Last updated - February 24, 2020
This isn’t your typical ‘this’ versus ‘that’ article. If it was, I would have titled it “Joomla vs. WordPress”. Too many vs texts become contra-productive, in my opinion. When comparing 2 Content Management Systems that are as renowned and liked as Joomla and WordPress, it’s better to explain why it depends on you as a user which system is the best (for you).
What do I mean by that? Well, as a do-it-yourselfer (DIY), you will save a lot of money on paying for a web developer, a programmer, and a designer. That’s cool. Both Joomla and WordPress CMS allow you to build your website yourself easily. But I should add ‘relatively’ easily. Yes, 2 adjectives in a row. Grammarly and Hemingway won’t like this. Even so, your choice of CRM will depend on your skills in creating a site, your needs, and even your profession. What business are you trying to support online?
The difference between Joomla and WordPress is more about: who are you? Let’s say you work as an attorney or as a lawyer, you give out legal advice or you run a business in law essay writing. Your website will look different than if you were a plumber or a translator from Belgium. Your needs will differ and that will affect your choice of a website builder.
Okay, before we have a look at the 5 main differences when it comes to creating a website that suits you, I will briefly spend some words on Joomla and WordPress. Only when we understand what they are, and see the similarities, we can grasp the differences.
What is Joomla?
Joomla is only topped in popularity by WordPress. Just as WordPress, it’s free and compatible with all browsers. It’s an open-source CMS written in PHP. It’s used for publishing web content. It stores data in MySQL. Any difference with WordPress so far? Nothing much.
BTW, what’s PHP?
MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS). SQL stands for Structured Query Language, a programming language and domain-specific. Among the many database-driven web applications that use MySQL are Joomla and WordPress. Popular websites that use MySQL are Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.
And what about WordPress?
WordPress also is an online, open-source CMS written in PHP. It only supports MySQL and it’s the easiest and most powerful blogging and website creation tool or CMS you can find. It’s used for blogging, e-commerce businesses, general business sites and so on. Many news sites, music sites, famous people and big companies use WordPress. It was originally meant for blogging and that’s why The New York Times and CNN still run their blogs on WP.
Now that we know what they both are and stand for (they are quite similar, n’est-ce pas?), let’s compare them! Let’s see what’s different. And keep in mind we do this from a subjective perspective, depending on who you are and what your needs are. Okay, the difference between Joomla and WordPress … Both platforms are quite easy to use and can be perfectly customized to your needs. But which one is right for you?
The 5 important comparisons when it comes to creating your website.
Joomla won’t hold your hand…
… as if you are a “greenhorn”. But WordPress does. The more experienced you are, the more you will appreciate Joomla. In case you are a total newbie, only WordPress will take care of everything (as good as). Why is that? WordPress’s original concept was meant for bloggers. True, this is no longer the case, nowadays WordPress will run any website, small or big. But the technical aspects you need to master are still very limited. With all due respect, one might almost call WordPress a CMS for Dummies. And that’s a good thing if you aren’t comfortable with the technical aspects of website building, such as configuring the software.
Setting up your WordPress website is ‘easy peasy’. All you need is a web host (Bluehost, for example) and that’s it. We are talking about an automatic custom installation process. If you have no clue about starting a website, I don’t know how to put in words how much setting up a WordPress site is no effort at all. To set up a Joomla Website you need to be a nuclear scientist compared.
Who’s more SEO friendly?
I’ve read online that WordPress is more SEO friendly. But if this can be backed up with facts … I’m not sure. Elsewhere I found that Joomla supposedly holds the advantage due to the meta descriptions and keywords users can set for new articles. Honestly, it’ tough to compare and find out who’s got the edge. Both have SEO tools, no surprise here, and both claim they’re the best. Let’s quickly compare 2 pretty well-known plugins:
WordPress counters SEO with many plugins. One of them is their Yoast SEO plugin, a powerful and easy to use the tool. Red, yellow or green light keeps you informed how you’re doing and how you may improve your SEO rating in different areas. Simply and helpful!
Joomla’s EFSEO extension serves the same purpose and handles the same tasks as Yoast. It edits the meta-information on the front end of your website, and your input isn’t even needed in automatic mode. Great!
So they both have tools (plugins, extensions… what’s in a name?) to boost your chances to be found online by eager new clients and customers. SEO is indeed more or less live or die for any website. Without traffic coming your way, you might as well not bother about a Joomla or WordPress website at all.
Anyway, what’s the difference here? If there is any, it’s a subtle one.
- On Joomla’s website, we read that EFSEO is so good because of its direct influence on the generated metadata, which can be manipulated and stored in the frontend and gives you lots of freedom. Don’t worry, I’m not sure what this exactly means either, but it sounds good. It’s great that it duplicates the process automatically on each page load and therefore makes loading pages faster. This is important. Visitors appreciate fast loading pages. It keeps them on your site. Thumbs up for Joomla.
