Open Source CMS – WordPress vs. Joomla! vs. Drupal

WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are the three most well known content management system (CMS) applications that are commonly used by web developers today. These applications are essential for the design and development of websites and blogs. The three are free, open source software which can be used forever without paying a licensing fee to any company.

There are many tutorials available for each of these content management systems that explain how to use, develop, and extend these platforms. Each platform varies in what is available, but what is great about these three is that each has a community behind it which supports it, leading to greater support and easier access to components such as templates, plug-ins, and modules.

For beginners, this article is a great starting point in determining which platform might suit your ability and knowledge in developing websites. For those who already have used CMS applications this is a great opportunity to take a fresh look at other platforms that might pique your interest.

Examining the Applications

WordPress first materialized as a blogging tool and developed into a content management system used by well-known sites such as LINUX for you, Mashable, Harvard Gazette, The Lance Armstrong Foundation, The New York Times and Hollywood celebrities. Among the three applications, WordPress has the most user-friendly interface and a wide array of plugins and themes which may be customized to your own preference. The application is so simple that almost anyone can use it as it does not necessarily require coding expertise. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can learn and create a webpage or a blog. In case of technical difficulties there are online forums and discussion boards to assist you.

Drupal is one of the top content management systems for developers and is regarded as being highly customizable. Drupal has many freely available modules that allow users to extend its features. However, Drupal has only a limited amount of premium themes and modules, which

forces developers to create everything from scratch, which providing greater control in achieving the layout desired for webpage or blog. Knowledge in writing code is needed in using Drupal since it is a relatively complex tool that requires programming knowledge to do common development tasks such as theme development. Drupal version 7.0, has an improved interface that allows for easier content editing, however, we find programming knowledge is still required to do anything substantial with Drupal.

Joomla! means all together in Swahili and is also one of the most commonly used CMS applications in website development. Joomla! is used to build a dynamic and stable website. The program’s feature is a combination of Drupal and WordPress because it caters not only for basic blogging but also for developing trade and business websites. Joomla! like WordPress has a large set of themes and plugins available, some of which look quite nice. Efficiency and workflow of using Joomla! leaves much to be desired because it is behind Drupal in terms of SEO and it gets unruly when multitasking, getting in the way when attempting to edit any large sized web site.

Posting Content

WordPress delivers an upfront scheme in posting and publishing blogs and pages. Information input is visible and is not processed with the use of intricate details and complicated interfaces. The program is simple and user-friendly wherein you can edit your Title, Text, Categories, Tags and other components in a jiffy and have a preview of it after.

Drupal requires specific tags, titles and texts in developing a website. The application is more complicated than WordPress because there is a customary option for the basic components of a blog like the Menu, URL, Alias, Revision Logs, Author Meta data and comments. The basic components are also available in WordPress, which is why many opt to use WordPress because of its ease of use and user-friendliness.

Joomla! requires knowledge of HTML, therefore limiting the use of the program to users who have that knowledge. The program enables you to set the Title, Tags, Author Metadata, Comment Settings, etc. They also offer Article Properties and Permission wherein you will set the structure of the blog.

Other factors to consider

In terms of security, Drupal is the most secured CMS tool among the three because they have the least percentage of hacker abuse and which is why it was chosen by The White House for their website. WordPress falls under the least secured CMS application because of the multitudinous number of users it has.

WordPress stands out in having the number and quality of extensions and templates because it is the only CMS supported by various groups that specializes in WordPress themes and extensions. There are a number of available extensions and themes online to suit your preference for your blog. Drupal and Joomla! falls low in this aspect because you have to start from scratch and you need to customize your own template and extension.

Software support is needed when there are problems encountered in the application and can be usually accessed through online forums and discussion boards of end users. Joomla! and WordPress provides effortless support since solutions to your concerns can be googled and there are a number of websites which are dedicated in user support. Drupal on the other hand doesn’t have online discussion boards and forms the only support they have is the documentation released by the company.

Comparing the three CMS applications, WordPress is considered to be the most user-friendly program wherein it gives you ease of use in setting up your blog and website. Easy customization is also a plus because there are a lot of plug-ins and themes available online. Drupal and Joomla! are still in the process of improvement and have a number of followers supporting their system but when compared to WP they both don’t stand a chance in terms of the number of users.

Each and every CMS application is relative because if you opt for a user-friendly blogging system then you will definitely use WordPress but when you are into details and the more intricate features of a website then Drupal and Joomla! would be fit for you. WordPress provides you with straightforward and uncomplicated web developing features making it quick and easy for you. Drupal requires you to have a little background of web development wherein you could customize everything even to the tiniest detail of the website. Joomla! needs you to be equipped with coding skills that are vital in completing a website. The decision still lies in the user in which CMS application is fit for the kind of website that is being developed.

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Published on: 21 May 2012
Posted by: AJ B.