What is the best CMS (Content Management System)? There are a lot of opinions on this topic right now, which can make it difficult to know what is the right option for your business. In this blog, I’ll be discussing the top three CMS platforms: WordPress, Joomla, & Drupal.
First off, let me start by saying all of these CMS platforms are incredible! In my opinion there isn’t a clear best CMS, there is only a CMS that is the best for your business. They are all open source (meaning free!) and they all have very active and friendly developer communities where you can go for help if you need it.
WordPress is by far the most popular of the three CMS platforms boasting 140 million+ downloads. It has the largest developer community and the most free plugins (30,000+ including WooCommerce and BuddyPress ) and themes (2,000+). About half of the web today runs on WordPress from the Wall Street Journal and BBC to Snoop Dogg and the Rolling Stones. WordPress is by far the simplest platform for non-technical users to learn and manage. Simply put, if you can use Microsoft Word you can use WordPress. It’s ease of use is great for smaller to midsize companies and clients with limited resources who need to be able to monitor and maintain their websites in-house rather than pay an expensive agency or a dedicated webmaster. If this sounds like you, this may be the best CMS for you. WordPress is powerful, fast to set up (about 5 minutes), easy to maintain, and has the largest support community on the web.
Joomla runs a distant second in popularity when compared to WordPress at around 30 million+ downloads but don’t count it out. While WordPress is incredibly easy to use, that ease of use comes at a price. It simply is not as versatile or as powerful as Joomla. Joomla balances ease of use with functionality, making it quite powerful and customizable. It’s no wonder why Harvard and Linux have both chosen Joomla as their CMS of choice. Joomla takes slightly more time to setup and maintain than WordPress but it is still fairly user-friendly and shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re looking for a bit more functionality and don’t mind a little longer setup and slightly less intuitive features then Joomla may be the best CMS for you. Note: Hourly rates tend to run slightly higher for Joomla than WordPress but are fairly comparable.
Pure and simple, Drupal is a POWERHOUSE. The versatility and capabilities of Drupal makes it a huge favorite in the developer community. If you’re looking for versatility and extensibility, WordPress and Joomla don’t even compare. Drupal has the advanced options and features you’ll need if you’re trying to build some pretty robust and complicated functionality. The drawback to Drupal is that it takes a bit more expertise and know how to develop on, so be prepared to pay a much higher hourly rate for development. Perhaps this is why active downloads are so much lower than WordPress and Joomla at only 15 million+. For small to mid-size businesses that need ease of use and basic functionality, I would say Drupal is definitely overkill. But if you’re interested in building the next Twitter, or eBay (both of whom use Drupal) and have extra development dollars to spend, this is the best CMS you could ask for!
What does Bright Brain Media use? We use WordPress and only develop in WordPress. We cater specifically to small and mid-size companies and therefore the advanced features you might get with Joomla & Drupal simply aren’t needed. It’s the best CMS for our customers because WordPress is easier to use, faster to setup, and cheaper to build.
For more information on the difference between WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal; I encourage you to check out this article from WebsiteSetup.org or this article from Rackspace.com.