Many may think it's an odd comparison as so many have heard of WordPress but not so many may have heard of Joomla. Here in Canada Drupal is even more well-known than Joomla. Although according to w3techs Joomla comes in at number 2 for CMS usage only behind WordPress.
* Graphic courtesy of W3Techs
Although usage in the graph above does not tell the whole story. There are far more personal sites, small little shops, pet projects and so forth than professional businesses out there so usage numbers of a cms versatile enough to satisfy the professional business will be in far fewer numbers.
Lets dive into both in depth to take a closer look at details:
By default the UI for WordPress requires one to think, click and click often. In Joomla it is more straight forward for say a first time CMS user. It's more uniformed and guiding to the user experience while having a UI that makes full use of the available real estate to the user. Looking at the graph below as a first time user:
- How do I access the sites menu in WordPress?
- Why do I have to go to an SEO section instead of accessing that within my content page to save me time?
- Notice the update in Joomla for a newer version of Joomla being available. It doesn't just show me an update section or that a new update is available but actually shows which one is available.
- Notice the horizontal tabs in Joomla allowing for more real estate below when clicked versus left column approach of WordPress which eats up valuable real estate
- When clicked into the pages/content Joomla has a nice filter via drop down so as your site gets heavy you can access when you need quick. In Wordpress it's just scrolling and more thinking.
For this there is no comparison in that by default Joomla is far more versatile and feature rich than WordPress. To achieve similar functionality WordPress needs to rely on many add-on's and extensions. The problem with this is that it adds work load not only to the initial set up but also on the maintenance moving forward. In addition when doing server upgrades there is a higher probability of the site breaking as you will need all add-ons to have compatibility with the newer php versions, mysql versions, and so forth.
It is no surprise that Joomla as the more feature rich platform also has advantages for the developers when working with Joomla over WordPress. For example, you have an easy and streamlined debugger built in that developers with all experience levels can enable/disable fairly easily. In addition when moving server environments with WordPress we find our selves running mysql queries or fussing with things more than we need. The Joomla sites seem to be a lot less work so allowing this versatility is great for companies and developers alike. Overall Joomla is far more friendly for developers.
With the significant reach WordPress has online it brings with it a lot more eyes of hackers and spambots. Add to the fact that WordPress requires many more add-ons which are also targeted by hackers as sources of entry/compromise. Joomla has done well to address security over time by:
- Two factor authentication
- Removing forced Admin user upon setup
- Changes in database encryption methods
- New warnings on installation guiding users for best practises
- New server requirements which have various patches and security versus the old
- Unit testing
- Streamlined with GitHub
WordPress is great for low cost, minimal needs, blogging, and using a platform known by many out there. Although if you are looking for something more versatile, secure, user friendly and so forth then Joomla is worth a serious look.