I know there are many articles about choosing which cms, etc, etc., but I am doing this one based on what I feel are the top 5 things to help you choose between WordPress and Joomla. Why? Because Pixel Theme Studio offers both WP and Joomla themes. Ok, there’s other reasons too but to help you out, there are at least five main factors to think about.
The Top 5 Things to Consider Based on What I Know
There may be other factors in choosing either cms but hopefully the following list of five points will help you decide on one or the other.
1. YOUR TYPE OF WEB SITE
Knowing what kind of website you plan to have or do have will help determine the right cms, whether it’s going to be WordPress or Joomla. For simple blog sites or small sites with just a few pages that won’t change much will be ideal for WordPress. But if your site is more than a blog or your content gets more complex in layout, styling, plus features that blogs normally would not have, then Joomla is your best solution. In my opinion, WordPress is a good blogging cms but for anything more, be prepared for a lot of work. Also, you can always checkout the best hosting for WordPress if your are looking for a reliable and affordable web host.
2. FLEXIBILITY AND SCALABILITY
When creating a web site or blog, you need to plan for the future because the last thing you will want to do is to change your cms later in time when you’ve put a lot of effort into your existing one. Start by knowing what you need for features and functionality right now but also down the road; one year, two years, even more if you can plan that far ahead. If you think your blog will always be just a blog, then again, WordPress is ideal, but if you believe you will need more or things will change at some point in the future, you may want to give Joomla a look.
WordPress is not as flexible as you may think, although it’s fast to install and fast to write a quick post; anything else gets more complicated and WordPress has a bit of a habit of changing code from time to time which could create upgrades more complex. Joomla is easy to install (I can do it in 5 minutes), and once you learn the admin area well enough, you can fly through things easily with mouse clicks – no coding needed! Scalability is not an issue either as the development team maintains strict standards and with the extensions available for Joomla, you can easily add new functionality to your site at any time you want (or even remove). Joomla hosting likely supports these given requirements.
3. THEMES and STYLING
Both WordPress and Joomla offer a large selection of themes and templates from various third party designers and developers. Some are very good and some are not to good so check them out and see what appeals to you based on your web site needs.
WordPress has a massive theme selection but the downside is that most are cookie cutter style and creativity is mediocre at best. Some designers do offer professional quality themes but from what I can see, many can be complicated to modify, requiring you to still know some html, php, and css.
Joomla has a large community of designers/developers that offer some pretty impressive designs. The only issue is that many try to put everything in, including the kitchen sink, which most will never use. The problem is that these templates are extremely bloated with code and scripts and for some, setup configurations can be overwhelming.
Figure out what kind of design and style you want and check out some of the more popular theme sites for WordPress and templates for Joomla. You may not need all the bells and whistles, so choose wisely based on your type of site. If your theme needs modifications, you will also want to make sure that it’s going to be easy.
Support should be part of your choosing because I can guarantee you will need some help with either WordPress or Joomla. If support is critical for you, you will want to decide for yourself by checking out both the WordPress and Joomla websites. Both have huge communities, but it really comes down to activity, quality of support, and what kind of resources are available. I personally feel the Joomla.org site has the better support community compared to WordPress.
5. EXTEND YOU CMS
Whichever cms you decide to use, extending the core functionality and features of either WordPress or Joomla will be important in your decision. Both offer a large variety of choices from simple twitter buttons to full e-commerce solutions. WordPress has a good selection but compared to what is available for Joomla, Joomla wins hands down.
One very big difference between both platforms is the quality of options, including installation, setup, and management. I believe Joomla has the better choices, but the main reason is because of the capability of Joomla exceeds WordPress and its extensions are a lot easier to use. Remember that WP was originally developed for blogging, whereas Joomla is meant to be used for full cms based web sites.
Final decision will of course depend on whether your existing site is using one or the other, but also, what you feel more comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to try new things because as one person said to me in an email, and I quote: “I will never go back to WordPress again!”
Remember though, if WordPress has been working for you and you don’t plan any major changes later, then you should stick with WordPress.