Content management systems (CMS) are the way of the present and foreseeable future when it comes to building websites. Although knowing how to code can be a useful skill, it is not a necessity for webmasters. Instead of typing in line after line of HTML, a good CMS can be used to have a website up and running in a matter of minutes.
Of all of the content management systems available to webmasters, WordPress is probably the best-known and most widely used. Its simplicity, ease of use, and multiple plugins make it a versatile platform for establishing a website. Some webmasters require a little bit more power behind their sites, however. This is where Joomla and Drupal come into play.
After WordPress, Joomla is the second most widely used CMS on the market today. Its major advantage over Drupal is that it takes less technical knowledge to set up, and is a middle ground in terms of complexity between Drupal and WordPress. It is also a platform perfected for social networking and eCommerce sites, giving it more power than WordPress which is more suited for blogs.
Knowing some of the basics of PHP and MySQL are helpful when setting up a site with Joomla. Even without this knowledge, a website can be built. It will take more time and knowledge than WordPress, but this price comes with the benefit of additional power. Webmasters that get stumped trying to set up their website need not fear. A friendly and helpful support community is available, and there are many Joomla gurus for those willing to pay for the service.
Joomla has a lot more to offer than Drupal in the arena of plugins and customization. This is likely due to the lower learning curve for developers. At any rate, webmasters that do not want to spend money on plugins or themes will find Joomla appealing since free extensions are widely available which can add more power and flare to a website without breaking the bank.
In terms of security, Joomal is more innately secure than WordPress, but it is not updated as often, making it potentially more vulnerable. Some third-party extensions can also prove to be malicious, so webmasters must exercise caution when installing new plugins.
Joomla lags behind Drupal and even WordPress when it comes to SEO. WordPress offers many more SEO plugins, and Drupal offers cleaner code and SEO functionality by default. Being in the middle is not always a good thing. Despite this flaw, a Joomla site can still be optimized with enough work.
Although using Drupal is easier than coding everything from scratch, it certainly has a steeper learning curve when compared to WordPress and Joomla. Do not let this learning curve scare you though, since Drupal is constantly being updated, and it becomes more and more intuitive with each new release.
Webmasters that require complex websites will want to choose Drupal. Smaller businesses will probably find Drupal to be too advanced to suit their needs, and thus, not worth putting in the time or effort to learn (or the money to hire a Drupal professional). Larger businesses or entrepreneurs with long-term goals of exponential growth will find Drupal well worth the additional effort.
Drupal is highly customizable, just as a CMS should be. Unlike WordPress is Joomla, however, customization requires a bit of money since most plugins (or “modules”, as they are called) are not free. Website themes is another department that Drupal lacks in. Knowledge of web design or a willingness to pay a quality web designer are necessities if one wants a good-looking Drupal site.
When it comes to security, Drupal has other CMSs beaten by a slight margin. Not only is it technically more secure, its comparatively lower rate of usage makes it a less popular target for hacking communities. This is no excuse for carelessness though; a Drupal site can be hacked just like any other if proper security precautions are not taken.
Clean code is an issue that many overlook when they are optimizing their sites for search engines. This is where Drupal really shines. Compared to its competitors, Drupal tends to generate the cleanest code, making it one of the best options for SEO purposes. This is without adding a bunch of SEO modules as well.
When webmasters need a site that is a bit more power under the hood, Joomla and Drupal are great choices over WordPress. Between these two platforms, Drupal is more powerful, and is suitable for social media sites that are expected to have hundreds or thousands of users. Joomla, on the other hand, is better suited for small or medium-sized businesses since it is easier to set up while still offering more power than WordPress.