Joomla or WordPress?

My father was a carpenter, he built grain elevators for the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool for many years. One of the things he used to tell me is to always use the right tool for the job. This was usually just before I was going to do something stupid. Building websites is not much different, you need to use the right tool for the job.

I know that a lot of people out there love WordPress. They use WordPress for every website they make. They find it easy to use and customize and have a system for making their websites. The only problem is if you are using WordPress as a content management system you are using the wrong tool for the job. WordPress is a great platform for blogging, that is why I switched over from Blogger. But WordPress is not a great system for managing a website that is not a blog. The greatest features that I like about WordPress as a blog are the commenting and discussion and it is focused on the continual addition of new posts. WordPress also does a much better job of using RSS and allows syndication of the content very easily.

Tools - found at: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/506239Joomla, is a great system for creating websites of all sizes, but one thing Joomla is not very good at is blogging. Joomla lacks a few features out of the box that make a blog unique, mainly the commenting and discussion ability of WordPress. I also find the RSS features of Joomla to be lacking. Sure it offers RSS but it is often restricted to home page content. You can add extensions to Joomla to make it behave more like blogging software, but it is just not as good for some reason. Joomla on the other hand is great a building websites of all sizes and giving webmasters the ability to add in many features including a built in advertising manager that many websites need. Joomla can also be extended to include ecommerce, directories, and many other features. Sure WordPress has plugins but Joomla extensions can often add greater functionality to a website than any WordPress plugin.

I know I will probably get flak from both the die hard WordPress and Joomla users, but if you are planning on creating a new website make sure you choose the right tool for the job. If you want a website that is more traditional but is still easy to edit and add new content to use Joomla. If you want to blog use WordPress.

16 Responses to Joomla or WordPress?

  1. I fooled around with Wordpress for about a year before launching my site a few months ago. I decided it was the best option to help me get started writing online, eventhough I envision a day several years down the road when I will need to switch over to more powerful software.

    How easy is it to make a Joomla and Wordpress install get along? For example, would it work to keep using Wordpress for posts/articles/comments and Joomla for everything else, or would it be better to completely switch over to Joomla? It’s my understand that Joomla requires moderate programming chops. Have you noticed a trend away from the requirement, or will most people need to keep a programmer on hand to make changes to a Joomla-run site?

  2. I have never tried to mix Joomla and WordPress. I thought I read on the Joomla site at one time that there was a version of WordPress that could be integrated with Joomla, but I don’t see any mention of it with a quick search. There was also some kind of bridge for Joomla and WordPress at one time, but I don’t see any mention of that anymore either.

    It could be possible to run the two side by side. The templating is done very differently, but a creative webmaster could over come that I am sure. Perhaps with a common header and footer and then let either system take care of the sidebars.

    “It’s my understand that Joomla requires moderate programming chops. Have you noticed a trend away from the requirement, or will most people need to keep a programmer on hand to make changes to a Joomla-run site?”

    Joomla is pretty easy to use, for the most part it is click here click there. There are some tricks to using it that can be difficult. I have still not tried 1.5, they may have made it easier to use. Joomla certainly has more powerful options, in my opinion, that are built right in. Like basic ad management, polls and a basic link directory. They are basic however, but the extensions for Joomla are often as powerful as some complete websites. If you want to add a better directory you can download another component and install it. It is hard for me to say if you can be a programmer to run a Joomla site. I have several clients that update their sites using Joomla but that is after I set them all up. If they were on WordPress it would probably be no different.

  3. Thanks for the reply. What about the challenges of switching from Wordpress to Joomla? Is that hands on, piece by piece task or is it fairly easy for an experienced programmer to duplicate the site’s structure, pulling the posts, comments, and permalinks out of Wordpress’ database?

  4. You know I have never taken a site from WordPress to Joomla. It would be a challenge. I have heard of Joomla components that can import WordPress into Joomla. I have never tried them so I can’t tell you how well they work or even if they work. A good place to start might be the Joomla forums. Lots of good information there about how to do pretty much anything with Joomla.

  5. LGR, Thanks for the advice. Fortunately, any switch is pretty far off because I need to focus on writing for now. Down the road, I’m sure there will be even more options. Although, switching systems might not be much easier!

  6. I agree with about this, Joomla is a good tool for building website but even though it still lack few things that sometimes make our work a little mess or hard.Regards.

  7. Thanks for the comment. Sorry to edit your name, but I don’t allow keyword stuffed names. You are welcome to use your name, and nickname, I would probably even let your website name to go.

  8. The blogging component LGR was referring to is MojoBlog. It takes wordpress and stuffs it into Joomla. You’ll find more information at Joomlify

    MojoBlog is what I use for blogging on my Joomla installation, and I think it rocks!

  9. Nice article. I am a HEAVY fan of Joomla. However, I really see the automated social networking, bookmarking, and instant pings of Wordpress.

    I do a hybrid. I post my news articles, event entries etc into my Joomla Components and then blog about it at Wordpress. That gives me the best of both worlds and funnels my incoming links from bookmarking from the blog into my CMS.

    Great blog LGR!

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