Running a site focused on regular content and community interaction has gotten quite easier nowadays, thanks to the introduction and rapid development of various Content Management Systems (CMS). There are several top choices on the market right now – mainly WordPress, Joomla and Drupal – and they each have their advantages and disadvantages. If you’re still new to this field and are not sure which one would be ideal for you, read on to find out what the most important differences are.
By far the most popular choice of the three, downloaded more than twice as much as the next contender, Joomla, WordPress is a solid option with an established track record, and a product you can trust. It’s easy to set up, offers many free themes and plugins, and is used by a large number of commercial sites, including ones run by well-known companies.
Installing WordPress is as easy as making a few clicks, and the developers have actually put a lot of effort into streamlining the setup process and making it as comfortable as possible for newcomers. Even if you get stuck on some point along the way, there is no shortage of tutorials on the Internet to guide you through the process, including for more specialized types of WordPress installations.
The only downside to WordPress is that it can be a bit challenging to moderate larger sites that host a lot of user-generated content, but there are also plugins that can help simplify that task, so you shouldn’t find it too problematic in general.
Not as popular as WordPress but it still boasts an impressive number of downloads. Joomla is a very commonly used solution in many circles, and it can simplify some parts of the process compared to WordPress. For example, cleaning up unwanted content can be a bit easier with the default built-in tools that Joomla provides, although the system also takes some more general expertise in order to make full use of it.
It’s recommended that you go through the available learning materials on the Internet carefully before you run your Joomla installation for the first time, as there are some caveats to be aware of. However, once everything is up and running, you’ll find the platform to be a delight to use, and it can help you get to the point much faster than some of the alternatives.
Joomla is particularly good if you’re running a Web store or something more closely related to community interaction. If you are planning a site that will feature a large volume of user-generated content, Joomla is definitely a top contender and may even be a better choice than WordPress in some cases.
The least popular of the three at the moment, but no less useful than either of them. Drupal is still catching on but it’s moving forward quite fast, and there are some predictions that it may even overtake some of its competitors in the near future. Whether that will really happen is hard to tell, but it’s worth nothing that Drupal boasts an impressive number of plugins compared to the more frequently downloaded Joomla, and it also seems to have a more active theme designer community.
On the other hand, it can take a little longer to get a Drupal installation up and running, especially if you need to tweak some more specialized settings. Worry not though, you’ll find no shortage of materials online to help you get through the process from start to finish, and the community is very active as well, with many people always eager to help you out and resolve your problems.
There is no specific area where Drupal truly shines, as the platform is intended to be a more versatile solution that works in a variety of circumstances. Its power lies in its flexibility and ease of customization, and it’s very easy to adapt Drupal to various different purposes with just a few clicks. When you also consider the wealth of information on the Internet, it’s really the best choice for those who want full control over their sites and the content hosted on them.
Some users also believe that Drupal is more powerful and flexible when it comes to moderating unwanted content, but this mostly comes down to your own expertise and willingness to invest your free time into keeping your sites clean.
If you need something that’s quick and easy to set up, WordPress should do the job just fine for you. If you’re running a Web store or a site with a lot of planned community interaction, try Joomla. And if you need a good balance on all fronts, and something that’s very customizable and flexible in all aspects, Drupal should prove to be the ideal choice for you, as long as you’re willing to take the extra time to familiarize yourself with it.