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Joomla vs Wordpress

Joomla vs Wordpress is a seemingly age old question that gets asked time and again. The thing is, however, it really isn't all that age old. The answer to that question is both simple, and complex. The simple part is, which do you prefer? What causes that preference? The complex, what do you want to use said program for?

Joomla vs Wordpress logo images
Joomla vs Wordpress vs All

Joomla vs Wordpress vs Drupal vs Blogger vs...

This entry could have easily been labeled as various different comparisons, such as Drupal vs WordPress, etc., as I have tried a good many different ones for a good many different projects.

Currently I'm writing this entry on a WordPress program, and when finished, I will transfer it to the Friendslr.com Joomla base program.
"Oh my goodness, you just told us your secret!"
Well, no, not really, there's a lot more to it. See, the simplest way I can make this all make sense is to let you into my world, but only so much.

By the way, it is better to have your own domain, on your own server (even a shared server) and your own program running it all than to use Blogger or any of those. When using blogger et al, you're driving traffic to a company which makes money off your work. Better for you to make that money, no?

Let me back up a sec

I am writing this article on my YoureOn.net back stage area. YoureOn is a site I currently use as a blog platform for local stuff, and I rarely write for that site because I am rarely home enough to write local articles.

YoureOn runs as its own domain, and runs the WordPress program, on my own server space. In the past YoureOn also ran as a video sharing site that had decent traffic, outpacing YouTube on a video by video basis, using PHPMotion as its base.

However, as I stopped producing videos, I found I had little use for that platform. PHPMotion did a lot of things well, but not enough. I would have to, once again, customize the PHPMotion code to a large degree, and re-writing all the code did not appeal to me. So I switched to Dolphin as a base, as I turned YoureOn.net into an internet radio broadcasting format. Dolphin is bloated, but still did many things well. Bloated, and their platform stuck their tags to all my keywords.

As I eased out of the internet radio world, and focused that business on a different domain, so I needed a use and platform for YoureOn. I opted for a "local happenings blog", strong on family sharing, and WordPress worked very well for that. Still, there were some things WordPress did not do well. Article writing it did very well, but it was not slick enough. Little by little I would pit Joomla vs WordPress, with mixed results. YoureOn.net still works well on WordPress, but the website is far from finished, or polished. Only so many hours in the day, you know?

Joomla vs Wordpress Writing typerwriter image
Joomla vs Wordpress Writing

What is so good about WordPress?

As a blogging platform, it is, simply put, the best. If you use tools such as Yoast SEO, you can customize your content well, and efficiently. Yes, Yoast will, at times, drive you up a wall. "What the heck does it want from me!" is a fairly common shout. Quick word to the wise, the less you know about your topic, the more Yoast will harp about your using a passive voice. See, Google will detect that passive voice in your writing as well, and penalize your hard work by ranking it lower, less relevant. Basically, if you're making it up, ANY of it, Yoast will call you out. The hardest blogs I have ever written are the ones where I did not know the subject well enough, and Yoast SEO would slaughter my writing in the Readability aspect.

Yoast combined with WP makes WP shine!
WordPress can also be annoying, which I will get to in a moment.

If you are a blogger with no real itch to customize code, WordPress is for you. Hands down. Blogger, Blogspot, no comparison. Joomla as a blogging platform leaves a lot to be desired as well. I'm about to try a new, to me anyway, paid extension which promises to make Joomla a better blogging machine, but, honestly, I'm not holding my breath. In this aspect the Joomla vs Wordpress comparison is really stark.

Wait, what is "blogging?"

Blogging is the act or writing a blog. The word Blog is a shorting of the early internet word Weblog. Basically a blog is like a diary, for some, and a method of driving traffic for others. For me, it is largely a creative outlet. I get ideas swirling through my head for an hour, a day, a week, so I write them out. Sure, they do drive traffic when done right, but more or less my articles are just for the heck of it. I am a hobbyist, not a professional. I have been told a number of times that I am good at it, have talent, but let me be honest: I think my writing sucks. I'm a scribbler. Still, I do it because I want to, and I can.
Vlogs, or Vlogging is simply a VideoLog. This is for people who can not write.

Joomla vs Wordpress Annoyed image

Why is WordPress annoying?

