WordPress vs Joomla – which is better?

Choosing which Content Management System (CMS) to run your website on is one of the most important decisions for any business. There are a lot of options out there, but knowing which one to use is not always easy. Many of these decisions boil down to two options – WordPress vs Joomla.

In terms of market share, they are the two most popular options. That may give an impression that they are fierce competitors, but such is the domination of WordPress that it stands alone as the primary CMS. According to most estimates, WordPress powers at least 30% of ALL the websites in the world.

By comparison, despite the fact that Joomla has experienced a decline in share in recent years, it still comfortably maintains second place, with around 6% of the market.

However, although WordPress is by far the most popular CMS on the market, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be the perfect one for your business. Depending on what the needs are for you and your business, it makes sense to weigh up the options to decide what side of the WordPress vs Joomla debate you are on.

Graphic courtesy of makeawebsitehub.com

You can also check out some of our other CMS comparisons between WordPress and Wix, and WordPress and Squarespace here.

But let’s get into the nitty gritty.

WordPress vs Joomla – Commonalities

So if you’ve reached this far the chances are you will have (at the very least) a passing interest in website building and design. So the first thing you have to know is that WordPress and Joomla are both Content Management Systems. CMS are tools which allow users to create and maintain fully-functioning websites, when combined with a hosting solution, such as the one offered by Cloud With Me.

Both WordPress and Joomla are open-source systems, which means they are both free to set up and use, as well as being community led. This means that there is a large network of users and developers who work to ensure they operate at a high performance level, as well as the addition of new extensions and plugins for users.

WordPress and Joomla are both primarily written in the PHP scripting language, and are supported by the MySQL database system. They also both have a basic content editor which can support a variety of different customisable themes for you to take control of your website design.

But, that’s where the similarities stop.

WordPress vs Joomla – User Friendliness

Let’s face it, we aren’t all developers. Most people don’t have the necessary knowhow (or time) to learn how to input and adapt code for the desired effect. So, that’s why it’s really important to have a simple and easy to use CMS for your site.

User friendliness is one of the main selling points of content management systems in general. They have enabled the less tech-savvy to create websites without having to code. For that reason, usability is an important decision factor, especially for beginners.

WordPress has prided itself on its 5-minute installation process, allowing you to set up your site with minimal fuss. Once your site is live, the WordPress dashboard is easy to navigate as you customise and create content to bring it to life.

The module on the left hand side contains everything you need for controlling your site, including options for adapting appearance, storing media and adding extra plugins.

In terms of complexity, Joomla is slightly more complicated in the initial install stage and the later maintenance of your site. If you are a complete CMS beginner you may struggle a little, but if you have any technical knowhow whatsoever it should still be a breeze.

Joomla has a fairly similar installation process, which on average takes around ten minutes. Simply download the software, upload it to your server and run the installation. Cloud With Me offers Joomla as an addon via its cloud hosting onboarding solution, using servers from Google Cloud, AWS and Microsoft Azure.

WordPress vs Joomla – Templates

With the arrival of modern drag-and-drop website builders Wix and Squarespace, both WordPress and Joomla have had to work hard to keep up in terms of dynamic appearances for their sites.

Perhaps the greatest strength of WordPress (and why it is so popular) is how customisable it is. With WordPress you can pretty much modify your website however you want to. A lot of people like WordPress as the community offers you thousands of free plugins so you can add more tools to your WordPress site.

There are literally thousands of themes to choose from, some free and some paid, but there is no doubt that your perfect design template exists on WordPress.

Just like WordPress, Joomla also comes with templates and extensions. There are great extensions to do just about anything from creating an ecommerce store to managing email.

However, Joomla just simply cannot compete with WordPress when it comes to the sheer amount of themes and plugins available. While the variety of options available could still be described as substantial when we talk about Joomla, it still doesn’t come close to the depth of WordPress’ offering. Here are just a few of the themes you can avail of:

WordPress vs Joomla – Security

The basic WordPress and Joomla platforms are highly secure, so users can rest assured that their CMS will be protected against potential hacks and other security threats. That said, the fact that your finished CMS experience is likely to include a host of external plugins and tools, it is important to take measures to enhance security.

Once again the increased variety of plugins available via WordPress gives it an advantage. Dozens of plugins exist to provide extra security, including those that protect against spam, malware and other nasty digital threats. Here’s our summary of some of the best WordPress security plugins.

In an authoritative study of hacked websites, security plugin Sucuri found that 74% of the websites they surveyed were from WordPress, more than the share that WordPress commands in the market. Interestingly, Joomla was also found to have a disproportionate amount of hacked sites, 17% in comparison to controlling just over 7% of the market at the time.

While the survey can prove useful, if you take the adequate measures to protect your site and keep it as up-to-date as possible, it should not fall into the ‘hacked’ category.

WordPress vs Joomla – Support

When it comes to which CMS you are going to use for your business, having a key support network could be the deciding factor. In the inevitable scenario of something going wrong with your site you want to have the best support options available to you.

For example, when you host your WordPress or Joomla website via Cloud With Me, we provide personal support via live chat on our website, via email and our social media channels.

If your site is not hosted via Cloud With Me or the issue is to do with a certain plugin on WordPress or Joomla, most will have a direct way to contact the creator of the plugin or theme for more information. This tends to happen more often with premium plugins and themes, and is the reason why it makes sense to invest a small amount for premium services within your CMS.

WordPress has a strong community of users, which has many benefits. You can find WordPress help on support forums, ebooks, handbooks and blogs (the CWM blog for loads of great WP content and tutorials).

Joomla, just like WordPress has a large and very helpful community. There is an extensive documentation on the Joomla website which is a valuable resource for beginners. For more interactive support, users can join forums, mailing lists etc.

The extent of knowledge out there about WordPress means there are limitless resources however in terms of support. Due to the immense popularity of WordPress, finding WordPress developers is easy and affordable for small businesses and individuals.

WordPress vs Joomla – Conclusion

Both WordPress and Joomla offer comprehensive options when it comes to choosing your CMS. In terms of user friendliness, templates and scalability both are really viable options for setting up a personal or business website.

The key difference between the two perhaps lies in the sheer extent of options available to WordPress users, which has a major effect on the whole website building experience.

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