Wordpress Vs Joomla! - Which CMS System Works Best?
WordPress and Joomla! are the two grandfathers of content management systems (CMS). Between them they are responsible for having transformed blogging from a fringe pursuit into a core B2B marketing strategy engaged in by millions of businesses around the world.
If you are looking for a CMS, either as an extension to your current site or at the heart of a brand-new website, Joomla! and WordPress are usually the two main choices. They both have advantages and disadvantages, but which one works best from a marketing perspective? Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of both platforms:
Joomla! is a free, open source CMS that was first released in 2005. It is regularly updated by a professional team – the current version is 3.7 – and is the power behind an estimated 70 million websites worldwide.
Advantages Of Joomla!
Highly adaptable: The first thing users notice is how complex and options-rich Joomla! is. Once the basic navigation and page structure is set up, which doesn’t take too long, you have access to a huge number of administrative, management and design features. It is possible to build a complete website through Joomla!, including a blog, e-commerce site, customer account portal and so on. You can also easily expand and reorganise your website once it is online.
Powerful and complex system: Joomla! is not only complex, but it’s also robust. So long as your server is powerful enough to support Joomla!, you will rarely experience any bugs, crashes or glitches.
Multilingual support: If you do business with non-English-speaking customers, or customers in multiple countries, Joomla!’s multilingual support is a real advantage. Joomla! comes with native support for dozens of different languages and translates your content seamlessly. WordPress also has multilingual support, but isn’t as comprehensive as Joomla!.
Limited cross-platform compatibility: It is difficult to import articles from other sources or to sync with other platforms.
Complex system makes a lot of demands on your server: There are two disadvantages to the cornucopia of features offered by Joomla! The first is that a complex system takes a lot of power for it to run efficiently. If your server isn’t up to the job, as your website grows it may begin to run slowly or develop performance issues. If your blog expands to more than 500 articles, which it could easily do after a couple of years, you should consider modifying the platform so that it runs faster.
Steep learning curve: The other disadvantage is that Joomla! requires education and training. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials and ‘For Dummies…’ type guides available, but you are better off enlisting the services of a professional. This contrasts unfavourably with WordPress, whose basic features can be picked up by a complete novice in less than a few hours.
First released in 2003, WordPress is the most popular and widely used CMS on the planet. It is estimated that 25% of all websites use WordPress, so that, in itself, is a vote of confidence. It was designed specifically to be easy to use for people with no knowledge of HTML, PHP or other programming languages. Now on version 4.6, this philosophy continues to guide WordPress development. Like Joomla!, WordPress has both advantages and disadvantages for marketers.
Simple, intuitive blogging system: A user can simply login, type out a blog and publish it straightaway. It’s a simple as that. For people who are comfortable working with HTML, enriched features are also available. You can schedule blogs through WordPress, but you won’t have all the fancy options given by Joomla! For instance, you can’t schedule content to expire at a certain time.
Beloved by Google: Google really likes WordPress websites, so if SEO is part of your marketing strategy, you should consider creating at least part of your website through WordPress. WordPress powered blog posts regularly feature in the top 10 of Google search results, making them ideal for keyword marketing.
Really easy UI: Many businesses use a professional web developer, such as our team at JDR, to design and develop their WordPress site. However, once set up, it is easy for your team to make small adjustments, edit text and publish new blog posts. You won’t have to keep calling out your developer for every little change.
Can handle high traffic volumes: WordPress has no problem at all handling hundreds of thousands, or even millions of hits a month, while taking up a modest amount of server space. Of course, different plug-ins and modifications will increase the power requirement of your WordPress website.
Difficult to make structural changes without knowledge of WP script: WordPress uses its own modified form of HTML script, so making structural changes requires specialist knowledge. Even people already familiar with HTML will need to learn WordPress’s unique way of doing things. When building a complete website with WordPress, its simplicity is sometimes a downfall. To overcome this, you need to augment your site with different WordPress plug-ins, which can be complicated to integrate.
Fewer content management options: WordPress is a brilliant blogging site – arguably the best – but it isn’t as strong as Joomla! when it comes to other content management features. For instance, to build a customer service forum, you will need specialised plug-ins, whereas with Joomla! that ability is native.
Plug-ins are difficult to understand without specialist knowledge: We strongly recommend talking to a professional web developer before installing plug-ins to your WordPress website…
It is clear that both WordPress and Joomla! have their strengths, but as a marketing CMS, which one is better?
As a pure content management system, Joomla! has the edge over WordPress. If you need to curate a lot of content, for instance across articles, forums and membership areas, then this is definitely the platform to choose. Joomla! offers a wealth of management features that aren’t possible in WordPress without an in-depth knowledge of coding, such as intuitive multilevel navigation, page sections and categories. However, as a B2B business, to what extent are these features going to be critical to your work? Many community groups, charities and membership organisations find them useful, but will you?
WordPress, on the other hand is the blogging platform par excellence, so all marketing professionals should prick their ears up at this. Publishing articles and integrating it with the content on your site is child’s play with WordPress. The platform makes no distinction between articles and other web pages, giving them equal weight. Google loves this, so with WordPress your website will immediately appear larger and more expansive than it would do using another platform. Furthermore, you can, if you wish, use WordPress to build an entire website, without much knowledge of code. Its simplicity is also a disadvantage, of course, but this can be overcome through bespoke plug-ins (there are millions available) and the help of a knowledgeable web developer.
The Best Choice For Content Marketing
If content marketing and lead generation are your goals, then on balance we would suggest WordPress as the most practical platform for you, notwithstanding the many positive features of Joomla! However, the decision has to be right for your business. There are several fantastic CMS systems out there, all with their comparative strengths and weaknesses. To make the right decision to augment your marketing strategy, we are here to help. For friendly advice from our team of marketing specialists, please get in touch and we can talk you through your options.