What’s the best content management system? Which one offers the best web design and web development experience? Thousands of blog posts and reviews have been written on the merits of all the CMS tools available on the market, but choosing the right one for your particular project is not easy.
That’s because the right choice depends on many variables—the complexity of the website, your technical expertise, the projected future growth of your company, your budget for web design and web development, and so on. If you are a web design firm, the CMS you pick for a client will have a big impact on how well you meet their expectations.
One thing’s for sure: Worldwide, the three most popular CMS platforms are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. It’s likely that one of these three will suit your needs. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each platform and what each system is best suited for.
What Each Platform Is Best For
WordPress - WordPress was born as a platform for blogging, so it’s no coincidence that the most famous bloggers have WordPress sites, even if they’ve gotten more complex over the years. The platform has evolved since its birth, meaning you can now create more intricate websites with tons of possible functionalities, including a shopping cart. Still, WordPress is best suited to blogs and news sites, and it is an excellent choice for beginners who want a site that’s easy to manage.
Joomla - This CMS is more complex than WordPress, making it a strong candidate for e-commerce, social networking sites and more. If you’re just building a blog, however, Joomla is not the recommended choice—it would be like buying a Ferrari in order to drive to your mailbox and back.
Drupal - This is the most powerful CMS of the three. It is amazingly versatile, meaning you can use it for nearly any kind of project, including online stores, community forums and other complex sites. With Drupal, there is almost no limit to your options in terms of web design and web development.
What WordPress, Joomla and Drupal Have in Common
Of course, each CMS has different policies regarding software usage, different methods of integrating themes and plugins, and different security tools. But they share a few fundamental features:
- They are open-source software
- They support MySQL (though Drupal and Joomla also support other database management systems)
- They offer themes and plugins to enhance a site’s design and functionality
- They are primarily written in PHP
Pros and Cons of WordPress, Joomla and Drupal
Yes, they have a few similarities, but ultimately, it’s the distinct advantages and disadvantages of each platform that will determine your final choice. Figure out what you’re aiming for with this web development project and take a look at these pros and cons to see which CMS will best help you hit your target.
WordPress Pros and Cons
WordPress is by far the most popular content management system, and it owes its popularity to several appealing characteristics:
It’s user-friendly - WordPress is the most straightforward CMS, especially for inexperienced users. Building and running a website is relatively intuitive, and you don’t even have to know how to code to create something functional and attractive—WordPress offers plenty of easy-to-install plugins to enhance the design and integrate functionalities into your site.
It’s SEO-friendly - WordPress has a number of website themes that are well-designed for SEO purposes. Plus, you can easily find SEO plugins to help you optimize your content and improve your keyword rankings.
It provides excellent support - Here’s a big advantage of popularity: WordPress has millions of users around the globe and a huge support community. If you experience any issues, finding help is both easy and (the best part) free.
On the other hand, WordPress has some downsides worth considering:
Security - Here’s a big disadvantage of popularity: As the world’s most-used CMS, WordPress is a favorite target of hackers. Some third-party plugins can also make your website vulnerable.
Customization - Even though plugins can help a great deal in tweaking your web design if you want in-depth customization, a certain amount of coding knowledge is required.
Speed - WordPress websites tend to be slightly slower than Joomla and Drupal websites, especially if you go crazy with the plugins.
Joomla Pros and Cons
Here are the primary reasons people choose Joomla as their CMS:
It’s fairly user-friendly - Joomla may not be as easy as WordPress, but the user interface is still pretty intuitive and simple to navigate. However, there’s definitely a learning curve.
It’s great for e-commerce - If you want to develop an e-commerce site, Joomla is a great choice thanks to extensions for shopping carts, tax management, marketing and more.
It’s easy to update - Through the Maintenance menu, you can look for and install new updates to your site without worrying about your site crashing—hardly ever does an update have compatibility problems that cause a crash.
But Joomla has a major drawback:
Technicality - If you are a beginner, it will be difficult to build a Joomla website without technical assistance. Therefore, Joomla websites are typically more expensive to run than WordPress sites.
Drupal Pros and Cons
Drupal is more powerful than Joomla and WordPress. The main advantages:
It’s robust and powerful - As mentioned, Drupal is way more powerful than WordPress and Joomla. With Drupal, you can customize your web design and functionality without limits.
It performs better - Since Drupal is less resource-intensive than its competitors, Drupal web pages tend to load faster and have a quicker response time. However, just as on WordPress, installing too many third-party plugins can affect site performance.
Even though Drupal is robust and offers you unlimited options for the design of your website, there is a major con to consider:
Steep learning curve - If you want to use Drupal, you need at least a basic knowledge of HTML, PHP and other programming languages. If you cannot handle the technical part on your own, customizing and managing a Drupal website will be considerably more expensive than WordPress or Joomla.
Choosing the right CMS is not an easy task, but you can make it easier by having a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with your website and understanding your technical skills and limitations.
Web design and development agencies, on the other hand, need to understand what works best for the client in order to offer the right CMS solution for their business.
QPSoftware specializes in WordPress and Drupal. We believe these two tools allow us to give our clients functional, beautiful websites that are optimized for the best results. If you are in the process of building your website and need some advice on finding the right content management system, you can contact us at any time.