Best open source CMS: Drupal vs Joomla vs WordPress

WASHINGTON DC WEB DESIGN, May 18, 2011

In the open source CMS wars, debates continue to rage over which is the best content management system to use.  It seems that the big three are jockeying for position:

  • WordPress
  • Drupal
  • Joomla

Joomla was the first out of the gates and was well ahead of its time.  It’s a favorite among web developers in India.  In fact, when I first heard of Joomla back in 2007, I thought it was a product of India – it sounded Hindi.

WhiteHouse.gov and much of OMB has chosen Drupal at is open source CMS of choice.

There is an interesting graph, powered by Google trends but it lives on Indeed.com.  If you put in job trends for Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress; you get this very interesting trend chart:

What does this mean?  Most people might interpret it that Drupal is the leader, followed by Joomla and then WordPress.  I think it is the opposite.  I believe that this trend shows how difficult it is to manage and implement these CMS solutions and, for that reason, it is more difficult to find Drupal developers versus WordPress developers, for example, because many developers hate using Drupal and Joomla because a) it takes longer to do the same thing, and b) Drupal and Joomla are clunky pieces of crap.

To be fair, WordPress has some security weakenesses.  But, if you know what you are doing (and inQbation does) then you can overcome these weaknesses simply by removing some back doors and nailing them shut.  Also, if you have multiple web content managers and you want to restrict their role to certain stove pipes of information then Drupal is more conducive to that out of the box. But, we have developed plug-ins to replicate the same functionality.

The bottom line is that Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress are all based on the same stack: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.  If you know that and object oriented programming then you can make any of these CMS solutions do anything the other CMS solutions can do.  The question is: how long will it take to do the same thing and how frustrated or pissed off will you be when you are done.  To me, WordPress is my favorite open source software solution.