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A Practical Comparison

Joomla vs WordPress
- Which is Best?

Most businesses have been in the situation where they have sought a quote for a new website and now need to take a closer look at which CMS system best suits their needs. Below, we delve deeper into Joomla and WordPress, two of the most used CMS systems in the world.

Joomla vs WordPress

WordPress - Introduction

WordPress is a well-known CMS system, with a large user base and a vast ecosystem of themes and plugins, making it easy to tailor the system to one's needs. It's also user-friendly and has an intuitive user interface, especially suitable for less complex websites or blogs.gs.

Joomla - Introduction

Joomla is better suited for larger and more complex websites requiring advanced features and customizations. Joomla's flexibility stems, in part, from its ability to handle multiple languages and more complex information architectures. Joomla has built-in advanced user management features, which are particularly useful for larger organizations (associations, public institutions, etc.) that need to delineate employee access and capabilities or wish to build an online user-based platform.

Wordpress vs Joomla

We professionally work with both Joomla and WordPress, so we know both systems in-depth, both in terms of their underlying code and in terms of the situations in which it's smarter to choose one platform over the other based on desired functionality.

When we advise a customer, the choice of CMS is always made based on the company's needs and our experience, because even though you can (almost) get the same out of both CMS systems, there are projects where one CMS is just better suited for the task than the other.

With that said, let's take a closer look at the differences between Joomla and WordPress, and we'll conclude with our recommendation at the end of the article.

Joomla vs. WordPress
Built-in features and functionality

Both Joomla and WordPress have many similarities at their core and offer everything one would expect from a modern CMS system. You can easily create all the pages and menus you need, handling media files is straightforward, and you can modify almost all parts of the page in terms of design and content.

However, when it comes to the amount of essential functionality built into the system from the start, Joomla wins, often making it the better choice. We will provide an explanation based on our experience below.

Built-in features and functionality in Joomla

Built-in features and functionality in Joomla:

Joomla Language

Integrated Language Versioning

One clear advantage of Joomla over WordPress is the system's built-in language versioning, making it easy to have your site in multiple languages. This also applies to most Joomla extensions.

ACL - Access Control List

ACL - Access Control List

Easily manage what your users and employees can see or do on your site. A truly great feature for subscription sites, B2B websites where customers need to log in and only see pages designated for them, or associations with many users.

SEO for Joomla

SEO

Comes with built-in standard SEO features like control of meta descriptions, meta title, image alt text, and automatically inserts micro-data for articles. Important if you want more traffic to your site and thereby more sales.

Modules in Joomla

Modules

One of Joomla's more overlooked features, but imagine being able to insert new content or grant access to new functionality anywhere on your site by just editing in one place. It's a powerful tool to be able to create new content or functionality from a central location and assign it to wherever you want on the site.

Text Filtering for Joomla

Text Filtering

Set Joomla to automatically remove words or code you don't want on your site. With text filtering enabled, you avoid comments or posts from your users containing inappropriate content.

Enhanced Security in Joomla

Enhanced Security

SSL, two-factor authentication, Google ReCaptcha, GDPR are all built into Joomla, providing the user with more tools to secure their site.

Theme Handling in Joomla

Theme Handling

Joomla allows you to install multiple themes or variants and use them as needed. It opens up the possibility to have sections of the site that stand out significantly in connection with, for example, landing pages or user areas.

Theme Overriding in Joomla

Theme Overriding

With Joomla, you can copy and override the design of modules and extensions from the backend, allowing a unique design without affecting future updates. For WordPress users, it's a more advanced and flexible version of child themes.

URL Management in Joomla

URL Management

Allows you to control where old or expired links should now point to. A tool that's valuable for websites focused on SEO. Highly effective when you make changes to your menus but want to ensure Google can locate the new page.

Security on Your Website

As a company's primary marketing platform is often still the website, security ranks high when choosing a CMS system. Both Joomla and WordPress prioritize security highly, and when both are correctly configured, maintained, and strong passwords are used, the risk of being hacked is quite low.

Extra Security Features in Joomla vs WordPress

WordPress lacks these built-in security features. To achieve the same functions in WordPress, we typically install several separate plugins, making a WordPress installation more complex right from the start.

SSL in Joomla

SSL

In Joomla, with just one click, you can activate SSL, as long as it's also installed on your server, without the need for an additional extension or code modification. SSL helps protect data sent over the internet, and Google considers it a ranking factor beneficial for your SEO.

Two-Factor Authentication in Joomla

Two-Factor Authentication

Joomla comes with built-in 2FA (two-factor authentication). This means even if your password is compromised, the hacker still can't log into the site without the 2FA code. It's similar to how VISA sends an SMS code for online shopping.

Google ReCaptcha for Joomla

Google ReCaptcha

Imagine if someone uses a bot to attack your website, what would you do? You can prevent this kind of attack with Google reCaptcha. Joomla has built-in reCaptcha that can be configured and set up with just a few clicks.

