WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or a PHP or ASP.Net site? This may be a question you’re asking yourself if it’s time for a new website, and for good reason: your website is an integral part to your business, so you’ll need a content management system (CMS) or framework that’s easy to learn, update and manage. Not to mention one that helps your site rank high on search engines.
Today, the top three most popular CMS platforms are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, with a whole lot of smaller, newer CMS like Typo3 and Serendipity getting in on the game. And then there’s PHP platforms like Symfony and Laravel, and ASP.Net sites. These are custom-coded and typically built by a programmer or developer.
But which one is best for you and your business? The answer lies in whether or not you’ll be updating your site on your own, and how often.
Overall, WordPress has a few big advantages over Drupal, Joomla and other CMS and over PHP and ASP.Net sites, too – especially for small business websites. Let’s just say that there are reasons WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS, and that comes down to ease of use, the ability to customize the site, and a few other key, important things.
Below, we’ve broken down the benefits of using WordPress over other types of platforms for your website.
A word about PHP and ASP.Net websites
The big difference between CMS like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, and PHP and ASP.Net sites is that CMS is built with the user in mind. It’s easy to update and change most elements of the website quickly, whereas websites built using PHP or ASP.Net don’t have a user interface that allows for those quick updates (unless the developer creates one).
Because of this, PHP and ASP.Net sites are best for those who want a site that isn’t going to involve a great deal of changes (or any). Most businesses, however, need a platform that allows for a lot more customization.
Which CMS is the best for my website?
When it comes to CMS, the three most popular, WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are all pretty solid. However, WordPress inches out the others for a few big reasons that we’ll explain below.
Ease of use. CNN, Samsung, The New York Times, IBM… these are just some of the companies and organizations that chose WordPress at their website’s CMS. But many small businesses and individuals use WordPress, too. That’s because it’s extremely easy to use.
In fact, adding posts, pages, images and even video to a WordPress site is about as simple as using Microsoft Word or PowerPoint.
Joomla appears to be a very easy CMS when you first get started, but as you design and build your website, it gets more complicated because Joomla uses a category and article type organization system. This means that you have to create a category for each type of content you’re creating.
Drupal is more complicated overall than WordPress and Joomla, which is why web developers and programmers are typically employed to at least get the site up and running.
Another benefit of using WordPress is that you can log in and make updates from anywhere, so it’s a perfect CMS for someone who travels or works remotely.
It’s highly customizable. WordPress offers more than five thousand free themes and about 53,000 free plugins while Joomla offers around eight thousand extensions (Joomla’s equivalent to a plugin). Drupal offers about 2,500 themes and around 40,000 modules (Drupal’s plugin).
What’s also great about WordPress themes and plugins is that most of them are very easy to install and customize, even if you have limited or basic knowledge of how to use WordPress.
Joomla offers some good editing tools but overall, it’s not as straightforward as WordPress is when it comes to installing and customizing extensions. And Drupal tends to be the least user-friendly in this area. Again, web developers trained on how to build sites using Drupal are often needed for any customization.
WordPress is great for SEO. WordPress, at its core, is a blog platform, driven by content, and websites with good content rank higher than those that don’t on search engines. WordPress makes adding content extremely easy, so there’s a good chance that with regularly updated, quality content, your site will come up quickly in searches. And that, in turn, can lead to more visits that can land you more customers or clients.
WordPress also offers a number of SEO plugins including WordPress SEO by Yoast and SEMrush, which also helps sites rank higher. Of course, Yoast also offers an SEO tool for Joomla and Drupal sites, but WordPress generally performs better on search engines, including the world’s most popular search engine – Google. And Yahoo, as well, which isn’t surprising considering that Yahoo is a WordPress site.
The runner-up in this category is Joomla. Websites that use this CMS can rank high on search engines because initial SEO optimization is pretty straight-forward. However, if more advanced optimization is needed, it can get complicated.
WordPress is less expensive. It costs you nothing to install WordPress software (or Joomla or Drupal for that matter) and get started. And while there are thousands of free themes and plugins to help keep your cost at zero, there are also reasonably priced themes and plug ins that can help you customize your site even further.
Joomla, again, is the runner up. There’s a good chance you’ll need to pay more (than with a WordPress site) for custom extensions and premium templates.
Of course, you’ll still need to pay for things like hosting and security, but where WordPress (and Joomla) has Drupal beat is when you’ve got a site that needs lots of customizing. Because Drupal isn’t exactly DIY, you’re likely to pay more for a developer who specializes in Drupal, and you’ll incur more costs to keep the site updated.
WordPress has a huge support community. One of the greatest benefits of being the most popular CMS in the world is that you can get support from anywhere whenever you need it. It also means that if and when there’s an issue with a popular plugin it will get fixed quickly.
It also helps keep WordPress an extremely secure platform. In addition, WordPress has an entire team that works solely on maintaining the platform’s security and keeps it protected from malware, viruses and hackers.
So, it’s WordPress for the win. While Joomla and Drupal are also good content management systems, you’ll get more out of your WordPress site – more customization options, more ease of use, and more support. And that all adds up to more website visits and more success for your business.