Ah, yes, I did mention that above. Okay, here goes:

The more plugins you add, the slower it runs. You may need all 28 plugins that you have downloaded from the WP depository to make your site do what you want, and each is good at what it does. But if they are all firing off, you are going to have a bloated, slow running website. And that, my friends, is the kiss of death in Googleland.

There is a CONSTANT need to update plugins and templates. You don't log into your administration for a week or two and you will usually have a whole bunch of plugins that need updating. I get it, the updates prevent the plugins from being used adversely, hacked and used against you. But it seems to me there is an awful lot of bad code that constantly needs updating, sometimes daily.

Furthermore, WordPress can run every bit as clunky as the early Ebay did. Do you remember that? If not, let me tell you, it was like surfing a video website on a Commodore 64. Don't know what that is? It's an early computer, as seen here!

Download Buddypress, which is WP's attempt at allowing folks to create a social network. All well and fine, but the graphics are terrible, the flow is not intuitive, but it works. Sort of. And, Buddypress atop WP is slow as snot. I have tried a couple add-ons, and some helped, but none were the answer. As a dynamic website, WordPress leaves a lot to be desired. It simply was not made for that.

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Some quick words about Drupal

I have written whole websites from scratch. I'm not new to the game. I have done incredible things with websites and code, and re-written a lot of source code to make programs work better for me. I use WordPress because I do not want to do that anymore, write code. The less I have to tinker, the better. Drupal is a tinkering factory. Looking into it I saw massive opportunities to customize the crap out of it, and therein is the problem. No, no, a thousand times no. I want a program that works, needs little maintenance, and gives me few, if any problems. If WordPress is the Camry of platforms, Drupal is maybe the 77 Camaro. You can do a lot to it, but you will always be under the hood.

Joomla va Wordpress - Joomla is right in between

I remember reading an article some years ago about Joomla being the Goldilocks program, not too simple and clunky, meaning WP, and not too complex, like Drupal, but just right. To an extent, that is true. In the Joomla vs WordPress comparison I have found that Joomla seems far and away slicker, but it does not do quite a number of things as well as WP, at least in its native form..
Things such as:

  • Blogging is way better at WordPress
  • Organizing images and media, far inferior at Joomla
  • Easier to update plugins at WP.
  • Joomla also, confusingly, uses Modules and Plugins, like Dolphin does. These are all under the heading Extensions
  • In the social realm, when you update a blog entry, it published it anew. More on that later.
  • When running a social plug in, there are two different versions of the program running, the native "global" Joomla, and the social network plug in. This is confusing.
  • Separate "Archive" function is dumb.
  • Settings are done at Joomla in a Global Configuration section, and you assign values to particular types of users. Should you use a social network plugin, you may have to configure both, and each may interfere with the other. With WordPress, this is minimal.
  • <H> tags actually make sense at WP, but do little, really, except add the tag at Joomla. when doing this Joomla vs WordPress article, I will transfer the whole article, after proofreading it, to Joomla, and all my thought out tags and their sizes will basically just be bolded.

Hashing this out

As I mentioned earlier, blogging is a whole different, and better, world with WordPress vs Joomla. When you want to publish an article, click publish. You don't "save," or option to "Save and close." Nor do you opt to do any other items which can simply do on WP.

Media

Organizing images and media. With WP, you upload, size, edit, and fill in your image metadata right in the Media folder. It's built right in. Also, when you upload an image, said image is the first one you see in the gallery. FIFO, first in, first out, in a way. This is intuitive, and native to WP. When you upload an image into Joomla, it, too goes into a media folder. By name. So, say, your image name is "monkey-face.jpg," you must scroll through all the images to the letter m to find the image you just uploaded. Then you must jump through hoops to fill in your metadata. Also, you cannot edit sizes and such.

Joomla vs Wordpress Plugins image
Joomla vs Wordpress Plugins
Joomla vs Wordpress Plugins

Plugins in either program are constantly updated, not a bad thing. WP plugins seem to update more frequently, which either means they were written poorly to begin with, or the creators are more diligent about fixing bugs. I think it's the latter.
You visit your site's back end, and immediately you know that your WP needs plugin updates, and/or theme updates. Click "updates," select all, or just the ones you want to update, and poof, done. In Joomla, update notification only seem to come up when you log into the global area. It is more complicated to update on Joomla, but it's not a deal breaker.

