There are lot of CMS platforms where you can create your own website in a few steps and get great results.
After exploring the web in order to find an appropriate solution for a new upcoming project, I understood that there is not a clear winner and every CMS has its own pitfalls.
This post will introduce the Pros & Cons that I’ve encountered in the most popular CMS’s out there.
Before comparing between the platforms I will review the 3 major CMS platforms, Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla.
Lets go down the rabbit hole
Drupal vs WordPress vs Joomla
The most used CMS today is WordPress, with more than 50% of the market. WordPress gives you the ability to create your own website in 20 minutes with minimum efforts and maximum results.
Wordpress is the most user friendly CMS. It gives the admin the ability to control the website without the need to be a developer.
With thousands of plugins and beautiful themes, you are always a few clicks away from adding new features and changing the site’s layout.
In general, WordPress provides the easiest way to build new websites. This often serves as the major consideration, and positions WordPress as the most used CMS out there.
The second most used and yet the most complex CMS is Drupal.
Drupal, with about 17% usage, is a full package for building complex websites. Drupal, which started in the University of Antwerp, had no intention at first to become the platform which it is today.
Back in 2000, Drupal – which still didn’t have a name at the time – started with 8 students who wanted to share internet among each other in order to use one of the students’ ADSL connection. Later on they realized that something was missing, so Dries Buytaert, one of the students, was inspired to build a small website with a built-in web board to leave each other notes about the status of their network and chat about life events.
As time went by, Dries decided to release the software to other users. In January 2001 Drupal eventually got its name. The purpose was to enable others to use and extend the experimental platform so that more people could explore new paths for development.
Eventually, Dries’ vision was fulfilled and got even bigger than he had imagined.
Today, Drupal gives the admin the ability to create complex sites, with easy customizations by using other people plugin. With very little programming, your site will be capable of making everything.
Last but not least you can find Joomla!.
Joomla, which is the youngest among the three CMS platforms, was the result of forking of “Mambo” in August, 2005.
Joomla takes a bit of WordPress and a bit of Drupal. Although it is as simple as WordPress, or as complicated as Drupal, Joomla occupies the niche in-between.
Choosing your platform
When choosing your platform there are several things that you should consider:
1. What is your development experience?
2. How do you cope with new technology?
3. What is the main purpose of the website?
4. What is the complexity of the website, and how much code you expect to write?
5. Is the desired theme available or should it be developed?
Lets go and see the chart of Pros & Cons:
|About||Drupal is a powerful tool for semi-developers to build complex sites.
Unline Joomla or WordPress, Drupal requires some expertise and experience to operate.
|Joomla is something in between. While having a simple administration UI like WordPress, Joomla still requires code development which eventually requires some experience to operate.||WordPress is the most easy to use platform.
Wordpress gives you the ability to build your own simple website out of the box without the need to develop anything.
|Use cases||Drupal can be fully scalable and customized, but it requires the most technical expertise of the three CMS platforms.
You can develop almost everything on top of it, but you’ll need to commit yourself to learning the system.
Use Drupal for complex websites with custom content.
|Less complex than Drupal, more complex than WordPress.
With a relatively small effort you will begin understanding Joomla’s structure and terminology. Quickly you will have the ability to create fairly complex sites.
|In WordPress, developing is not required.
It’s intuitive and easy to get a simple site set up quickly.
Creation of new simple content such as pages and blogs can be easily done, but to achieve more than that it start to get messy.
|Features||Drupal has several powerful tools such as taxonomy, views, tags, categories, and organization of complex content.||Joomla’s best advantage are its strong social networking features.||The ease of use is the most valuable trait of WordPress. It is the user-friendly admin page that makes it very intuitive.
With little effort you can design and develop websites.
Lots of documentation and tutorials are out there, and also the community is very helpful.
|When to use||If you need a complex site with many content-types and you are managing several layers, then Drupal is your answer.||Joomla has the ability to be Drupal with some effort, and still has the intuitive admin like the one that WordPress provides.
I would use it only as a Social Networking website.
|Blogs, Blogs and Blogs.
If you want to create a simple blog with a delightful theme then WordPress is the answer.
There are many themes available with which you can easily create cool websites.
For simple websites and even relatively complex ones I would use WordPress, as it provides the admin with the best solution for changing the layout and controlling the content.
For more advanced and complex websites I would use Drupal.
I think that learning the “Drupalism” may take a while but after that, you can create anything you wish.
Drupal has a complex UI that can be learned in several days but the features that it gives you, you can’t find anywhere.
Drupal is worth learning because you’ll find many interesting features such as: notifications out of the box, rules to catch events, and views for rendering content with filter criteria.
And what about Joomla? I think that the main purpose for using it will be for a Social Networking platform.