WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla: Which CMS reigns supreme?

Content management systems (CMS) are the backbone of many websites and are critical to a website’s success. With so many options available, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best fit for your needs. WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are three of the most popular CMS platforms available, each with its own set of features, strengths, and weaknesses.

In this blog post, we’ll compare WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla across several key parameters, including ease of use, customization, security, support, cost, and popularity.

By the end of this post, you’ll better understand which CMS is the best fit for your website and which one reigns supreme in the world of CMS platforms.

WordPress is an incredible tool for anyone who wants to create a website, blog, or other web-based application without any coding or web development experience.

It is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that has become the go-to choice for millions of website owners worldwide. Since its release in 2003, WordPress has become one of the most popular website platforms, powering over 40% of all websites online.

The beauty of WordPress lies in its simplicity and user-friendliness. You don’t have to be a technical genius to use it. With its intuitive interface, anyone can easily create and manage a website.

You can choose from a wide range of customizable themes and plugins to personalize your website to your liking. From basic blogs to complex e-commerce sites, WordPress offers the flexibility to design and create a website that suits your needs.

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WordPress CMS: Advantages and Disadvantages

To help you weigh the pros and cons of using WordPress, here’s a table that breaks it down for you.

Advantages Disadvantages
User-friendly Can be vulnerable to security threats
Requires no technical or coding skills Difficulty in management and maintenance for large websites
Offers great customization Additional costs associated with hosting, themes, and plugins
SEO-friendly Users can face plugins and updates compatibility issues
Enhanced community support Depending on the hosting and setup, WordPress can sometimes be slow or resource-intensive

Joomla is a powerful, free, open-source content management system (CMS) that enables users to easily create and manage websites, blogs, and other online applications. Since its launch in 2005, Joomla has established itself as one of the leading CMS platforms, with millions of websites using it worldwide.

Built using PHP and MySQL, Joomla provides a vast collection of customizable templates, modules, and plugins, offering endless options to design and personalize your website. Even if you lack coding or web development skills, you can still use Joomla, thanks to its user-friendly and intuitive interface.

Joomla, like WordPress, is designed to be accessible to anyone who wants to create a website. Whether you’re a blogger, a small business owner, or a large corporation, Joomla is a reliable and flexible platform that can cater to your needs.

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Joomla CMS: Advantages and Disadvantages

Take a look at this table that summarizes the benefits and drawbacks of Joomla.

Advantages  Disadvantages
Highly flexible and customizable Steep learning curve
Built-in multilingual capabilities Requires technical expertise
Robust security Difficult to manage & complex
Enhanced community support Slow or resource-intensive for big sites or sites with heavy traffic
Advanced features and functionalities Additional costs associated with hosting, themes, plugins, and templates

Drupal is a highly popular open-source content management system (CMS) for website building and management. Created in 2001 by Dries Buytaert, Drupal is written in PHP and built on top of databases like MySQL or PostgreSQL.

It is highly flexible and customizable, with a vast library of modules and themes for enhancing functionality and changing appearance. It is the preferred CMS platform for building complex websites like e-commerce sites, social networks, and government sites.

Whether a beginner or an experienced developer, Drupal’s intuitive interface and advanced features enable you to build professional-looking websites without requiring advanced coding skills, Drupal provides the tools and resources to build a standout website for your small business or large corporation.

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Drupal CMS: Advantages and Disadvantages

Below is a table highlighting the pros and cons of using Drupal.

Advantages Disadvantages
Highly customizable Difficult to learn
Scalable Requires more technical expertise
Offers robust security Additional costs associated with hosting, themes, and plugins
Large and active community of users Can sometimes be slow and resource-intensive
Advanced features and functionalities Limited user support

Comparison Between WordPress, Drupal & Joomla

Ease of Use

There are notable differences when we compare the ease of use of WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. Take a look at this brief overview:

