Digitalization has become prominent in the modern era. More and more websites are getting developed every day. The process of web development can be done either using programming languages or with the help of CMS.

With the rise in software and web development, CMS is gaining popularity day by day. CMS is the Content Management System which enables web developers to create websites. It also helps the users to make changes in the website on their own. With the help of CMS, the users can edit the web content without the need for programming languages. This is an easy approach and web users highly prefer CMS if they want to customize their website.

Moreover, CMS is cost-effective and keeps the website up to date. It also improves search engine ranking and user experience. The most common CMS used nowadays are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Each of these has distinguishing features which make them unique from one another.

Content Management System can create the following content:

  • E-Commerce Websites
  • Social Networks
  • Portfolios
  • Business Websites
  • Forums
  • Blogs
  • Resumes

What is WordPress:

WordPress is the most popular CMS which is used to create and edit websites. It was created by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little and was released publicly in 2003 as a blogging platform. The blogging platform is available at WordPress.com while the CMS is available at WordPress.org. Today, around 59.3% of people use WordPress for web creation. There are 75 million websites in the internet world which are created by using WordPress. Thus, one in four websites is powered by WordPress. Moreover, around 33% of websites are created with the help of WordPress. The principle programming languages behind WordPress is PHP, SQL, and JavaScript.

WordPress is an open-source CMS which means anybody can create and edit a website for free using WordPress. In general words, WordPress is accessible to everyone even for those who do not know the programming language.

When WordPress was introduced to the world it was primarily a blogging platform. Today, WordPress is also used as web creation platform. WordPress has an amazing skill to create any type of website. It is interesting to know that the blog of a well-known company Microsoft is powered by WordPress. Another astonishing fact about WordPress is that its version 4.9 has been downloaded over 90 million times.

What is Joomla?

Joomla! is also a free open source CMS like WordPress. It was launched in 2005 and has been used as an alternative to WordPress since then. Joomla is used to create web content and powerful online applications. Moreover, Joomla is built on “model-view-controller app framework”. It is necessary to know the differences between Joomla CMS and Joomla Framework. Joomla CMS is a content management system which allows the users to create a website without the knowledge of programming languages. While Joomla Framework helps in the creation of PHP based applications.

It is the second most popular CMS around the globe. Joomla allows the user to create and manage a website. When creating website Joomla connects the user website to MySQL, MySQLi, or PostgreSQL database. These databases help in content creation and management. The primary focus of Joomla is on usability and extensible. This is the reason Joomla has received PACKT Open Source Content Management System Award thrice.

The market share on the Content Management System of Joomla is 6.3% however 3.1% of the websites are powered by it. Around 58 million websites are created by using Joomla and it is downloaded more than 93 million times.

There are many similarities between Joomla and WordPress. Like WordPress, the principle programming languages behind Joomla are also PHP and SQL. Moreover, it is also used to create and manage web content.

What is Drupal?

Drupal is the oldest CMS as it was launched in 2001. It is the third most popular CMS to create and manage websites. Drupal is also free and open source CMS. The overall market share of Drupal is 2.2% which makes 41 million functional websites created by Drupal. It is ready to use software which also includes web-based installers and add-on modules. Like WordPress and Joomla, is also based on PHP programming. It is interesting to know that due to some features Drupal is more famous than Joomla.

Comparison Between WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal:

The above-mentioned detail is a general description of Control Management Systems. However, there are some factors which are unique in the individual system. These factors make us able to distinguish and compare control management systems. The comparative factors which differentiate CMS are:

  • Cost & Expenses
  • The user or Beginner Friendliness
  • Technical Support
  • Ability to Customize the Website
  • Performance
  • Web Security
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Localization and Translation

Cost and Expenses:

When creating a website, the major concern of the client or user is the cost and expenses of the development process. In every web development procedure, the first question the client asks how much will this website cost?

All three CMS are open sourced and web creation is free at WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. However, it should keep in mind that although CMS is free, you must buy hosting to get the domain of your website. The other expenses in CMS are discussed below.

