In the world of content management systems (CMS), WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal have emerged as the clear industry leaders, offering users startlingly complex Internet tools and plug-ins that can integrate with their workflow seamlessly and often times with nothing more than the click of a button. The pull of practical, automated online services like reverse phone lookup and online analytics makes CMSs highly used services for a wide range of enterprises: blogging, social media, video hosting, chatting. Many popular sites, from Time, The Economist, and The Onion to MTV and IHOP, use CMSs to safeguard, streamline, and organize their content. Since all three services are so excellent, comparing WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal comes down to technical nuances and intent. Here is a quick assessment of the salient differences between the three:
WordPress—Three versions to its name, 14k+ plugins/modules/extensions, 14.3% of the major websites utilizing its service, an average setup and customization cost of $250-$15,000, and an average monthly maintenance cost of $250. Easy to use and fund.
Drupal—Seven versions to its name, 8k+ plugins/modules/extensions, 1.6% of major websites utilizing the service, an average setup and customization cost of $5,000-$50,000, an average setup and customization cost of $1,500. Difficult to use and fund. Drupal is for advanced practitioners and people with a hearty budget.
Joomla—Six versions, 7k+ plugins/modules/extensions, 2.7% of major websites utilizing the service, average setup and customization cost $2,000-$20,000, average setup and customization cost of $500. Intermediate usage and funding.
Ease and cost of installation—Wordpress is the easiest but Drupal has the most options and Joomla is the most reliable. In terms of cost, WordPress is by far the most economical, with Joomla coming in second and Drupal being the most expensive.
Back-end support—Wordpress takes a slight victory again because of the number of widgets, plugins/extension modules, and themes/templates. However, many would argue that the strength of Drupal’s add-ons win out, especially when it comes to portal/dashboard usage. This one comes down to a classic quality vs. quantity argument. There’s no definitive winner.
Customization of features and themes—Wordpress has more options for free, but Drupal and Joomla’s paid options are of higher quality. Joomla is better for Project Management, eCommerce, chatting, and instant messaging; Drupal is better for eCommerce statistics when advanced charts are needed.
Your average Joe Internet user will certainly want to stick with WordPress, as it’s simpler and has easier-to-install plugins. For any intermediate Internet user or someone looking to develop a project into an online magazine or social media hub, you have to consider price and effort.