A Content Management System (CMS) assists in the creation, management, and modification of the different elements of your website. With the use of any of these platforms, you will need none to minimal experience with HTML or CSS programming skills (except if you will need a customized element in your design).
In the world of Content Management Systems (CMS), WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are the most widely known, and so I will compare these three first. If you are a beginner who is planning to create a website, you will most likely encounter any of these. They are the best Content Management System (CMS) available in the market.
Before we make a comparison between the three, let us discuss the similarities between the 3 CMS.
Similarities Between CMS (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal)
- Each of these systems, whether it be WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, are open-source software. It means that each of these systems free to download, install, and use. If you have decent coding skills, you can even modify it and submit your contribution for other people to enjoy the version you have made.
- All three CMS are based upon MySQL and PHP.
- These systems have their communities and forums. The communities and forums give help, discuss, and support each member of the community with the intent of making better features for the CMS. In these communities, there is sharing of knowledge, resolving pending issues, providing tech support for its users, and even organizing events. With a diverse community consisting of designers, developers, programmers, tenured members, and new users, there is a rich resource of the knowledge base for the community.
- Each of these systems has themes and plugins that add to the design and functionality of the CMS.
All these Content Management Systems (CMS) dominated the market shares. With WordPress occupying a large chunk of the market pie with it making more than 60% of the CMS market, Joomla with 4%, and Drupal at 2.7% of all websites that use CMS platforms.
Let us look at some major points of comparisons of these 3 CMS.
Comparison Between CMS (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal)
1. Ease of use
Though Drupal is the oldest CMS platform, it is at 3rd place among popular active CMS platforms. As mentioned above, around 2.7% of CMS-based websites use Drupal. Its dashboard is simple and easy to understand.
Though known for its appeal because of its flexibility, its core software focuses on establishing a secure and robust platform. It is the reason why there are limited features in it.
Drupal has a collection of modules that you can use for any feature you may need. You will need to take the time to learn these modules because everything that you will change must are done through those modules.
So, you will need to pick a module, add it, and effectively manage it. As mentioned, it has a simple dashboard, but once you develop it further, you may need a few programming skills to move further in the development of the website.
In this aspect, Drupal is more for developers than for newbies.
WordPress has the most significant CMS market share and is the most popular CMS platform. Though it began as a blogging platform, it has grown to become an extensive Content Management System (CMS).
It provided a simple, yet insightful platform where beginners and people without programming knowledge can create and build a website. WordPress’s dashboard looks straightforward and simple to understand. If you are the type that just wants “a working site”, the simplicity of WordPress is right for you.
If you are searching to start a simple travel blog site, you can only add your pictures, videos, and reviews and your website is ready to go live.
For sites that are a bit more complex, you must choose the right theme for the task at hand. Some themes come equipped with the right features that you may be looking for.
If the theme you have chosen does not have the feature you want, you can look for a plugin from the WordPress collection.
You can also do a simple search online for the plugin. Once you have found the right one, just install it, and you will be ready to use it. It is one of the reasons why people consider WordPress as beginner-friendly.
Joomla makes up around 4.0% of the CMS-based websites. It is the youngest of the 3 CMS platforms, but it has received much interest as a fantastic platform for creating websites.
Its dashboard may seem a bit confusing for beginners but once you a hang of it, using Joomla becomes easy. You will need to take some time to practice, add modules to your work, and adjust the positioning of it.
Joomla can be the middle ground between WordPress and Drupal when considering ease of use.
We will now look at the available design templates, and themes for each of the Content Management System (CMS) mentioned here. These themes and templates give form and aesthetics needed by your website.
WordPress has more than 7,500 official free templates on their official website. They also have more than 11,900 premium themes that you can choose from ThemeForest.
Drupal has more than 2,800 official Drupal themes available now. Themeforest also provides an additional 500+ themes for Drupal-based websites.
Joomla has no official template directory, but Themeforest can provide more than 1000 templates for you to choose from. Other sites offer templates that you can select and use for your website.
We will now look at the available plugins and extensions in each of the Content Management System (CMS) mentioned here. These plugins and extensions provide the function of the designs placed on the website. With more choices to choose from, you will have a great time customizing and finding what fits your need for your site.
WordPress has made available more than 56,900 official free plugins for you to choose from. There are even thousands more paid plugins available on the net. You just need to search for them.
Drupal has made available more than 45,000 official modules at its website directory. These extensions will broaden and even customize Drupal’s functionality even further.
Joomla has made available more than 7,500 official extensions from its official website. These extensions will give your website new tools, further usability, and additional customization options to make your website impressive.
4. SEO, Security, and Support
Now let us discuss security, in reference to the 3 CMS. In its core, Drupal is a reliable platform security-wise.
Security is one of its main selling points. It may be the reason why many government agencies, schools, and other institutions choose Drupal because of its focus on security.
Drupal sends scheduled updates which include a bugfix and a security update per month, and major updates at least twice a year.
WordPress and Joomla are also secure platforms, but there is a need to be careful in handling security issues.
With WordPress, minor updates come almost every two months while major updates also come around twice a year.
Joomla sends minor updates around every month while major updates once a year.
With a bigger slice of the market pie, WordPress is an enticing tool to target with cyberattacks and exploit a much larger number of websites that have the same CMS compared to the number of Joomla or Drupal-based websites.
But Joomla and Drupal-based sites can be hacked but in less frequency. With Drupal, as mentioned before, one of its major strengths is security, and that is why major institutions use it because of the focus on website security.
Now, regarding SEO, WordPress is still the top CMS. SEO algorithms can easily index its frameworks with categories and tags, causing it to stay on top.
Along with that is the availability of many SEO plugins for WordPress. In the same way, Joomla and Drupal have a lot of modules and extensions that work well with SEO and digital marketing.
Regarding the availability of support through forums, documentation, or other resources, all the platforms are community-based, and help is readily available for both advanced users and newbies.
Conclusion: WordPress Still Reigns as the Best CMS
At first glance, you would conclude that WordPress is at the top because of those above firmly grounded reasons. You are correct in your assessment. It is the most in-demand Content Management System (CMS) out there.
If we measure WordPress against the entirety of ALL websites, WordPress is supporting 35% of all websites online. That is a significant number of sites that cater to your services.
But let us not rule out Joomla and Drupal. These two have an impressive array of clientele that use their services. This article may have inadvertently focused more on how easily a beginner would easily use, manage, and transition with a certain type of CMS, but Joomla and Drupal have their advantages. These benefits shine in the light of looking at the clientele that uses their services.
With this, we can see that WordPress is precisely right for both advanced users and newbies that would like to DIY their sites.
It would also be great with those who just want a simple website that only works while Joomla is excellent for those who have multiple people handling the site.
Joomla has a great management system that works well in this environment. It also comes with multi-language support that comes with the installation of the software. Drupal is exactly right for those who hold security as their focus.
With all this in mind, I hope you are enlightened and equipped to make your decision better.
Mayleen Meñez worked for seven years in TV and Radio production, and also as a Graphic Artist/Editor. Finding her true passion, she devoted 15 years in NGO and community development work, where she experienced being a coordinator and teacher, travelling both in the Philippines and countries in Asia. She homeschools her three kids and reinvents Filipino dishes in her spare time. Writing has always been a hobby and pursuit, and she recently added content writing with Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand up her sleeve, while preparing for her next adventure in the nations.