WordPress vs. Joomla: Shared Features With Remarkable Differences

Posted on February 22, 2015 by in Resources | 77 comments

WordPress vs. Joomla: Shared Features With Remarkable Differences

Both WordPress and Joomla can be used to create amazing websites. Both are content management systems. Both can be expanded using plugins, which can easily be found on the Internet reaching to the far corners of the universe (maybe a slight exaggeration). Both can use themes or templates to change the look of the site. Both can be installed on your own server, so there are no specific hosts and subscriptions to deal with. Even the cost of ownership is similar. Both are free – WordPress under GPLv2 license and Joomla under the GNU Public License. Both have an active community that helps design, build, and support their favorite systems.

WordPress and Joomla probably have as many similarities as differences. So what makes them different? What are those differences that help you choose between them? I’m so glad you asked.

What is WordPress and Who is it For?

WordPress vs. Joomla – What is WordPress and Who is it For

WordPress is the most popular CMS. At its core, WordPress is a blogging system. However, you’re not limited to a blog as you can also create websites with static pages. It’s a great platform for beginners and can grow with you.

What is Joomla and Who is it For?

WordPress vs. Joomla – What is Joomla and Who is it For

Joomla is a powerful CMS that is great for building all kinds of websites including business, corporate, government, non-profit, schools, and blogs. Beginners might have difficulty with it due to the complexity of its structure.

Themes and Templates

Both systems can change their looks and layouts easily by using themes and templates.


WordPress vs. Joomla – wordpress themes

There are 3023 themes in the WordPress themes directory, plus a Google search returns 31.5 million results. Of course not all of those results are themes, but with that many results you can probably find something you like. There are many free and premium themes for WordPress. Themes are also easy to find within WordPress by searching in the themes tab. You can install them easily by clicking a button or uploading from your computer or a URL.

WordPress vs. Joomla – wordpress themes 2

You can edit the themes in the themes editor. Plus, you can edit each element of the theme. Add child themes, add templates, and modify the CSS, if you wish.


WordPress vs. Joomla –  joomla templates

There are two types of templates in Joomla: frontend and backend. Joomla doesn’t have a template directory. Googling “Joomla templates” gives over 16 million results. Of course not all of that is templates, so it’s difficult to know how many there are. These templates are from third party developers. Many of them are free. Once you get the theme you want you have to upload it to your template directory. You can then choose it as your default.

WordPress vs. Joomla –  joomla templates 2

You can edit the templates in the template manager.

WordPress vs. Joomla –  joomla templates 3

The template manager also includes styles.

WordPress vs. Joomla –  joomla templates 4

And you can edit the styles and the menus in the style editor.


Both systems have lots of free and premium themes and templates. It’s difficult to know how many either one has, but you can make pretty much any kind of site you want from either system.

Plugins and Extensions

Both platforms can be expanded through the use of plugins and extensions.


WordPress vs. Joomla – wordpress plugins

Plugins and extensions are supplied by Automattic and the WordPress community. There are over 36,000 plugins in the plugin directory. There are also many premium plugins available from all over the web that you can either buy or subscribe to and upload to your WordPress site. You can do many things with the plugins, like turn your site into a membership portal, an online store, a school, a portfolio, a forum, and much more.

To install a plugin just click Add New in the plugins tab on the WordPress dashboard, search for the plugin or upload it from your computer, select install, and activate. It’s straightforward and intuitive.

WordPress vs. Joomla – wordpress plugins 2

You can also edit the actual code of the plugins in the plugin editor. Go to the editor and select the plugin from a dropdown box. You can even use the code to make your own plugin or add it to your theme.


WordPress vs. Joomla – joomla extensions

There are 8634 extensions in the Joomla extensions directory. They are divided into 33 different categories. You can browse the categories or you can search with filters. Categories include editing, contacts, communication, eCommerce, living, languages, marketing, mobile, social, site management, and lots more. You can add feature to your site such as sliders. You can run anything from a blog to a store to a membership site. There are 4353 free extensions and 4530 paid extensions. Prices have a wide range. Many are subscription based and have several subscription options.

The extensions are labeled so you can easily know if they’re compatible with your version of Joomla, and as to what is included (component, module, plugin). They are given a score and a review rating based on several categories: overall, functionality, ease of use, documentation, support, and value for the money. When you click on an extension you see detailed information and a list of similar extensions as alternatives.

To install an extension you have to either download it and then upload using the extension manager, or you have to insert the URL for the extension’s location and install from there.

WordPress vs. Joomla – joomla extensions 2

Plugins and modules can be edited if editing has been allowed. Edits include CSS and features. I didn’t see a way to edit on the code level from within Joomla. You are limited in the adjustments you can make, so they’re not very flexible.

I downloaded and then uploaded an extension. It told me it had uploaded, but I could not find it as easily as with WordPress. I had to search for it in the extension manager. From there I could turn it on or off easily enough. There are so many plugins and modules in the extension manager that it’s easier to search by title.


Both systems have a lot of free and paid plugins and extensions available. WordPress has more, but some of them don’t do very much and some haven’t been updated in, well, ever.

Finding and installing extensions in Joomla is more time-consuming than WordPress. You can find and install within WordPress where Joomla makes you find them outside of your Joomla installation, download, and then upload.

The plugins in WordPress can be edited to your heart’s content. Many of them have an overabundance of settings, where the extensions in Joomla mostly do what they do.

Widgets and Modules

The sidebars on your website can be modified by adding either widgets or modules.


WordPress vs. Joomla – wordpress widgets

You can add a lot of functionality with widgets including banner ads, calendars, latest comments, latest posts, search, tags, categories, and much more. You can drag and drop the widgets in the sidebars where you want them to appear. You can also set up when the widget will display and when it will not. Different themes have different widget areas. Some widgets add features, so not all widgets will display in the sidebar.


