Joomla vs. WordPress: Which Is Best for Your Business?

While both WordPress and Joomla are free, one is a better value in terms of features, ease of use, and functionality. The Blueprint takes an in-depth look at both CMS tools.

Best for Enterprises

Joomla

Built for everyone from beginners to experts, Joomla delivers on its basic promise but does little to set itself apart.   Full Review »

The Blueprint Score

5.8
out of 10

The Blueprint Score

7.4
out of 10

WordPress

WordPress is one of the original site builders, with multiple plugins and an open-source nature, used to create many different types of websites.   Full Review »

Best for Enterprises

Joomla

Built for everyone from beginners to experts, Joomla delivers on its basic promise but does little to set itself apart.

The Blueprint Score

5.8
out of 10

WordPress

WordPress is one of the original site builders, with multiple plugins and an open-source nature, used to create many different types of websites.

The Blueprint Score

7.4
out of 10
Joomla
WordPress
What We Like
Joomla
  • The price (it’s open-source and free)
  • Excellent array of support articles
  • Intuitive editing
WordPress
  • Flexibility to create different website types
  • Free to use, and you own/control your data
  • Easy-to-customize basics
Could Be Better
Joomla
  • Compatibility issues
  • Limited add-ons
  • High server demands
WordPress
  • Loading time often slow
  • Important backups, updates, and security are self-managed
  • Live customer support only available if hosted on WordPress.com
Key Features
Joomla
  • Multiple users
  • Global footprint
  • Additional extensions
WordPress
  • Large plug-ins library
  • SEO readiness
  • Media storage
Pricing
Joomla

Free

WordPress

Free

Support
Joomla

Community forums

User groups

Online resources

WordPress

Community forums

Online resource library

Videos

Ease of Use
Joomla

Premade templates

Step-by-step publishing

Easy editing

WordPress

Premade templates

Organized dashboard

Intuitive toolbar

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As you begin to build and manage your website, you’ll be looking at the pros and cons of many content management tools. Factoring in features, functionality, budget-friendliness, and more, we compare two main contenders: WordPress and Joomla.


Joomla vs. WordPress: An overview

On the surface, there are many similarities between WordPress and Joomla. However, diving into their usability, one stands above the other in the matchup of Joomla versus WordPress.

Who is Joomla for?

The Joomla platform is a multi-use one, with its background in blogging and publishing articles. It is more concerned with function than form, so it's best for sites that are more straightforward in nature and not as concerned with deep aesthetics. It isn't so complicated as to be daunting, but it's also got a bit of a learning curve that may deter beginners.

There isn't a specific industry Joomla aims for, and it works well for generic small businesses and even corporations. As it's nothing flashy, Joomla is often used by low-traffic static websites or informational ones that don't prioritize SEO or advanced features.

Who is WordPress for?

WordPress started way back when as a system built for blogging, but has since expanded to all sorts of industries and sites for business owners. With an ever-expanding amount of features and an extensive network of developers, it is exceptionally well suited for small businesses, online stores, blogs, and other enterprises.


Joomla vs. WordPress: Features

The ability to perform above standards and basic functionality is essential for content management systems, greatly affecting your site performance and capabilities. Here's a look at how these two platforms measure up.

What Joomla offers

Joomla is a bit more limited than WordPress, as it prioritizes the basics and doing those basics well. That said, it does offer some reliable capabilities. Its extensions have a two-step process to load, making them relatively easy to get started.

It also has a decent global footprint, which is vital for international sites or companies angling for international traffic, as it is well-used outside the U.S. Because of this, it supports a large number of languages and translations.

Joomla also allows for multiple users, with different permission settings available for each user. The administrator can control levels of permission and add new people.

Without all those extra uploaded features, though, Joomla doesn’t offer much on its own.

What WordPress offers

With over 50,000 plug-ins, there's almost no feature WordPress doesn't have. Even at its raw state, it lets you add and edit multiple users, as well as upload, store, and use media. Plus, WordPress comes SEO-ready, populating HTML headings, tags, metadata, and more in its premade themes.

You can also use those 50,000 plug-ins to fine-tune your website's needs. You can safely store your data with WordPress backups, add tools to monitor marketing analytics, post on social media, set up automation, and much more.

Results

There’s no competing with WordPress’ extensive library and its well-stocked basics; it wins this round.


Joomla vs. WordPress: Support

We all need some support, especially if you’re entering the unfamiliar world of website building. As questions start to arise, you'll want options for troubleshooting and solving problems as soon as they appear.

What Joomla offers

Since Joomla is an open-source software, it is a pro bono network of developers creating the system, and therefore lacks a traditional sales or account management structure.

Despite that, its length of time in business means there is a large and robust following, with many developers and knowledgeable users running community forums on Joomla. There you can find resources, answer pages, directories, and even user events.

What WordPress offers

Similar to Joomla, WordPress is also an open-source software, meaning you have no dedicated support team.

