For website developers, choosing the right content management system (CMS) for their client’s needs is challenging. The most difficult part is to confirm that the chosen CMS will fulfil all the requirements that the client needs. We look at three major content management systems (WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla) and how they compare with each other.

Features at a glance

[table id=1 /]

WordPress: Simple and Effective


Being the world’s most popular content management system just says it all. WordPress started out as just a blogging platform but now has grown and advanced significantly over the years to become a multi-functional platform. WordPress offers many advantages for those looking to create a simple website, blog, or an e-commerce (via plugin) store.

  • Easy to install – WordPress is one of the easiest CMS’s to install. Most web hosting providers include a One-Click installer that installs WordPress for you in one go. Otherwise, if you want to install WordPress manually, there’s the Famous 5-Minute Install process that installs WordPress in just 5 minutes.
  • Customisable – WordPress has significantly more plugins, themes and customisability than any other CMS. Due to the popularity of it, you can always find themes and support widely available.
  • Free – WordPress is free and open-source; meaning you can download and install it with no charge at all! There’s also free and paid plugins and themes widely available for you to use.
  • Community Support – With its popularity sky-high, whatever problem you come across there is a chance someone else has already encountered it. There’s plenty of support out there so you can be assured that there is a solution waiting for you.

Joomla: For advanced users


It is often thought that Joomla is the next step above WordPress but below Drupal in terms of functionality and modifiability. It is a powerful content management system which can run on most servers without any problems. Joomla has a lot less plugins and themes compared to WordPress and Drupal but you still will be able customise your site in any way you desire.

  • Social Networking – The biggest benefit of Joomla over the other two is that Joomla makes it easy to create social networks. You can have one up and running extremely quickly and easily with Joomla.
  • E-Commerce Sites – Setting up an online store is simple with Joomla thanks to its native support for e-commerce store built in. It’s also possible to create an online store in WordPress and Drupal but you’ll need to install plugins.
  • Ease of Use – Being in the middle makes Joomla easy to use like WordPress but still powerful like Drupal. Many people find that they are able to run a great Joomla site without having to be too technical.
  • Technical Support – Joomla offers an extensive help portal for asking questions and getting the support you need. It’s not as fast as community-based support but it is quicker than the technical support most people get for Drupal.
  • Free – Like WordPress and Drupal, Joomla is free and open-source. Just download and install!

Drupal: Powerhouse and popular


Drupal is the second most popular content management system readily available for use. It’s extremely powerful yet less resource intensive than WordPress. You can use Drupal to set-up a simple website blog to a content portal used by large corporations. The uses for Drupal are endless and you can extend it in any way you want.

  • Advanced – Drupal is the most advanced and frightening of the three CMS’s. Technical people won’t have to worry about any limitations or lack of specific functionality, but this also results in complex configurations and usage of the Drupal back-end.
  • Improved Performance – Drupal sites typically load faster than WordPress or Joomla off the bat. But as you load more plugins and make any other changes in the back-end, performance may change.
  • Highly customisable – Drupal has many plugins and themes available for free. For those with high technical knowledge, it is possible to modify the root files of Drupal, thus making it the most flexible of the three content management systems.
  • Free – As with WordPress and Joomla, Drupal is free to use and is open-source as well.
Making the right choice

There’s no limit on how you use these content management systems to suit the needs of your website. However, it’s best to review all three options to see which is most suitable for your website.

If you are looking to create simple small to medium websites, blogs or news sites, corporate websites and landing pages then WordPress is the one for you. It’s really easy to use and there’s plenty of plugins and support to help you create the website you want.

Joomla is for the more advanced of users that require something that is still as easy as WordPress to use yet powerful enough to achieve complex functionality to an extent. E-commerce and social networking sites will definitely benefit more on this platform.

Being the most complex out of the three yet the most powerful in terms of expandability and functionality is Drupal. The platform is recommend for complex websites that require heavy data organisation, community platform websites and large online stores.

The team at Fireworks consists of a large web development team, all with different specialties and skills to offer. All of our developers are qualified and have worked on numerous different CMS’s.

To discuss your website needs, give Fireworks a call today on 1300 660 160.