WordPress vs. Joomla – joomla modules

Modules can add a lot of features to your site including archived articles, who’s online, news, search, statistics, and lots more. They also add features such as bread crumbs, so not all will appear in your sidebar. You can turn them off or on from the list and you can set the order in which they will appear.


WordPress’s drag and drop system is intuitive and I like being able to set rules as to when the widget will display and when it will not. Joomla’s listing system, with its easy to use on/off status and boxes for ordering works great. The list is not a WYSIWYG and in order to turn them on and set their order you have to select the module and go to the edit screen. Doing this for every module can take a substantial amount of time.

The UI and Creating Content

I created a post in both CMS’s to determine how easy each one was. Keep in mind I am familiar with WordPress, so this will show the issues that I had by going from one to the other. I installed Joomla 2.5 on my server and also accessed 3.3 on the Joomla demo site.



WordPress vs. Joomla – wordpress dashboard

All of the navigation is on the left side of the screen.

Creating a Post

WordPress vs. Joomla – wordpress dashboard Creating a Post

WordPress uses TinyMCE as its visual editor. It includes all of the rich text features that you expect from a modern editor. You can also work in HTML if you prefer. You can add categories, tags, images, SEO, a featured image, and formats (standard, video, audio, quote, gallery, and link). You can control the publishing options, such as publish immediately or schedule for later. You can also preview the post before publishing so you can make any changes you want. There is also a distraction-free writing mode. Squirrel!

WordPress vs. Joomla – wordpress dashboard Creating a Post 2

Adding and modifying images is done in the media library. I can select any photo I want and place it in the post.

WordPress vs. Joomla – wordpress dashboard Creating a Post 3

At any time during my writing process I can preview my post to see what it would like on the site. I can make all of my adjustments for categories, tags, SEO, and posting schedule from here.

WordPress vs. Joomla – wordpress dashboard Creating a Post 4

This is how the post will look.

Editing a Post or Page

WordPress vs. Joomla – wordpress dashboard Creating a Post Editing a Post or Page

You can create both blog posts and pages. Each one has its own tab on the dashboard, so they’re kept separate. I like this as it’s easier to find posts and pages if you want to make updates. Just go to the posts tab, select to view all, and you’re there.


Since I’m not a Joomla expert I thought it would be best if I had it installed and got some experience with it. I tested the UI and checked to see how easy or difficult it is to navigate my way through it and create and publish content. After all, publishing content–in one form or another–is the purpose of building a website.

Control Panel

WordPress vs. Joomla – Control Panel

Joomla’s 2.5 control panel looks neat and clean. Everything seems to be laid out in an organized manner that’s intuitive to use. From the control panel, I can add a new article, manage my previous articles, categories, media, menus, users, modules, extensions, languages, global configuration, templates, my profile, and updates of both Joomla itself and extensions. And those are just the icons.

Across the top are detailed menus for the site (control panel, maintenance, etc.), users (user manager, groups, user categories, user notes, etc.), menus (menu manager, samples, etc.), content (article manager, category manager, media manager, etc.), components (banners, contacts, messaging, news feeds, etc.), extensions (module manager, plugin manager, template manager, etc.), and help (forum, wiki, etc.). Each of these menus have management tools where I can make all of my site modifications and adjustments.

Creating an Article

WordPress vs. Joomla – joomla Creating an Article

The editor looks how I expected with the basic text tools, but it also adds alias, the category, status, access, permissions, whether or not it’s featured, language, and ID directly under the title information. The text editor itself includes all of the rich text editing options. I could also edit the HTML source in the editor using one of two HTML editing options.

It looks familiar. And it should. It’s TinyMCE, the same editor that WordPress uses. It just has some different features turned on by default. It doesn’t seem to have a distraction-free writing mode.

WordPress vs. Joomla – joomla Creating an Article 2

Adding images is easy. Navigation is exactly what I expected, so everything here is familiar. I uploaded an image and placed it in the article.

WordPress vs. Joomla – joomla Creating an Article 3

On the right of the screen are all of the options for publishing, configuration, metadata, etc. I could publish immediately or schedule it for later. I could also choose the author’s name and alias from here. The article options are extensive. Options included show intro text, link to author, show create date, show print button, show email buttons, show hits, show voting, and much more.

WordPress vs. Joomla – joomla Creating an Article 4

Under the editor all of the settings for article permissions. This is the permissions for the user groups as related to this article.

WordPress vs. Joomla – joomla Creating an Article 5

I selected to save the article without making any publishing changes. This published the article. If I created a copy without changing the publishing information, the copy was also published immediately. One thing that wasn’t obvious was how to preview the article before publishing. Other than that everything seemed straightforward and simple enough to use without extensive experimenting.

Article Manager

WordPress vs. Joomla – joomla Creating an Article Article Manager

I went to the article manager, expecting to see only the article that I just created, but instead I saw so many entries that I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. I searched for my article and it didn’t show up in the search.


WordPress has a great system for publishing content. It’s easy to go back into a post and make edits. It’s also easy to preview the post before publishing. Of course that’s no surprise since I’m more used to using WordPress and I know my way around the editor.

It’s easy to create content in Joomla. The experience was so similar to using WordPress that it was intuitive. Finding that content to go back in and make edits is a different story, however. Also I didn’t see an easy way to preview the content before publishing. For the complete publishing experience I felt that WordPress was easier to use. I could create blog posts and pages, but I had to use categories to do it. I did go back in later to create a new post and wasn’t able to get it to show up on the home page. I created post after post, thinking I was doing the same process as before, but it never posted. I like the article-writing process, but it still isn’t as intuitive as WordPress.

