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Introduction: WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal – The Big Three in CMS
There are classic rivalries in the software industry, including in the world of open-source content management systems (CMS) – WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal. Undoubtedly, WordPress is the most popular and most patronised brand, claiming more than half (58%) of CMS-based sites you find on the Web today. However, Joomla and Drupal have emerged as worthy rivals to WordPress. Joomla powers the website of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) while Drupal is the CMS of choice for Harvard University.
All three CMS each have their strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, despite WordPress getting the lion's share in the CMS market, there are elements where it lags behind its main competitors. So it's important to tease out every pro and con of each CMS so that you can answer the question – which is the best option for you among the Big Three – WordPress Joomla Drupal?
Pros and Cons for WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal:
To evaluate major Drupal WordPress Joomla highlights in terms of these CMS' Pros and Cons, you can click on the following links:
In this article, I'll be comparing WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal in terms of six components: ease of use, features and flexibility, eCommerce tools, SEO and mobility, support and resources, and pricing.
What's the more user-friendly alternative among Joomla vs WordPress? Drupal vs WordPress? Drupal vs Joomla? Of course, since many of us are trying to set up our online stores nowadays, the eCommerce element is a vital criterion to gauge Joomla versus WordPress, or Drupal vs WordPress.
WordPress is arguably the top CMS platform there is. First, it dominates the market by claiming a third of all websites and 58% of all CMS-based sites. Also, WordPress is famous for its evolution from a blogging platform in 2003 to becoming a total CMS solution. Loved by users everywhere because of its user-friendliness, it's the CMS platform of choice for both newbies and experts.
Joomla comes second place in terms of market share, clinching 7% of all CMS-based sites. Following its rebranding in 2005, Joomla may be the new kid on the block among the three. Yet it has garnered popularity for creating stunning websites.
Drupal is the veteran of the three CMS reviewed here. Since 2001 and until now, it has powered over 4% of all CMS-based websites. Comparing Drupal vs WordPress, Drupal is designed with developers in mind, hence its focus on customisability and performance.
Ease of Use:
Ease of use is WordPress' core strength. With it, installation is a breeze and takes only five minutes. Also, most hosting providers offer 1-click installations of WordPress – which makes this CMS super-easy to get your hands on. Another standout feature is that its dashboard is clean, modern-looking, and intuitive. Menus are neatly structured and not cluttered, so it's easy to start creating a post, a page, or changing themes.
Installation-wise, if you compare Joomla vs WordPress, both CMS are pain-free to install. Like WordPress, 1-click Joomla installations are featured in hosting providers. Yet, the post-install experience for Joomla may be less user-friendly. Its control panel is a bit more complex-looking than WordPress and may be confusing for beginning users.
Among WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal, Drupal comes last when it comes to ease of use. Installing it is no problem; however, pitted against Drupal vs WordPress and Drupal vs Joomla, customising your site is tougher with Drupal.
Winner -WordPress! within our ‘Ease of Use' category for WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal comparison.
Features and Flexibility:
WordPress is the perfect CMS to use for producing a stunning DIY website. Comparing Joomla vs WordPress, it's jam-packed with features and themes that make design and customisation options for your website limitless. When considering Drupal vs WordPress, Drupal is much more developer-oriented and therefore, more tedious to use.
Joomla's strength lies on its structured and stress-free onboarding process that is neither too complex for beginners nor too unsophisticated for developers. When you judge Joomla vs WordPress, Joomla doesn't have as many themes, yet it compensates with a feature-crammed extension directory.
Drupal is best suited for web developers because of its great flexibility. This CMS comes with built-in bundles containing modules and configurations you need to create and polish your website. However, measuring up Drupal vs WordPress, or Drupal vs Joomla, Drupal features a learning curve on how to pick, use, and manage each bundle to use to your website's advantage.
Themes and templates:
WordPress offers thousands of themes and plugins that can enhance your site's UI and functionality. Amazingly, it boasts the greatest themes database which, if you evaluate Joomla vs WordPress or Drupal vs WordPress, the CMS emerges victorious. Why? Because WordPress has a whopping 4500+ free themes! Therefore, if you have a specific design in mind for your website, chances are that WordPress has it.
Of the three CMS, Joomla has the fewest number of themes and templates you can choose from. As a result, in a Joomla vs WordPress head-to-head, WordPress wins in this category. Yet, don't worry. You still have a great selection of aesthetically pleasing themes. If you don't want to be overwhelmed with the number of options to select from, Joomla fits the bill.
Both Drupal WordPress have an enormous repository of free themes. Yet, if you judge Drupal vs WordPress, WordPress evidently has more free themes to offer, since Drupal only has 2000+ official free themes. With a Drupal vs Joomla comparison, however, Drupal has the edge.
3rd Party apps and plugins:
To polish your website, WordPress allows you to install third-party applications and plugins. This CMS allows you to install additional functions for your site such as eCommerce, SEO, speed, security, and others. In terms of plugins in Joomla vs WordPress, WordPress has over 50,000+ free plugins. A word of caution, however: make sure you get your plugins from reputable sources – they could contain malicious code that can ultimately spell disaster for your site!
Installing third party features to make your Joomla site more powerful requires extensions. This is the counterpart to WordPress' plugins. Overall, there are more than 8,000 free and paid official extensions in Joomla's official extension directory.
In Drupal speak, add-ons that boost your site's functionality come in the form of modules. Comparatively, with Drupal vs WordPress, Drupal can give you access to 44,000 modules in their official directory to WordPress' 50,000 plugins.