  • WordPress: In WordPress, web creation is free, but additional expenses include premium plug-ins, extensions, and themes. The price range of extensions is $29 to $299. However, WordPress offers a lot of features without any cost. In simpler words, WordPress is affordable, and it creates the website at very cheap scale. Another thing that should keep in mind that WordPress tends to be a little resource hungry than the other two competitors. Due to this reason, the cost of hosting can increase as the website grows.
  • Joomla: The costs and expenses of Joomla are similar to WordPress. Like WordPress, software is itself free, but the premiums and extensions are not. The price range of Joomla is similar to WordPress. As Joomla is a little complicated than WordPress, it can require professional help which costs money.
  • Drupal: It is a fast performance CMS. Drupal is less hardware hungry which means it reduces the server costs. The premium themes cost the same as the other two CMS candidates. However, Drupal is far more complex than WordPress and Joomla due to which it is not suitable for beginners. This means it requires professional help too which also costs.

The user or Beginner Friendliness:

The main selling feature of CMS is the user-friendliness. CMS has enabled the non-programmers to create, manage, and edit their websites. Therefore, beginners choose to create their website by using CMS. The usability ease is the main feature of any CMS according to which CMS can be compared.

  • WordPress: The main strength of WordPress is its user-friendliness. It is easy to use which is the reason behind its success. Moreover, the setup and installation are not complex that is why it is called 5 minutes installation. Website and content creation have become so easy with WordPress this is why it is preferred and recommended by many users. Furthermore, its user interface is very simple. Websites can be updated through an easy process. The process of posting images, content, and pages on WordPress is as easy as a normal word processor. Another feature of WordPress is page filters which let the user create and modify the look of the pages. For this graphical interface is used rather than coding. All these features of WordPress make it easy to use even for beginners.
  • Joomla: 

If these content management systems are compared according to their complexity, Joomla comes in between WordPress and Drupal. Joomla is suitable for moderately technical people as they can handle it more easily. Beginners may find it difficult to use Joomla. The installation of Joomla is as simple as WordPress. It only requires a software download and upload it on the server and run the installation script. There are many hosting services that offer Joomla one-click installation. Usability wise, Joomla also provides graphics interface like WordPress which allows the users to upload and manage media, article, menus, extensions etc. Like WordPress, Joomla also has page builders which helps the beginners to manage the page layouts. One-click updates are also available. In general words, Joomla offers much functionality but is complex to use.

  • Drupal: The installation process of Drupal is same as WordPress and Joomla. But it offers pre-installation extensions and modules and named them as distributions. With the help of the distributors, website creation becomes easy. Moreover, Drupal gives full access to the user to control the website. There are also so many customization options. Earlier, the Drupal interface was complicated, but it is quite in simpler form now. Besides all, Drupal is the most complicated CMS as compared to WordPress and Joomla. It is also complicated to use as it requires the knowledge of HTML, PHP, and other programming languages. The knowledge of programming languages helps to make an adjustment in the website e.g. web updating. As it requires much technical knowledge it is not an easy option for beginners.

Technical Support:

Technical support is the main feature of any service provider. Paid services provide full information of technical support by guiding the user were to contact in case of any technical issue. Open source services usually do not have an official technical support system.

  • WordPress: The WordPress might not provide direct technical support but due to its popularity many internet communities help the user in case of technical issues. The official support forums of WordPress are also updated by volunteers. WordPress also offers manuals such as WordPress Codex, documentation, and handouts which help the user with technical problems. Moreover, there are many blogs available on the internet which provide free services to guide the user about WordPress. Besides this, hosting services also handle the technical issues of any CMS. For technical maintenance, WordPress keeps its websites updated by itself.
  • Joomla: It offers quick support system at the official help portal. The users can ask and discuss technical problems at the help Moreover, there are many third-party services including blogs which helps as a support system. Besides, documentation and mailing lists also help. Technical maintenance wise, Joomla updates more frequently as compared to WordPress.
  • Drupal: The users can get a guideline about technical issues concerning Drupal from chat groups, support forums, and documentation. It also comes with a regular update cycle.

Ability to Customize the Website:

The website customizability is the key feature of content management systems. It gives web customization access to the user. There are diverse customization options offered by CMS.