Security and Maintenance



WordPress vs. Joomla – wordpress security

You own your site, so you are responsible for your own security and maintenance. This can be done through plugins or through hiring a service. There are plenty of plugins that do the work for you in the background. You just have to make a decision on which to use, install it, set up any options you want, and then forget about it.


WordPress vs. Joomla – wordpress updates

To maintain it you will have to keep on top of updates. WordPress will alert you when an update is available. You will have to make any backups you need, perform the updates, and then test your site to insure everything is in working order.


Like WordPress, you are responsible for your own security, updates, and site maintenance.


WordPress vs. Joomla – joomla security

Security is provided by one of many free or paid extensions. There are extensions for CAPTCHA, firewalls, two-factor authentication, and much more. It’s easy to keep your Joomla site secure using the extensions.


WordPress vs. Joomla – joomla updates

When an update is available in Joomla it gives you an alert on your dashboard. Simply click on the icon and you’ll be taken to the updates screen where you can choose the updates to install. After clicking to perform this update I was given an error message and a message that the update was successful. Even though there was an error, my Joomla had updated to the latest edition of Joomla 2.5.x.


Both systems have plenty of plugins and extensions for security, and both will have to be maintained manually.

Wrapping Up



WordPress is easy to use, has a large development and support community, has thousands of plugins, has thousands of themes, is secure, easy to update and maintain, has menu management, is multiuser, has a built-in commenting system, has widgets, and is completely editable.


Editing requires PHP, CSS, and HTML knowledge, plugins can slow down the system, and it must be kept updated in order to remain secure. Not all plugins are updated by developers, so you might have to change to a new plugin after WordPress updates.


WordPress is a great platform for blogging. To me, WordPress seems easier to modify and publish. It’s easier to create pages and posts separately and modify them. It’s easier to run as a blog. If you want a blog, go with WordPress. Of course WordPress can be turned into just about anything from an online store to a portfolio. Pretty much anything you need, you can do with WordPress. It’s easy to use, easy to modify, and easy to maintain.

WordPress’s strength is its flexibility and ease of use.



Joomla has a clean control panel, has thousands of extensions (like plugins), has modules (like widgets), thousands of templates (like themes), a large development and support community, a structured menu system with built-in bread crumbs, is easy to update and maintain, and has advanced administration features.


Editing options are limited, most quality extensions are paid, extensions might have compatibility issues from one version to another, some functions are not intuitive enough, and it’s difficult for beginners.


Joomla is a great platform for multimedia sites and sites with lots of content. It’s not as good for blogging. Joomla can make a great website, membership site, forum, etc. If you want a business site with a complex content hierarchy, tagging and authoring, go with Joomla. It has lots of extensions, both free and paid. Joomla is not as easy to get the hang of when it comes to posting articles though.

My edition of Joomla did not have comments as an option out of the box. This had to be added as an extension. The advantage of this is that you have your choice of commenting systems. The disadvantage of this is many of the commenting systems are paid and there is no standard system. If you have contributors that are used to one commenting system they will have to learn another for your site. There are different commenting systems available for WordPress, but there is a standard system built in and the chances of contributors being familiar with it is very high.

Joomla’s strength is its complexity.

Which Do You Choose?

Of course it depends on what you want. Both systems are great platforms for e-commerce, complex blogging, and portfolios. On paper they seem very similar but in actual use they feel different from each other. Do you want ease of use and more choices? Go with WordPress. Do you want more complexity? Go with Joomla.

How about you? Have you tried both WordPress and Joomla? Was your experience anything like mine? Do you have something to add? I’d like to hear about it in the comments below!

Article thumbnail image by Bennyartist / shutterstock.com

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  1. I am not sure what the point of a review done by someone who admits they don’t know one of the products very well. I am not a Joomla fan boy as I left the platform long ago but it seems unfair. I also didn’t feel the review offered anything new. It is full of the cliches associated with each product.

    • A long review without a conclusion leaves you wondering what it was all about.

      When I read a review by someone who understands what they are reviewing, please please please… give me a conclusion.

    • Rick…right on about that. I’m not any kind of Joomla lover…looked at it a few years ago and went with WordPress instead, but a comparison review just doesn’t make much sense when the reviewer doesn’t know anything about one of the things being compared. Perhaps a rewrite by a writer who knows both system is in order.

    • Excellent job with this article, Brenda. Comments below, starting with John Rushing, add additional depth and info to your article. It’s very helpful hearing from other’s experience. I like how objective you in your article and how it opened up the conversation for Joomla vs. WordPress. I’m a WP user but after reading your article I feel empowered to learn enough Joomal to help a client whose existing site uses this platform. For new sites I find the WordPress is robust enough even for my sites with hundreds of pages.

  2. I thought it was an excellent article and covered both products fairly and objectively. I assume the intent of the article was to provide a clear, high-level comparison of the two solutions and do so in a manner that allowed the reader to draw their own conclusions based on their needs, backgrounds, comfort level with tools available, etc..

    Nicely done Brenda

  3. Having used both extensively, and concur with the recommendation that WordPress is simpler and quicker to deploy. Joomla, however, has greater capability.

    I use WordPress where I need to get a site up in a couple of hours. For larger sites with more complex layout requirements, I use Joomla.

    • I have also used both extensively, until I became a HubSpot COS designer (love it even though some don’t). I agree with your assessment Gary, exactly how I felt about them.

      I thought the article fairly reviewed both tools and was honest, both nice qualities.

    • Gary, thanks for providing some actual strengths of each.

