Joomla vs WordPress: Top 4 Differences

In one of my previous posts, …WordPress Is The Best CMS, Really… ?, I examined some of the WordPress usages as a Content Management System (CMS). I wrote that I am skeptical about using WordPress as a CMS. However, thinking about it more and researching, I am getting more and more convinced that WordPress is actually a great CMS.

It’s so happens that I am re-designing my website right now,, and I am faced with a dilemma what CMS to choose.

I am not going to mention the qualities that are the same like both have DIV structure, numerous plug-ins, great support forums, tutorials, documentation, and so on,  both CMS’ are amazing! What I am going to explore is their differences.

WordPress +:

  1. Super easy blogging (BIG +). For those who use blog a lot, it is very easy to manage comments, post articles, and add media. For Joomla, I use JComment. It is the best tool for blogging I could find. It supports Gravatar, RSS, Sharing and everything else you might need. However, JComment is just a plug-in for Joomla, it’s interface is combined with Joomla interface, so you would spend more time posting, checking, and approving comments due to the need to navigate to different places within Joomla CMS.
  2. Simple but powerful interface (BIG +) – one window for all. It seems like Joomla 1.5.x has so many different windows, panels and so on. I would be nervous if I were making a website for a client who is technologically challenged. There are too many nuances to keep in mind.
  3. Making less choices makes you focus on blogging more. With WordPress, it’s simple. You just create a post and publish it under a certain category. In Joomla, you have to choose what format you would like you post in: article, article list, blog, blog list, category list, and so on; in what menu to include; should it appear on the front page; what to link it to; what category; in what section… All those choices! ARH!
  4. If you ‘speak’ basic PHP, it’s easier to make a template. Joomla templates require a Joomla-way-of-thinking which you get accustomed to if you spend enough time on it. You have to divide your page in blocks – user1, user2, header and so on. However, with WordPress, it is more like what see is what you get. Make it, add a menu and you’re done.

Joomla +:

  1. Give you a lot of flexibility right from the Admin Panel without the need of modifying PHP code (BIG +). Lets say, I would like to have the same links to articles that are in a certain category through out a certain section or menus. Definitely, you could make it in WordPress, but then you would have to change the PHP Template file. With Joomla, you can pretty much choose where and what you would like to show up right from the Admin panel. It is very convenient if you constantly add content. Notice, above I say that WordPress is simpler and makes you think less and that’s a good thing, but, in some cases you would want to think more to impress your readers with the amount of detail.
  2. Full control over menus (BIG +). You can create as many menus as you would like. That is very powerful tool if you have a different navigation for different sections. Joomla comes packed with this feature, so it is easy to use. It is very simple to integrate jQuery, since you can assign names to the UL LI or DIV elements. Integrating a CSS dropdown menu can be a headache: looking for the right Joomla plug-in is time consuming. However, if you already have one on your HTML website, all you have to do is put the menu sections, headers, and submenus through the Admin Panel and you are ready. Joomla’s UL LI structure is pretty basic. Just make sure you CHECK in menu options to display ‘submenu’ elements so that it would not hide it.
  3. If you do not speak PHP, using Joomla is much easier to use (BIG +). Switching menu on and off, modify sections, adding boxes, fields is quite simple. No need for PHP knowledge what so ever. Just choose what to show from the Admin Panel. Want to transfer your HTML version into Joomla? No problem. Put your content into Custom HTML Modules and Articles and you are done. Each section can look different from each other easily. Whereas with WordPress, you can only achieve such flexibility by reading Tutorials about its PHP programming.
  4. It is good for big websites (BIG +). Creating and sorting 100+ pages (not blog posts)  is easier with Joomla due to its interface and control over what each page should display. WordPress is more of a generic template CMS, where as you can twist Joomla as you wish. Add section there, remove this article here, and so on. Its menu options will allow you to exclude content with one click.

So, as you can see, they are both awesome platforms, but you have to decide what is right for your needs.

Now, your turn. Which one do you usually choose?


About Nookeen

Posted on October 23, 2010, in Articles, Joomla, WordPress. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Great points, thanks for help!

  2. Nice post. I hadn’t thought that there might be an upside to joomla! I’ve found it a constant pain having to pick up someone elses work and the help system looks like a 9 year old wrote some of it!
    For me wordpress is just so much more elegant and better documented. You can customize menus now too btw.

    • Well yeah, come to think about it, WordPress’ style and design seems much more contemporary. Can’t argue with that! =) It IS much more elegant!

      As for documentation, I think Joomla is on the same level with WordPress. If you read some of Joomla Forum threads, you’ll notice that those guys who maintain it have a tremendous patience answering every question. I worked with ModX and CMS Made Simple… oh my… 50% of the time “you are on your own, pal”… In addition, most Joomla developers whose plugins I use have a very well structured documentation as well.

      Thanks for response!

  1. Pingback: Joomla vs WordPress: Top 4 Differences | Clockwork Design Group, Inc

  2. Pingback: Joomla vs WordPress: Top 4 Differences - Website Design Software

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