Joomla vs Wordpress

OK, let's be clear from the outset. We don't have anything against Wordpress. Far from it - we routinely use Wordpress for many sites, both as Wordpress proper, and using the Wordpress for Joomla extension, so if your preference (or if it's the better system for the job) is Wordpress, that's fine with us!

But if we're not 'against' Wordpress, why our preference for Joomla?

Partly history, and partly because we believe Joomla has a number of advantages over Wordpress as a CMS. When we started out using Open Source software for websites back in 2004, Wordpress didn't exist. The two main CMS systems at that time were Drupal and Mambo.  For a variety of reasons we chose Mambo then, and when Mambo forked into Joomla, Joomla became our 'tool of choice'.

When Wordpress did emerge, it was primarily as a blogging platform (as it still is at its heart), and it was a while before it expanded into the system it has become now.

Now we might offend some Wordpress afficionados when we say that the primary conceptual distinction between Joomla and Wordpress is that Wordpress was primarily designed as a blogging platform, which developers subsequently expanded with plugin functionality, whereas Joomla was created from the outset as an advanced CMS framework designed to be expanded through the use of 3rd party components.

This gives Joomla a number of advantages over Wordpress, two in particular:

  • multi-level category management, making it easier to structure and manage content, particularly on larger sites
  • the ability to create a multilevel hierachy of private or restricted content (including 3rd party plugin components) using the built-in ACL functionality

Consequently, in our view Joomla remains one of the most flexible, powerful and user friendly CMS systems available, and unless you particularly need the superb blogging functionality of Wordpress, Joomla remains our first choice CMS system.