I’ve had thousands of hours in both content management systems. I feel fortunate that I have a good foundation in both Joomla and WordPress systems. Below explains the pros and cons from a guy who is a visual learner and who loves to dig. My goal at this page is to help you decide what’s right for your next web development project.
Joomla is a great solution for larger organizations or companies needing to have the flexibility to control the placement of content on all pages. For example, imagine there’s a company with six departments. Each department has its own branding and mission. It’s possible with Joomla to customize pages so each department gets its own logo, footer information, and column content along with body copy. When you install a template in Joomla you must define where the information is to be placed on your pages.
Joomla also has a powerful user control system. Users can be assigned access to any level of pages on your site. This can be useful for large companies needing to control who contributes to the site. Users can be allowed to change one page, a group of pages or the entire site.
Joomla requires a longer set-up time because of content placement requirements and user control flexibility. Understanding where to go in the administration panel to make site updates can be confusing because of this flexibility. This leads to a higher learning curve for the average person. The amount of plugins (extensions) for Joomla are plentiful but they come at a price. Most free plugins don’t have the quality and value that the paid ones have. Updating and migrating Joolmla can also be difficult. The administration panel is also confusing. The code structure is complex and difficult to navigate.
The variety of design styles is almost limitless. WordPress has a company called Themeforest comprised of a large group of designers who are releasing designs daily. Based upon my experience I’ve learned that their themes are of the highest quality and encompass designs that create a high level of impact; however Themeforest is not the only game in town. There are many companies offering high quality themes. The list is long.
The WordPress administration panel is very easy to understand. It does not take long to understand how it works and site setup is faster than with Joomla. Wordpress also has a fantastic way to manage photos and media right out of the box.
There are no strong cons with WordPress. It can do everything Joomla does. To be fair I will list a few things that poke me in the ribs. If not set up correctly the system will create too many images which may cause problems with your web host.. Multiple plugins sometimes can create conflicts with each other. The on-line plugin library needs refinement. I prefer Joomla’s Extension Directory because it’s easier to use.
That’s it for the Cons and let me tell you I was being overly critical.
WordPress is the winner and here’s why. The community spirit is amazing, there are WordPress meetups all over the world, and the amount of online help is incredible. The core of WordPress is built on a simplistic elegance which is similar to Mac computers. I feel lucky to have walked down the Joomla road first because it helped me realize what’s important about content management systems. Simplicity of use is worth more than a higher level of flexibility; and WordPress is just as powerful and flexible as Joomla.
Google Has Backed Up My Opinion On WordPress vs. Joomla
I was reviewing this post and decided to run a Google trends analysis on both systems to see what showed up. The graph below is revealing and supports my opinion.
To see the current stats click this link.
The writing is on the wall. The 2014 spike is most likely the result of WordPress’s 4.0 release. FYI: If you click the link to the current stats click “Forecast” Google will predict the trend. Hint: WordPress does not go down.