    • I too use both platforms. I have switched my main site to WordPress ONLY because Google ranks WordPress higher.
      What I found when I switched was that it felt like I had gone from a Cadillac to a Chevy. WordPress felt clunky – doesn’t handle menus nearly as well, wants to take more control of images than I want to give it, so I keep mine out of media, and has limited flexibility of themes (templates in Joomla). My Joomla site used multiple different templates depending on what I wanted to convey – a sign-up page was bare bones – uncluttered, a landing page was focused on just that, and my home page was pretty full-featured. Tough to find that flexibility in WordPress.
      WordPress does handle the blogs well, and even under Joomla, I used WordPress embedded in Joomla for my blog.
      Interesting to note that according to the author, Joomla felt very intuitive after using WordPress. I found WordPress anything but, and enlisted the help of 2 other WordPress users to help me sort out the logic of getting a page to show up the way you want it to.
      I suspect that for a simple site – WordPress is a great solution. For a more complex business site, Joomla will be the better option for the presentation side, but until Google ranks Joomla sites better, then it’s WordPress there too.

  4. Thanks, Brenda, this was a great and detailed comparison of the two most important CMS (IMHO). I wonder if you would like the actual Joomla 3.3.6 and if you find it different compared to v2.5.

    btw: I use both WordPress and Joomla.

  5. A sentence from the above blog post reads “Editing requires PHP, CSS, and HTML knowledge…” I disagree with this, there are many themes out there that doesn’t require you to have knowledge of php, css or html to create, edit or design a website. Divi is one amongst such themes

    • I think she was talking about direct theme editing???

      • Ok, she might…

        But still any CMS would need exactly the same technical knowledge so there is not really a downside from that perspective and if there is it applies to all CMS available (both open source or proprietary systems).

    • I think she was talking about direct theme editing???

    • I fairly disagree with You. You comment is obviously written with lack of experience working in any web builder. I agree that you dont need to change nothing if you are building newbie website, but when it comes that you need to deliver a client corporate website builded in WordPress that costs 3500$, yes you need to EDIT A LOT! PHP, CSS and HTML.

  6. Another effort to compare incomparable. Joomla! has got different architecture MVC which is much different and more advanced than WordPress. It makes actual codding a bit more difficult, your skills have to be a far beyond php echo “Hello Word”. WordPress is easier to code and somehow better in many areas when you want small website to be done fast. Drawback of WP is that very often developers simply build in functionality into theme and changing look-and-feel takes more than in Joomla which such things are very rare. I admire WordPress, it is great system with great community, but I still prefer Joomla!… Summing up you have done good job, you haven’t tried to pick up any side and this comparison is as much objective as it can be. Both systems are different but can do identical job.

  7. enough of these comparisons, we know thats why we use WordPress, now please start posting more stuff about divi, success stories, customizations etc..


  8. Thank you for the information. I’ve looked into Joomla but have not delved in. Thank you for anwsering some of the questions I had!

  9. Thanks for this post. I am actually using both CMS and I find your post quite fair, even if you are more comfortable with WordPress. I am happy to share some feelings I have and to complete your conclusion.

    First, to me, it is just impossible to say that WordPress is better than Joomla, or the opposite. As you say, Joomla is probably more suited for large and complex site (though some specialists say that if your site is very large, you should use Drupal or Typo). There are many plugins which allow to add many functions not natively present. One example, if you want to add a forum aside your main website, you can do that very easily with Kunena which is fully compatible with Joomla.

    But for editing posts and pages, WordPress is far more easier to use, the difference is obvious.

    Another big advantage for WordPress from my past and recent experience: how version changes are managed? With WordPress, I never add any problem, even when major changes were done (from v3 to v4 for instance). The management of Joomla versions is less straightforward, and and sometimes difficult to understand. Indeed, Joomla was keeping 2 versions in parallel : version 2.5.XXX and version 3.X. Now, from the end of last year, the version 2.5.X is no longer maintained. So, I am upgrading (or trying should I say) my version 2.5.28 to the latest 3 version (3.3). It is a nightmare while Joomla calls it a “minor upgrade”. Let’s see all steps to do: you have to check all your plugins (manually) to see if they are compatible with the version 3; if not, you must uninstall them but of course, if the related contents are important, you shall also save the MySQL table (and specific entry); then, once everything is checked and properly done, you can run the migration, during when you meet generally a few problems; and last, you have to re-install all the plugins. This is what I call a “painful process”.

    I take the opportunity to thank you for this blog which is particularly interesting and useful for WP newbie like me 🙂

    • I spent time in Joomla working in the bug squad which entailed going through reported bugs and fixing or suggesting fixes. I moved to WordPress because keeping Joomla updated, especially the extensions, was costly.

      I support hundreds of client installations and found that to keep up with all the versions of the extensions, and Joomla updates, I had to assign a coder full time to test and update client sites.

      Clients balked at these added cost, and so we had to find a better solution.

      In WordPress the update process is elegant, simple, and trustworthy. In Joomla, not so much…

  10. Hi Brenda, there will never ever be a conclusion on the topic between Joomla and WordPress. I think you ventured into an area that is best left alone LOL. About 2 years ago I gave up on Joomla. This was after my specialist technical backup guy (in Joomla) recommended me to rather use WordPress. To be fair to Joomla, keep in mind that I am not a programmer, cannot fiddle with the code. I never looked back. If you are a super hot shot techie, go for Joomla, if not (like me) WordPress is the answer. A direct comparison between Joomla and WordPress will always leave you hanging in the air, because they are both good.

  11. My favorite cms without doubt is WordPress. Easy customize and flexibility.

  12. Always i think that, if you or we know core so anytime move any cms as like joomla or wordpress. On the other hand joomla maintain MVC but wordpress are not yet, but wordpress is popular in marketplace. One kind of man says that joomla security problem i told them its your problem. Because if you use many pirate extension so it should be hacked 🙂 . On the other hand if you use wordpress please develop from starch. Thank you

  13. Having developed sites in both WordPress and Joomla, I been exclusively using WP for the last 2 years. I have found that the learning curve of WordPress is a much easier on my clients.

