Joomla vs. WordPress - Which is Right for You?


Joomla versus WordPress

At some point during an initial consultation, the client will ask, “Which is better, Joomla or WordPress?” And while I’d love to offer a definitive answer, in reality, it’s entirely subjective to the client’s needs.

Vivid Vision jumped on the Joomla bandwagon back in 2008 with the release of Joomla 1.5. Ten years later, we’re on the cusp of the Joomla version 4.0 release. With ten years of programming, design, building, hosting, and maintenance experience on the Joomla platform, I can assure you Joomla is the most robust and versatile mainstream content management system available today—but…it is not for everyone.

To help with this discussion, let’s begin by defining a few things. For example, what exactly is a content management system or CMS and how does it differ from a static or regular website?

One might think of a static website as pages in a book. They are what they are and no matter how many times you return to a particular page, the words on that page don’t change. This is an accurate metaphor for a static website. Each page is coded to say certain things and then the pages are linked together. Twenty years ago, nearly all websites were created this way. But this is 2018 and things have changed.

Modern websites constantly change and update their content. In some cases, the content is updated while the website visitor is watching the page. This ability to update is built on a system where the webpage’s content is retrieved from a database and the webpage is assembled on the fly. This function is at the heart of a CMS and is what makes today’s websites dynamic, meaning their content is constantly changing. Modern websites are also responsive, meaning each page’s content is updated and designed to fit on the visitor’s screen regardless of whether that screen is a desktop, notebook, or mobile device.

The way it works is a visitor clicks a link to go to a website. The website’s server receives the request to display a certain page. The content manager then retrieves the requested data from the database and formats the data to display correctly on the visitor’s monitor. Once the retrieval and formatting is complete, the page is sent to the visitor. All of this happens in a matter of seconds. The mechanism responsible for receiving the request to display a page, retrieving the necessary information from the database, and formatting that data to display correctly on the visitor’s display is the job of the CMS and both Joomla and WordPress are CMSs or content management systems.

Additionally, the visitor can enter content that is collected by the CMS and stored into the database. This is what happens when you submit a form.

What a CMS is designed to do is what makes one CMS different from another. It is what makes Joomla different from WordPress.

At its heart, WordPress is a blogging platform. It’s a CMS designed with features and tools needed for blogging. Over the years, WordPress has evolved into a robust CMS capable of much more than simple blogging, but achieving this added functionality was accomplished by adding on to the existing core. Let me use a metaphor to illustrate my meaning.

Think of WordPress as Legos. You can build virtually anything by connecting the blocks together but no matter what your build, you still have a collection of blocks.

Joomla, on the other hand, was designed primarily as a CMS that could be molded to deliver whatever function was needed. One might think of Joomla as artist’s clay that can be molded and shaped into whatever design and function the artist desires. When the artist’s work is done, the result is a single integrated system—not a collection of blocks. But this kind of integrated system comes at a price that is often beyond the average user’s ability or willingness to pay. That price is a profound learning curve or steep development costs.

Now, with that said, Joomla has its drawbacks and is not for everyone. But neither is WordPress for everyone. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both content management systems.

    WordPress Pros:
  • Simple Installation
  • User Friendly Interface – Novices can be up and running in little time
  • Virtually Maintenance Free – Automatic Updates greatly simplifies upkeep though add-in widgets must still be updated manually.
  • Tons of free themes, templates, and widgets that add style and function.
    WordPress Cons:
  • Difficult to Customize
  • Popular Target for Hacking — If you don’t know how to implement security, you’ll get spammed from Hither to Yon and back again.
  • Support for only one template or theme at a time.
    WordPress is Best Suited For:
  • Blogging
  • Portfolios
  • Online Magazines & News
  • Small Business — Blending static pages with blog content
  • In-House Management — Business that want their staff to maintain the site.
    Joomla Pros:
  • Superior User Control and Administration
  • Robust Component functions such as ecommerce, project managers, customer relationship management (CRM), email marketing, to name a few.
  • Supports using multiple templates
    • Different “themes” can be applied to parts of the site
    • Themes can even be applied to individual pages
  • Virtually unlimited design and function potential
    • If you can imagine it, it can probably be built on Joomla
    Joomla Cons:
  • Maintenance Heavy
  • Steep Learning Curve
  • Development Costs
    Joomla is Best Suited For:
    • eCommerce Sites
    • Sites with 100s or 1,000s of pages
    • Sales, Marketing, Email, Promotions from a single location
    • 100% Custom Designed Sites
    • Multiple Users, Subscription Access

Summary:

While close to 80% of active websites use WordPress, there are many businesses for which WordPress is a poor fit. If that is you, then it’s Joomla to the rescue.

At Vivid Vision, we offer free consultations. The purpose of that is to determine your needs and ascertain which content management system is best suited to your needs.

Vivid Vision takes a different approach to its service packages than most developers. Unlike the traditional approach of shopping out each service to a different provider, Vivid Vision packages Joomla website design, building, hosting, domain services, training, support, maintenance, and marketing into a single one-stop solution. Claim your free consultation today and see how Vivid Vision can help you. Contact Vivid Vision

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