When deciding on the right Content Management System (CMS), understanding the options and how they compare drives a critical factor around business success. In this post, I compare two CMS options: WordPress vs Joomla, contrasting the pros and cons of each, and outlining many reasons why WordPress dominates the market.
Joomla, occupies around 2.6%1 of all websites, and whilst that is small, the platform does have its benefits.
Let’s dive in:
WordPress vs Joomla : first WordPress
WordPress is known for its user-friendly interface, making it accessible to businesses with varying levels of technical expertise. the built-in permissions and access roles are fairly straightforward and make it easy for business owners with small teams to control access and streamline work.
- Plugin Ecosystem:
WordPress boasts an extensive library of plugins, offering businesses a wide range of customisation options to meet specific needs. This includes a vast number of plugins that integrate with third-party tools and platforms. From e-commerce to email marketing and a CRM, there will very likely be an option available to you to integrate or extend the features of your website.
- Community and Support:
WordPress has a larger user community and support base in Australia and globally, providing access to extensive tutorials and forums for assistance; if you have a question or a problem, it’s highly likely that it’s been solved already. A little bit of research should yield a few options or suggestions available to you.
WordPress comes with built-in SEO features and SEO plugins like Rank Math, All in One SEO, and SEOPress which simplify the process of further optimising websites for search engines. Additionally, there are integration plugins available for SEM Services, such as SEMRush.
- Mobile Responsiveness:
Many WordPress themes are designed with mobile responsiveness in mind, catering to the mobile user base in Australia and globally. Additionally, many page builders, such as Elementor, or WPBakery Builder, come with easy-to-use previews and visual editing tools so you can finetune the mobile responsive options without having to write code.
- Regular Updates and Security:
WordPress frequently releases updates to enhance security, and the core team responds quickly to newly identified issues. Given how large the community is, this is not unexpected. There are also a range of security plugins available to protect against online threats; some of the most well-known are
- Wordfence, with over 4 million active websites)
- All-in-One Security (AIOS), with over 1 million active websites and
- JetPack, the security and site speed plugin that specifically integrates with WooCommerce, with over 5 million websites.
- Content Management:
Initially designed specifically for personal blogging, the platform excels in content management, offering ease in publishing, editing, and organising content. Without plugins, paid themes, or any customisation, Core WordPress will function brilliantly as a blogging platform out-the-box. This makes it excellent for businesses aiming to maintain a dynamic online presence at a reasonably low cost.
- Scalability and Growth:
WordPress allows businesses to start small and easily scale their websites as they grow, without the need for complex migrations; as the business grows and the needs for the website grow, themes can be changed without affecting the core content.
- Learning Curve:
While WordPress is user-friendly, mastering advanced features may require some time and effort. For a non-technical person or someone who is not generally technically inclined, the back end of WordPress can be confusing, especially if they are an Admin of the site and there are a number of plugins installed that make changes to the default view of the admin dashboard. To overcome this, investing up front with a developer who can adjust the dashboard for you to make it easier and more intuitive to manage your website and the content may be worth the cost.
- Plugin Quality:
Not all plugins are of the same quality, and, generally speaking, unless managed properly, having many plugins can potentially slow down your website or introduce compatibility issues called plugin conflicts. It’s easy to work around this issue, though, by using plugins that are known to work well and have a lot of active websites using them, as that gives a level of certainty in terms of its stability and the support you’re likely to receive.
As a rule of thumb, you would always check that a plugin has regular updates and a recent update from its developers when evaluating its usefulness. If there are no updates to the plugin in more than six months, it’s a massive red flag that it may be unsupported, or at worst, abandoned by its makers and thus become incompatible with subsequent WordPress updates as time goes by.
WordPress vs Joomla : onto Joomla
Joomla offers a higher degree of customisation and flexibility, allowing businesses to create unique and complex websites.
- Access Control:
It provides robust user access control for businesses needing intricate permission levels and multiple contributors.
- Multilingual Support:
Joomla offers native multilingual support, which can be beneficial for businesses targeting diverse language-speaking audiences.
- Content Versioning:
Joomla includes built-in content versioning, which is useful for businesses with rigorous content approval processes. Whilst WordPress can do this, it usually relies on a core setting that would need to be changed and may require a plugin, depending on your needs. Additionally it may make migrating content from Joomla to WordPress a bit more tricky.
- Steeper Learning Curve:
Joomla is considered more complex than WordPress, requiring a higher level of technical expertise to set up and maintain. If you’re not technically inclined, stick with WordPress.
- Limited Plugin Selection:
While Joomla has extensions, the selection is much smaller than WordPress, potentially limiting options for specific functionalities.
- Small Community:
The Joomla community, while very dedicated and supportive, is much smaller than WordPress, which means that finding a Joomla expert when something goes wrong can be tricky or end up quite costly.
- SEO Challenges:
Joomla doesn’t have built-in SEO features to the same extent as WordPress, requiring more effort to optimise for search engines.
- Mobile Responsiveness:
Achieving full mobile responsiveness may be more challenging in Joomla and may require extensive additional development work compared to WordPress.
- Updates and Compatibility:
Joomla updates can sometimes cause compatibility issues with existing extensions, necessitating careful management during updates.
After reading through all of that, where does that leave you, and your business?
With its large community and over 60% market share, WordPress is often favoured for its ease of use, extensive plugin ecosystem, and strong community support. This makes it a versatile choice for various business needs in my opinion, and is one of the reasons Rocking Rose specialises in building customised, bespoke WordPress websites for a variety of businesses.
While Joomla offers advanced customisation options and access control it does require a higher level of technical expertise to manage effectively and has a smaller community of experts. In the WordPress vs Joomla comparison, this is weighted very heavily against Joomla, as the smaller community makes getting support and help potentially very costly and time consuming.
The choice between WordPress vs Joomla should depend on your specific business requirements and the technical capabilities of the team managing the website. You should also consider future-proofing the site, and your budget for support. No matter how well a website is built, all websites require ongoing maintenance and updates. And those ongoing costs need to be factored in when deciding whether to go with WordPress vs Joomla.
My final opinion in the WordPress vs Joomla comparison is this ; WordPress is an excellent, cost-effective, flexible choice for the vast majority businesses, whilst Joomla would be suited to larger businesses who can afford to employ an in-house Joomla expert where having a customised CMS platform is the priority.