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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 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.

WordPress CMS: Advantages and disadvantages

Areas of specificationAdvantagesDisadvantages
PopularityPopular and simple to use for beginners.Interface remains focused on small websites.
Support & pluginsThere is an abundance of support, plugins, and themes available.Larger and more complex sites have limited scalability.
Hosting integrationMany hosting providers offer specialized plans.As a site grows, the code might become complex.

Joomla

Joomla is like 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 many 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); like 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 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.

Joomla CMS: Advantages and disadvantages

Areas of specificationAdvantagesDisadvantages
ScalabilityDesigned for larger websites, excels at managing many pages.May have a steeper learning curve for beginners.
Two-part systemSeparation of CMS and website building offers flexibility.Not as user-friendly as WordPress for small sites.
Suitable use casesIdeal for complex and extensive websites, including businesses.Larger corporate websites may prefer Drupal.

Drupal

Drupal is like 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 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.

Drupal CMS: Advantages and disadvantages

Areas of specificationAdvantagesDisadvantages
CustomizationOffers complete freedom for content management.Not ideal for smaller projects; more complex.
Suitable use casesBest for large corporate websites with complex needs.May involve extra work for smaller projects.

What functionality do WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal offer?

We looked at four parameters to compare the functioning of Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla:

Content types

  • WordPress: WordPress provides support for basic content types like posts and pages out of the box. It can handle additional content types through plugins and custom post types, making it flexible for various content needs.
  • Joomla: Joomla offers a more structured approach to content types with its Categories and Articles. It’s suitable for organizing and managing different types of content effectively.
  • Drupal: Drupal is highly flexible and allows for the creation of custom content types with specific fields and relationships. This makes it ideal for complex content structures.

Access controls

  • WordPress: WordPress offers limited built-in access control options. It’s more suitable for simple websites where user roles and permissions are straightforward.
  • Joomla: Joomla provides more advanced access control features, allowing you to define fine-grained permissions for users and groups.
  • Drupal: Drupal excels in access control, offering a granular permission system. It’s suitable for projects with strict access requirements, such as intranets or membership sites.

Multilingual sites

  • WordPress: While WordPress has multilingual support through plugins, it may not be as robust as Joomla and Drupal for managing multilingual content.
  • Joomla: Joomla has built-in multilingual support, making it easier to create and manage multilingual websites.
  • Drupal: Drupal offers robust multilingual capabilities, including translation workflows and content translation features, making it a top choice for multilingual sites.

Data handling

  • WordPress: WordPress is user-friendly and straightforward for handling data. It’s well-suited for blogs, small businesses, and content-driven websites.
  • Joomla: Joomla is suitable for handling data efficiently, particularly for medium-sized websites with structured content.
  • Drupal: Drupal is highly capable of handling complex data structures and relationships, making it ideal for enterprise-level websites and applications.

Security and updates for WordPress, Joomla and Drupal

Areas of specificationWordPressJoomlaDrupal
Security updatesRegular security updates are essential and readily available.Joomla provides timely security updates and patches.Drupal has a strong focus on security, with frequent updates.
Third-party pluginsExtensive library of third-party plugins and themes.Joomla has a good selection of third-party extensions and templates.Drupal offers various contributed modules and themes.
Security of extensionsSecurity of third-party plugins can vary; users should choose carefully.Joomla extensions undergo review but still require cautious selection.Drupal community emphasizes secure coding for contributed modules.

Customization for WordPress, Joomla and Drupal

Areas of specificationWordPressJoomlaDrupal
Themes and templatesExtensive collection of themes and templates available.Offers a variety of templates and themes for customization.Provides flexibility in designing themes and templates.
Code customizationAllows code customization through themes and plugins.Provides flexibility to customize code and templates.Offers advanced code-level customization options.
User roles and permissionsOffers basic user roles and permissions for content control.Provides role-based access control for managing users.Provides fine-grained access control and custom roles.

WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla: Examples of Websites and Businesses using CMS

Here are some significant WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla-powered websites and businesses:

WordPress

  1. Sony Music
  2. The Walt Disney Company
  3. The Rolling Stones
  4. BBC America
  5. The New Yorker

Drupal

  1. Tesla
  2. NASA
  3. The Emmy Awards
  4. The Economist
  5. The State of Georgia Government

Joomla

  1. IKEA
  2. Kellogg’s
  3. MTV Greece
  4. International House of Pancakes (IHOP)
  5. Harvard University

In conclusion, WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, known as some of the best CMS systems, offers distinct advantages and disadvantages respectively.

You can make an informed decision based on the detailed CMS comparison in the content above and on your website’s size, complexity, and specific requirements.

Regardless of your choice, reaching out to a web hosting provider like Bluehost can help you get started and make the most of your chosen CMS. 

Remember that many prominent websites and businesses successfully use all three platforms, demonstrating their effectiveness in different scenarios.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    Education
    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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6 Comments

  1. We like to develop on WordPress, since it is easier to install the theme and to customize it. Also you have tons of plugins to chose from with a very easy management.

  2. John William Reply

    I personally like wordpress. but Drupal and Joomla is also good.

  3. Thank you for providing great information regarding WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. As per my opinion WordPress is very much user friendly. I also want to switch my website to WordPress.

  4. MILTON SAMPAIO SALEM Reply

    Very good article, it helped me to decide wich plataform install. I confess I was a bit lost and you gave me the direction. thanks a lot.

  5. Paolo Romeo Reply

    Excellent explanation of the three platforms. Thank you so much!

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