Comparison kinda stuffs are widely researched over internet and it’s too long that Apptha had come up with a similar type of blog (the very last one being Magento Vs Prestashop). And here in this post, I would like to bake a cake on Joomla Vs WordPress, the two Big Oceans when it comes to Content Management Systems. A couple of months back, Mark Atkinson underwent a vast research on this topic and penned down six lengthy articles (part 1 to part 6) at SitePoint. Atkinson’s work was more congratulated when he gathered up all his essential messages into an infographic demoing ‘WordPress v Joomla’. This post will be a short version in terms of words of what Atkinson had discovered in his six massive articles.
1. An Introduction: WordPress Vs Joomla
WordPress barely needs introduction as the CMS is more popular and widely used these days. WordPress CMS was released in 2003 and is fully based on PHP. Like most other content management systems WordPress also uses MySQL for database management. WordPress offers either a standalone CMS as well as a hosted WordPress facility at WordPress.com. When compared to the self hosted version, the wordpress.com version is a little bit limited. The WordPress system was created by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little along with the contributions by the developers of b2/cafelog, Michel Valdrighi. WordPress is currently hosting nearly 25% of the web’s top sites and approximately 15% of Alexa Internet Ranking’s ‘Top 1 Million’ websites. Mashable, Problogger, Techcrunch, SitePoint and The Ford Story are all among the thousands of most popular brands that use WordPress as their CMS. Furthermore, the site page on which you are reading this post is also created on WordPress.
Coming over to Joomla, the CMS is also PHP and MySQL based. Joomla doesn’t have a hosted facility like WordPress and hence requires an Apache server to host individually. As Joomla is relatively unknown to those who aren’t or least familiar with web design or blogging, it is reasonably considered as the second most popular CMS among the user audience. Joomla was released in 2005, partially as a successor to Mambo. The development team of Joomla also had raised a movement OpenSourceMatters.org, which within the release itself had gathered enormous number of fans. Joomla was intentionally developed to propel as a free and open source CMS which also backs well as a great online community. It is quite factual that the fan rate of Joomla has not yet touched that of WordPress. But still, there are few big brands which use Joomla as their CMS. One among them is Linux.com, which continues to be a Joomlaian for several years. Another popular name to mention about is ebay. Though the company is not using Joomla for their ebay.com site, they use Joomla to manage their intranet of 16,000 plus employees.
2. WordPress Content Structure Vs Joomla Content Structure
Next is the CONTENT STRUCTURE. WordPress Content structure is originally broken down into pages and posts. WordPress is basically a blogging-favored platform and pages are generally used for static content. Each page or post can be assigned to a menu which will form the base of your website. If required, additional content can be added in and around the base content using widgets. These widgets can be placed in multiple places of your pages and also you can define the places where you do not wish to place the widgets. Various functionalities can be added to WordPress by downloading and installing plugins. Plugins can be used to transform WordPress site into an ecommerce store, a download repository, a sports statistics website and other amazing applications.
Though Joomla’s Content Structure seems a little more complicated than WordPress, in practical, the thing is more or less same. A page’s main content is generated as articles or components. The content is linked to a menu using menu items and these menu items can be set to display a single article, an entire category of items and output from an extension which has been installed. The only difference it has with WordPress functionality is, in WordPress, the functionality is generally added to a page by embedding a little piece of code which is provided by the associated plugin. Joomla can be extended by using Components, Modules and Plugins, all of which can be downloaded from the Joomla Extensions Directory, whereas WordPress uses the term “Plugin” to encompass all of its extensions.
On an overall, the content structure of WordPress is better easy to grasp for beginners, while Joomla newbies find it troublesome in grasping the terminology and applications of certain functions.
3. WordPress Themes Vs Joomla Templates
Well, for Joomla it is called by the name ‘templates’ and for WordPress, it is ‘themes’. One thing most of the CMS users would have noted in common is, Joomla templates are designed and developed with versatility while WordPress themes are exclusively centered to solve some purpose (generally content focused). WordPress themes are subjected to be limited to a single purpose while premium templates for Joomla are tailored to a specific purpose.
Comparing the both in this department, the credit goes to Joomla, which stands a step higher than WordPress. Joomla scores in offering the ability to select a particular template for multiple pages of a single website. WordPress fails to offer this functionality by native (only with the use of plugins and customization, this can be achieved in WP). If you are really planning to have your website making a difference in look and design, then Joomla can best fit your requirements. Though there is a functionality in WordPress saying ‘Page Templates’, it doesn’t seem to match the ‘Multiple Template’ functionality of Joomla, which is widely acknowledged for its user-friendliness to end users.