- But WordPress gives you on-page analysis, custom boxes to place meta description and keyword tags. Keyword density in your post is checked automatically and hints where best to place your keywords. Title and URL are checked too. AND: Is your text easy to read? You get feedback on this, as well. It’s WordPress’s turn to get my This is important-tag. On-page SEO, which is in my opinion even more important, keeps traffic coming back for the good content you provide.
I give WordPress the edge on this one. Probably because I’m a writer and I live for content. See? They are so close that it’s more of a subjective choice than anything else.
What if you don’t have a business yet?
I’ve talked a lot about business and professionals and so on, but what about our students? They can’t be left in the cold. What should be the website builder of their liking? Students are doing groundbreaking work in the website building business. If you want to learn how it’s done, ask a student.
Students that own a blog polish their writing skills. Practice makes better. Especially law students need to do a lot of writing. They become real professionals when it comes to law essay writing. And if they aren’t yet, there is sufficient essay writing help available online. I studied in the UK and had no problem finding assistance. Plenty of UK experts provide law essay help, which is comforting and a great help. But in the end, any student that takes his academic career serious must learn to be a great writer. After, he or she can share writing experience, tips, and info that will help other students or with whoever is active in this line of work. The most suitable website builder for this goal, if it’s blogging or creating an instructive platform, would be WordPress. I think that’s a no-brainer.
International appeal (multilingual)
If your website is capable of attracting an international audience or not depends on accessibility. Of course, it does. How to make your site accessible? By making it multilingual. Makes sense, right?
I know how important it is to be able to easily switch languages when visiting a site. You need to read the text in the language you’re comfortable with, right? I don’t know about you, but I don’t care if I’m visiting a French or a Chinese site and I don’t select only English sites in the search engine settings. I want all the info available. But my Chinese isn’t quite Jackie Chan level, so I need smooth working multilingual websites. Sometimes sites do it automatically (when you don’t want it – I can read French, you know…), others make you click the switch button 1000 times. Annoying? I know!
How does Joomla go about this?
Joomla supports 75 world languages, that’s more than any other content management system. It’s possible to customize your language settings to the needs of both your site users and your administrators on an individual user basis. The built-in support handles multilingual sites flawlessly. When you install Joomla, it comes with a default language. Additional languages need installation separately with the aid of an extension. Joomla Is all about extensions.
WP likes to call their extensions plugins. Anyway, plugins in WordPress allow you to create a multilingual site. With the plugins, you can create a manually translated site. This gets This is important-tag. Machine translations aren’t any good. You know what I mean when you think of Google Translate. It’s like reading a robot’s translation. Unnatural and inaccurate. When you visit a webpage that is translated this way, you start to doubt your mental health almost. Did I lose my ability to read my mother tongue or what? Plugins like Polylang integrate your manually translated content in the administration interface. Problem solved!
What is he going on about now? Okay, how Extendable you want your site to be? I mean extending your website’s functionality for a better user’s experience. Yes, customization potential.
The Browse Extensions tab on the Joomla webpage will keep you busy for an extended time – I won’t joke about puns or no puns intended, I promise, it’s annoying. Thousands of verified third-party extensions and thousands of templates, some for free, allow you to change colors, fonts, layouts, and features. You can create as many menus and menu items as you want. The types of extensions can be divided into components, modules, plugins, templates, languages, libraries, files and packages. You want to start a blog, a business website, a service website …? You may make your site as complex and customized as you wish. That sounded a bit like an ad, sorry.
WordPress has themes instead of the Joomla templates. The WordPress themes are high-quality and offer very good support. Extensions go through life as plugins. The many easy to master features allow you to change everything. Any new theme can be customized and detailed. The built-in WordPress Customizer will show more modules depending on the chosen theme and installed plugins. A child can do this. Again WordPress excels in simplicity (user-friendly).
In my humble opinion, we covered the 5 most important ‘decision influencers’. It’s very hard to tell someone which CMS to use. But with the info I provided, it should be easier to make up your mind.
Let’s say Joomla is perfect for E-Commerce, social networking, and medium to large scale business, where WordPress is better for small to medium scale business, blogs, and smaller e-commerce stores.
Having said that, WordPress can easily handle complex sites. Maybe not as well as Joomla can, but if you have only little web development experience (or none like me), I won’t go into the complexity of Joomla. Better to manage your content in a relaxed way, I would say.
Hmm, it seems this ended up a Joomla vs WordPress piece after all. Well then, frankly I’d pick WordPress any day to create my website. I suggest you do the same unless your job is IT-related (slight exaggeration).