You’ve been envisioning your perfect responsive web design and you’re finally ready to pull the development trigger. The next step to tackle is which content management system (CMS) you want to build your new website on. We don’t want to make you nervous or add some extra pressure, but this next task is pretty important.
A content management system, more commonly known as a CMS, is a software that houses your web content and allows you to create, edit and publish.
The reigning CMS king in terms of numbers (24% of websites are built on it!) is WordPress. But just because it’s the popular choice mean it’s the right choice for you.
Perhaps you’re looking for a more technical option. One that is robust enough to handle some of the more interactive features you have in mind. In that case, Drupal CMS may be more a match.
But there’s also Joomla! The 2nd most popular option, this open source CMS could be the perfect balance between functionality and ease of use that your website calls for.
How do you know which one is the perfect CMS for you? Find out more about WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla and give us a shout if you have any questions.
Let’s Get the Similarities Out of the Way
Let’s start with the features all three CMSs share.
First and foremost, WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are all free to download and use. Not only are they all free, all are what is called an open source CMS.
What is an open source content management system?
Open source CMS’s source code is available for anyone to study, alter,or improve upon. Each CMS’s community is vast and extremely loyal (we just got back from DrupalCon Barcelona and can definitely attest to this) and volunteer their time to make their chosen CMS the best out there.
Some other quick similarities between WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are they are all written primarily in PHP, support MySQL and use templates and plugins for customization.
What do they say about themselves?
To gain a sense of a product, it’s important to know how they describe themselves and their services. Here’s how Drupal, WordPress and Joomla define themselves:
Drupal is a free software package that allows you to easily organize, manage and publish your content, with an endless variety of customization. – Drupal.org
Drupal is more than software–it is a project and a community. In this section, you’ll learn more about how it comes together, the people who make it happen, and the principles and values that they follow. – Drupal.org
Everything you see here, from the documentation to the code itself, was created by and for the community. WordPress is an Open Source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it. (More than most commercial platforms.) It also means you are free to use it for anything from your recipe site to a Fortune 500 web site. – WordPress.org
Joomla! is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables you to build Web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla! the most popular Web site software available. Best of all, Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone. – Joomla.org
What do others say about them?
According to CMSCritic.com, Drupal is
4 out of 5 stars
Review highlight: This review can only really scratch the surface of the amazement and gratitude that I have experienced over the last year of building things with Drupal. If you’re considering a content management system I hope you will do yourself a favor and add Drupal to your short-list.”
4.5 out of 5 stars
Review highlight: “Community? Massive. WordPress has a community larger than most CMS communities. Support is amazingly quick and there are tons and tons of sites with hints tips and more to get you any info you need quickly.”
And what did CMSCritic.com say about Joomla?
3.5 out of 5 stars
Review highlight: “Joomla is chock full of options. Some of my favorites include the search keyword tracking and banner management with click logging. These are great additions not often seen in open source content management systems.”
When it comes to who is the most popular, there’s no question WordPress is the champ. As the CMS choice for 24% of all websites, WordPress certainly wins when it comes to quantity. But that doesn’t mean WordPress CMS is the right choice for everyone.
Joomla is the second most-popular CMS out there, but just by a hair. 2.8% of all websites are built on Joomla!.
What is each CMS’s top feature?
Drupal: There for your more complex tasks
One of the most celebrated Drupal features is its ability to tag, organize and categorize content, no matter the level of complexity. Drupal truly thrives as a CMS when a website requires complicated data organization or if a site is versatile and complex and needs a robust CMS to support it.
WordPress: Ease of use
WordPress is so popular because of its notoriously simple user experience. Working in the backend of a WordPress website is intuitive for the most novice of webmasters, but can also handle some more advanced functionality if need be.
Joomla!: Ready to get social?
Joomla is praised for being a nice medium between WordPress’s ease of use and Drupal’s technical advantage. But Joomla’s best feature is its strong social networking features and ability to run a large community on its CMS.
Who uses Who?
Finally, to figure out which CMS is best for you, take a look at who uses who.
whitehouse.gov, Oxford, NBC, The Economist, Twitter, Harvard, New York MTA
The New York Times Company, Best Buy, The Mozilla Blog, Beyonce, Dallas Mavericks
The Guggenheim Museum, Oklahoma State University, Women’s Refugee Commission, Barnes and Noble, Heathrow Airport Boutique
So which CMS is best for your next website? Give us a call and we’ll help you evaluate your options further.