4. WordPress Extensions Vs Joomla Extensions
Both WordPress and Joomla enfold a vast majority number of extensions, each carrying its own native functionalities. Most of the WordPress extensions are created with a single motto in mind and that is about help running a blog/content website successfully. Whether it is in the form of SEO plugins, content syndication or social media integration, they are all on the track to add value to your content rather than revolutionizing your website. On the other hand, Joomla seems to offer extensions purely in an extremely different nature. These are components that roll your Joomla website completely into an ecommerce store, an online reservation store, daily deals website or whatever you want.
WordPress groups all its extensions under a single term called ‘plugins’ and these plugins can be fully functional from back end to front end. Joomla in this aspect splits up its extension directory into different categories based upon the functionalities they provide. Here is how Joomla categorizes its extensions in different terms.
Plugins: Plugins are a form of extensions that usually perform little tasks which generally affect the front end output in some way.
Modules: These are something similar to the WordPress Widgets. These are usually used to add bits of content around the main content area.
Components: Components are made to extend the core functionality of Joomla and are huge systems which even comprise their own modules and plugins.
The installation of extensions in both Joomla and WordPress CMS is absolutely easy. Both these systems provide a damn-easy mechanism to install extensions with excellent back-end facilities. WordPress stays ahead in this race as it allows you to search for and download plugins from the WordPress plugin directory straightly from the back-end of your WordPress website. With Joomla, it is needed to first download the extensions from the Joomla Extensions Directory, save them and finally upload and install them using the Joomla extension manager.
WordPress is available in a number of different languages and with Joomla you would need to install a language pack. WordPress comes with several plugins that allow language switching and multi-lingual pages. For Joomla, only Joomfish is the widely popular language component and even they have only an alpha version available for the latest version of Joomla. Hence, you would have to try some other option if you prefer to go multi-lingual.
Analyzing the both, both Joomal and WordPress are unique in their own way. Identify the actual functions your website requires and go with the CMS that provides better extensions to perform those functions.
5. WordPress SEO Vs Joomla SEO
Comparing Joomla and WordPress in the SEO department includes discussing the capabilities and limitations of each CMS with search engine optimization and rating some of the best SEO plugins and extensions. Though WordPress seems better than Joomla in this SEO aspect, it has also got few limitations. Joomla is not bad in SEO; it’s just not the best!
• Page Speed
The page speed of Joomla seems slow driving and bandwidth-eating in this aspect. It doesn’t mean that WordPress has got an excellent page loading functionality. Plugins that assist you in achieving better page speeds are available for both these systems. Hence, comparing the both in this aspect, no system stands ahead than the other.
• Link Structure
Having a perfect URL structure is a major concern of most of the SEO enthusiasts and likewise it is also quite an important factor. WordPress makes this a little bit easier than Joomla, by allowing you to define your permalink within a post. Whereas, Joomla creates your link by assuming you are using the default Joomla SEF URLs. Both these CMSs has more control over the URL rewriting through the use of certain SEO plugins/components.
• Image Optimization
It’s again WordPress in this department. However, Joomla has also tried to cover the hole with the release of version 2.5x. Both these systems allow users to add images, image titles, add alt tags and define image dimensions. WordPress upshots this race with its plugin called SEO friendly images, which automatically performs all SEO functionalities.
• Internal Linking
A perfect internal linking is the ultimate key for SEO success of a website. WordPress makes it easy to achieve this through the use of plugins by allowing you to select existing pieces of content directly while adding a hyperlink. With Joomla, you need to enter the relative link for the page you are trying to link with. In Joomla there is no graphic interface which allows you to do this exactly out the box, while WordPress wins in this concern.
6. Support and Community – Joomla Vs WordPress
Joomla.org Vs WordPress.org – Each of these CMS seems to have a completely different approach in terms of their communities or websites. WordPress has gone through a pretty simple outlook while Joomla has immensely worked on the design and functionality of its website. Dealing under this constraint, it is Joomla to have scored high in its design update and is more appealing and user-friendly than WordPress.org (which comes too plain without any focus or motto).
When it comes to support, both WordPress and Joomla has got efficient documentation and information on their concept. The major focus of the both of their support base is the CMS community support. Either of these platforms are well-versed in support forums also.
On the whole Joomla goes out well with community and support development activities and WordPress still has to cross more levels to achieve it. The works of Joomla Magazine and Joomla Connect are quite appreciative.
7. Bottom Line – The Winner
So, now is the time to announce the winner! Creating a WordPress website implies that you are goi ng to have a blog or a content-driven website. But with Joomla, the options are really endless, except that you want to run a blog. Declaring one single winner among the two CMS giants is really a tough task to perform with. Both the systems are actually good for individual reasons and are dependent upon the way you need to construct a website. If you really want to have your site more content focused, try looking into WordPress and if it’s anything else other than blog or content – drive over to Joomla.
Whatever is the CMS you rely on, everything that matters is the time you are going to spend on learning the system. Hence, look into the above mentioned factors and decide upon the system which suits your purpose more accurately.