WordPress or Joomla?

Last week I open up the doors to questions and got some great ones. I thought I would start with one of the questions from Angie.

WordPress or Joomla? Which is better and why?

I have actually posted about WordPress and Joomla in the past and at the time when I wrote that post I leaned towards using WordPress for blogs and Joomla for websites. The main reason was because of an issue I ran into creating a website with WordPress and how it handled pages. That problem seems to have been fixed and I have since created WordPress powered websites with large numbers of pages and not suffered any kinds of problems. Since I wrote that initial post on WordPress or Joomla, I have to admit I have been converted to using WordPress for more than just a blog and more as a complete content management system. Some might say this is like comparing apples to oranges, that they were created for different reasons. That might be true, but to webmasters and bloggers the reasons why something was created is not necessarily the most important thing. The most important thing is that it works.

  • Administration

    In my experience WordPress offers webmasters and bloggers a better administration section to use and maintain their websites. The administration pages are easier to learn, and faster to respond. The Joomla administration has a steeper learning curve and is not as easy for people to learn.

  • Friendly URL’s

    WordPress permalinks feature offers an easy way to set friendly URL’s for a website or blog. Joomla has a friendly URL option, but it does not compare to the WordPress ability to make friendly URL’s. You can install other extensions to improve upon Joomla’s friendly URL’s and that works as long as the extension author keeps the extension up, and that it does not break with the next upgrade. With WordPress this is built into the core. WordPress makes it much easier to make your URL’s look nice to your visitors.

  • SEO Friendly URL’s

    Having friendly URL’s is great for users, but it is also great for the search engine’s. WordPress nice permalink feature puts it ahead of the Joomla for SEO.

  • Duplicate Content Issues

    Both WordPress and Joomla suffer from a problem involving duplicate content. With WordPress it happens because of archives, categories, and tag pages all having duplicate content as the posts and pages. With Joomla it occurs because of menu pages. The problems exists for both, the difference is it easier to fix using WordPress. Even with out the use of plugins in WordPress it is possible to create a robots.txt file to prevent indexing of the categories, tag and archive pages leading the search engines to the one copy of your original content. With Joomla it is not as easy. Partly because of the problem with friendly URL’s.

  • Extendibility

    Both WordPress and Joomla have a plugin or extension system that allows you to add in other features that are not native to the software. This is mostly a personal preference, but I find the WordPress plugin system much easier to work with and more reliable. I seem to be regularly fixing problems and errors with Joomla extensions.

  • Really Simple Synication (RSS)

    WordPress offers a much better RSS system than Joomla that makes more content available to readers.

  • Speed

    I have not sat down and timed how long it takes to add new pages or posts into WordPress or Joomla, but I know that it certainly feels much faster to publish new content on WordPress. There is a post Playing with Wire that looks more at usability between WordPress and Joomla.

While there are reasons to choose Joomla over WordPress they are quickly becoming less. In the end it comes down to what you want to do with your website and what is the easiest, most user friendly system to do it with. More and more WordPress is the easiest, user friendly system to accomplish that task. WordPress is easier to use, faster to train non-geeks, and overall allows individuals and businesses of all sizes to create interesting websites that keep people coming back too. For the majority of people WordPress will easily meet their website and blog needs.

If you are looking for a way to demo both WordPress and Joomla without installing them. Take a look at OpenSourceCMS. There you can try both systems out. The here is the Joomla demo, and here is the WordPress demo.

What do you prefer WordPress or Joomla? What made you decide one over the other?

3 Responses to WordPress or Joomla?

  1. Hey Lee,

    Thanks!

    Personally (and being completely illiterate when I first started), I started with a blog on WP.com. After I figured out how to play with things there, I moved to WP on my own domain and have gotten rather quite comfortable with it.

    Now with the new site, I find myself with the same struggle. I’ll admit that part of me liked the idea of playing with Joomla, but the other part of me is screaming in terror. After reading this and chatting with you, I’m going to stick with WP and simply use a few custom made plugins to fix the problem. I’m a little worried about these plugins breaking with upgrade, but we’ll see what happens.

    Thanks so much Lee!

    Angie Haggstrom
    Angie’s Copywriting
    .-= Angie Haggstrom´s last blog ..Preparing for a Small Business Disaster =-.

    • It is possible that the plugins could break with an upgrade. But that is true of Joomla as well and in my experience they break more often with Joomla than with WordPress. Out of the box WordPress a better way to go I think. Just the benefit of the nice permalinks versus the Joomla friendly URL’s is a huge benefit for readers and search engines.

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