    • Finally, someone responds where I can relate. I, too, gave up on Joomla years ago for the reason that makes the most sense: it’s more intuitive for the client.

      If you’re in the business of building turnkey websites or applications, I can’t imagine giving a client joomla to learn and manage on their on.

      • PLUS 1

  14. small complement
    joomla templates can be assigned to précuses pages.
    so we can have multiple themes in the same site.
    that’s what I miss in WordPress natively.

    • That is exactly why I prefer joomla to wordpress. I can dedicate different themes to different pages. I can easily tell it which modules to appear on which pages with a simple click of a button.

  15. When I developed my site a few years ago I decided Joomla was best for my main pages and WordPress best for my blog. So I used both – the best of both worlds I think. Yes I need to update my blog to responsive theme (I like Divi).

    I wrote a post about how I integrated the two together, published here: http://webmasterformat.com/blog/wordpress-blog-for-joomla-site

  16. Hi all,

    I dabbled with Drupal and Joomla before settling on WP. Not having anyone to show me how to get started it was really important that the product be workable for a newbie.

    Now that I’ve been using WP for 3 years (and still a newbie in many ways) I find that WP still surprises me with features and flexibility.

    No product is perfect but WP has a very active upgrade cycle and is getting better all the time. Good competition will keep this happening.

    I’ve made my bed with WP and it seems to do all that I need. anything it can’t do is more a reflection on my limited skills than on the product.


  17. I have a Joomla site and now a WordPress site. I like and dislike each one equally, just as I do Mac and PC.
    Bottom line, neither is better than the other.

    The reason I ventured to WordPress is because of the public in-fighting between Joomla’s developers.

    I’ve used pligg, drupal, joomla, and wordpress.

  18. Very strange to make comparison with such an old Joomla version – 2.5 – which is already EOL…

    • … really catches my attention the fact that she didnt know how to publish an article in joomla (one of the basics things when you deal with a cms) in joomla case its necesary to attach the article to a menu option, just that… thats the reason why she write “I did go back in later to create a new post and wasn’t able to get it to show up on the home page. I created post after post, thinking I was doing the same process as before, but it never posted.”… ergo: you can not make a truly balanced comparison if not knows deeply both cms…

  19. I have always liked wordpress. Tried Joomla once, but it was too difficult for me to understand it quickly.

  20. You can install plugins from within Joomla. … Same as wordpress. Just leaving this so that you correct that mistake in the article. Thanks.

  21. One comment on Themes’ quality: I am constantly searching both and looking at the same Theme offered for both (by many) – and find that the WP group is better, especially in its text layout quality. For some unknown reason, the Joomla group keeps ignoring the fine details of text layout style while WP guys are fanatic about that and create astoning options. If you consider design and looks above anything else, WP seems the choice.

    • this is a true fact… so joomla give a good oportunity for good designers to shine whith their work

  22. I am sorry but i must completely disagree with the conclusion of this article.

    “Joomla’s strength is its complexity.”

    No it is not, on the contrary, I could very much say that Joomla’s complexity is it’s greatest weakness.

    I worked 2 complete years with Joomla before switching to other CMS and finally landing on WordPress.

    After meeting wordpress and having fought with Joomla like mad, I was blown away, WordPress is not miles, it’s thousands of kilometers better than Joomla in so many aspects but WordPress simplicity and structure is definetly it’s strongest point, it’s easy to customize, structure is simple and intuitive and it can be twice as powerful as Joomla.

    I used both systems and continue to use WordPress for the reasons stated, both from the novice and the advanced user, WordPress simplicity remains it’s greatest strengh and the number of blogs built on wordpress vs joomla speak for itself, people prefer wordpress.

  23. This is a nice comparison that you have shown here. Both WordPress and Joomla have their own advantages. From this post I can learn that WordPress is bit simpler then Joomla whereas Joomla helps in building large and complex websites.

  24. Good article and some really useful feedback – thanks!

    I just thought I’d pitch in with this one.

    Having been tasked with replacing an old site with a CMS I was recommended to use WordPress. After much research I concluded that WordPress could not natively provide the modular functionality I needed out of the box to target specific content to specific pages. I found that Joomla was the better choice and went with it – this was almost 3 years ago and since then, up until the middle of last year all my sites have been built on Joomla. I then took on a WordPress site to manage and now work with both.

    I would agree with Alex regarding the statement “Joomla’s strength is it’s complexity”. It’s complexity across a number of areas can and does make some things “awkward at best” However, like most things, the more you work with it the easier it gets.

    Having worked with the WordPress site, adding content is a breeze – it’s biggest strength, I feel, is the ability for a live preview without moving away from the editor. If you want a blog or a website with standardised pages, WordPress, in my opinion should be your first consideration. Initially, I did consider moving some Joomla sites onto WordPress and for some it would make them easier to manage.

    However, if you need flexibility to target content to specific areas of your site, Joomla’s wide range of standard module types make this easy without the need to go searching for plugins (which I had to do with the WordPress site) and I take the view that the fewer plugins the better as with either platform, upgrading versions and plugins can become a worrying time!

    The ideal scenario would be the best bits from both in a single system but I doubt that will happen. When all is said and done it mostly comes down to choice. If you are just starting out, WordPress has got to have the edge and the learning curve is definately much shallower. However, if you have a reason, preference or just plain old loyalty to use one or the other you can do pretty much whatever you want with either if you have the know how.

    It should be re-iterated that, as previously pointed out, Joomla is now heading towards version 3.4 with many changes from the 2.5 version used as a comparison and does offer functionality such as plugin installs from the backend and a handful of improvements that offer a noticeable improvement on 2.5.

    My preference, for now, is Joomla but I may still move some of the smaller sites to WordPress, just to make life easier!

  25. I use both on different websites. Overall I prefer Joomla! because I can do more with it but if I’m building a website for a client then it’s WordPress because it’s easier to use. Pretty much in line with the summary of the blog.

