I am somewhat technically inclined, with most of my experience posting webpages with css and html, I am now looking to build out an authority site, and so CMS seems the way to go.
Although Joomla is said to be more of a challenge to master, it is also said to be more flexible and powerful than Wordpress, so I am inclined to work with Joomla.
Where I want to bring the site is somewhat open ended and so I want that flexibility and power, I do have some questions about Wordpress and Joomla, but perhaps someone could first sum up the advantages and disadvantages of both and then I could kick in some unanswered questions.
Perhaps suggested books on editing templates, and any other unrecognized but important considerations would also be appreciated.
As mentioned, I am somewhat technically inclined, and I am looking for both the flexibility in look and feel and the marketing options of CMS.
Thanks for responding, I have some questions, and some misconceptions. Although simplicity is important, flexibility, power, with an eye to expandability in the realm of SEO, and complete control of the look and feel is paramount.
One misconception I have is that Wordpress is dumbed down for the sake of simplicity, with that implicit lack of control. Another misconception would be that Wordpress may trump the other packages with addon’s and 3rd party plugins facilitating that simplicity but also being more practically useful.
I really only want to take on one CMS, so any input on my delusions would be appreciated.
If you only want to take on one CMS, I would look at a broader field that just Joomla and WordPress. There are many, many powerful and flexible CMS systems. Joomla and Wordpress are only two of them. Have a look at Expression Engine, Drupal, Cushy, etc…
So, does popularity breed contempt or, is the reason Wordpress is so popular is that it just gets the job done, I still feel that I will be going with either Joomla or Wordpress, and my requirements remain best in class SEO, and complete control of the look and feel of the website.
So which of the two would you choose?
Following source, Wikipedia…
WordPress is used by over 14.7% of Alexa Internet’s “top 1 million” websites and as of August 2011 manages 22% of all new websites.
As of November 2011, there are over 8,600 free and commercial extensions available from the official Joomla! Extension Directory and more available from other sources. It is estimated to be the second most used CMS on the Internet after Wordpress.
They’re both very good CMS’s, and either one will get your job done and meet your requirements.
Personally, if I’m doing something a little “bloggy,” then I’ll instantly gravitate towards wordpress. And if it’s something a little “less bloggy,” it would be Joomla. And if it’s something where I know I’m going to build out in to a complex application where I’ll need full control over the database model, as well as creation of custom data objects (and relationships between those objects) … then I’ll typically go with something built around more of a framework. Drupal, ExpressionEngine or Silverstripe (my personal fave) all fall in that general category.
And if it doesn’t really need any of these requirements besides just a simple way to edit a page without digging in to the HTML … then something like Cushy makes a lot more sense. Or even Concrete5 (very cool cms by the way). If that’s all you need, then anything else will just be overkill.
As for the SEO stuff … that’s all going to be about what you know about SEO and the good practices you follow. No CMS is going to do that for you.
Ok, so if you’re going to limit your choices between WordPress and Joomla, I would pick WordPress every time. WordPress has become a much more real CMS since the Version 3 distribution and I don’t think there is anything offered by Joomla that you can’t achieve with WP3.
By the way, you can’t believe all the numbers stats give you. My bet is that a great deal of those new WordPress sites are just free blogs at WordPress.com… I created a few last year myself when I was trying some things out for a client before committing them to a custom website.
Awasson, thanks for your reply, I was thinking the same thing as far as the Wordpress numbers are concerned. So, in a one on one, bare knuckle brawl you would choose Wordpress over Joomla, where, does the distinct advantage go to Wordpress?
Not to speak for awasson. He obviously knows what he’s doing.
But my feeling is that it’s just a personal preference for him. Others have their own preferences … and for me, I would never start with a “defacto” CMS. It’s always about which one is going to fit the requirements and will be the most efficient for me to use for that particular project.
In that sense, I think there are a number of things that Joomla does better … and a number of things Wordpress does better. Just depends on what you need to do with it … and what your priorities are. But there are PLENTY of situations where I would gravitate towards Joomla over Wordpress, so I think using a blank statement like “every time” is way over-simplifying things.
Thanks all for all the great replies, as a starting point I will try to map out my site with Joomla, with an eye to Wordpress if things are not working out, my sense is that CMS strategies holds for both of them, so what I learn with Joomla to some extent is transferable. On that note, could someone dive in with a suggestion on a good book(s), I could use as a reference for Joomla, and also suggestions for Wordpress.
“Drawbacks of a Joomla CMS
One of the biggest drawbacks of a Joomla CMS is that it lacks SEO friendly URLs and code. While SEO plug-ins can be added to make a Joomla CMS more optimized for search engines, not everyone will know to do this, nor will the plug-in compare to a CMS that is internally designed to be SEO friendly. This is not a small detail. Regardless of how fantastic a business website is, or how many bells and whistles it has – if Google can’t find it, then consumers can’t find it. Another potential drawback is that even if an SEO-plug-in is added to a Joomla CMS, it may require a lot of manual changes in addition to what the plug-in modifies. Additionally, most SEO plug-ins only deal with one or two aspects of on-site SEO, such as page titles, meta descriptions or meta-data, and URLs. This means several plug-ins would have to be installed in order to really optimize a website for the search engines.”
Yeah, I did way oversimplify things and it’s definitely a preference thing… Joomla has always rubbed me the wrong way. I’ve seen lots of decent sites built with it so I thought it was just me but when I’ve asked other really talented developers about their take on it, they’ve indicated that they also found the administrative tools clunky and the user experience lack luster compared to other systems. That said, I think WordPress is rapidly closing the gap between being a simple blog tool and a full featured CMS.