One widely used way to build a website is with a content management system (CMS). The specialized software includes a content management application (CMA) and content delivery application (CDA). Together, these two tools allow for a simple, streamlined way to edit and manage the content on your site. The straightforward, user-friendly interface that is characteristic of this model makes it possible for anyone to interact with the backend of a website without having any knowledge of code.
The two most popular choices for a CMS are Joomla and WordPress (WP). WP is preferred by so many businesses that it is borderline monolithic in this space: it was used on 15% of sites in 2011. That accounted for more than half of CMS usage – 54% – and established WP as six times more widespread than its runner-up, Joomla (utilized by 9% of the market).
We will review these two options to help you determine the best choice for your website. In order to do so, we will access perspectives from three different types of web organizations: Internet marketing company Thrive, online course firm Udemy, and article/podcast how-to site Miracle Tutorials.
Perspective 1: Thrive
The first side-by-side assessment describes WordPress as the better choice, for the following core reasons:
The simplicity of WP is preferable, from initial setup to ongoing administration. A key consideration for choosing between these two platforms should be ease-of-use: no one should need any IT knowledge in order to understand how to navigate in the environment. That’s especially the case with WP.
Built ready-made for content
Many people who don’t use WP complain that it is not a “real,” full-featured site management system but a beefed-up blogging application. It’s true that WP was designed to meet the needs of those wishing to publish original content. The alternative system does not immediately allow blogging capabilities, but WP makes it possible to post content as soon as you enter the interface. This immediate access makes it easier for businesses to get started with their blogging efforts, crucial in the era of “quality original content” (amplified in 2013 by the Google Penguin Update).
Optimized for the search engines
You may be aware that the web applications you use – such as your CMS and your e-commerce system – can assist you in improving your search engine rankings. WP is a powerhouse in this area as well. Neither of the two systems explored in this piece are prepared for solid SEO without add-on assistance, but WP developers have built a greater number of diverse tools to target every aspect of your search engine approach.
Perspective 2: Udemy
The second analysis is incredibly balanced, offering positives and negatives for both systems, while leaving it up to readers to determine which one is right for their purposes:
WordPress Positives & Negatives
Open source – This characteristic is much of what drives the popularity of the CMS. You can change the code however you want. Also, you don’t have to pay anything at all to use the software. The system is enhanced by community development and support.
Easy to install – In the past, the platform’s out-of-the-box simplicity was a core promotional strategy for the brand. That aspect of strong ease-of-use has now become so widely understood that is no longer used as a sales point. Nonetheless, WP can be put in place – fully installed and accessible from any client device – in as little as five minutes.
Flexibility – This platform is not one-size-fits-all. You can choose from a huge storehouse of prebuilt design templates – called themes in WP lingo. There are options through the official site, as well as many that are available for a price through outside parties. Add-ons – called plugins in this context – have been created by developers as well, so you can implement standard and unique functionalities to your outward-facing site and its management/processing capabilities.
Security – Many people believe that open source actually creates a better security environment: because the code is fully accessible, it allows for better protection. Unfortunately, there is a reasonable argument that the openness of open source makes it unnecessarily vulnerable as well. If you want to use WP, you should know your perspective toward the open source model itself.
Ongoing costs – You can use the system itself totally free of charge. However, you will need to get a hosting environment, and you may require software related to your online store or paid add-ons that meet your special requirements.
Expertise for modifications – The system has many templates and plug-ins from which to choose, as established above. However, you will find yourself in need of a developer if the adaptation options available within your specific template or plug-in do not meet your objectives.
Joomla Positives & Negatives
Simple installation – This platform is – like it’s competitor – also incredibly simple to download and use.
Adaptability – The application’s community has generated a huge system of open source add-ons.
Roles – This system gives you a broad range of types of users, so that you can provide an individual with access at a privilege level that fits their situation.
Specific requirements – If you have specific requirements for your site, such as particular types of buttons, you will have to hire a professional to directly adjust the code.
Search engines – You shouldn’t expect great Google performance from this system in comparison to WP.
Perspective 3: Miracle Tutorials
The third review also provides an even-handed comparison, appreciating the strengths of each platform:
Joomla in a nutshell
You can build an extraordinarily complex site structure with this CMS. It’s a strong choice for a website that serves a community of users (with that aspect as its primary purpose) but does not work as well for a standard website.
WordPress in a nutshell
Ease-of-use is fundamental to WP. It’s the best choice for a standard site. You can add new features selected from the vast catalog of plugins, but you will sometimes need professional expertise.
The choice is up to you
As seen by two out of these three perspectives, there is no obvious choice between the two content management systems. You can always select one of them, establish your hosting provider, and switch to the other if you run into any difficulties (through an automated migration tool). If your business has cheers or jeers for either of the two systems, please share your experience in the comments.