One of the most important considerations when launching a website is the content management system (CMS) to use. WordPress has always been known as the top CMS when building a site, but there are other great options out there as well, including Joomla.
Joomla and WordPress have a lot of things in common, including that they are self-hosted. These two open-source content management systems have existed for more than 10 years. First, let us talk a little about WordPress, which was first introduced as a blogging platform back in 2003. Today, it has become a multipurpose CMS with more than 30% of websites all over the Internet – not just blogs.
On the other hand, Joomla is two years younger than WordPress. However, it has acquired an excellent reputation and has become the second most popular CMS around, powering about three percent of online websites. Joomla is a good WordPress alternative because they are similar. At the same time, they are entirely different, especially when it comes to the various database options available in Joomla, which tech-savvy people love.
Joomla vs. WordPress: The Advantages
Some developers will side with Joomla while others will always choose the more popular WordPress. If you are looking for a comparison between the advantages of these two systems, here is an overview of what WordPress offers:
- Ease of use: If you are a non-developer, many users will agree that WP is the better choice than Joomla. It is easy to understand, and you can start using it even if you have limited programming knowledge. The installation process is quick and straightforward. You can have your blog online in just a few minutes even if it is the first time you will attempt to launch it.
- Blogging suitability: For most bloggers, WP is a favorite, especially because it offers a distinction between static pages and blog posts right out of the box.
- Feature-rich: When it comes to themes and plugins, you will never run out of ways to extend your website.
- Support: The popularity of this CMS makes it easy for its users to find support from developers, groups, and other blogs.
WordPress is considered best for blogging, websites, e-commerce, professional or business sites, and even social networking.
Meanwhile, Joomla also has some advantages for its users, including:
- User management: Joomla is more valuable for those who are searching for a more advanced system that offers access to controls for the users.
- Flexibility: This CMS has modules and components that reward the users with more flexibility, especially for presenting non-standard content.
- Multilingual support: WordPress also offers multilingual support, but you need to install a third-party plugin to use it. Joomla, on the other hand, has this feature built-in into its core.
- Template-rich: You can utilize various templates for different content pieces. WordPress though only allows you to use one theme.
Joomla is great for building e-commerce and business sites, as well as social networking and forums.
WordPress and Joomla have many similarities. For one, they both offer a good selection of customizable templates, which are the bases for designing websites. It is worth noting though that WP has more options than Joomla. Nevertheless, they both contain powerful developer APIs, especially WordPress, which covers everything from plugins, theme customizable, databases, HTTP, and metadata. Joomla has APIs for its Framework and content management system.
Joomla vs. WordPress Learning Curve
If you plan to just have a regular site that has static content or you want to create a blog, you certainly want to get it up and running in only a few hours. Numerous hosts today have WP auto installers while others even have WP preinstalled.
One of the best things about WordPress is that casual users can begin to create content without needing to read or watch tutorials. WP Customizer, which is a new addition, allows users to generate theme changes with no code. It is a safe method as well and quite helpful as several other WP themes embrace the Customizer.
Additionally, if you want to create a more sophisticated content design, page builder plugins are available. They will help you build layouts with just dragging and dropping.
As for Joomla, there are also web hosts that provide auto installers for this CMS so you can quickly get the software for your site. However, you will need to put a bit more time and effort when designing your website, unlike WordPress. Before you begin building content with Joomla, you are required to create groups first since this CMS utilizes a combination of Categories and Articles.
The process is not that overwhelming, but many non-developers will find it a bit more complex than WP. The TinyMCE Article editor in Joomla is quite similar to the implementation of WordPress’ editor. Therefore, if you have already tried WP before, you will find it a familiar interface. Perhaps what is confusing with Joomla is the number of options in the different admin screens, including the settings for the Articles, Banners, Contacts, and Modules.
Nevertheless, Joomla does have a few user-friendly tools for editing, such as page builder extensions, which are useful for those who may not be well-versed as developers.
Which is Better at Extending Your Website?
Both WordPress and Joomla can provide you with numerous add-ons for your site. WP has plugins and themes, but Joomla uses the terms “extensions” and “templates.” Currently, WordPress boasts more than 54,000 plugins that you can get for free through its plugin directory. There are also thousands of paid plugins and more than 5,000 free themes and thousands of paid ones. Meanwhile, Joomla has approximately 8,000 extensions. Unfortunately, this CMS does not have its official template library, which makes it difficult to get some of the templates.
Joomla vs. WordPress: Search Engine Optimization
When it comes to SEO, many will argue that Joomla has a slight edge because its users can set up the keywords, meta descriptions, and more for new articles. However, the SEO capabilities of WordPress are quite remarkable, mainly because it has the Yoast plugin. It is quite powerful with tons of features and does not require you to be an expert since you can learn to use it in just a few minutes.
Yoast has the ability to categorize your SEO mark within different areas with the aid of its traffic light system. This plugin also gives you recommendations and useful advice so you can further improve your score, while rating each of your post’s readability.
