Comparing WordPress and Joomla

For years now this is our most common question from clients, or indeed prospective clients. How it tends to run in conversation is along the lines of an initial conversation where education of the client is the central tenet. Starts with “how do modern websites works”, then onto “CMS? what is this CMS you talk about”, onto our recommendation, which, as you can probaly tell, is WordPress.

The next step we are quite proud of, in that we have imbued ‘some’ knowlegde to the client, and they go back to their office/iPad/smartphone and type in “CMS options” (smart fellas and gals) and come across a couple of CMS options. (Indeed some even dig deep enough to come back with Drupal, but that is the rare breed…) client.

So in an effort to spread goodwill and knowledge around the world, lets run through our few thoughts on CMS choice. For simplicity we are going to do the simple Joomla vs WordPress discussion.

WordPress versus Joomla!

The battle between the two dominant Content Management Systems (CMS), known as WordPress and Joomla, has only just heated up in the past few years. We are already noticing its effects through the punch-up between two platforms that technically could be considered very similar compared to the “other” CMS out there, since they work with the coding magic of PHP and MySQL, however they have a different user interface, whioch imo is high on the priority list of clients.

So, what about all this Monkey Talk about WordPress and Joomla! in reality they both represent different ways of doing the same thing.

Take note at this point we are making an emphasis here on the self hosted version; this is NOT the same as the online free blog platform known as (we will Momkey Chatter about this in another post at another time…).

So onward to a brief introduction about both CMSs and into the GRIST of the highlights and overview of Joomla and WordPress.


WordPress was initially developed in 2001 and it has evolved into the blog platform that is today, with all the interactive, dynamic and Google-friendly gadgets that has made it the key platform if you want your content to be indexed in search engines quickly and get almost instant traffic. (and who doesn’t??)

WordPress is a website engine built on the premise that installing it, running it, and publishing basic content with it should be as quick and simple as possible. Joomla is a different animal, it’s for managing and publishing a lot of different content types, in different ways, while looking good doing it.

WordPress is simple and you can add and change images, banners and publish new items/articles with seriously no effort. If you want to update and manage your website without any major hiccups then WordPress is by far the best option.

It is currently the most highly effective CMS tool and is 100% Google and SEO friendly.

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform and is used by millions of users to post new articles regularly. It is not only used to open blog posts but also to post responses to blogs and make comments, making the socil jump simple.

It is an open source project that uses PHP and MySQL technology and it was designed and created to be a blogging platform it is excellent for blogging and sharing of thoughts and information. It can support multiple blogger profiles, pinging services, and trackbacks, etc.

As a simple publishing tool for one main type of content, to be used by one person, with few additional capabilities required – then WP wins every time. Also, WordPress targets the whole blog scene much more efficiently, with all that implies: the search engine response, blog searchbots, ping / trackback / tag capability and so on. A CMS operates in a different sphere, and therefore does its job better in that respect. Horses for courses and all that.

While WordPress might have been “just blogging software” in the past and didn’t have the features needed to be a true CMS, those days are well gone with the introducation of v3.0. With the update to 3.4, it can truyly be siad that Worpdress has excelled as an CMS.

Anyone who says otherwise is living in the past.


Joomla! has a similar origin to WordPress in that it started in 2000, and its open source, giving developers more liberties, that’s why it has been rapidly growing.

One of the issues with Joomla! however is that it can be tricky when it comes to more complex developments of a website. In this sense, WordPress is by far more suited for businesses that want everything already ready, safe and done for them, barely needing a reorganise and just adjust the content widgets.

For the larger company with multiple users and much larger sites (with larger databases), Joomla! has proven to be more popular than WordPress, given that it can be used to create and modify larger websites of thousands of pages.

Joomla is best for creating websites oriented to e-commerce and websites requiring a more corporate, professional touch. Joomla has thousands of extensions to offer, which are instrumental in increasing the functionality of a website. With its wider flexibility, enhanced features and premier extensions, Joomla to greater extent out beats WordPress.

Joomla was created from the ground up and over the years grown as an acclaimed CMS, while WordPress was designed as a publishing platform that has developed gradually into a CMS, offering each unique capability. These are the reasons why many developers declare that Joomla wins in the comparison between Joomla vs WordPress.

So, what does WordPress better than Joomla?

So easy to use

WordPress is without a doubt the easiest CMS for a non-techie touse, right from the get go. That counts for an awful lot.

