If you’re looking to build a website without having to worry too much about the coding and other technical aspects, then you’ll want to use a content management system (CMS).
However, which one to choose? WordPress and Joomla are generally accepted as being the two heavyweights when it comes content management systems and both are quick and easy to manage, secure and have their own great features.
And best of all, they’re both totally free to use! So which one is right for your business?
It’s an important choice, so we’ve run through some of the main features of both below.
WordPress is by far the most popular choice when it comes to CMS, with almost 25% of all websites using it.
While it was initially little more than a blogging platform, WordPress has experienced tremendous growth, for a number of reasons.
- WordPress is incredibly easy to install and many hosting companies will automatically install it for you, giving you an up and running site in under five minutes. Even the manual installation shouldn’t take any longer than an hour.
- It’s also a very customizable platform, with more plug-ins and themes than any of the alternatives.
- Not only does WordPress have the best choice of plug-ins and themes, but most of them are also free, with more premium options available should you wish.
- As WordPress is used by so many people, there is a small army of support staff who are willing to help with any issues that might arise.
While WordPress is great, there are a couple of things to bear in mind. If your site grows and grows, you might find that you require significant server resources, and it can also be difficult to change things at the back-end of your site.
Having said this, the only problems really occur when your site starts to get massive amounts of traffic, at which point you’d probably be looking to upgrade anyway.
Joomla is seen as something as a stepping stone, or a compromise, between the simplicity WordPress offers and some of the more powerful systems.
It certainly is more powerful than WordPress, and will run on most servers without any issue, and it won’t require the expert levels of knowledge of more complex alternatives.
Here are some other reasons to consider Joomla:
- Joomla is one of the best content management systems for creating social networks, allowing you to set them up quickly and easily.
- It’s also much more simple to set up an e-commerce site than it is on WordPress.
- While it is still fairly easy to use, Joomla has a great help portal for tech support.
- And like WordPress it’s also free!
While it isn’t as popular as WordPress yet, Joomla is growing, and it offers a good middle ground between simplicity and power.
So which is right for me?
Of course, both systems have their fans and to be honest both will do a good job, but it’s really dependent on your situation.
If you’re only setting up a small site then WordPress is probably the best option, but if you think the site is going to experience growth in the near future it may be best to go for Joomla (especially if you want to add social networking).
We spoke to Cumbria-based Digitaloft who said: “Generally speaking we tend to recommend WordPress, especially for beginners, as the client can easily and quickly update the site themselves and there are so many add-ons and plug-ins.
“However, if the client is a little more tech savvy then we might recommend Joomla, it’s all dependent on the circumstances.”
Whichever you do choose, make sure that you take your time to get to the right conclusion as your CMS is a big decision, and make sure that you’re really honest with yourself about your own technical abilities.
If you’re going to struggle to use a more powerful CMS like Joomla, it probably isn’t worth it.