Hosting, backups, and migration:
Many companies feature Managed WordPress hosting to optimise your site's performance. When it comes to Joomla vs WordPress, the latter is more vulnerable. Hackers and cyber-criminals are targeting most WordPress sites. In terms of security, WordPress offers several backup plug-ins – the most popular of which are UpdraftPlus and VaultPress. These plugins are important because they fortify your WordPress site from potential threats.
Like WordPress, there are Joomla-focused web hosting services. Comparing Joomla vs WordPress security, Joomla also provides backup extensions to use on your site in case you need to restore it to an earlier point. Among the most popular of these extensions are Akeeba Backup and EJB (Easy Joomla Backup).
Top hosting providers offer Drupal-optimised web hosting to ensure your site's superior performance and reliability. For backups, Drupal offers the Backup and Migrate module so you can back up and restore your databases. If you ask me, it's a tie between Drupal vs WordPress and Drupal vs Joomla in terms of hosting and backups.
Winner – WordPress! within our ‘Features and Flexibility' category for WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal comparison.
WordPress makes it easy to install eCommerce plugins completely free like the WooCommerce Shop. After installing it, you can immediately set up shop and start selling online.
Joomla hosts several amazing eCommerce extensions, chief of which is VirtueMart. Other extensions for your online store include EShop, J2Store, and HikaShop.
Drupal features Drupal Commerce, a native eCommerce module suited to businesses of whatever size. However, if you evaluate Drupal vs WordPress or Drupal vs Joomla, add-ons for WordPress and Joomla work through API (Application Programming Interface). With Drupal, you need to sweat it out a little. Drupal Commerce isn't API-supported; this means you need to build your store from scratch.
Winner – WordPress! within our ‘eCommerce Tools' category for WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal comparison.
SEO and Mobility:
In terms of SEO, WordPress runs ahead of the back because of its origins as a blogging platform. While CMS are not standalone SEO powerhouses, they are a great tool to make Google love your site. With WordPress, there are awesome SEO plugins like Yoast SEO to make your site rank higher. With it, you can optimise your site for keywords, add SEO title, meta description, or URL slug.
Moreover, WordPress optimises your site to make it mobile-friendly with plugins that allow you to create a mobile version of your site with fast load times.
Joomla presents the weakest case for SEO among the three, but it can still advance your search engine rankings. While its extensions allow you to configure your SEO, the process isn't as user-friendly as with WordPress.
Capability-wise, Drupal has the best features for SEO when you compared Drupal vs WordPress or Drupal vs Joomla. The CMS has several modules such as Real-time SEO and Metatag for Drupal that automatically creates meta tags which you can later customise. This is a feature that is omitted by Joomla or WordPress.
Winner -WordPress! within our ‘SEO and Mobility' category for WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal comparison.
Support and Resources:
WordPress support and resources come from its robust user community. Guidance is within your reach so you won't have to DIY your way to using this CMS. In addition to official support forums, there are also plenty of documents, handbooks, Facebook groups, Slack channels, and online venues where users exchange Q&A and experiences about everything WordPress-related.
Like WordPress, Joomla users can depend on an extensive user community for support. Its website also provides a knowledge base where beginners can have their questions answered. Those who prefer more interaction can get support from online forums, user groups, and mailing lists.
Similar to Joomla vs WordPress, Drupal users can draw support from its loyal and active user community. Also, free help is available through chat groups, forums, and knowledge base on their website.
Winner – Draw! within our ‘Support and Resources' category for WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal comparison.
Technically, using WordPress is free. However, to realistically set up your website, installing CMS isn't the only thing you need to do. Other costs you need to consider when creating a functional WordPress website are:
- Domain Name
- Reliable Hosting
- Themes (if you opt for paid premium themes)
- 3rd Party apps such as eCommerce tools
If you compare Joomla vs WordPress price-wise, Joomla is also free. Yet, to create your Joomla site, you need to invest in the following:
- Domain name
- Reliable Hosting
Installing the Drupal dashboard comes at zero cost. This evens the odds for Drupal vs WordPress and Drupal vs Joomla. Regardless, here are the actual costs you need to set up a Drupal site:
- Domain name
- Reliable Hosting
- Drupal eCommerce (if you need it)
- Modules (if you opt for paid ones)
Winner -Draw! within our ‘Ease of Use' category for WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal comparison.
Among the three CMS – which is the best?
Based on this WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal comparison, WordPress edges over the other two in terms of ease of use and features. Remember, though, that ultimately, it all boils down to what features and tools you need.
Conclusion and Recommendation:
To conclude this WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal comparison article, I have to tell you that the three are amazing CMS. Each is designed with a specific user in mind.
WordPress is the overall best CMS that gives you an easy to navigate platform to create professional-looking websites with minimal coding ability. Its plethora of themes and plugins also ensure that you can design and boost your site as you see fit.
Drupal is really best suited for the web developer and expert user. Drupal has better customisation features and flexibility that you can't find when you compare Drupal vs Joomla or WordPress. In other words, if you want your site to be as unique and personalised as possible, Drupal is your CMS.
Lastly, Joomla is the middle ground CMS. It's not too complex for the newbie user and not too plain for the seasoned developer, too. It has great features, as well, but you need to go through a learning curve to be able to maximise them.
That’s all for now:
If you've read our WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal comparison up to here, we are grateful. Remember always to keep abreast of the latest developments on website builders, eCommerce, and other comparison articles, such as the ones below;
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Not only the best tea/coffee maker on the team Sophie keeps the many marketing projects flowing ensuring completion on time. Skilled across multiple marketing skill areas Sophie is our all rounder and a great asset to the team. Sophie is a website building trainer and tech writer who takes pride in helping small businesses and startups build their websites and launch their eCommerce platforms. Sophie is also the practical joker of the team and always wears a smile on her face. In her spare time she likes to spend her time with family. She loves going on holidays and spending time with friends.