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Drupal vs Joomla: Which One to Choose for Your Web Project? And Why?

Drupal vs Joomla: Which One to Choose for Your Web Project? And Why?

by Adrian Ababei on Dec 13 2016
You are aware, aren't you, that there's a lot at stake when choosing the “right” CMS, the one that meets your particular web project's needs? So, you definitely need to think it through and to consider all the main aspects!
 
Still, no need to panic now! To get stressed out that you risk to make the wrong choice, for you can't tell which one is the perfect fit for your particular work scenario.
 
The best way to find your answer if by asking yourself the right questions!
 
As simple as that!
 
  1. What's your level of knowledge of the main programming languages (CSS, HTML, PHP)?

     
  2. What type of website will you be developing (a corporate website, an e-commerce website, a social network etc.)?

     
  3. What future do you anticipate for this website? Are there any chances that it should grow significantly? Will it require new functionality and is it likely to face the challenge of traffic overloads later on?
 
And so on...

 

Are You Joomla's or Drupal's “Target” User?

 
Are you're a “tech savvy” developer, with a consistent coding experience in the basic programming languages? Then you're the type of target user that the community developing Drupal envisioned for this platform!
 
Are you confident that the site you're about to build will grow and, therefore, get more and more “greedy” when it comes to new features and constant customization (and you have a certain “weakness” for the after-launch “polishing” and constantly upgrading processes? Then you should definitely go for Drupal.
 
Do you have basic technical skills instead? Are you looking for a super easy to use CMS that doesn't require certain language programming skills? Then Joomla is the platform that you'll find be comfortable with! It will allow you to have your e-commece or social networking site up, running and looking attractive in no time!

 

Is It A Joomla-Specific or a Drupal-Specific Website That You'll Build?

 
What type of website are you planning to develop?
 
And (after you've discovered whether you're Drupal or Joomla “material” answering to the question in the previous paragraph) this might just be the question that will help you make a choice between the two popular CMSs!
 
Is it an ecommerce website that you'd like to set up quick and easy, with no customization implied or maybe a fully functional social networking website and you have basic technical skills? Then you've got yourself a winner: Joomla!
 
Are you facing an a lot more challenging project, where you need to rely on your technical expertise and deep experience as a web developer for building large scale websites? Then it's Drupal that will help you meet and exceed your client's daring business goals. For instance here, in our web design company in Toronto, we often face the challenge of developing content-packed websites. So, we know that we can rely on Drupal: its been designed for handling truckloads of users and large amounts of data, you know.
 
And where do you add that, due to its catching features, Dupal loads faster, too? And it requires less server resources than Joomla, as well?
 
Checked and double checked! If you're planning to start a daring (even a multisite) website project, one that's sure to grow steadily in traffic and content in the future to come, then go for Drupal!

 

How Do Drupal and Joomla Respond to Your Need of Customization?

 
FLEXIBILITY and CUSTOMIZATION are Drupal's “little name” and respectively “middle name”!
 
So, you bring in your passion for “getting your hands dirty” up to your elbows in lines of code and it will spoil you with an overwhelming array of themes, plug-ins and all sorts of other configurable options!
 
Select the ones that respond to your website's ever growing needs, mix and match them and then skillfully integrate them, boosting both its looks and functionality!
 
It's true, Drupal “expects” you to be more of a technical savvy (compared to Joomla), but it also gives you unlimited freedom: feel free to come up with any needed improvements to your site, to create custom modules, to play with themes, to upgrade its out-of-the-box features to your (or your client's) liking. Sky it the limit!
 
Oh, and I almost forgot: they're all free! It's a “detail” that you should take into account if you consider that some of Joomla modules and plug-ins are not free of charge!
 
So, yes, when it comes to flexibility and customization, it depends a lot on your own needs:
 
Do you actually want to be able to constantly customize the look and feel of your website? Drupal enables you to do that painlessly.
 
Do you just want to set up a functional site as quickly as possible, without investing to much time and skills into its customization? Then Joomla, with its already famous easy to use interface, will help you set up your social network or online shop as quickly and stress-free as you say: “Joomla”!

 

What About Security? Which One Makes A More “Secured” Choice?

 
It would have to be Drupal!  
 
And I'm not saying it because it's Drupal that we're building wesites on here, in our digital agency in Toronto! Just think about it (for it's pretty obvious): how many hacked Drupal websites have you heard of compared to Joomla or Wordpress sites?
 
It's true that those who've “pledge to remain 100% faithful” to these two CMSs will come to “counterattack” stating that this is only because there aren't as many websites built in Drupal as there are in Joomla or Wordpress.
 
And yet, it's a proven fact: Drupal takes security to another level, compared Joomla. Its worldwide community of developers is constantly “hunting” down threats and is always on the lookout for any weaknesses showing up in the system. Moreover, whenever they spot security vulnerabilities, they patch them up and “expose” then on the website.
 
Still, even if with its not that strong approach to the security factor, Joomla, too, responds to security vulnerabilities and it gives you the chance to strengthen your site's level of security, to upgrade it with new extensions. Yet, it is important to keep in mind that you'll need to constantly run the necessary updates for keeping it properly shielded!

 

Which Are Joomla's and Drupal's SEO Capabilities?

 
If you're concerned about the SEO aspect (and you should be, especially if it's the challenge of a large scale, multilingual website project that you need to respond to), then there's no “better option”, there's just ONE option: Drupal!
 
It “beats” Joomla in terms of SEO capacities, being equipped with far more advanced SEO features.
 
Still, it's true that you can optimize your Joomla website for the search engines, too. The main difference is that you'll need to actually create those custom SEO-related features yourself (and since this CMS “boasts” to be “a dream come” true for the non technical savvy ones, this aspect might just be an unpleasant surprise for you).

 

How Do They Handle Technical Support?

 
When it comes to their help portals, if you're a beginner you'll find Joomla's technical support far more accessible.
 
You can find the answers to all you Joomla-related “dilemmas” and you'll be able to get all the guidance you'll need as compared to Drupal's support options, which are more “from developers to developers”: a lot more technical. 
 
So, there's no "better" or "worse" help portal! It's just a matter of responding to their own target users and “speaking their language”.

 
What other strong and weak points of these two popular content management systemshave you “dug up” yourself ? What other similarities and major differences? We're looking forward to reading about them in the comments below!
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