GDPR for Joomla

GDPR

GDPR is the new set of rules designed to give citizens more control over their data. It's necessary to set cookies with user consent to ensure user privacy is not compromised. With Joomla, you can make your website GDPR-friendly without needing additional extensions. It's that easy.

Joomla Development

Additional Built-In Functionality in Joomla

Custom Fields

Imagine building a website where you need to present consistently formatted data for your products, food recipes, club information, etc. By default, WordPress pages only allow for creating simple pages, and you won't be able to structure data.

In Joomla, however, you have the ability to create custom fields that can hold various data formats, and it's a powerful tool.

It's useful in situations where, for instance, you have articles that need to showcase recipes for food, knitting, drinks, etc. Beyond the recipe description, they typically always have a list of ingredients, time consumption, quantities, temperature, etc. Even though one could simply write this information in the text, custom fields allow you to pre-set data so you or others always use the same data when creating new articles. This ensures consistency for visitors and speeds up the workflow when creating numerous new pages.

But beyond improving workflow, custom fields also allow users to better search or sort your articles. So, your users can now more quickly find recipes with their favorite ingredient, for example. This provides a better user experience.

Make it easy for yourself, your employees, and users to create and navigate complex pages with custom fields.

URL Redirection

Broken or changed links can be a problem for both your users and SEO. Non-working links leave a poor impression on your visitors, potentially resulting in lost conversions. This issue is resolved with redirection.

Joomla comes with built-in URL redirection. You can fix all broken links with redirection in Joomla. Joomla also provides a login redirect, so you can direct your users after they've logged into your website. This is particularly useful if you have users logging in for courses, materials, etc.

Caching

Cache is a type of data temporarily stored on the server to speed up the website loading process. Typically, caching significantly enhances a server's speed. When you enable cache on your website, it will load much faster in your client's browser than a regular website.

Joomla comes with a built-in caching service. You don't need to rely on external extensions to do this. Simply activate the caching setting, and cache the page and browser as needed. With Joomla 4, we typically don't use caching as the code is already optimal and the servers we use are always top-notch.

Unfortunately, WordPress doesn't have such a caching function. However, there are numerous plugins available, but one must be careful as we've found some do more harm than good.

Debugging Function

During the website development process, especially when adding new functionalities, we often encounter errors that can be hard to trace. To resolve the error, we make use of various debuggers, and fortunately, Joomla comes with a built-in debugger console. It simply needs to be activated from the global configuration, and we can start debugging.

While regular users don't typically need a debugger console, for developers, it's an invaluable feature, demonstrating that Joomla thinks a bit more long-term than most CMS systems.

Som en almindelig bruger har du ikke behov for en debugger-konsol, men for os som udviklere er det en virkelig god feature og vidner om at Joomla tænker lidt længere end de fleste CMS systemer.  

Secure Email Sending

Emails are an essential service for any business. Without email, you risk losing valuable conversions, information, and money. When installing a CMS like Joomla or WordPress on a server, you typically get a default email service like PHP mailer, but it's often an insecure way to send emails as the sent emails too often end up in the spam inbox.

That's why you should utilize authorized mail services like Office 365, Gmail, SendGrid, Amazon SES, SparkPost, Mandrill, etc. In WordPress, you need to install a third-party plugin to use any of these mail services. Therefore, you should ensure you use one of the best SMTP plugins for WordPress. Don't worry; we've found it.

Joomla comes with a built-in SMTP service that you can trust without hesitation. The best part about Joomla is that you don't need to install any additional extensions. Activate the mail settings, select SMTP, and you're set. Joomla's SMTP saves time and money and is free from vulnerabilities.

User Activity Log

Managing a website isn't always straightforward, especially when you're part of a larger team. Multiple users can make changes to a site, and when several people are administrating a website, it's crucial to log the modifications made by a user or system administrator. Should anyone make unwanted adjustments, they can be pinpointed and rolled back by consulting the log.

Joomla comes with a built-in user action log, so you don't have to worry about anything going wrong. You can log all events, including articles, banners, cache, categories, configuration manager, contacts, installers, media, menus, messaging, module manager, news feeds, plugins, redirects, tags, templates, users, etc.

So, which is better: WordPress or Joomla?

If one solely looks at the many built-in advantages of Joomla, many might think Joomla is the clear winner.

However, since we are familiar with the functionalities, flexibility, user-friendliness, community support, and the overall performance of both systems, we, and probably everyone else professionally working with both systems, know that the truth depends on a company's needs and desires for customizing their website.

Even though WordPress, due to its simplicity out-of-the-box, is one of the world's most-used CMS systems, its complexity can escalate quickly. The average WordPress user may end up installing 10, 20, or even 30 plugins of varying quality and compatibility to address challenges that Joomla has already integrated solutions for.

But, truth be told, both systems are outstanding when used correctly.

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