Joomla vs. WordPress vs. Drupal

Hosting a website requires several technologies working together. You need a platform for your website, as well as a web hosting provider to keep it online. Of all of the available platforms, WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are the leading options. Any of them can support your website, but each one excels in a different area. You need to know which one is right for your website before investing in any of them. Here is a look at Joomla vs. WordPress vs. Drupal to see which one is right for you.

What Is a Web Platform?

A web platform is a system that you use to create and manage your website. In the past, websites were made by creating each web page separately using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. With the addition of more dynamic tools like PHP (for dynamically created pages) and SQL (for databases), skilled web developers created systems that made it possible to create pages with less input and more functionality. WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are three of the options that were developed using these new methods.

In a web platform like these three, creating your website is much easier. Instead of creating each page by hand, you can use templates created by piecing parts of pages together. For example, a WordPress page consists of a header, body, sidebar, and footer. You can design each of these parts separately, then reuse them as much as you want without copying and pasting the code into a new file. Creating a page becomes as simple as writing the content for the page, and using the platform to piece the rest of the page together around it.

The most powerful aspect of a web platform is its ability to help you create a website without working directly with the source code for the page. Learning to code is the same as learning another language (or a series of languages that work together), giving it a large learning curve. Web platforms rarely let you work directly with the code, instead of having you work with a predefined system or interface. WordPress’s page and post screens are good examples of how such an interface works.

WordPress

WordPress is likely the most popular option among the three. It is responsible for more than half of the pages on the indexed Internet. This is because it is small and easy to use, even for beginners. Many people find it very easy to create a WordPress website and start managing it within minutes. Plus, it is small compared to the other options, so it can work well with small hosting plans.

Another benefit of choosing WordPress is the immense amount of support available for the platform. Pro and amateur web developers alike make WordPress plugins, themes, widgets, and other features. Plus, so many developers use it that it’s easy to find paid or free help with a specific problem.

WordPress is so widely used that many web hosting providers offer WordPress hosting plans with support features and an easy installation system. Bluehost offers WordPress-specific plans that you can take advantage of to set up a website quickly and easily. The support team can also help WordPress users manage their website and ensure that it stays online.

While WordPress is the most preferred option, it has one deal-breaking downside. WordPress is designed to be a blogging platform. It has been extended for use as entire websites and web stores, but that comes at a price. The interface remains largely focused on small websites, and WordPress does not scale well to larger, more complex websites. From a coding standpoint, the code becomes difficult to manage at larger file sizes and can take up a lot of space and slow down your website as it continues to grow.

If you are going to have a relatively small website that includes a blog, then WordPress is your best option. It will give you the most support and features for your investment. However, larger or more complex websites should be made with Joomla or Drupal.

Joomla

Joomla is similar to WordPress in many ways but differs in at least one key area. Joomla is designed for larger websites. The code and interface are designed to make it much easier to manage pages across a large number of pages and posts. Because of how it is structured, you won’t run into performance issues when scaling your website.

Joomla’s biggest improvement over WordPress is that it is a two-part system, whereas WordPress is a one-part system. Joomla is made of a CMS (Content Management System); similar to how WordPress manages blog posts and the website platform. Having these two systems separate from each other lets you build a website outside of the CMS, so you can ignore the CMS entirely unless you need it. It’s closer to how websites were built before there were powerful management systems with the ability to add in blogs or other content.

Joomla is best-suited to complex websites that need more flexibility. This often includes medium business websites and extensive content websites like Wikipedia. You have all the tools you need to manage an extensive website. You can even have a complex business website with Joomla. However, if you are going to start a large corporate website, choose Drupal instead.

Drupal

Drupal is similar to Joomla, but it is designed for complete freedom when it comes to content management and website development. Drupal is based on a content management system web design but lets you fully customize the entire structure and content of the site. It works best for larger corporate websites because you can make all of the changes and designs you need. While you can use it for smaller projects, it works best for large complex websites. Using it for a smaller project comes with a lot of extra work you don’t need to take on. Choose WordPress or Joomla instead.
Choosing the best platform for your website depends on your needs.

Are you looking for a full range of plug-ins to choose from? Do you want more extensions and freedom in web design to improve the functionality of your site? If you aren’t sure which is best, reach out to your web hosting provider. Companies like Bluehost have a support team that can help you get your website started.

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Desiree Johnson
Desiree Johnson | Content Specialist
Desiree Johnson is a Content Specialist at Bluehost where she writes helpful guides and articles, teaches webinars and assists with other marketing and WordPress community work.

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