WASHINGTON, DC – WordPress Developer
WordPress and Joomla! Content Management Systems
WordPress and Joomla! are two very popular content management systems (CMS), each utilized by literally millions of websites across the web. There are several similarities between the two software. For one, they’re both free. They also both have strong support and development communities backing them up. Each of the software packages can be customized by a wide range of third-party contributions (i.e. “plugins” in WordPress and “extensions” in Joomla!), turning your website into such things as an online store, a portfolio site, or a news site, as well as offering services like increased security or spam prevention, among other things.
Popularity and Customization
However, there are also major differences that should be taken into account when selecting which to use for your website, moving forward. Probably the largest difference is the gap in popularity between the two. Before WordPress changed from being simply a blog software to a full-featured CMS, Joomla was one of the front-runners in the content management arena. However, WordPress grew in popularity and use very rapidly, with a vibrant, growing community of developers behind it. And it’s that dedicated community that allows WordPress to boast 30,269 plugins to Joomla!’s 7,805 extensions (both figures taken from the official WordPress.org and Joomla.org websites at the time of writing).
Ease of Use and Quick Setup
Another benefit of WordPress over Joomla! is its intuitive user experience (UX); this starts with the installation process. WordPress has a “5-minute setup” process that, from my experience, actually takes less than 5 minutes if you know what you’re doing. Joomla!’s setup process requires several steps and takes longer to set up. While a few minutes may not be a deal breaker in this case, I’ve found that a few minutes here and there can add up when trying to navigate Joomla!’s admin interface. WordPress is much more straightforward, user-friendly, and easier to maintain.
If you’re unfamiliar with how to host your own website, WordPress.com even offers free blog hosting, with two additional paid plans that allow you perform more personalization to your theme, use your own domain name, or even integrate an ecommerce system (i.e. a shopping cart). Sites hosted on WordPress.com can be exported if you later wish to host your own WordPress installation on your own server, and the opposite is true as well: you can import your self-hosted blog into WordPress.com. I am not aware of any similar hosting service for Joomla! sites.
Ease of Content Creation and Management
A blog is an important part of any website because that is generally where the new and current content, which search engines are looking for, is kept. It is good to blog at least once per week, if not more often, so that your site is generating new content. Google is more likely to prioritize a site with fresh content over a site that has been static since it was indexed. So if you’re looking for a blog as part of your website, WordPress is the obvious choice; in fact, it was originally built as just a blog software. Everything else came later, building upon that original foundation. While later versions of Joomla do offer a basic blog functionality out of the box, something as simple as being able to have multiple categories to group your blog posts requires installing an extension. WordPress has that as a core feature, even letting you nest categories within a hierarchy for full organizational control.
Search Engine Optimization
In today’s world, you’re not going to make money if you can’t attract visitors to your website, and you’re not going to have a lot of traffic if your target audience can’t find your site ranking in the top search results for your target keywords. WordPress will help you here as well; it is more search-engine friendly out of the box. By configuring just a few settings (permalinks, allowing bots to crawl the site, etc.) you can very quickly make your website ready for the front page of Google search results (keep in mind that actually getting there will take a bit of work on your part, regardless of which software you choose). There are also several SEO plugins that will help you improve your performance in search results. While Joomla! does allow “friendly URL” aliases, the URL and menu system is more difficult to work with and less intuitive.
So as you can see, WordPress has several significant advantages that set it apart from Joomla! as a content management system. If you’re considering switching from Joomla! to WordPress, we’d be glad to help get your new site up and running. We can set up the new WordPress site, migrate your existing users and content from your current Joomla! site, and will even maintain your site for you so you can have peace of mind. If you’re interested, give us a call. We’d love to hear from you!