On the other hand, Joomla has EFSEO, which is a plugin that enables you to perform most of the things that Yoast offers. You can edit your meta description and even automatically gather data without providing any input. It is true that EFSEO is handy, but there is a reason why more people find Yoast more useful for them.
Your website should remain secure, and both WP and Joomla promise to deliver optimum security for its users. Perhaps the problem with WordPress is that it is quite popular, which leaves it a target for its vulnerabilities. Thousands of plugins are accessible on the platform, but there is no guarantee that all of them are secure.
Additionally, WordPress does not provide an SSL connection right from the dashboard. Its security relies entirely on the plugins that you will install, and it does not truly give you the peace of mind you need. Joomla allows you to force both SSL and 2FA connections.
Also, the platform has its own extensions to improve the security of your website. You will even know which extensions are vulnerable because the developers have them listed for the users. All in all, Joomla wins when it comes to security. Nevertheless, they both share vulnerabilities even though WordPress has more high-profile problems.
Whichever you choose, you can keep it secure through some preventive steps, including installing updates regularly, utilizing complex passwords and network security, and performing backups. You should also be careful in using third-party plugins and extensions.
How Much Do They Cost?
As mentioned above, WordPress and Joomla are both open-source platforms that you can use for free. They do not technically need you to make a purchase for your website. However, you should pay for the domain name of your site and its hosting. You should also bear in mind that there are plug-ins and themes that you can buy, but they are optional expenses. Overall, hosting for either platform is inexpensive, especially if you compare it to other site builders.
Depending on the hosting plan, the price will usually start at less than $3 per month. The service includes unlimited bandwidth, business email accounts, and a domain that has SSL encryption. If you upgrade your hosting plan, you may need to pay at least $20 per month up to $80 monthly, which can give you better reliability and more speed and storage.
You may also want to consider the cost of the domain for your site. Free domains are available, especially for the first year but you will typically have to sign up for a hosting package first. After that, you may have to pay for the normal cost.
As mentioned, the themes and extensions can be obtained for free. In fact, there is no need to purchase anything, but there are specific plug-ins that can cost you more than $200.
Which is Better for Designing a Website?
As CMS, WordPress has many similarities with Joomla and vice versa. You will first have to install a theme, which will serve as the foundation of your website so you can begin designing. You can then add extensions or plug-ins, and you can get mostly all the additional features you may require for your site. Finally, you can create the content of your website.
The difference though is that WordPress is more user-friendly, particularly with its visual editor. You will instantly see the various logos, widgets, and fonts that you intend to use on your website and they are all presented to you in real time. You will also like the fact that many features are built-in and are ready for use, so you do not have to install other plug-ins unless you want something unique.
By contrast, Joomla has text-based menus, and you can already tell that they are not easy to navigate. The website editor of this platform is almost empty, so you have to perform more work so it will begin to resemble the site that you want. Modules, which include navigation menus, image sliders, and search bars, are also available but you will need to install each of them individually.
Just like WordPress, there are a handful of modules that you can access by default. All the items can be set up using the Module Manager. The Template Manager allows you to change the settings for the fonts, logo, and colors.
The process is indeed a bit more complicated than WordPress, but it does not mean you will not benefit from it. Among the advantages is that you get more flexibility when formatting your website. Modules can be placed anywhere you want, and there is a default log-in module so your visitors can register an account. They can also log in to gain access to certain features.
WordPress does support many plug-ins, but Joomla gives you a more convenient method of setting them up. You can also integrate them more naturally into your website. Still, WordPress offers everything you may need by default. If you ever require other features, you can browse for plug-ins using the dashboard.
Editing takes place mostly on the Customization menu, which is useful, so you do not have to continually shift from one window (or tab) to another. WordPress works like Joomla where you can build an interactive site with the use of plug-ins. At the same time, you can also choose a simple template where you can quickly enter your business information and add some photos.
If you want something straightforward, WordPress is the better option. However, if you like to take on a little bit of complex work, Joomla can be your site’s CMS.
Which is Better for E-commerce?
If you want to have an online store, both platforms will allow you to do so: WooCommerce for WordPress and VirtueMart for Joomla. These tools are similar and free where you can sell different kinds of products without paying store fees. You can customize your store, and you can use custom templates, along with other features.
The difference though lies in the number of integrations and facilities that you can get out of WooCommerce. Most of them are also available for free. For instance, you can use a shipping calculator, a tool for creating ads on Facebook, and even have a subscription billing service (although this feature will cost some money). On the other hand, VirtueMart does not currently have any billing or Facebook ad tool, but it does have the same shipping calculator, which requires a fee.
The Bottom Line
Overall, WordPress is the more popular CMS and is generally a better option than Joomla.
It is easy to use and does not lack any innovative functionality. Nevertheless, if you do not mind putting in extra effort, you are well-versed with developing a website, and the absence of certain features does not bother you, you may want to give Joomla a try.