  26. Thank you for this post – I believe it is a fair assessment of both systems. I have been using both WordPress and Joomla! for many years and have in that time gone back and forth as to which one is the better tool. There are things I love about both. However, I have recently settled on Joomla! as my desired platform for most projects, especially since the release of the 3.x series which adds a lot of improvements over previous versions. One of the improvements is the addition of a built-in extension installer/directory similar to WordPress (something you said was lacking in your 2.5 version).

    I still love WordPress and keep up with all the latest developments. Honestly, I could use it to achieve nearly the same results I do with Joomla!, but for me Joomla!’s strong ability to adapt to big complex projects is it’s biggest attraction. And it is equally adaptable for simpler projects such as a simple blog. Built-in blogging functionality in the Joomla! core has improved significantly in recent versions and will likely continue to improve in subsequent versions. What is lacking can for now be easily added through extension.

    It is true that many of the quality extensions are paid but in my experience, they are worth the cost because they are extremely stable and add priceless functionality to the site. Also many of the quality extension developers have excellent support for subscribers.

    So yeah, both are fantastic systems. Ultimately which one you choose probably comes down to personal preference more than anything. I think WordPress and Joomla! both standout among the rest of the available systems out there due to the strong communities surrounding each one.

  27. I’m scratching my head over the use of 2.5 when it was end of life at the end of 2014. Why not compare it to WP 3.5 then?

    Also this part:
    “The list is not a WYSIWYG and in order to turn them on and set their order you have to select the module and go to the edit screen. Doing this for every module can take a substantial amount of time.”

    Is wrong. You have ALWAYS been able to batch enable and disable modules right from the list, and 3.x you can easily drag items up and down to reorder them, you just have to click the little reorder icon at the top of one of the columns.

    And here’s a con for wp while I’m at it. If you want to put widgets on different pages (not all pages) or hide the widget title, you have to resort to plugins, something you don’t need in Joomla to achieve the same thing.

    Every time I deal with a WP site I find myself hunting for plugins to get the same functionality I get in Joomla. I’m not arguing against WP, but I think it needs a few more core features like the ability to hide the widget title, the ability to decide which pages I want (or don’t want) widgets to appear on (joomla does this by default based on menu items, if you want more flexibility it does require a plugin). Another thing I miss is a true text editor inside the text widget. I had to go find a wysiwyg text widget in order to get that in WP.

  28. Joomla does in fact have an “Install from Web” tab for installing extensions – if you enable it.

    If you use that tab, then it is the same process as WordPress, you can find and install extensions from within the interface.

    • … and everything in Joomla installs from the installer menu item – extensions, templates/themes, plugins, etc … you don’t have to upload them, they install from a zip file … or directly via the web installer, which is connected to all extensions listed in the Joomla extension directory.

      – WP is fine and we use it for blogs or basic sites … but can never in good conscious recommend it for serious business operations 🙁

      Overall a balanced review, but should review current releases and have a basic understanding that to see an article/category in Joomla you need to create a menu item to have a “view” of the type of content you want to see … whereas in WP it just shows everything until “filtered” 😉

  29. I have both, Joomla and WordPress.
    I convert my Joomlasites to WordPress.
    Joomla is a horror when you must upgrade it.

    WordPress is easy to use in upgrades. So you have more security.

  30. joomla… a nightmare. w-t-h should a post be “attached [manually] to anything”? powerful? then just pick it up. menus? categories? modules? no no no. its complexity makes it ridiculously painful to work with and mantain.
    powerful? yes indeed. but its a damn out-of-the-box-bloated fugly snail. period. login into joomla control panel nowadays is going back to 2001. ludicrous. themes? no matter when it was created, they ALL look the same. the ones who doesnt, are ssssloooooooow as hell. they are a necessary evil most of the times. i see joomla and walk in the opposite direction immediatly. =/

  31. I use both as well and I’ve grown to love WordPress even though I originally didn’t like its strong lean towards blogging.

    I can sum up both: Joomla is a lot better in most areas, however if you’re a newbie you should start with WordPress then go to Joomla once you’re comfortable with the platform – because if you struggle with WordPress, you will go crazy with Joomla.

  32. I have worked with both and from experience I can say that beginners, bloggers must opt for word-press. Those who want to set up a big web portal or corporate websites should go for Joomla or even Drupal.

  33. I find more comprehensible, fair and straight forward this comparison than the one from this post.


    Even thought from my personal point of view, as a CMS my first option is WordPress for other cases I prefer Drupal over Joomla (way long) and only use it when it involves complex circumstances that wouldn’t fit on the easiness of wordpress.

    On my projects I’ve seen other aspects that other people don’t see or simply pass by and based on those my suggestion to choose which one would be the right system mostly depends on:

    A. Website goals.
    B. Skills of who’s going to manage (not setup) the website.

  34. WordPress can be used to set up a big web portal as well with complex menu architecture and not only joomla can do it these days. However, people that love complexity and uncertainty should go with joomla and those that want smart online business should go with WordPress.

    Thank you Brenda.


  35. Joomla :-

    Joomla is another most popular CMS which is best for building online magazines, corporate websites , community based portals and many other type of websites. It provides large options of extra components and modules.

    Advantages :-
    1. Many extensions are available for Joomla.
    2. Easy steps for installation and mastering
    3. Provides excellent choices for customizing and modification.
    4. Additional modules are available for design integration

    Disadvantages :-
    1. Extensions are much expensive
    2. Some security issues occurs for 3rd party components
    3. Not suitable for large websites
    4. Much hectic to make it SEO friendly
    5. Script and package integration into your site is tough

    WordPress :-

    It is considered as the best CMS platform for developing a content driven website. Much easy to use than other CMS when modifications are needed. It is a friendly platform for also those who are from non technical background.

