Both Joomla and WordPress are established web design applications used by millions of websites across the world. Web Design Companies and web designers have in general supported various open source software for developing websites. Joomla and WordPress are two of the most popular ones and have established communities on the internet. There are hundreds of quality forums and blogs dedicated specifically towards the use of Joomla and WordPress for designing websites. Other web design and content management systems including Drupal and Typo3 have also proved popular and effective. However WordPress and Joomla seem to have an edge over the others in terms of global popularity and use.
Many web design agencies and design professionals are proficient with Joomla and WordPress and are able to customise the software to meet the specific needs of a business. Both these platforms offer the flexibility to extend the core features to meet individual requirements. This article offers an insight into which software is more suitable for developing your website.
WordPress versus Joomla
WordPress probably scores higher in terms of usability, both from an end user as well as developer's point of view. Due to its simplicity WordPress is easy to learn and get acclimatized to. However this is also due to the fact that Joomla offers many more features than WordPress and offers more advanced functionality. The new version of Joomla, the 1.5x version has made significant improvements in usability.
SEOMOZ.org, a leading web design and technical blog recently published an article where the author stated that "if you are willing to trade some extra learning time for a more advanced site, go with Joomla."
WordPress is better described as a blog software whereas Joomla is an advanced content management system. WordPress is excellent for publishing content. Joomla on the other hand offers many powerful features. There are Joomla components that target almost every industry and market.
If you have limited time to set up a website or if your requirements are simple then WordPress is probably the better choice. However if you would like to develop or design an advanced website with powerful features then Joomla is more suitable.
Search Engine Optimization
WordPress is known for its search engine optimization advantages. By default WordPress is search engine friendly and webpages tend to rank high on Google. On the Joomla needs some customization in order to target the full benefits from search engines. With the right customization however, Joomla websites are equally capable of ranking high on search engines like Google. Any expert Joomla developer will design a website to be SEO friendly.
A Joomla websites can be customized a accordingly to overcome any SEO shortcomings.
Joomla is easily scalable. Joomla can be used to design small websites as well for developing complex functionality on websites. WordPress is great out of the box and will work excellent if the only purpose of the website was to publish informational content. WordPress is great out of the box but limited somewhat for developing complicated web applications.
Joomla can be scaled as required. Almost any custom feature or application can be developed in Joomla. Joomla has been designed for extending and modifying to meet specific needs. WordPress is fairly limited. There are add-on features available for WordPress as well in the form of WordPress plug-ins but they do not compare to the advanced features that can be developed as add on Joomla modules or components.
Joomla has clear advantages with regards to extending and integrating the website with other third party applications of software. Joomla has a well formed and powerful API that developers can use to extend the software or integrate with other systems as required. Joomla websites can be easily integrated with other sources or websites.
Development of bespoke features
Joomla is the clear winner here. Customized development can be done in WordPress as well as Joomla. However Joomla's development framework is more suitable for developing bespoke features for the website. There are many powerful add-on components that can be easily installed on a Joomla website.
Web designers and developers are able to develop additional customized features with ease using Joomla's powerful development API. WordPress can also be easily extended however development API is not as powerful as Joomla's.
WordPress has an easy to use, light weight administration panel. It is excellent if the main purpose of the website is solely to publish information. The administration panel is limited to updating or adding new content or media. Joomla has a powerful administration panel that offers a range of features such as e-commerce (Shopping cart), order management, inquiry inquiry, user management, document management, multi-lingual content, etc. Joomla offers endless possibilities are and the administration panel is fully customisable for specific requirements.