Parameter WordPress Drupal Joomla
Ease of installation: Easy and straightforward with one-click installs available from most web hosts. Installation can be more challenging for beginners and requires technical expertise. Generally easy with one-click installs available from most web hosts.
User interface: Intuitive and user-friendly, with a visual editor and drag-and-drop functionality. User interface can be more complex and overwhelming for beginners but provides more control for experienced users.. User-friendly but may have a steeper learning curve than WordPress, with a more structured interface.
Customizability: Easy to customize with thousands of themes and plugins available, and no technical knowledge required. Highly customizable with a wide range of modules and requires technical expertise and knowledge of programming languages. Requires technical expertise and knowledge to customize, but offers more flexibility than Joomla.
Content creation: Simple and straightforward, with a visual editor and intuitive content management system. Requires  technical expertise to create custom content types, but provides more control over content management. Offers a balance between ease of use and flexibility, with a simple interface for basic content creation.
Community support: Large and active community of users and developers offering support, tutorials, and resources. Active user and developer community offers support, tutorials, and resources. A thriving community of users and developers offers niche-focused support, tutorials, and resources.

WordPress is often considered the most user-friendly CMS platform due to its intuitive interface, simple content creation tools, and wide customization options.

In contrast, Drupal and Joomla may require more technical expertise, especially for users who aim to create custom content types or extensively personalize the platform.

Customization options are available in WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla to fit the specific needs of users. Here’s a comparison of their respective customization capabilities:

Parameter WordPress Drupal Joomla
Themes and templates: Offers numerous free and paid options to customize colors, fonts, layouts, and more. Provides a wide range of free and paid themes and templates with advanced options for design and layout customization. Offers free and paid templates with customization options for colors, fonts, layouts, and more.
Plugins and extensions: Offers a variety of free and paid plugins and extensions to add e-commerce, social media integration, forms, and more. Provides free and paid modules and extensions to add advanced functionalities like e-commerce, workflows, and more. Free and paid plugins and extensions available to let you add functionalities like forms, galleries, and more.
Code customization: Allows for advanced customization by editing code. Provides advanced customization options through code editing. Lets you perform extensive customization through code editing.
User roles and permissions: Allows customization and creation of custom roles and permissions. Offers advanced options for creating custom roles and permissions. Gives users the ability to customize and create custom roles and permissions.

All three CMS platforms provide ample customization options to fit specific user requirements, resulting in a tie.

WordPress offers many themes, plugins, and customization options that can be utilized without requiring advanced technical knowledge. Conversely, Drupal and Joomla provide more advanced customization options that may necessitate greater technical proficiency to utilize them effectively.

Ensuring security is critical for any CMS platform since malicious actors commonly target websites and web applications.

Here’s a comparison of the security features and considerations for WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla:

Parameter WordPress Drupal Joomla
Security updates: WordPress provides frequent security updates on a regular basis. Drupal releases regular security updates at fixed intervals to ensure the platform’s security. Joomla regularly publishes security updates to maintain the platform’s security.
Third-party plugins and extensions: WordPress offers a large number of security-focused plugins and extensions to help mitigate this risk. Drupal offers a robust security module to help mitigate risks associated with third-party modules and plugins. Joomla offers a range of third-party extensions, and users are encouraged to choose reputable options and follow best practices for secure code development.

Drupal is generally regarded as the most secure CMS platform out of the three. It was built with a focus on security and has a robust security module that minimizes risks related to third-party modules and plugins.

Nevertheless, both WordPress and Joomla have a sizable community of users and developers who actively contribute to security measures and offer support for users.

Access to reliable support resources is crucial for any CMS platform. Below is a comparison of the support options for WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla:

Parameter WordPress Drupal Joomla
Official documentation: Extensive and detailed official documentation on the WordPress website covers all platform aspects. Detailed official documentation available on Drupal.org, supplemented by many user-created resources. Comprehensive official documentation on Joomla.org, supplemented by various user-contributed guides and tutorials.
Community support: Large and active community of users providing support through various online forums and communities dedicated to WordPress. Active users community providing support through Drupal.org and other online forums and communities. Supportive community of users providing assistance through Joomla.org and other online forums and communities.
Paid support: Offers paid support options through the WordPress.com platform, as well as through third-party providers and extensions to help mitigate this risk. Provides paid support options through the Drupal.org marketplace, as well as through third-party providers. Offers paid support options through the Joomla.org marketplace, as well as through third-party providers.

It’s a tie because all three CMS platforms provide an exceptional user experience by offering extensive official documentation and support from active user communities.

