with WordPress.

Support via forums, tutorials, and other resources is available for Joomla but less than for WordPress, which is understandable given the latter’s massive presence in the market. However, Joomla does have very comprehensive documentation available in several languages.

Migrating from Joomla to WordPress and Vice Versa

If you are currently using Joomla and want to shift to WordPress or vice versa, plugins are available to simplify the process.

For example, FG Joomla to WordPress allows you to efficiently transfer your content and settings from Joomla to WordPress while minimizing the manual effort involved. If you need to go the other way, CMS2CMS would be a good option.

If you prefer to have professionals do the migration for you, you can employ the services of specialists such as Joomla Masters, who off full website migrations, often with no site downtime.

Joomla vs. WordPress: Is There a Clear Winner?

There is no outright winner or loser in the Joomla vs. WordPress contest, as it mostly depends on your specific needs.

In general, WordPress is the preferred choice for most situations. This is due to its user-friendliness, extensive support, vast range of customization options, and quick setup process. Furthermore, it lends itself beautifully to various website types, from blogs through e-commerce to corporate business sites.

However, Joomla does have its advantages, particularly for developers or users with technical knowledge. Thanks to advanced user management capability, flexibility in displaying content, integral eCommerce functionality, and multilingual support, it’s an excellent choice for more complex websites. Nevertheless, it is important to consider Joomla’s declining market share when deciding.

Despite each platform having unique strengths and shortcomings, Joomla and WordPress are great CMSs for creating websites from the ground up. To determine which is best for you, you must carefully consider what you want from the CMS. For example, do you need a CMS that is easy to set up? And should it have a wide range of add-ons for extra flexibility and customization? A solid understanding of how your website will look and function is also necessary, as that will also help you decide on the most suitable CMS for creating it. Once those are clear in your mind, you will be well placed to determine which is your own winner in the Joomla vs. WordPress contest.

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