Joomla or WordPress – Choosing the Right CMS

Pros and cons of each CMS platform.

When deciding to build yourself a brand new website, you are flooded with so many options in terms of which Content Management System (CMS) to use. Two of the best out there today are WordPress and Joomla, and debates have been ongoing as to which one is better to use. The answer greatly depends on what you will be building your website for and how familiar you are with website design. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but it’s important to look at the features of each to determine which to use.

WordPress Overview

WordPress, famed as the CMS utilized by bloggers around the world, is an extremely easy to use website builder for any type of site, and is not limited to just blogs, as some may believe. Posts and pages can be easily created from the WordPress dashboard. There are also thousands of themes and plugins out there that once installed, require hardly any tweaking unless you feel like getting your hands dirty.

WordPress has a very slight learning curve and you won’t need a giant book to figure out how to use most of the features. Menus are easy to navigate and with drag and drop customization, adding things like widgets or ad banners is extremely simple to do.

Google also seems to heavily favor WordPress and most sites get their content indexed rather quickly, usually within a day or two from when your site is first created. WordPress is also an extremely stable platform that can handle tons of visitors without breaking down.

Some Disadvantages of WordPress

WordPress relies strictly on the installation and usage of themes, so if you do not know much about PHP or CSS, your options are somewhat limited in terms of customization. In order to change your site, some aspects cannot be easily altered as they are using a program like Dreamweaver. You must edit the code yourself or hire a coder to do it for you.

Also, in order to change the order of how pages and categories are displayed, they must all be changed manually, as there is no simple and quick option to change them all at once. This flaw is more time consuming than anything.

Joomla Overview

Joomla is another fantastic CMS than can be customized to your heart’s content and offers a variety of options that offer both flexibility and a powerful admin panel. Both developers and designers love Joomla for this exact reason, as it is much easier to work with than WordPress in this regard. Awesome and feature-rich websites can be created with various menus, multi-level modules, and along with a great API, Joomla sites can be connected with other websites for creation of advanced e-commerce systems, applications, or membership sites.

Some Disadvantages of Joomla

While Joomla really shines in terms of customization, this is also somewhat of a drawback if you yourself are not a programmer or web developer. Joomla’s navigation menus and customization options are confusing, so if you are somewhat new at designing websites and want to use Joomla, it’s best to hire someone who already knows what they’re doing.

Many Joomla sites are also not looked at as very SEO-friendly by search engines, although plugins can be added. Even though these plugins can be added, you cannot just use a “set it and forget it” approach, as these programs require many tweaks in order for search engines to find your site.

So Which Platform Should You Use?

Both WordPress and Joomla offer their advantages and disadvantages when creating a new website. You need to ask yourself what you will be using the website for as well as how experienced you are in terms of coding and tweaking things. While WordPress is very easy to learn and setup, it offers limits in terms of customization without tweaking files of code yourself. However, plugins can easily be added with no additional setup required and widgets can be added and deleted with ease. WordPress works well if you are creating a blog, news site, or any other type of informational site. While an e-commerce platform can be run off of WordPress, it isn’t recommended because of the lack of customization.

Joomla is fantastic in that it allows for heavy customization and is better for creating sites with membership areas or an e-commerce store. However, Joomla comes with a strict learning curve and if you don’t know what you’re doing, a web developer should be hired. Also, Joomla is more resource intensive of your server, so if additional plugins are added and your database is not altered for better performance, your site could easily break after too many visitors.

When creating a brand new website, Joomla and WordPress are fantastic CMS platforms. Although they have their advantages and disadvantages, both can be utilized to create fantastic looking websites with creatively designed layouts.

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