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Joomla vs WordPress: And the Winner is …

Thanks to free content management systems (CMS) anyone with no web programming background can build a website. Joomla and WordPress are two well-known names in terms of CMS. You might be wondering, which is the better between the two?

Of course, you won’t be able to answer the question right away without making an in-deep investigation. There are some parts need to learn before coming up with the conclusion.

WordPress was born first than Joomla. It was released in 2003, while Joomla introduced two years later. As of today, I don’t know how many sites built with both WordPress and Joomla. To be clear, no one is able to give a detailed stats about this. Before making the comparisons, let’s find out some things in common they have.

Things in common between WordPress and Joomla

WordPress and Joomla are both free to use. They are also available as the open source software. They both were written in the same programming language, PHP. In addition to CMS which becomes their main product, both WordPress and Joomla also provide a free blogging platform to allow anyone creating blogs without needing to have a server. You can create a free WordPress blog in wordpress.com. Prefer Joomla? You can also create a free Joomla blog in joomla.com.

Both WordPress and Joomla are also supported by plugins (or extensions in Joomla) developed by third parties to enhance the functionalities of each. Thanks to the thousands themes of WordPress and Joomla, you can create unique site. Both WordPress and Joomla also use free database management systems to store the databases. WordPress uses MySQL, while Joomla allows you to use one the free DBMSs as follows: MySQL, MS SQL and PostgreSQL.

Characteristics

Regardless the kind of site you want to build, both WordPress and Joomla are capable of fulfilling your need. By far, both WordPress and Joomla have been used to create any sorts of websites from personal blogs, commerce, company profiles, news portals and so on. Just choose the appropriate theme and you are done. Both WordPress and Joomla support multiple users.

Both WordPress and Joomla are basically easy enough to use, but if you are a completely new to those, it will probably takes longer for you to learn how to use Joomla than WordPress. Joomla is a bit more complex than WordPress. However, it is probably a better choice if you have some plans regarding the development of your website in the future. A site built with Joomla can evolve into anything it wants.

It depends on your need. It’s hard to mention which one is he better in this part.

Winner: draw

Editor

If you want to create a dynamic website instead of static, you will spend most of your time with the content editor. Both WordPress and Joomla comes with a WYSIWYG editor. But again, Joomla is a bit more complex at this part. For a content editor of a CMS, with the estuary of web pages instead of scientific journals, the menus offered by Joomla’s editor I think is too much. For instance, as a blogger, I don’t need to use the miscellaneous fonts so I don’t need a font selector. And do you need to print your content drafts? I don’t think so.

Each editor comes with handy publishing tools. For instance, you can schedule the post you wrote instead of publish it right away. They also feature a word counter to allow you effortlessly checking the length of the article you are writing. If you prefer a CMS that offers simpler editor then WordPress is better option. But overall, there is no significant difference between WordPress editor and Joomla editor.

Winner: draw

Plugins/extensions

You can turn your WordPress or Joomla-based site to any kind of website you want by using the appropriate theme. You can also add a wide range of features to your website without needing to have a PHP skill thanks to plugins/extensions. In addition to features, plugins can also be used to enhance the functionalities of the website you are developing. For instance, you can install contest plugins to run a contest on your site. Or, if you want to make use of your WordPress-based site to conduct an online survey, you can take advantage of such plugins as Modal Survey and IgniteFeedback.

You can discover the Joomla extensions on the Joomla Extensions Directory, while in WordPress, you can find the plugins you need on the WordPress Plugins page.

The vast majority of plugins available on the official page of WordPress and Joomla are free to use. In addition, you can also find WordPress plugins and Joomla extensions on the market places like CodeCanyon. To be honest, WordPress is unbeatable int terms of plugins. Most online services that provide a website extension usually only support WordPress without considering Joomla at all. Another way to figure out that WordPress is superior in this part is by simply checking the CodeCanyon site where you will only see about 229 Joomla extensions. In CodeCanyon, there are thousands of WordPress plugins which are grouped into different categories.

Winner: WordPress

Security

There are many factors affecting the security of a website, including the server side. If you don’t configure your server properly, it will be more vulnerable to cyber attacks. When it comes to security, Joomla is a bit better than WordPress since it ships with both an option to force connections over SSL and another one for Two-Factor Authentication. WordPress doesn’t offer that kind of security features (probably not yet). Ironically, the abundant WordPress plugins can also be used as a way to attack your site, especially if you installed too many untrusted plugins.

Another security issue regarding CMS is the PHP version. As of today, both WordPress and Joomla can be installed on a server that still using PHP version 5.4. Joomla will be notifying you every time you logged in to the dashboard, while WordPress gives no notifications. Using the latest stable release of PHP is crucial enough since newer version typically offers security updates.

Winner: Joomla

Conclusion

We can’t deny the fact that WordPress is more popular than Joomla (and other CMSs generally). But, is WordPress really that good?

Well, the answer can be very vary, depending on which part you see. If you are looking for an easy-to-use CMS then WordPress is the winner. A website built with WordPress is also a bit lighter than Joomla. Conversely, if you want to build a complex site than Joomla is the better. You can see the examples of websites built with Joomla on its official showcase page. If you are observant enough, you will see that Joomla-based sites have different characteristic to WordPress.

Overall winner: draw

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