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Joomla vs. WordPress – which is the best CMS for my business website?

Written by Brett Sidaway, May 9, 2011
 | Joomla vs. WordPress – which is the best CMS for my business website?
09 May 2011

Joomla vs. WordPress – which is the best CMS for my business website?

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Joomla vs. WordPress comparison

It really is a golden age for any business who wants to build their own website or revamp an existing website that is failing to deliver.

Any entrepreneur with some experience of a PC or Mac, time to spare and an ability to write interesting copy could probably build their own site using a free ‘open source’ software that has a level of functionality that would have cost them £1000s not too long ago. A brief internet search will provide them with plenty of choices for their framework – Drupal, MODx, Moveable Type, CMS Made Simple, etc. – the list grows almost daily. So which to choose from? Life is too short to compare all so I just wanted to look at the two most popular and ask – which is best for a business?

WordPress

WordPress is about the coolest a software will ever get, and that’s probably because it was developed initially as a blog software that was quickly championed by early bloggers – especially those involved in design and photography. By its own estimate it has over 25million users.

Joomla CMS

Joomla was developed specifically as a Content Management System, has quickly risen to be the world’s no. 1 CMS system, and has been downloaded over 21million times in the last 4 years alone. Apart from their growing popularity, both systems have many similarities – both free open source and with dedicated communities developing thousands of free plug-ins for anyone to use. For more information, please view our blog on why to choose Joomla for your business website.

Joomla vs. WordPress – your business check list

When deciding which system to opt-for, use this brief checklist to help you decide:

1. What do you want your website to do?

Lot’s of businesses use their website as an electronic business card; the site reassures clients that the company exists and provides basic contact service info and contact details. If this is what you want from your website then you’ll find WordPress the ideal ‘start-up’ system. Other websites do much more – ecommerce, customer service, newsletter sign-up, blogging etc. and Joomla as a dedicated CMS tends to be better at handling larger, more feature rich-sites. Of course most business websites lie somewhere between the two and there is no easily defined point at which Joomla trumps WordPress (or vice versa).

2. How do you want your website to grow?

Any good website, like any good business, must grow over time. However, that growth can take different forms. You may ultimately want the website to sell online, handle most of your customer enquiries, allow customers to log-in to their own section to review project or track orders etc. Joomla’s 6,000 (and growing) free plug-ins are designed to allow this kind of growth. In fact it should make your website future-proof as the community will welcome your input into different requirements. That’s not to take anything away from WordPress dedicated community that have developed over 14000 plug-ins.

3. Style vs. substance

This is a little unfair as both offer great looking templates – for free or little cost. But WordPress has been championed by the design community so if the look is as important as the content – and perhaps even more so for businesses involved in fashion, jewellery, photography, graphic design, books etc – take advantage of those stunning WP themes.

4. With a little help from my friends

An important factor is how much support you think you will need. I said at the start that it is possible to build the websites from scratch by yourself, and if that is your intention then WordPress is the place to start if you have basic skills and want to get up and running within a matter of minutes. However, whichever system you choose you’ll need to have a back-up plan if things don’t go according to plan? Not because of any problem with Joomla or WordPress but because you run out of time, patience or skills. Before you begin have a Plan B. This might mean finding a support network. Can you look to friends, business associates or even competitors for advice based on their experience of one system or the other? Are there local Web Design and SEO companies that have experience in either Joomla web design or WordPress design who could provide support? Both system’s have active communities –  check out the forum’s to see if you feel more at home in one community than the other. There is no easy answer and the decision will be based on your immediate needs, your future plans, the confidence you have in your own ability and how much outside support you will require.

Image credit – Aristocrat

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