Anyone can be introduced to WordPress and be publishing in a few minutes.

WordPress serves brilliantly to non-technical people who need to communicate easily and effectively. So, it just makes sense when you consider that people who go into communications fields in business (talking sales and marketing) tend not to be geeky computer people.

And because of its big corporate ties, WordPress never had the luxury of relying on forums and boards as technical support, instead the features of WordPress were driven by content people, not geeks and techies. Every feature had to be usable by everyone.

Ease of use is an issue that both Joomla and Drupal are working on. But it doesn’t come naturally to them, evidenced by the slow progress they’re making and the fact that their ships are still being sailed by technologists. For example, Drupal still doesn’t even ship with a WYSIWYG editor. Unbelievable but true.

Number of websites out there, and therefore the support available…

Approximately 87,000 websites run on WordPress!

To say that WordPress is just blogging software is plainly naive.  The reality is that WordPress is the world’s most successful CMS as well as a successful blogging platform.

If you look at the numbers, WordPress is more of a blogging platform than Joomla is a straight CMS — meaning that more WordPress blogs are out there than there are Joomla and Drupal websites combined (see below).

WordPress’ excellence as blogger software is n integral part of its success as a CMS, for the following reasons:

  1. Blogs helped it focus on usability. Designing a product to do a specific job is just more effective. Joomla has always aimed to be expandable. WordPress has always wanted to be used by everyone.
  2. It had a very clear business model that the others just didn’t have, and almost 9% of the top communicators in the world could easily use it.
  3. It gained instant credibility as soon as the websites Engadget and Smashing Magazine subscribed
  4. Bloggers know content, and the Web is all about content, CONTENT IS KING!

We’re  not saying whether this was by luck, but if the goal 10 years ago was to create a technology that would be used on as many websites in the world as possible, and they approached it with the mindset that the Internet is about content, then they’d probably have designed the software around writers who are interested in the Internet, i.e. bloggers.

WordPress is a fully functional CMS.
Remember that 58,000 websites in the top 1 million are not blogs or news websites but are powered by WordPress. This means that, as a CMS, WordPress is 3.4 times as popular as Joomla, which means that anyone who says that WordPress isn’t a “real” CMS is smoking something strong.

Comparison between Joomla vs WordPress

If you want to add images, publish new items, WordPress is extremely easy to use. Whereas Joomla presents a more “feature-rich” CMS, though the user has to “get the hang” of making the modifications. The learning curve is a little steeper, and does require some training from the developer to get a user started.

A simple way to compare the differences is the way in Joomla you can have ten different menus on any single page, in any position, of any style, looking how you want, all of which can be created from scratch, with any menu name – with just a few clicks of your mouse (and maybe some graphics). This gives large corporate sites an advantage of being able to brand one website differently for each of their brands.

Just because of power and flexibility provided by the Joomla CMS, it has become most popular CMS for the larger client. Joomla is also the best open source CMS solution when it comes to multiple user groups.

In reality both platforms work well for managing a website, WordPress is however by far the best best option for small to medium business.

Although the two major Content Management Systems (CMS), WordPress and Joomla have their pros and cons both are extensively used to create websites of all sizes and for all purposes with different capabilities and complications.

Both are constantly improving and creating newer tools and features for easy updating and managing. Depending on your needs and requirements and purpose for a website you can choose the best option.

Market Share

According to W3Techs, almost 55% of the 1 million most visited websites that are run on a content management system (CMS) are run on WordPress.

Breakdown of websites with a clearly identifiable CMS, according to W3Tech’s survey of the top 1 million domains

The Bottom Line (from the Army…)

Joomla was designed as a CMS and helps mange large websites in the most hassle free way. WordPress on the other hand though originally designed as a blogging platform has changed big time over the years and is now a CMS that offers many unique functions and capabilities.

  • Joomla is a free content management open source system is best suited for large websites that attract heavy traffic.
  • WordPress is perfect for small and medium businesses and of course as a perfect blogging platform.

What this all boils down to is that a CMS performs a very specific job for all of us, which is to manage web content. WordPress does this; Joomla does this too.

Looking at the market share of CMS’ above, WordPress does this VERY well and more people have chosen it.

WordPress without a doubt runs more websites than any of the other competitors.

In our opinion if you are  small or  medium business looking for a fast, light and simple CMS avaiable NOW, there really is only one choice: WordPress!

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