When the web started, it was all about HTML. Every webmaster had to build his site from scratch, creating and editing each page manually. More sophisticated websites were built by using scripting languages like Perl, but they were still hard to maintain. Then, thanks to open source database like MySQL, and to scripting language created with web development as their main focus, it was possible to build dynamic websites that were easier to maintain. Finally, with scripting language like PHP becoming more object oriented, it was possible to create software allowing to manage a website without even knowing HTML.
Those software are known as Content Manager Systems (CMS) and allow to perform whatever task a webmaster could need to do via a web user interface (administrator panel). In this article we will review two of the most used Open source Content Manager Systems: Wordpress and Joomla.
Wordpress was first released when blogs were the last big thing,
allowing everyone to create and operate their own blog.
With time it evolved in a real Content Manager System
allowing to maintain more advanced websites.
Focusing on user experience, Wordpress makes really easy to create and customize a small website. Managing posts and comments through the admin interface could not be easier, and customizing the appearance is simply done by installing a new theme. Wordpress being one of the most popular Content Manager System, there are Wordpress themes available all over the web. For professional websites, custom design services are easy to find as well.
Wordpress is based on PHP and MySQL. Optimised for speed, it makes use of optional plugins to add extra features to your blog or website (See our Best Wordpress Plugins article to learn about the best plugins currently available)
When Worpdress focuses on simplicity and rapidity, Joomla aims to provide a
powerful and extensible Content Manager System. Based on PHP and MySQL like wordpress,
it goes well beyond the simple post/categories architecture. Being able to achieve
a higher level of complexity, Joomla requires therefore more time to get used to it,
and to master its administration interface. For the same reason, it will,
when used to manage sophisticated websites, require more hardware resources.
Like wordpress themes, Joomla templates are used to customize the appearance of a website. The same way, Joomla Extensions are similar to Wordpress plugins, allowing to build, and fully customize, any website.
Well, there can't be one definitive answer to this. Those two Open source Content Manager Systems
are similar in more than one point, both offering a high level of customization. Wordpress will without
doubt fill the needs of the not so professional webmaster.
But Joomla will outmatch it when it comes to manage more sophisticated websites
(i.e. professional and corporate websites).
Whichever CMS you choose to use, being Worpress, Joomla, or any other, always keep in mind that you need to keep your installation up-to-date to prevent security risks.