    Advantages :-
    1. All excellent templates and adds on modules are available for free.
    2. No experience of server side is required
    3. Theming system is much friendly

    Disadvantages :-
    1. Sometimes new bugs spun in the system while fixing some other bugs.
    2. Unexpected results and conflicts occurs in 3rd party modules.
    3. It is prone to spam attacks and hackers and crackers mostly target WordPress sites.

  36. Why on earth would you review Joomla 2.5. Its ancient. Really if you are going to compare then compare the latest versions against each other else it’s pointless. I use both so this is not a Joomla addict talking. The article of of no use to anyone I suggest you take it down. To be honest how did it ever get approved for publication. Brenda please stop filing the web with irrelevant content or go back use and review Joomla 3 and then update your article.

  37. Speaking as a developer, WordPress is far, far, far worse than Joomla.

    The Joomla developers went through a painful process to rewrite it with proper architecture. They had to lose compatibility with older plugins/extensions as a result, but the end goal was worth it.

    WordPress still uses a very, very dated approach to rendering a page and it’s API is littered with old functions and a terrible templating system that does not allow you to modularly render a page – it’s top to bottom stuff where your sidebar widget is rendered only when the HTML before it has already been output (or in the output buffer) meaning you have limited capability to affect the generation of the overall page without resorting to string manipulation and similarly nasty approaches.

    That said, WordPress can be easier to use from an end user perspective and I think Joomla still has ground to make up there. But really, WordPress needs to do an API breaking release and have a complete overhaul of it’s architecture. It’s showing it’s age.

  38. I am only used to Drupal and WordPress, and ended up on wordpress because the quality of themes was higher. And then i knew ET with your excellent and pro themes and i was in awe !

  39. Analogically, one can compare a CMS with transport technology, for example.

    This is like asking which is a better way to travel, bicycle, auto-mobile or aeroplane? There is no comparison. All these tools are for different needs, purposes and tastes.

    WordPress, like a bicycle, is for less intensive usage, easier to master, not very powerful. It’s the best for beginners and for the occasional trip around a limited area.

    Joomla is an anological auto-mobile, very flexible, a bit unwieldy, but very powerful. Mastery of Joomla needs some training and practice but, once you can do it, it’s easy. It is best for most functional sites that want to do more powerful things with the Web.

    Drupal is the ‘aeroplane’ – you need special training and expertise just to handle it and mastery is a long way off. However, if you really want power, safety and a serious choice for a big company or governmental site, you should choose this (or, maybe, the Typo3 ‘helicopter’).

  40. I’ve used Joomla almost from it’s start, a couple of years ago thought I’d better do a few WordPress sites to extent my knowledge. I just don’t find it as easy or logical. I still look after those sites, but I have decided all my new sites ‘unless asked’ will be Joomla.

  41. +1 vote for WordPress solution. However, I guess the final decision’s going to come down to personal preferences and which tasks seem more menial to you. All in all, However, once sticking with the wrong CMS – it’s not a problem at all to migrate to another. Once, I’ve realized my CMS doesn’t fit my needs – I moved to WordPress with the help of CMS2CMS converter. It’s online migration utility, cheap and fast and it actually works. Here is the tool http://goo.gl/PufS6I.

  42. I have used both Joomla and WP.
    Bottom line, I have switched all my Joomla sites, with the exception of one website to WP. The reason, is because my clients had a hard time trying to work with Joomla. Since I switched, everyone is happy.
    Example: if you played with the Joomla menu system vs the WP menus, there is no comparison. Also loading a extension into Joomla, people get confused, is under a Component, Module or a extension?
    In WP, all you have to do is look into your installed plugins.

    The only reason I still have one site using Joomla, is because of a certain outstanding extension, called “PreachIt”. WP has similar plugins, but cannot match the capabilities of this extension.

    I think Joomla has a lot of potential, but as everyone has said, has a higher learning curve in which most people don’t have the time to play with.
    Bootstrap which is available in Joomla 3x core is a really cool feature.

    In the end, I am using WP.

  43. Using Joomla 2.5 against WordPress is akin to reviewing a 2015 Hyundai Genesis you drive daily against a 2010 Infiniti G37 you never owned.

    Joomla 2.5 and 3.x are different worlds entirely.

    WordPress is a better, more mature blog tool. WP has a reliable upgrade path, many themes and add-ons and a large universe of users.

    Joomla is far better when you want to marry a CMS, have babies and settle down while building your own house. There is a learning curve investment, but wow what a payoff in feature potential and individualism.

    Both are tremendous options in feature set and quality.

    It truly is a Coke:Pepsi conversation which requires individual research before picking your poison.

    I am in the Joomla camp and respect my WordPress friends. There is no wrong answer here, only the right one for you.

    • I have builtd a few websites with both and like them both. I found however that the blog above failed to address a very important asset that Joomla has over WordPress, Access Level Control native to the CMS. Unless your paying and installing for membership plugins, which are not that graceful at best in WP, WP is not even in the league. That is no small feature to ignore.

  44. Fully agree with Jason on the Coke Pepsi analogy. I prefer Joomla and have been using it for years. Love the new 3.x build series and have found building responsive sites with it quite effective. I am not knocking Word Press in any way…just prefer a stable CMS that runs well on Linux servers. In 7 years I have never had a Joomla site hacked, so I stick with it 😉

  45. Hi Brenda,
    It is a great comparison.
    No doubt, Joomla has remarkable custom web development features, and you can design your website easily.
    But WordPress is also good. Especially, for beginners.

