Sep 11, 2010

WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal

In the very beginning when I was setting up Tech Cores, I had to choose between what CMS (Content Management System) I was going to use. This was in fact a very hard decision for me. All three of these have their best and worse features. In this post, we’ll cover which CMS is best for what types of website. Every one of these systems I’ve had a great deal of work with. And Tech Cores was running on every single one of these before also.


I have to say that all three systems are all very reliable. I’ve been using WordPress for the longest period of time, Joomla for a while (to be more specific, for the first version of Tech Cores), and Drupal for the least amount of time.


WordPress has always lived up to its name no matter what type of website it’s running. But when it comes to reliability with WordPress, I would have to say it would be the highest out of all three of these systems. I’ve been using WordPress for many years now ever since the very early days, and I have to say, I’ve really gotten to know the interface and how the community works with it. Because the community for WordPress is quite large, bugs, updates, or even suggestions are handled at the highest priority because it is in fact one of the largest open source blogging (even though it can be used for much more than just blogging) systems out there.


Sadly, I have to say Joomla is one of the least reliable systems out there. When I was running Joomla for Tech Cores v1.0, I have to say it was very sluggish at times and it was also quite glitchy at certain times also. To get Joomla to do some things what the other two systems can do requires some third party plugins, which in the end of it, adds more room for error because of being third party and some of them being in very early stages of development, which many plugins are.


Drupal has to be one of my favorite systems out there. It’s great for blogging, running an e-commerce website, or even using it for your product page of your latest application. Drupal’s reliability is very high compared to Joomla, let’s say, but I’m not sure if I would say it’s any better or worse than WordPress. Drupal is a very stable system and I’ve never had any major problems with it before.


All three systems are fairly secure, but there’s one system in here that’s very prone to security issues which you’ll later find out.


WordPress has had its security issues before, especially for the hosted one (, but as of right now, the security issues are very ironed out in WordPress and if there is any security issues, it’s typically caused by WordPress’s third party plugins.


Okay, I’m not the person to ask about security issues in Joomla. I have to say, Joomla is the worst CMS program I’ve ever used when it comes to security. Right before I moved Tech Cores over to WordPress back in Q4 of 2009, when I was running Joomla, someone was able to get into the main files and amend some spam links hidden in the background so search engines can see the links and rank that linking site higher. I honestly have no idea how long it was there for, but it was there. I wasn’t running too many plugins with Joomla either. It could of been caused by the plugins or Joomla’s coding. But to sum it up, I won’t vouch for Joomla’s security for what happened to me.


For the most part, I believe Drupal is very secure. I’ve seen some major security issues in the past some years ago but up till recently, I cannot say there’s really anything in regards to security issues. Drupal powers some pretty hefty sites and it’s why some people prefer it as the CMS as choice for some very major websites like MTV.


Probably the most important feature of any CMS is extendability. When we say extendability, we’re talking about themes, plugins, and everything in that nature.


Without a doubt I would have to say WordPress has the most extendability out of any CMS system. WordPress has a vast amount of themes ranging from free to paid, many plugins to extend WordPress to do anything you want, and also the basic system of managing plugins overall is very easy to use (especially in WordPress 3.0). Whether you want to add, delete, or even modify an existing plugin, it’s very easy to do in WordPress.


For any Joomla fanatic, it comes with a good amount of plugins, or which are called extensions in Joomla, but some plugins are a bit lazily made or they just don’t work correctly all the time. In other words, there are quite a few plugins that you want to avoid in Joomla. Also, compared to the out-of-the-box extendability, Joomla doesn’t have as near the amount of features than other CMS systems. It doesn’t even have a native comment system. Granted, Joomla isn’t entirely meant for a blog, but a good portion of users use it for that reason. For theming support, Joomla comes with a good amount of themes and some websites even dedicated for Joomla themes.


I have to say Drupal’s plugins are fairly nice and it’s very easy to write one on your own, but I see some plugins, or what Drupal calls modules, that are a bit neglected. They do have 259 pages of modules as of right now and with a good chunk of themes. Finding themes for Drupal can be a bit harder because there’s not as much as WordPress, but you can typically find a theme that’ll fit your needs/wants. And as a developer, I finding theming Drupal to be rather easy.

The Verdict

I honestly have to say that I would place all three systems in different categories based on what type of website you’re creating.

  • Creating a blog
    • 1) WordPress : 2) Drupal : 3) Joomla

  • Creating an e-commerce site

    • 1) Drupal : 2) WordPress : 3) Joomla

  • Creating a basic and rather static website

    • 1) WordPress : 2) Drupal : 3) Joomla

Now that’s my own personal opinion based on my experiences. But as you can see, I put Joomla last for all of them. Honestly, I think Joomla has a bit of work it needs to do until it’s rather stable like Drupal and WordPress.

What are your thoughts on these CMS systems? For me, I believe WordPress fits most people because it’s easy to use, Drupal fits the more ‘advanced’ area of CMS systems on all the things you can do and how developers can create new plugins, and that Joomla can do a bit but not that way most people want it in regards to security and such.


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