Quick CMS Comparison – WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Magento
When it comes to Content Management Systems (CMSs), WordPress is by far the most widely used and recognized option. However, there is a big number of different options, some of which might be better for certain applications. Keep reading and find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of the best Content Management Systems available!
It is impossible to determine which CMS is the best, so I will focus on the most popular CMSs, such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento. I hope to give you a quick overview of each of these systems, as well as the types of applications they are most suitable for.
WordPress – The best option for simple sites and blogs
I will, of course, start with WordPress. This CMS is a good all-rounder, but it is still mostly a blogging platform. That being said, a huge number of website owners use WordPress to build a wide variety of types of websites, ranging from simple one-page sites to complex online magazines.
The best thing about WordPress is its ease of use. It is widely used because it is simple to use. Just install it and you are ready to write your first post. Of course, if you want to use WordPress to its fullest, you will have to invest more time and/or money. There is a big number of free and premium WP themes you can use and you can also make use of a rich database of plugins (also both free and paid) that add additional features to your WordPress site. WordPress also has the biggest collection of free themes that you can try out before going premium.
Plugins can, however, also present a weak point of WordPress. Yes, you can use them to make your site better, but they can damage your website’s performance. Plugins are usually complex and add a lot of extra scripts and styling to your website. This means a lot of extra resources will be loaded and if the plugin is not well written, it can cause a longer loading time. That will create a bad user experience and can also hurt your search engine position. And it’s almost impossible to run a WordPress site without any plugins. Even our most simple blog Themes, like Everly, use several plugins to be fully functional (Instagram Feed, Facebook Widget etc.).
There is another problem with plugins and WordPress. Plugin developers release new versions of their plugins and the same thing can be said about WordPress itself. Compatibility issues that often arise can cause you huge problems and can be really hard to fix. That’s why we only use established plugins with frequent updates. Furthermore, old or badly-written plugins can open your website to potential attacks and decrease the overall security of your site.
To sum up, WordPress is a great and simple option to create simple and even a bit more complex and niche websites really quickly and easily. What’s more, these websites are then really easy to maintain and creating new content can be done even by people with no computer skills. The plugins can cause some issues, but if you choose them carefully and only use the ones you really need, you should be all right.
Drupal – The highly functioning and complex alternative
WordPress is really easy to use, what can certainly NOT be said about Drupal. Drupal is a CMS that is really complex and lets users create virtually any website. However, there is a price to be paid. You can use Drupal to create anything, but it will not be as easy as creating a website in WordPress.
Drupal is often described as CMS, but in reality, it is a CMF (Content Management Framework). It consists of Drupal core that contains the basic functionality, as well as modules that add more and more functions to a website. Drupal is open-source and the modules are created by community members. The active community consists of more than 100 000 members.
With the huge number of modules comes a problem very similar to the one regarding WordPress. Many of the modules are outdated and not functioning properly. These modules can cause harm to a Drupal website. However, it is easy to find well-polished and maintained modules that work well, are bug-free and secure.
Drupal is fast, flexible and it can be used to create virtually anything. However, it is harder to use and has a high learning curve. It is also hard to pick a module to use because there are many options with overlapping or completely the same functionality.
Joomla – The sweet spot between WordPress and Drupal
So, WordPress is simple and Drupal is complicated. Where is Joomla? On the scale from simple to complex, Joomla is somewhere between the two previous CMSs. Joomla lets you create a more complex website than WordPress but still remains easier to use than Drupal. For many people, it is in a functionality-usability sweet spot. That’s why Joomla is the second most used CMS in the world, after WordPress.
Joomla is very easy to install and virtually anyone with a browser (and of course a domain with web hosting) can download the package and create a working site within minutes. Then, a big number of extensions can be added to enhance the functionality of the website.
I said that Joomla is in a sweet spot between functionality and usability. However, it may not seem so at first. Many people that come from WordPress are overwhelmed by the number of possibilities, while people that have previously used Drupal find Joomla too simple.
Furthermore, Joomla is often bashed because of the use of server resources. Joomla websites can be slower to load and use up a lot of resources. And that can also hurt your rankings in search engines.
Magento – The best overall e-commerce CMS suitable for bigger businesses
Magento is different than any other CMS mentioned in this article. It is an open-source e-commerce platform that is focused on creating e-shops. Of course, WordPress, Joomla and Drupal have e-commerce capabilities, but Magento is straight-up created for this purpose. That’s why it is the most widely used e-commerce CMS in the world.
It is very robust and offers wide functionality and customizability. It is also quite SEO friendly and highly scalable. That’s why you will not necessarily have to switch to any other platform when your business grows in the future. That can’t be said for example about WooCommerce, a WordPress-based e-commerce solution suitable mostly for smaller businesses.
The functionality of Magento might make it too complex for small businesses and its complexity also puts a higher load on the servers used to run your e-commerce website. That’s why Magento is certainly not for everybody, but great for some businesses.
Taking the leap from a physical store to an e-store is a challenging one, but also a very rewarding one if done right. Choosing the right eCommerce platform is crucial to your business success, as it is not a one-size-fits-all approach here.
Additionally, it also depends on the amount of customization that a platform offers. An ideal e-commerce platform will aid businesses to tweak features and apply relevant add-ons at will. The rigid template-based platforms are good for small e-stores who are willing to let go off custom features for the sake of ease of implementation. But the restrictions of the platform come back to haunt them at different points of time. So, your choice of platform matters.
We rounded up 25 eCommerce experts who were keen on sharing their views and preferences along with the pros and cons of choosing a particular e-commerce platform.
Pick the best CMS for your application
And that’s why it is impossible to say which CMS is the best. There is no best CMS, but there might be the best CMS for your application and your needs. After deciding on what you want to do and which functions you need, you will be able to make the right decision.