A Novice Looks At WordPress And Joomla

I have decided to look at two different content management systems or CMS’s for short. I have been thinking that I would like to use one of these in a future website. The two content management systems that I looked at were WordPress and Joomla. Being pretty much a novice I wanted to look at why chooses one of these CMS’s over the other. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages?


Why someone would consider WordPress to build a website

WordPress was built to be a blog platform. Due to its simplicity and user-friendly nature, WordPress has become the choice for people looking for a simple CMS with tons of great plug-in available.

It’s Flexible And Versatile

WordPress can be used to customize your site. Whether it’s an online portfolio, eCommerce, online gallery, photo blog, news, magazine site or even article libraries, WordPress can handle them easily and quite competently too. Over at the WordPress Repository, there are tons of free themes, templates and plug-in as compared to other CMS’s

Huge Community, Strong Support

As a beginner to WordPress, you will often face problems whether it is while installing it, customizing themes or writing your own WordPress plug-in. However, the WordPress community is a good place to turn to when you encounter any difficulties. WordPress forum has developed a tremendous base of knowledge regarding all aspects of WordPress. Just do a search and you will most likely find an answer to your questions. WordPress has all this and more according to Terrance at onextrapixel.com

Disadvantages of WordPress

What are the disadvantages of WordPress? One of them is, if adding or removing post dates, needs to be changed in design mode this requires knowledge of WP scripting. The layout template you chose determines the navigational structure. Changing that structure again requires knowledge of the WP scripting language and CSS.  With Joomla, you do not run into this problem because menus are controlled via the control panel and attributes like dates, author name etc, can be turned on and off per article or for the whole site in one go. In that sense, Joomla is much more a content management system.

Also, changing the order of categories or pages is rather cumbersome in WordPress.  It involves having to go into all of the categories and change the order by hand. The WP developers are working on it to fix it, but when is unpredictable.

In short: WordPress is simple, you can see it as a blog or as a regular website.  It has fixed pages, posts and categories. Through the use of plugins you can extend its functionality and let it grow as big and complicated as you want.  However, not every plugin is easy to understand. According to Rudolf Boogerman in his article about WordPress vs Joomla.


Why someone would consider Joomla to build a website

Joomla is one of the most powerful Open Source Content Management Systems on the planet. It is used all over the world for everything from simple websites to complex corporate applications. Joomla is easy to install, simple to manage, and reliable. In opensource.com CMS Joomla is rated the number one content management system. This is according to Opensource.com.

My own web server FatCow recommends it for Content Management. This is one reason I looked at Joomla. I found out that Joomla is also one of the most popular CMS’s on the market due to its power and flexibility.

The Joomla package consists of many different parts, which allow modular extensions and integrations to be made easily. Joomla features numerous capabilities and a developed custom database work. Joomla includes a complex multiple user privilege system with user registration and layered content privileges, while WordPress does not have such a privilege system.

Powerful Extras

If you want to create a community or a network with a membership area, newsroom, forums, articles, input from external authors etc… then Joomla is a good choice because it is made to be that way. Creating a navigation structure is easy, once you understand how it works and that it doesn’t require knowledge of html. You can set articles to expire after a time, activate dates, author name, breadcrumbs etc. Thus, Joomla gives you a lot of power in your hands, and that is noticeable in the admin section, where there are so many options that you get dizzy the first time you go in. You really should get a good book on Joomla if you want to set it up fast. Otherwise you end up fiddling around and getting nowhere for days. A reasonably good starter is “Beginning Joomla” by Dan Rahmel. It guides you by the hand while customizing the site and setting up the navigation structure.

Adapting the look is simple if you are happy with changing some colors and the logo. Beyond that, you will find that Joomla has a complicated structure and even seasoned web developers have to go through a learning curve before they master the layout system, and that approach is different depending on the layout template you chose.
This is according to Rudolf Boogerman on the Miracle tutorials site.


I found Joomla had some really good resourses.  They had a large form and something called Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla and a lot of other resourses geared to someone new to Joomla.

Disadvantages of Joomla

The first time you open Joomla up it looks super complicated. I am glad that they do have a large community and lots of resourses. Here are some other disadvantages listed by Sari Holtz

  • Joomla is slightly more difficult to install and setup than other content management systems (such as WordPress), and may require professional assistance.
  • Users looking for a straightforward blog site may still prefer the simplicity of WordPress to the more complex offerings of Joomla.
  • Many users complain that Joomla has difficulty-accommodating sites that receive more than 50,000 users per day.
  • Users often complain that Joomla sites run more slowly than sites built with other content management systems.


What I found out is that the choice between these systems depends on the purpose of your website and also on your knowledge of web development and design. In addition, when you compare the simplicity of both those systems, you will notice that working with WordPress is a lot easier, so there are many beginners, who choose it instead of Joomla. When you take a particular project, you should check exactly what the requirements of your client are, before you choose any of these content management systems. I also know that the only way to really choose a CMS is to work in both and compare not only the CMS but also keep in mind what you want to do with your site, both short term and long term.
Which do you think you would work in?

This entry was posted in CMS, CMSimple, Content Management Systems, CSS, Digital Media, Joomla, Technologies, WordPress. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s