What are the differences between Drupal, Joomla and WordPress when choosing to use a Content Management System (CMS)? Given all the differences between the three, what is the best one to choose?
A CMS will generally come with the ability to assist with user accounts (which may involve a variety of roles e.g. admin, editor, basic user etc.), it makes and preserves menus, and it manages the content of the website and the overall system. A CMS is essential for the easy running of large, content rich sites.
Drupal is a highly sophisticated programming interface for web developers. This CMS will work on any platform that has a web server able to run PHP and a database, it needs these so that it can store the website’s content and settings. There are many themes that can customize the way a website looks and feels, all an administrator needs to do is choose the required theme from a menu. Drupal is a very powerful tool that is best suited to advanced PHP developers, it is often accused of making sites that are not very pretty though anyone with a good understanding of it’s templates system will not have a problem with this.
Joomla is another popular CMS. This CMS is also written in PHP, it stores all necessary data in a MySQL database and also includes features such as RSS feeds, page caching, blogs, news flashes, and so on. It can be uploaded onto any web server that supports applications for PHP. There are many different hosting sites that provide a control panel that allows the deployment of a Joomla web site. Joomla is not as complicated to use as Drupal, but if a site needs to go beyond the standard setup it might prove too much for the novice programmer.
WordPress is often used as a blog publishing application that can be powered or operated by PHP and MySQL. This has many different features that include a plug in design and a framework for templates. Three hundred of the worlds biggest websites use WordPress as their CMS. This is the most popular blog software used today.
It has features such as templates and widgets that can be positioned without needing to know any PHP or any form of HTML code. It also features links that use integrated link management, a helpful search engine and supports the posting of non-blog articles hence its use as a CMS. WordPress allows users and developers alike to go beyond the features that come pre-installed by adding many more features via freely available plugins. It is the ideal solution for anyone who wants a feature rich site that is easy to setup.
In making your choice of CMS, it is best to understand the full scope of the website that you are creating. Choosing the wrong CMS at the start can cause no end of problems as transferring to a new system may not be so easy. For complex sites with unique features Drupal is recommended. For simpler sites it’s best to go with WordPress. Joomla lies somewhere in between.