But WordPress is such a major player in the CMS world that there is very little lacking in resources. The WordPress online resource library itself is extensive, including instructions, videos, FAQs, and more.

There is also a community forum where you can ask questions, and WordPress developers can answer if they see them.

An article with instructions in Wordpress' library of resources.

Search the WordPress resource library for troubleshooting and answers. Source: WordPress software.

Results

Though both systems seem to be on an even playing field, WordPress has more active users responding to questions in community forums and a more comprehensive resource library, so it wins.


Joomla vs. WordPress: Ease of use

If you struggle to use a CMS software efficiently, it’s not actually adding value to your site goals. So which is easier to use, WordPress or Joomla?

What Joomla offers

Joomla scales with you, so while it starts with bare-bones basic features, it can be developed to be more complex. However, just looking at the basics, it is pretty straightforward.

Navigation is "point and click," with categories that are easy to understand. Navigating, editing, and publishing work in a linear fashion, as long as your needs are simple. When you need to incorporate SEO, extensions, or customizations, it gets trickier.

The extensions require a bit of work. You need to download them manually then go through a few steps to upload, often with buggy results. You most likely will need some sort of extension added, since the out-of-the-box options for things like themes are very limited.

A list showing two Joomla themes for building a website.

A very limited theme selection comes standard. Source:

Joomla software.

What WordPress offers

Like Joomla, WordPress' ease of use can be as simple or complex as you make it. Unlike Joomla, though, it is easier to use out of the box and a bit more intuitive. It also allows you to make customizations within themes with ease and without having to jump through hoops.

With a comprehensive toolbar and dashboard navigation that just makes sense, even newbies can quickly become comfortable using WordPress. It has a logical layout and intuitive tools and lets you know when easy-to-install updates are available.

Details about Wordpress updates that are available.

Track and update easily within the WordPress dashboard. Source:

WordPress software.

Building a WordPress site does require a little bit of lift, but the daily maintenance and usage are quite simple.

Results

WordPress wins since it is by far way more intuitive than Joomla and much easier to use.


Joomla vs. WordPress: Pricing

The WordPress website costs, when compared to Joomla cost's, is an important aspect to consider for budgeting.

What Joomla offers

Joomla is an open-source and free system, which means it is free to download and use. You can own and operate your site for free, without licensing fees, and use its open-source code.

What WordPress offers

WordPress is also open source, and so that means it is also free. You can download, use, maintain and update it for free forever.

Results

With both being free content management systems, it’s a flat out tie. Though you will likely need to pay external fees for hosting or expanded plug-ins, those are additional costs that can come with both.


Joomla vs. WordPress: Integration with other software

What makes a CMS whole and good is its ability to play well with other software tools.

What Joomla offers

Joomla does offer a decent number of extensions, including SEO add-ons, reviews, the ability to like posts, etc., which does expand its capabilities. However, the options are somewhat limited, and there is some work to get them uploaded.

What WordPress offers

WordPress, on the other hand, has an integration for just about every software out there.

Whether optimizing SEO for search engines, syncing with social sites like Facebook, integrating with your CRM, and more, there’s not much WordPress can’t handle.

It’s a library of 50,000 add-ons; you can hook up WordPress to just about anything.

Several available WordPress plug-ins with their icons next to details about what they do.

Integrate apps and plug-ins as you like with WordPress. Source:

WordPress software.

Results

The sum of WordPress’ parts is far greater than the whole, making it the winner in this round.


Joomla vs. WordPress: Security

Your website should be kept safe and secure so that visitors feel comfortable browsing and subscribing to lead magnets on your website.

What Joomla offers

One of the downsides to being open source is that there isn’t a dedicated security team nor automatic updates. You can maintain site security, but keep in mind that you will have to download another extension, upload it properly, and update and manage it independently.

What WordPress offers

Since it is also open-source, WordPress also does not do automatic security checks. However, it does have high performing cybersecurity plug-ins and automated notifications of when updates are ready. Because WordPress is so widely used, it has to offer good security options.

Results

Due to its more streamlined and expansive approach, WordPress security is a bit better.


How They Compare: Joomla vs. WordPress

Joomla WordPress
Features
Yes
Support
Ease of use
Yes
Pricing
Yes
Yes
Software integration
Yes
Security
Yes

The winner? WordPress by a good chunk

WordPress is used by millions of people for a reason. It has thousands of extensions that can take it from a simple site to a comprehensive and robust CMS.

At its core, WordPress is still easy enough to use and intuitive for small businesses. It is an excellent choice for a small business that needs an easy to manage CMS and beats out Joomla in almost every category.

If you need a website builder that creates professional looking pages and boasts efficient publishing features, get started with Squarespace.

Is it time to get the ball rolling on building your website? If you’re looking for an affordable CRM that offers the compatibility you need — check out WordPress.

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Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.