wp-jo-drWhen it comes to building a website, many people become confused as to which CMS (content management system) they should choose. Bearing this in mind, we’ve taken a look at the two of the other most popular CMS alongside Joomla to help you make a decision.

Firstly, we’ve chosen Wordpress and Drupal as these are the two other major open source CMS on the market. All of them are developed by a community of thousands and are free to download and use.

What is open source?

For those who are not familiar with the term open source, it is simply software that is freely distributed and not subject to licensing fees. As well as being free, the beauty of open source software is that it is continually worked on and improved by developers from all over the world. This means that regular improvements are made to ensure the software is continually evolving in line with technological advancements.

With the three CMS models we’re discussing, developers are also constantly writing add-ons and extensions to improve the software, some of which may be subject to subscription charges or a one off fee.

All of the CMS models we’re concentrating on have a huge online community of dedicated developers and users, making it a simple matter to find support. There is a plethora of online documentation to help you use the software, as well as forums and books.

Which should I choose?

This will depend largely on a couple of things, the first of which being how technologically minded you are. For beginners, Wordpress is a good choice, as it’s very easy to use yet has the flexibility to be capable of running complex websites.

Drupal is much more complex and more suitable for those who require a highly customised site with a large amount of content to organise and scalability. However, it’s not the easiest to pick up quickly, so if you consider yourself something of a Luddite, this probably isn’t for you.

Joomla is somewhere in between the two, being easier to pick up than Drupal but with more functionality than a basic Wordpress installation will offer.

One thing’s for sure, all of these platforms are highly popular and unlikely to disappear from the internet scene any time soon. This means you have plenty of time to build a site, add to it and learn all about the CMS that you’re using to build it.

Functions and usability

If you have little or no experience in web development, then Drupal is not for you. Whilst it’s capable of helping to build extremely complex sites and is a very powerful CMS, Drupal is best used by those with some expertise in web design and development.

It’s becoming easier to use with each new release, but unless you have the time to commit to learning complex and powerful software, then it’s not a great idea even now.

Joomla is the middle ground between Drupal and Wordpress as it is more user-friendly than the former, whilst retaining the ability to build a more complex site than you would be able to with Wordpress. Joomla has strong social networking capabilities and speedy page loading, as well as a more advanced content organisation structure that is found with Wordpress.

Wordpress is suitable for beginners and those who can alter the code within the installation to further customise it to suit their needs. The ease of use makes it ideal for smaller sites, such as blogs and ideal for web designers who want to hand the upkeep of the website to the client.

Whilst all three are excellent CMS platforms, what they will be used for with regard to websites and user experience will both make a difference to which one you should choose.

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