Web developers, content managers, and e-commerce owners have plenty of options when building a website in 2021. Today, we will discuss and compare two Content Management Systems (CMS) platforms that can help you get your website launched in short order: Joomla and WordPress.
What is Joomla?
Joomla is an open-source CMS platform that got its start in 2005. It was launched to give users the power to build websites and eCommerce sites without having any (or little) coding knowledge. Approximately five percent of the world’s websites are powered by Joomla, making it the third most popular CMS around.
What is WordPress?
Like Joomla, WordPress is an open-source content management system. It was born in 2003 mainly as a way to make blogs with ease but has now expanded to all types of websites. This flexibility has allowed WordPress to become the most popular CMS platform on Earth, powering over 81 percent of websites and eCommerce businesses on the Net.
It’s worth noting that “WordPress” is divided into two categories:
- WordPress.org, which is a CMS where you’ll need to purchase your own web hosting.
- WordPress.com, which is hosted, offers several plan tiers and lets you build a website instantly.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll look at WordPress.org versus Joomla in terms of ease of use, plugins, design, security, and more.
Read: WordPress Pros and Cons.
Comparing Joomla and WordPress
In the section below, we will compare several key factors for Joomla and WordPress, include:
- Ease of use
WordPress versus Joomla: Ease of Use
Although it’s easy to install, non-developers may find Joomla to be less user-friendly for beginners. It may take a bit of time to get acquainted with its control panel and interface, so if you are looking to jump into designing your website without much effort, WordPress may be the better fit.
Like Joomla, WordPress installation is a breeze. Unlike Joomla, it has a simple control panel that is more intuitive and easy to use, even without having any technical knowledge.
Could you call both Joomla and WordPress user-friendly? Sure, but WordPress is friendlier, which gives it the nod in this department.
WordPress versus Joomla: Plugins
Joomla has around 8,000 official extensions (its version of plugins). That number grows, however, when you factor in extensions from its passionate base of contributors.
WordPress, meanwhile, is the plugin king, thanks to its 50,000-plus plugin offerings that can extend the functionality of virtually any type of website or e-commerce site.
Due to the sheer difference in numbers alone, WordPress wins here.
WordPress versus Joomla: Design
Joomla allows for tons of customization when designing a website. You won’t have use of an “official” template library, but you can find third-party Joomla templates or themes with ease. Best of all, you can implement multiple themes across pages within a single site for complete control over the customization process.
WordPress has over 7,000 free themes, plus thousands more in the paid category. In short, you won’t be limited when designing a WordPress site. And if you want to take things to another level, you can use drag-and-drop plugins that make designing your own theme super simple.
Since Joomla seems to offer more customization, but WordPress has so many themes under its wing, we’ll call the design department a draw.
Read: Best WordPress Themes.
WordPress versus Joomla: Security
Some Joomla extensions and plugins can put you at risk for hacking. Luckily, it has security extensions and plugins to offer a barrier of protection, plus Joomla Force SSL if you’re looking to stay safe without the need for any extra help. Since the Joomla team only supports new versions of the CMS for a limited time, you’ll have to perform regular updates to stay bug-free.
Security is one department where WordPress’ popularity backfires. Since it’s so popular, hackers invest extra time into attacking WordPress and creating new exploits, so you’ll need to install security extensions and plugins, make regular updates, and purchase a third-party SSL certificate to stay safe.
Although WordPress’s popularity makes it the target of choice for hackers, statistics show that Joomla gets attacked at a higher rate than its market share. So, while both have their strengths, this alone could make WordPress the security winner.
WordPress versus Joomla: Support
You can get free Joomla support via an online community, guides, tutorials, and more. You can also pay for support from Joomla experts via four plans that range from $39 to $299 per month.
WordPress’ massive popularity allows it to offer more robust support through its forum, manuals, tutorials, etc. You can also hire paid WordPress experts if you encounter more complex issues.
While both platforms provide strong support, WordPress wins here since its helpful resources seem more widespread and plentiful.
WordPress versus Joomla: Price
Since Joomla is open source, it’s free to use. However, you will have to factor in costs for things like:
Similarly, WordPress is open source and free to use. To build a fully functioning website, it will require costs like those listed above and some cash for plugins, security, and so forth.
As you can imagine, costs for a Joomla or WordPress site can result in an investment of a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on your needs. So which is cheaper?
Again, that’ll depend on many factors, but its development costs are one area where WordPress beats Joomla in terms of pricing. Since WordPress has a larger community, you may enjoy lower development costs compared to Joomla, which can result in a website that’s cheaper overall, particularly if want to add custom features and functionality.
WordPress versus Joomla: The Verdict
It’s hard to pick one platform between Joomla and WordPress, so here’s the final verdict in simple form:
- If you’re new to web design and want to build a site (especially a blog) quickly without too much technical knowledge, WordPress is your best bet.
- If you’re more tech-savvy and want a flexible platform that lets your creativity shine via various types of content, Joomla may be the better fit.