WordPress VS Joomla: Our Personal Opinions With These Platforms
This is an opinion piece on WordPress VS Joomla. In our series of articles on individual CMS platforms, about the strengths and weaknesses of WordPress and the strengths and weaknesses of Joomla—Now we would like to give our personal takes on the platforms and which we like to work with the most.
Read Stephanie and Geoffrey Pyrzynski's opinions on these two platforms.
We've been designing websites since 2007 and over the years we've liked and disliked some parts of the two platforms that we use to build websites for our clients. So here are our thoughts on the positives and negatives of both, and why we like one over the other.
Geoffrey's Opinions On WordPress VS Joomla
It's no secret that I prefer Joomla over WordPress. I've been working with it for years, since Joomla 1.5! I love the versatility of it, so I just don't see the hype for WordPress. Yes, WordPress is "easier" for the regular non-web designer person to get started with it, however, it will allow you to make a lot of mistakes right away and you won't even know it (from a tech standpoint). I feel that WordPress is trying to become something it's not when it starts to become more than a blog. If your website needs to be a blog —then that's great!
Otherwise, my default goes to Joomla. It does have more of a learning curve, but to me, it's well beyond WordPress in raw power. Right "out of the box" it can handle more SEO without needing additional plugins. It also has a powerful user section that can handle user accounts and section off parts of the website to users of specific levels more elegantly than WordPress.
I also like how the database is more organized for Joomla than WordPress. If I need to jump in and start modifying database entries, I can easily see them in their own tables and I'll be able to more quickly change values. I do also like how, at the time of this writing, Joomla supports PHP 8, which is very fast! One of the things that gives me pleasure from SEO web design is making the websites as fast as they can be —and PHP 8 helps a great deal!
Stephanie's Opinions On WordPress VS Joomla
Geoff and I bicker once in a while over whether a new client should have their website built on Joomla or WordPress. While he is very cut and dry that he is team Joomla all the way, I honestly feel very on the fence when it comes to choosing my preferred platform. But, I must admit that technically WordPress overtakes Joomla in my book by at least a yard. However, I mostly only recommend WordPress to new clients who for sure want to be very active with their website' and hands-on with creating new content for it. Also, WordPress is built for content marketing and non-developers. You can create clean and appealing pages and articles more efficiently and close to what you want them to look like with out a lot of tinkering.
WordPress is more for the right-brained, Joomla is more for the left-brained.
WordPress works like a dress you can more easily shape and stitch, bedazzle to your hearts content. But WordPress' structure splits at the seems over time, and if you don't tend to it regularly, the little problems become more insidiously difficult to fix as you accumulate more content. And the reason I say those things things is because WordPress depends on plugins to achieve those easier to achieve looks—plugins from different developers from around the world—who might abandon their plugin and well...those pages and articles that used the cool thing that the plugin did for you will need your attention again. And if you don't check back on some old articles, you risk people being turned off by the untended because they will most likely not look the way they were meant to 5-10 year ago. So you've got to pay attention to your plugins and how often they are updated—and whether they've been abandoned or are weighing down your servers or negatively impacting your search indexability.
But Joomla is like stone that you sculpt—and it will weather every CMS and plugin update that your website will go through. You might not be able to do some of the fancier things that plugins dependent WordPress can let you do, but you have more steady control and peace of mind. It might take a little help from your development team to achieve those fancier tricks, but in the long run you won't have to worry about your content on the Joomla platform.