  46. For the most part, this is an good comparison. I’ve used Joomla since the Mambo days and WordPress since the …Kubrick days 😉 I never looked at WP as a true CMS until around version 3x (can’t remember). Joomla 1.5 was a breakthrough and opened many new doors for Developers. Mid 2015, I’m about to revisit Joomla once again for a few projects–but if WP keeps up its pace, it will most likely be the CMS of choice. Don’t get me started on Drupal! I pushed D7 hard with my clients, but GUI was just too complex for them. I’ve migrated dozens upon dozens of D6/D7 sites to WP4 now, but my heart is still with Joomla 🙂 Sorry, I’m rambling. I wanted to clarify 2 things for your readers:

    1. “plugins can slow down the system” – This is vague and should never be promoted. Plugins can actually speed up your WP site. You should always tell people: POORLY WRITTEN plugins can slow down (or break) a WP theme or website.

    2. “most quality extensions are paid” – Another vague point. WP and Joomla are free and open-source. Developers should always be compensated for their time and efforts–whether that’s monetary or a simple tweet, follow, like, etc. You can’t judge a CMS because it has quality paid plugins. That’s silly 🙂


  47. No offense to the author but:

    …I have never put any stock in a review that would compare something brand new to something that is end of life.

    This is sloppy reviewing at best, and disingenuous at worst. Pick one.

  48. Not sure still, in fact I’m more lost in the subject of which one is a better option!

  49. I would say wordpress if you’re a beginner and if you know coding then Joomla touch down and dropal if you are advanced in development.

  50. Just came across this review. Thank you Brenda. Great job. My comments:

    I used Joomla for years. It does things easily right out of the box that I can’t get WP to do. But as mentioned above is difficult for clients to manage. Very rewarding if you wanna learn it.

    Started using WP six months ago. Love it. 1-Easy to create content and manage and 2- Great community!!!

    Will continue to use both depending on need.

    PS – I like Coke better than Pepsi.

  51. For professional purpose, must be Joomla. I was so disappointed when I first install wordpress. Actually wordpress is NOT good for commercial site.

  52. I personally love WordPress over ANY other CMS I have tried (including Joomla).

  53. WordPress is toy for kids, Joomla is tool for professionals.

  54. Joomla takes about a week to get used to. AND it is NOT intuitive at first.

    Word press makes a website REALLY easy because it seems like the whole thing is a advanced “front-end” editor. But in the end the organization gets really complicated. However, I think the user base for wordpress is much bigger, thus it drives a lot more ecommerce developing quality tools that do ALL the work for you. So it makes it really simple.

    Joomla backend once you are used to it makes a lot of sense, it could be better if Joomla allowed to edit multiple article permissions and catagories at once… but that might be a plugin. I have spent hours looking for plugins to do things to enhance efficiency in Joomla, but like I said, a lot less ecommerce in my opinion, so you end up needing to get your hands dirty to add functionality, by digging in to the code sometimes.

    All in all if you want a simple site, go with wordpress. If you want anything more… you will eventually need to hire someone who REALLY knows wordpress or get your hands just a little dirty using Joomla … and I would recommend Joomla for anything more than a simple site. It comes with a great base line to edit on, and it has an intuitive developer feel that wordpress kind of gets messy with once you need something that might not be a standard website item like creating custom templates, or simple modules with easy backend customizations.

  55. Not which one is better, but which more easy for you to use.

  56. Being a web designer and a developer I have had the opportunity to work with both WordPress and Joomla as well as Drupal and Magento.
    It is my opinion that WordPress is the easiest to get up and running in by far.

    At my previous job we built full featured web sites exclusively in WP and developed all our themes from scratch using the Bootstrap framework.

    I am not a programmer but through the WordPress Codex I have learned enough PHP to customize my theme to get the desired look and functionality to each individual page, as well as assigning widgets and sidebars on a page by page basis. So the issue with assigning different templates to different pages is not an issue.

    With either platform you must rely on either free or paid extensions/plug-ins to achieve additional functionality. This is a problem that must be faced by either platform.

    I have also built a custom from scratch template for Joomla but I just can’t grasp the way Joomla works. I have been trying for some time and my current employer prefers Joomla.

    For ease of use for the designer/developer and the client, I think WordPress is a clear winner.

  57. I have worked with both Joomla and WordPress (and a number of others) and have to say that Joomla is by far the more superior CMS. I keep stumbling across these reviews, and more often than not, the person writing the review is a WP developer who is trying (hard) not to look biased, but ultimately does.

    Joomla 3.4.8 is nothing like 2.5x so this review shouldn’t even be considered by anyone looking today. The front end editing is a breeze, and continues to get better. Joomla can be anything you want, including a highly sophisticated blogging site, and what’s more it is highly scalable/customisable etc. so can grow with absolutely ANY business type/size.

    People tend to knock Joomla because they don’t understand it. Yes it does take considerable time to learn it, but once you do, its well worth the effort, and you come to appreciate its incredible architecture and power.

    WP doesn’t do it for me I am afraid. It superb for a blogging site (afterall, that’s what it was designed to do) but its handling of menus etc. is so clunky, and when I found plugins for features I needed, they were often so out of date, or no longer being developed/upgraded.

    Joomla’s update/upgrade process is effortless now, all click of a button in the back end. Modules and pages can be edited direct from the front end … I could go on …

    I think ultimately, we shouldn’t be comparing Joomla/Wordpress, they are so different. Instead start with the business need – if its a simple site for a small business who wants to self manage, then go with WP, if its mostly a blogging site, but want some fancy features (go with either) if you business is complex and requires lots of automation, functionality, and anticipates high traffic/interactions then go with Joomla. Ok, I am biased, but for very good reason!

  58. Good information provided on this article. We recently published a similar article looking at the benefits between the two CMS’ and WordPress always comes out the winner – when a client wants to use the system. I think this simply comes down to the ease of use and the typical apple approach ‘it just works’ Unfortunately for developers it may not be the best system but then the ‘best’ system doesn’t always win.

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