There are FAR and AWAY more available, useful, plugins at WP, which makes the program more extensible. However, you'll find a fair number of them will not work with your current version of WP. Also you can search for, and download, plugins directly from WP right from your back end. At Joomla you usually go to a separate website, download the plugin, then upload it into your Joomla. Wasteful.

Joomla Modules and Plugins under Extensions

Okay, if there is one place Joomla could improve, it's this. K.I.S.S. Keep It simply, Silly. WordPress has plugins, sure, but the needed sub-structures of each plugin is hierarchical, it is in the plugin itself. Open the plugin, change whatever values, save, done. This is way more time consuming in Joomla. Don't have differing names for objects that work under other objects. This is fine for webgeeks, but it is confusing to hobbyists who don't EVEN want to reinvent the wheel!

Social Networking on Joomla vs Wordpress

Joomla social networking programs, that is, social network programs that run on Joomla, can be infuriating, confusing, or very simple. The downside is that the simple ones are basically one-off Facebook clones. However, in the Joomla vs WordPress world, even the worst of the Joomla Social Network set ups is akin to WordPress’s Buddypress, but most are vastly superior. And, well, Buddypress is WP's finest.

When it comes to making a social network site, you're really asking too much of WordPress. It's slow, clunky, and not that much fun. Oh, sure, you could spend weeks customizing it, but, like many people, I do not have that kind of unpaid time off.

Enter Joomla.
For weeks, nay, months, I shopped, and tried various programs to run my Friendslr.com social network By the way, read this to find out more about Friendslr:
Friendslr.com Article
I tried Oxwall, OSSN, Elgg, and on and on. I configured Word press/buddy press, bought some expensive skins that would make it nifty looking and fast, problem is, they would not work. So then it became a showdown, Joomla vs Wordpress. Did I want to jump on another horse? And if so, would that horse prove to be a donkey?

Joomla for Hire

I had played Joomla a few times in the past, however, I usually found the learning curve to steep for my available time. After all, if I want to work that hard, I'd just write my websites from scratch myself. then I tried it out on my DelightfulCoffee.com website, and although I like\d some aspects of Joomla, there were other things I did not like so much. However, this gave me a place to sort of learn the program. Joomla vs Wordpress: Joomla.

Later, as I once again, shopped social networking programs, now for Joomla, I focused in on a JomSocial vs Community builder vs EasySocial elimination round. I liked the literature on all three, but eliminated Community Builder right off, as it had been morphing recently, and that likely meant more work for me to do.

Down to JomSocial vs EasySocial.

Breaking it down item by item, I liked the sound of JomSocial the best, and plunked down my money. This foray lasted about 2 weeks, when the duality of JomSocial running on Joomla ran me right up a wall. Then I plunked my money on EasySocial, and is it ever easy! What does this have to do with Joomla vs Wordpress? Everything!

WordPress Rocks Many Things

But Joomla is far and away better at things akin to making a social network. As a blogging platform, Joomla is absolutely 2nd or 3rd, maybe 4th, fiddle to WordPress, however. Furthermore, if you have a mixed use website, which happens to have dynamic content, Joomla is better. Yet, if you're a blogger, use WordPress.

Qualifiers

I want to be very clear here. Friendslr.com exists because it is a hobby. If it turns into something, great, but I don't expect to compete with the big boys. My poor little server could not handle that. Just like my rambling writings, or scribbling, here and elsewhere, is not the mark of a professional. I am a hack in the writing world, nothing more. Partly I write for fun, said fun being self-expression, and as a way of, I dunno, analyzing myself? I have found that I am a mess.

In other words, I make nothing, no money, for my labor, my clattering on this keyboard of mine. However, if I was a paid pro, I'd probably invest in a wholly written custom program for my websites. Yet, as a rank amateur hobbyist, I'm perfectly content to run my websites on other's platforms.

Currently all but maybe 2 of my websites run on either WordPress or Joomla, and only 2 run on Joomla. that would be, what, 10 on WordPress?
That having been said, in a Joomla vs Wordpress showdown, 10 to 2 sounds like a clear indication of a winner. WordPress. But not for everything, not by a long shot.

Now get on out there and change the world!

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