  • WordPress: In WordPress, there is a diverse range of customization options. WordPress offers 55,000 plugins and several thousand themes. The user can change anything in the website from web designs to web functionality. Moreover, the user can choose a color scheme, page layout, widgets, custom menus, background and header images, and web design etc. The user can make any type of website using WordPress. However, the main root of WordPress is the creation of blogs.
  • Joomla: In Joomla, there are also many plugins and themes available. It offers 8,000 thousand Joomla extensions. Moreover, Joomla offers templates, modules, components, languages, etc. The modules, components, and plugins can be selected from the official directory. However, there is no official directory for themes. For that, the user must find its own trusted sources. Unlike WordPress, Joomla does not offer free directories. Also, paid extensions are available in Joomla. It mainly creates social networking, membership, and forum websites
  • Drupal: In Drupal, there are a lot of customization options. Drupal offers 40,000+ modules and more than 2,600 themes. Anything is changeable in Drupal but because of its complexity, it is more suitable for developers. For better results, the client and developers should work together to create an outstanding website using Drupal. With Drupal large, custom, enterprise-level websites are built.

Performance:

The website performance is judged only on the page loading time. It is concerned by both visitors and search engines. If a website takes a lot of time to open it will give a bad impression to those who visit it. At that time the content and web design will not matter.

  • WordPress: Page loading time in WordPress is a weak spot. WordPress provides backward compatibility and supporting older versions to make its performance slow. As it is mentioned earlier, if hosting service develops the website the page loading matter and anything related to it would be handled by the hosting service itself. Besides, there are many options available to speed-up WordPress.
  • Joomla: In Joomla, performance boosting functionality is a built-in feature. It has a good reputation when it comes to performance. It allows you to enable caching and Gzip compression from the dashboard. Moreover, you can minimize HTTP requests and plugins to speed up the website. Furthermore, hosting services can also help to increase the speed of the website.
  • Drupal: It is extremely scalable. Drupal produces the fastest loading websites. It is less resource intensive which makes it easier to support many pages and countless visitors. Moreover, extensions are also available to speed up the website.

Web Security:

The internet world is full of scams and threats. Systems get hacked automatically which affects the credibility of the website. The CMS should be updated enough to deal with these types of security threats.

  • WordPress: Due to its popularity, WordPress has become the target of many hackers. It provides automatic security updates but still, WordPress websites are on great security threat. One main reason behind it is the use of third-party plugins.
  • Joomla: In Joomla, the security of the website is also under threat just like WordPress. The website security can be maintained by the user or hosting service from the back-end. Moreover, extensions are available to increase the security of the website.
  • Drupal: It is the most secure CMS than the other two. Extensions are also available to make the web more secure. Additionally, modules which create security reports are also offered by Drupal. Anyhow, it faces threats but as compared to WordPress and Joomla it is more secure.

Search Engine Optimization:

SEO generates traffic for the website, and it is the main concern of web owners. The creation of URL, web content, web design depends on the CMS used. The web content makes the website SEO friendly.

  • WordPress: WordPress creates SEO friendly content and custom URLs. SEO friendly content is created by using WordPress plugins such as Yoast SEO which analyze the content and make it user-friendly. There are themes also which makes the website SEO friendly.
  • Joomla: It is a complicated system and less SEO friendly than WordPress. Anyhow, Joomla offers extensions to make the content SEO friendly.
  • Drupal: It offers built-in caching for faster page loading time and meta tags. Extensions and plugins are also available. Drupal version of Yoast SEO is also available. Furthermore, it offers designs to make the website more attractive.

Translation and Localization:

Companies and websites operate internationally that is why it is important for a website to have a translation feature. The translation according to the localized area is beneficial for a website as it appeals visitors from different areas of the world.

  • WordPress: It offers the feature of multiple language translation. Moreover, it allows the developers to make the themes and plugins translatable.
  • Joomla: Its best feature is localization and translation as it offers translation packs available in multiple languages. Furthermore, extensions are also available for the translation of the content.
  • Drupal: It offers translation as a built-in feature. There is no need to install any extensions for it. Moreover, Drupal translate the content with a different level of competition. Multi-languages are present in Drupal.

All these competitive features of content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal make the user decide which CMS would be better to create his/her website. Every CMS is unique and has its own features. It depends upon the requirements of the website that which CMS is best for it.