Category Archives: WordPress

Joomla vs. Drupal vs. WordPress

Did you open the source code of an almost empty Drupal 7 original theme? Did you see the amount of @import files? Guess what this is going to do to your website… That’s right, will slow it down. It annoys me to have all this code loading to every page and I do not even use it. I implement a lot of JQuery to make animated websites, and in case you did not know, JavaScript can really clog-up your loading process, so can CSS. Don’t you just hate it when you click a menu button and after about 10 seconds a page is finally loaded? A lot of time, it is due to your JavaScripts.

With Joomla 1.6 release it became obvious that many developers turned away from Joomla. Very few plugins were actually updated to meet the new version’s requirements. Drupal 7 seems a bit overpowering due to all extra elements that it forces upon its content. I am not clear why developers decided to do it, Drupal 6 did not have this problem. As for my experience with WordPress, surprisingly, it was able to satisfy most of my needs: plugin availability and easy plugin install/uninstall, great support, most elements work just like they should from the 1st attempt. What I do miss is Replicate-like plugin that Joomla has that allows you to fully sync your Remote version from your Local Machine with one click. Other than that, WordPress is very flexible, easily customizable, and with great documentation. This is my conclusion after working with these CMS’.

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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, nookeen.com, 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?

…WordPress Is The Best CMS, Really… ?

Recently, I looked at numerous CMS’ to find out if there is anything new going on on the market. Again, the best ones are the those for which you have to pay for (Expression Engine).  But I also saw some reasonable improvements in CMS’ that many have already forgotten. A lot of developers say that Joomla is about to be eliminated. However, a significant difference between 1.5 and its predecessor makes me believe that Joomla will still be with us and probably soon will have more features to match the new line if CMS’ like MODx and SilverStripe.

I discovered a great article about it at  SpyreStudios.com. A lot of users mentioned WordPress as a leading CMS. Very interesting choice, I must say. I thought that WordPress is perfect for blogs, but using it for a simple website or a rather large one did not make any sense to me. I sat and studied why it is actually so popular. Then I discovered that many modern web designs resemble blog sites, e.g. Bredova.ru (uses MODx CMS). Among layouts like this, it seems like WordPress is the leader.

However, let’s say I need more. I want to implement numerous modules, articles, and menus onto my website. Then what? If I use WordPress, I basically have to re-write the whole CMS to fit my needs by hand. PHP and WordPress command knowledge required. I don’t like this idea. If I wanted to write a website from scratch, I would use Netbeans or some other utility. I want something that I can put in my already-made XHTML design and utilize it without major PHP rewriting. Why should I do that if there are many other CMS’ that already have it all built in. I spent hours checking the features of each CMS and came to the conclusion that, yes, some are more advanced than others (e.g. unlike Joomla, some CMS can manage sub-domains or multiple sites), but mostly, they are very similar.

This brought me to the conclusion that using what you know best, if it does the job, may save you a lot of time. Unless you have a spare time or something is wrong with a CMS you use, don’t waste your time. Use the one you know. Some CMS may lack features, then you have no choice but to switch. But it’s for the best, choose well this time which one to stick with… However, judging by how fast technology progresses, it’s difficult to forecast if a leading CMS today will stay as technologically advanced in 2 years, even with all the updates.