Top CMS: WordPress, Joomla or Drupal?

Before I get started, I think I should give a brief description of what a Content Management System (CMS) is.  It is software, implemented as a web application, which allows users to create and manage HTML content.  In short, it is a program used to build a website.

Okay, now that that’s out the way…I’d like to compare arguably the top CMS players out there right now – WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.  In the last couple years, WordPress has gone from being a blog publishing application to a full on CMS so I’m definitely comparing apples to apples.

WordPress

WordPress is deeply rooted in the Blogosphere, so you would be okay to assume that its CMS blogging software reigns supreme to Joomla and Drupal.  For the relatively inexperienced web developer/designer, WordPress may be the best CMS to quickly start sharing your thoughts.

Comments, blogger profiles, trackbacks, and pinging services are default features already built into the CMS, so getting viewers to your site and analytics on this traffic is pretty much a click away.   You can get your site or your clients’ websites up and running in little time.

The Cons of WordPress:

- Currently a smaller community of users than Joomla or Drupal

- Not the most developer- friendly CMS.  Sometimes upgrades by WP developers can make your site disappear.

- Upgrades and plug-ins can sometimes render more glitches than fixes

Joomla

Joomla is probably the most favored open source CMS amongst web designers.  Joomla’s engine has the ability to make websites look amazing.  Some developers like it because they feel it provides them a lot of freedom to develop and customize.  Joomla has an incredibly large community also, so it’s really easy to find support with the creation of websites.

One cool feature that separates Joomla from the pack is that anyone with even the most modest of developing skills can override the default Joomla CMS without actually modifiying it’s original code.

The Cons of Joomla:

-When compared to WordPress or Drupal, Joomla has a lot to catch up on especially with being user-friendly.

- Coding is inflexible

- Can be confusing for someone to integrate into especially their experience with building sites is minimal.

- Many users rather stick to the old versions of the system

Drupal

Drupal is the open source CMS of choice for web developers who rather hand-code content than use a “What You See Is What You Get” Editor.  Yes, it’s fair to say that Drupal is for the quintessential techie web developers more so than the everyday blog site owner.

Because the community using Drupal is predominantly web developers, there are many out there to really help you with building a really powerful website that can really stand out from the majority of them out there.

The Cons of Drupal:

- The design/theme element of Drupal can be lackluster, perhaps because Drupal attracts web developers instead of designers.

-  Not designer/user-friendly.

- Publishing on content with Drupal can be time-consuming, frustrating, and expensive.

My Preference

While I see the advantages in all three, WordPress is my personal favorite and that’s primarily based on the fact that its easiest for my clients here at Highly Relevant to use. The other two are great for the reasons mentioned above but my goal is to get clients setup so they can change or add content to their sites.  It’s important for clients to share their thoughts on their site and because many have former experience with blogging on WordPress, it’s actually pretty simple for them to navigate through the CMS.

2 thoughts on “Top CMS: WordPress, Joomla or Drupal?

  1. I used to agree with your assessment 100%. In fact, my company’s site is currently built on WordPress. But lately we’ve begun creating customized admin views for our clients, which in some cases makes Drupal more user-friendly to them than WordPress. When you factor in the capabilities under Drupal’s hood and the reality that the time to install both systems is about the same, it just seems to make more sense.

  2. I agree with you. I tested the same 3 systems. Since I tried WordPress, I didn’t use something else anymore. I create websites for little to medium size companies, and for that, WordPress is perfect. Websites are mostly updated by 1 person. I also like Drupal, but for my needs, Drupal is to big. It takes me a lot longer for creating a website. But I think that Drupal is perfect for the larger websites.

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