Cost is an important consideration when choosing a CMS platform. Here’s a comparison of the cost factors for WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla:

Parameter WordPress Drupal Joomla
Software cost: Free to download and use, with no licensing fees or subscription costs. Open-source and free to download and use, allowing users to modify, customize and distribute the software without licensing fees. Open-source and free to download and use, allowing users to customize and modify the software as needed.
Hosting cost: Cost depends on the hosting provider chosen, with various options available to suit different budgets. Cost depends on the hosting provider chosen, with various options available to meet different needs. Hosting costs vary depending on the hosting provider chosen, with various options available to meet different needs and budgets.
Themes and plugins cost: Wide range of free and paid options available to users. Large selection of free and paid options available for customization and functionality. Users can use various free and paid options to enhance website design and functionality.
Maintenance cost: Depends on level of service required. Depends on level of service required.. Depends on level of service required.

Winner:

In general, the expenses of utilizing WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are generally comparable. The major variation lies in the expenses of themes and plugins that can fluctuate depending on the platform and user requirements.

Additionally, the cost of hosting and maintenance can fluctuate significantly, depending on the user’s needs and the level of service required.

The popularity of a CMS platform is a crucial aspect to contemplate while selection, as it implies the size and engagement of the user community, the availability of third-party resources, and the latest trend in website development.

Here’s a comparison of the popularity of WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla:

Parameter WordPress Drupal Joomla
Market share: WordPress has the largest market share of any CMS platform in 2023, with over 29.36% of the top 1 million websites using the platform. Drupal has a smaller market share than WordPress but still has a significant user base in 2023, with over 2.72% of the top 1 million websites using the platform. Joomla has a smaller market share than both WordPress but greater than Drupal in 2023, with 1.39% of top 1 million websites using the platform.
User community: WordPress has the largest and most active user community of the three CMS platforms. Drupal has a smaller user community than WordPress, but it is highly dedicated and technically skilled. Joomla has an active user community but is smaller than WordPress.
Third-party resources: WordPress offers the largest number of third-party resources, such as plugins, themes, and integrations with other platforms. Drupal has a smaller yet substantial number of third-party resources, including modules, themes, and integrations. Joomla has a relatively smaller number of third-party resources than WordPress and Drupal but still offers many extensions and templates.

WordPress is the most popular CMS platform, with the largest market share, user community, and a number of third-party resources available.

WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla: Examples of Websites and Businesses using CMS

Here are some notable examples of websites and businesses using WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla:

Websites/Businesses Using WordPress

Websites/Businesses Using Joomla

Websites/Businesses Using Drupal

Thus, when it comes to deciding between WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla, WordPress gains more points and hence can be termed as the winner.

While each CMS has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, it’s important to thoroughly research and evaluate your needs before making a decision. By doing so, you can ensure that you select the CMS that will best help you achieve your website’s goals and succeed online.

Which CMS is right for me? WordPress, Drupal or Joomla?

Choosing the right CMS (Content Management System) largely depends on your specific needs and preferences. Each of the popular CMS platforms like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla has its own strengths and weaknesses. However, in terms of popularity WordPress is the more popular and trusted CMS among these choices.

Which is better: WordPress or Joomla or Drupal?

No single CMS is “better” than the others in every situation, as each CMS has its own set of strengths and weaknesses.

Which CMS is best for complex platforms?

When it comes to complex platforms, Drupal is often considered the best choice. It is known for its flexibility, scalability, and robustness, making it a popular choice for large-scale websites, web applications, and enterprise-level platforms.

Is there any other CMS better than WordPress?

The best CMS for you depends on your specific needs and the type of website you want to create. It’s a good idea to research each CMS, try them out for yourself, and consult with experts to determine which CMS is right for you.

Some of the best CMS other than WordPress are:

Are CMS-based websites secure?

CMS-based websites can be secure if they are set up, managed, and maintained properly. However, like any website, CMS-based websites can be vulnerable to security threats if they are not properly secured.
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Liza Rajput is a Technical Content Producer at Cloudways. Being a software engineer, she loves to play with data and its processes and wishes to grow and excel in Data Science and Big Data Engineering. She has also been an avid reader and exceptional writer, with sufficient experience in technical, research-based, and creative writing.

This content was originally published here.