Trying to decide between Joomla vs WordPress for your next website? While there are tons of good reasons to use WordPress, we recognize that WordPress isn’t the only content management system to help you build a website.
We’ll dig into each content management system and give you a better idea of each platform’s pros and cons.
And, to make this even more helpful, we’re going to follow the exact same format as our Drupal vs WordPress comparison so that you can easily compare all three platforms against one another.
Both WordPress and Joomla are self-hosted, open-source content management systems that have been around for well over 10 years.
Originally launched as a blogging platform in 2003, WordPress is now a multi-purpose content management system that powers over 32% of all the websites on the Internet (including a lot more than just blogs!). In terms of market share of the content management system market, WordPress holds an even more dominant 59.9% market share.
Launched in 2005, Joomla is almost just as old as WordPress. Behind WordPress, Joomla is the second most popular content management system, powering around 3% of all the websites on the Internet and holding 6.4% of the content management system market.
While Joomla still retains this second place crown for now, its content management system market share has been shrinking since at least 2010 and its overall share of the website market shrank for the first time ever in 2017.
You can see this trend play out visually if you look at a Google Trends comparison between “WordPress” and “Joomla” from 2004 to present. Joomla was actually leading or equal until 2010 when WordPress began dominating:
All that to say – WordPress is still growing, while Joomla is slowly moving in the opposite direction. That doesn’t mean Joomla has nothing to offer, though!
If you search around for Joomla vs WordPress, you can find plenty of ideological battles between developers on both sides of the spectrum. In general, here are some of the broad reasons you’ll see on each side for why one platform is the best:
While Joomla is a more beginner-friendly option than something like Drupal, WordPress is still the easiest and fastest way to create a website.
If you’re just creating a “regular” website with static content and/or a blog, it’s possible to get up and running with something that looks good in just a couple of hours.
Most hosts include WordPress autoinstallers or even come with preinstalled WordPress.
From there, the WordPress interface is easy enough that most casual users can start creating content right away.
Newer additions like the WordPress Customizer now also make it easy for people to make safe, code-free theme changes, which is especially helpful as more and more WordPress themes are embracing the Customizer in interesting ways:
For more advanced content designs, the myriad of page builder plugins make it easy to build layouts using drag and drop and the upcoming Gutenberg editor will make it even easier for users to create unique content.
Like WordPress, most web hosts sport a Joomla auto-installer that makes it easy to get the Joomla software installed.
From there, you’ll need to put a little more time and effort into your site, though. As we said, Joomla uses a combination of Articles and Categories. So before you start creating content, you need to create categories for the type of content you want to create.
It’s nothing too overwhelming, but it is a bit more of an involved process than WordPress, especially for non-developers.
The Joomla TinyMCE Article editor is almost identical to WordPress’ implementation of the TinyMCE editor, so there’s no huge difference on that front:
But those who aren’t already familiar with the Joomla interface are going to be bogged down by the sheer number of options available in the various admin screens:
With that being said, Joomla does have some user-friendly editing tools, like page builder extensions, that make things a little less developer-oriented.
Speaking of extensions…
Both Joomla and WordPress offer multiple add-on types that you can use to extend your site:
WordPress’ extension marketplace is larger in terms of sheer numbers, but both platforms have a good deal of variety.
Currently, WordPress has:
Currently, Joomla has:
There’s no official Joomla template library, so it’s hard to get a number for available Joomla templates. Some basic Google searching turns up a wealth of (mostly) premium Joomla templates, though.
The core software of both Joomla and WordPress is secure. Additionally, each platform also features third-party plugins or extensions to add additional security, as well as easy in-dashboard update systems to help keep everything up-to-date.
With that being said…human error is always a real thing and, because each platform is extensible, there are bound to be security issues.
According to Sucuri’s data, Joomla sites seem to experience a higher number of hacked sites in comparison to their market share. But again, there’s nothing inherent in each that makes one platform more or less secure in the majority of situations.
According to Sucuri’s Hacked Website Report – 2016/Q3, WordPress accounted for 74% of the hacked websites in Sucuri’s sample, which is ~25% larger than its market share of 58.9% (at the time):
Despite that, WordPress actually fared better than Joomla according to Sucuri’s data…
In that same report, Joomla sites accounted for 17% of all the hacked websites, which is ~132% higher than Joomla’s 7.3% market share at the time:
Interestingly, though, 84% of the hacked Joomla sites were running out of date software at the time of infection, compared to just 61% for WordPress sites:
This bolsters the idea that, “platforms aren’t insecure. Out-of-date platforms are insecure.”
If you’re currently using Joomla and are looking for an easy way to migrate to WordPress, here are a couple plugins we recommend checking out.
Like our Drupal comparison, we think asking “which is better?” by itself is a flawed question. Both platforms have their advantages and neither is superior in 100% of all situations.
Instead, you should ask, “which platform is better for the specific needs of the website that I’m creating?”
WordPress is probably better for the vast majority of websites and should be your default choice for most situations because:
But if you are a developer, or are willing to hire one, Joomla can give you more flexibility for displaying different types of content and managing users.
The one thing to consider here is that Joomla’s market share is declining, which isn’t the case for WordPress or Drupal.
While Joomla is still second place and not going away anytime soon, there’s something to be said for picking a growing content management system when you’re looking towards the future.
Do you agree or disagree when it comes to Joomla vs WordPress? Let us know in the comments!
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