Joomla, Drupal, or WordPress? Oh My! How to Choose.
Updated March 10, 2015

Joomla, Drupal, or WordPress? Oh My! How to Choose.

Marni Derr | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Overall Satisfaction with Joomla!

I currently specialize in using the Joomla CMS for an extensive range of web site types; From simple writer blogs to full corporate extranets, intranets, sales, portals, and knowledge bases. Joomla is easily used by employers and employees across an organization. In order to keep IT costs down, users with very little web knowledge can manage a Joomla web site with a few days of training. It is not necessary to know or understand coding or design.
  • Joomla has one of the largest communities of developers in the CMS market. With easy to install plug-n-go applications there is no need to hire a developer to custom build your web sites main features or functionality.
  • Joomla 3.2 and the available template frameworks are responsive, clean, and current. These frameworks keep updated on the cutting edge of mobile and web use.
  • With a few hours of training, most users can maintain and update a Joomla site as easily as you would write up a document.
  • Over the past few years Joomla remained behind in the ability to update a site easily, with few issues. Joomla is getting much better at one-click updates, but there can still be issues with other applications (components) that do not stay current.
  • Joomla does have a small learning curve. Although it is not necessary to know or understand any coding when utilizing Joomla, a user will need to understand how Joomla compiles it pages and how to create use the main features.
  • The choice of applications available can make it difficult to find the right one for your company. For example, there are 5-6 top eCommerce solutions on the market for Joomla. Careful thought and investigation should go into selecting the right one.
  • Easy to implement: Joomla is easy to install and configure. Open source and maintained by a community of developers for the last 10 years it will continue to grow and expand with the current technologies and trends.
  • Quick Training: Joomla is easy to use and there are a multitude of resources online and in bookstores. The average person can learn to use Joomla efficiently very quickly.
  • Large Selection of Applications: There are over 7,000 Joomla 3rd-party templates and extensions on the market. Low-cost, open-source, and free applications keep your site development costs to a minimum.
  • WordPress,Drupal
In today's market there is no 'best' CMS, only the right CMS for your web sites requirements. I have used WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla over the years. WordPress is a great CMS, but it started, and in my opinion, continues to largely support more simple blogs and portfolio's. Drupal is the most robust CMS, allowing for the greatest customization and heaviest of traffic, however Drupal requires a developer with strong coding knowledge modify or grow a Drupal web site.
Joomla falls nicely between these two categories. Easier to use than Drupal for a designer or weekend coder, while still allowing experienced coders to take Joomla to whole new levels of features and functionality. Joomla has more pre-built applications and more control than WordPress.
Joomla is perfect for small, medium, and large businesses while keeping development costs down, yet still performs perfectly for the sole-proprieter, blogger, or hobbyist.
When selecting a CMS, it is important to understand the Server requirements. Though most hosting providers now automatically support CMS apps like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla... you can select a less than adequate hosting system which will lead to frustration with the product. Always check Joomla requirements against what a hosting provider offers, less is not always the best way to go. With the correct server configuration a user will experience few issues.

Using Joomla!

5 - I currently develop, design, and train using Joomla. We have two developers, two designers, and one writer/trainer. Each of us began using Joomla exclusively to support our clients a few years ago. We provide a wide range of services covering every faucet of using Joomla for web sites. My company provides on-site, on-line, and custom training for the widest range of Joomla 3rd-party extensions. Each extension we teach, we use extensively.
1 - I am a consultant and I currently use sub-contractors I have worked with for years on Joomla projects that require more features or functionality. Joomla is easily maintained by most of our clients, so keeping a staff to maintain the many sites we build is not necessary. We work independently, yet have a reliable group dynamic to cover all aspects of Joomla implementations.
  • Low-cost, high value solutions.
  • Quick and easy implementation.
  • Short training sessions.
  • We have used Joomla to create a multi-agency site. A single Joomla installation, but 7 very different web sites that integrate and can be managed from one install.
  • A company intranet.
  • A community social portal.
  • Online Universities and Training.
  • Large e-Commerce solutions.
  • Large multi-part, self-maintained directories or listings.
After years of offering all three of the top CMS' in regards to development, design, and training experience, I chose four years ago to begin offering and using Joomla exclusively. Client experience has taught me that Joomla simply fits 99% of most requirements.

Evaluating Joomla and Competitors

Yes - At the beginning of my web career I started with WordPress. WordPress was easy to use and free. After time sites began to grow and do more, requiring more customization, control, and expansion. As my needs and the needs of my clients grew, I began using Joomla more and more until a few years ago when I started using Joomla exclusively.
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
Joomla sits perfectly between the top two CMS competitors. Easily expandable yet simple enough to use for simple site requirements. The availability to use any of the thousand of pre-built applications in the Joomla community was the number one deciding factor for my company in offering Joomla. Joomla applications expand Joomla in such a way that almost any imaginable feature or function can be found, installed, and configured in very little time.
I cannot say that I would change the process I used. I tried each product thoroughly, then listened to clients. The one thing that would have helped in the early days of trying on so many different CMS's would have been a site like TrustRadius in order to make a truly informed decision on which would fit the needs of a particular web site. For example, I no longer use WordPress but it is still a very viable option and I still recommend it today when a clients requirements are best suited to it.

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