WordPress 3 v.s Joomla 1.6

WordPress 3 v.s Joomla 1.6

Wordpress v.s. Joomla

I recently switched from using Joomla for my personal website to wordpress.  In my content management class at Utah Valley University we are learning the newest version on Joomla, version 1.6 which seems to have really “grown up” from version 1.5; as it well should after being developed for over 3 years.  Joomla 1.6 is really a 2.0 upgrade from 1.5.  I don’t know why they chose to call it 1.6.   With Joomla 1.6 there are a lot of much needed improvements to seo, ease of use, and so forth.

There are so many opinions floating around about this debate. WordPress 3.0 changed a lot of peoples minds that its not just for blogging anymore, while Joomla 1.6 has a lot of potential to gain more momentum in the CMS industry space.

Both Joomla and WordPress have great CMS functionality, are easily themable, have loads of quality template design developers and plugins…

I believe it really comes down to really knowing what each platform is capable of, what plugins are available, and how to leverage them toward your clients specific goals.  Both platforms can do most of the same things, but for certain tasks or applications one may be the better choice.

I’ve used Joomla and WordPress for web design and since version 3 of wordpress, for most of my needs, I much more prefer WordPress than Joomla. What WordPress does in a few files Joomla needs tons of files to do it.  I currently host with bluehost and recently got a notice from them that I had too many files…  It was mostly because of the many sites I have on my shared account that are using Joomla.  I was over 200,000 files with only about 30 installs of joomla running various extensions.

The coding in wordpress is much cleaner and SEO is FAR BETTER than Joomla.  Speed is another issue that Joomla has not yet resolved.  Search Engines are getting smarter and are now taking page load speed into account.

Functionally I think that Joomla has an advantage out of the box,  but what good is a website if out of the box it is not search engine friendly.  Joomla has a lot of very good plugins (at least for 1.5, and it will certainly be interesting to see how fast people will start to rapidly develop plugins for Joomla 1.6), I am not sure the exact count as of today but I would bet that there are more plugins for Joomla than there are plugins for wordpress.

Joomla’s Backend is far more complex than WordPress, but WordPress is a million times easier for clients to update things on their own without as much help.

For most simple sites I would way that WordPress is a much better system for being easy to use, plugin stability, and theme modification. I have started using WordPress for most of my sites these days.

I use Joomla for more complex sites that have a community base with the need for login areas for users of the site.  Subscription based sites are also better out of the box when using Joomla, it’s complexity helps it out in this sense.  Its not that you can’t build something as complicated with WordPress, but Joomla has that initial complexity that allows me to get started quickly.

Joomla has gotten a bad wrap for being associated with being slow, having lots of bugs, not being user-friendly, complicated, not SEO ready from start and so forth.  HOPEFULLY with Joomla 1.6 they can turn their image around and really WOW us!  It will be interesting to see how things go for Joomla this year.  I hope it will catch on and developers will continue to make great extensions for the new platform.

It really depends on the application, the path and the mindset for the use of each is very different.  WordPress is lighter and easier to use out of the box in files and database architecture.  As a developer for many clients, the main reason I use WordPress is separating my clients from the code.

Another thing that separates the two is Javascript Frameworks. Joomla comes packaged with MooTools. And WordPress utilizes jQuery.  Many Joomla plugins come packaged with their own version of jQuery, and it can lead to serious bloat. On the other hand, I can add a simple WordPress function to only load the same version of jQuery in all situations.

The last thing I’d  like to compare is community support and documentation. I get more out of the WordPress Docs than I’ve ever gotten out of the any kind of Joomla help site.  WordPress is a lot more straight-forward and the documentation is a lot easier to understand than most of Joomla’s documentation.

What do you think?

google loves wordpress too and I would ask if you love it so much why don’t you marry it?  oh yeah you already have your own thinger with blogspot… nevermind.


9 responses

  • Good info my friend , i remember the first time i started using joomla however i am switched over to word press since august . I think wordpress fits me and my needs better .

  • Thanks for a good website. I like your way to evaluete wordpress vs Joomla. I want to build a Deal-site but still donnt know weather I shall start with Joomla or wordpress. Any recomondations?

    • Joomla and wordpress both have great plugins and extensions for this. for wordpress I would recommend couponpress I haven’t used any joomla ones so I don’t know about that but I know there are some great ones out there.

  • Honestly, Nothing tops WordPress. It’s THE best content management system out there. And while the latest update of Joomla 1.6 is impressive, it still dosen’t come close to WordPress. Those are just my personal opinions though.

  • The number one gripe I have with Joomla is lack the lack of a built in plugin/extension repository… which means auto updating extensions is not an option. I know 1.6 has added this feature (many years behind WP) but I am yet to see how quickly developers utilise it.

    With WP it takes me a few minutes every month or so to get it completely up-to-date, even through I often have a lot of plugins. With Joomla it takes me hours every month to keep it up-to-date. For many extensions I have to manually check each one to see if it is current (which often means checking the developer’s site, one-by-one). With WP I see all that info right there in the Plugins page. With ONE CLICK I have update every out-of-date plugin.

    It is for this reason I stopped telling friends, clients, and associates to use Joomla… I’ve been steering them all toward using WP because I know they’ll hate the overhead Joomla has.

    My primary site is on Joomla. I am either about to upgrade it to 1.6 or to switch to WP3. I found your article whilst considering the switch.

    • I would definitely recommend switching to wordpress… Joomla is good and might get better eventually but right now wordpress is where its at, I don’t know how many times I have broke Joomla installations by installing plugins that were not compatible or conflicted with other plugins. What a PITA! wordpress has a lot less conflicts and just works a whole lot better.