Date of Publication: 26 July, 2020

Understanding CMS - WordPress, Joomla & Drupal

- For Web Development

Most businesses now, more than ever, need a digital presence. It may start with building a website or a blog. Hence, you must consider using a CMS. A CMS (content management system) provides you the interface to create, manage, and modify the contents of your website without any coding skills. So that you can focus more on more important issues that are essential for your business rather than coding. There are 3 commonly used CMS available – WordPress, Joomla & Drupal. Understand them to choose the right CMS for your website.

Anirban Guha

Anirban Guha

Digital Marketing Expert | Media Strategist | Entrepreneur

Table of Contents


What is WordPress?

Going by available statistics, WordPress is the world’s most popular open source and free to use CMS or content management system for web development. It started as just blogging platform, but now it has added feature significantly over the years.  Today it is emerging as the complete content management software. To work on WordPress, you need to install it on a web server.

When it comes to CMS comparison, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today.

It can also be successfully used for designing custom websites. WordPress is powerful enough for web developers or designers to efficiently build sites for clients; WordPress is ideal for making user friendly websites for SMEs and news portals, that uses effective copies to create touch-points for businesses without overtly depending on complex coding; and for anyone looking for an easy-to-manage site. The development on WordPress is easy and one can see real-time changes as they apply changes on their website.

As on date 2,65,740 existing websites in India are built with WordPress which accounts for 69.16% of the CMS distribution.



Worldwide CMS Market Share

Benefits of WordPress

  1. It comes with preinstalled plugin and template function.
  2. It’s ease-of-use.
  3. User-friendly and best for beginners and amateurs.
  4. It has over 45,000 Plugins for almost all the functionality.
  5. WordPress offers lots of customization options of a theme.

WordPress is suitable for

  1. Simple websites for small and medium enterprises
  2. Blogging sites or news sites
  3. Those websites which need some quick scalability in terms of new feature additions
  4. Serious publications which require content contribution from multiple authors
  5. Building Online Stores coupled with Woocommerce.
  6. Easier to configure Landing Pages for various ad campaigns.
CMS Usage Distribution in India

Disadvantages of using WordPress

  1. As it used 3rd party plugins which may not be updated, more than 50,000 WordPress websites are hacked every year.
  2. Few plugins might not work when the platform is updated.
  3. Lack of built-in flexibility for sophisticated sites.
  4. WP core requires a frequent update which may break your existing plugins.

What is Joomla?

While WordPress started out as a blogging platform and later on evolved as a CMS, Joomla on the other hand started off as a CMS.
Joomla was released in 2005, after it forked from Mambo. It offers the user-friendliness of WordPress and some strong development capabilities of Drupal.

Joomla boasts more than 30Million downloads. Some of the popular websites using Joomla include Harvard University, The Hill and MTV Greece.

Joomla offers a very wide variety of extensions – categorized as components, plugins, templates, modules and languages. Each of these differ in functionality and can be used as per the requirement and skills. But many of the Joomla modules cost money and have more commercial extensions.

As on date 5,718 existing websites in India are built with Joomla which accounts for 1.49% of the CMS distribution.

Benefits of Joomla

  1. Joomla is an open source so its license is available free of cost.
  2. Joomla offers very easy to use admin panel to manage large amounts of information.
  3. Joomla is suitable for websites when you need more content management.
  4. It allows you to preview of the configuration before installation starts.
  5. In Joomla, most host offers installation using cPanel requiring no technical knowledge.
  6. It offers a perfect balance between ease of use and complexity of functionality.
  7. It is suited for a multi-user environment. Think of university sites.
  8. Powerful, user-friendly admin interface
  9. There are thousands of templates and themes available for Joomla CMS development.
  10. Joomla CMS development can be easily migrated to any server.

Joomla is suitable for

  1. Websites which need ease of use and more flexibility with content and structure than what WordPress offers
  2. Small to mid-size eCommerce Stores. However, WordPress with it latest updates has taken over the advantages.
  3. It is still considered a good option for creating governmental websites

Disadvantages of using Joomla

  1. Built-in performance is very sluggish/clunky.
  2. Weak logging.
  3. Most of the available useful plugins are paid.
  4. Unlike other CMS, it is not developer-oriented.
  5. Limited marketplace for extensions compared to Drupal and WordPress.
  6. Offers very less customizable options for features and functionality.
  7. Plugins not always play well together, so you need coding knowledge to fix.

What is Drupal?

Drupal is the most difficult, but also the most powerful. It requires a familiar understanding of HTML, CSS, and PHP.  Drupal is an exceptionally SEO Friendly CMS as it comes with the Clean code and effective modules. If CMS Comparison appears then Drupal is known for its powerful taxonomy and ability to tag, categorize, and organize complex content. As on date 4,120 existing websites in India are made in Drupal which accounts for 1.07% of the CMS distribution.

Benefits of Drupal

  1. It comes with Thousand of free Modules.
  2. Drupal has Basic and Advanced Features.
  3. Drupal comes with Readymade Professional Themes.
  4. It has the neat code and exceptionally potent modules that are liked by major search engines.
  5. Webpage creation like Panels, Views, and Web forms are made simple and highly secured
  6. Drupal offers modules with attractive options for customizations.
  7. A website developed using Drupal CMS is more secure as compared to other CMS.
  8. Offer easy to understand and clean core code.
  9. Helps you to manage complex, multi-domain management
  10. A ton of built-in site management options.
  11. The ability to customize every aspect of your experience.

Drupal is suitable for

  1. Large scale, enterprise level Content Management Systems
  2. Complex and advanced websites where scalability, stability is important than the user interface
  3. Community platform sites where multiple users can access at the same time performing variety of actions

Disadvantages of Using Drupal

  1. The platform is quite complicated to learn as compared to WordPress or Joomla.
  2. Requires a hosting service and domain name as it doesn’t offer to hosted service like WordPress and Joomla.
  3. The setup process is very time-consuming and lengthy if you’re using a lot of modules.
  4. You should have basic knowledge of HTML and other web coding languages.
  5. Extension updates are not always compatible with the backend.
Release Date 27 May 200317 August 2005January 15, 2001
DeveloperMatt Mullenweg    Johan JanssensDries Buytaert
Skill Level to learn this applicationEasyModerateAdvanced
Number of Downloads> 140 million>30 million>15 million
Minimum Memory requires to run this application60 MB256 MB32MB
Multilingual capabilitiesNeeds third party pluginYesYes
The average frequency of Updates42 Days36 Days51 Days
Plugin Availability54,226790538238
Number of Experts in Security Team25 Experts13 Experts40 Experts
Best Used forIt is used for developing informative Websites or eCommerce stores.Use for building Online Forums, Extensive Product Catalogues.Enterprise Level Systems, Intranet Applications.
Installation Time5 Minutes10 Minutes10 Minutes
Level of SecurityGoodOKVery Good
Free themes2000+900+1800+
DBMS supportMYSQLMySQL, SQLServer, SQLAzure, PostgreSQL, SQLiteMySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite
Available free plugins27000700024000
Market share (World Wide)60%5%4%
Level of skills NeededTechnical Expertise not needed.Need a bit of technical expertiseNeeds a high level of technical knowledge.
Companies usingeBay, ,LinkedIn, MIT,  Foursquare.Timble, Workwave, Construct, Digital.Tesla Motors, Viber, Mint, Nokia.
Ranking of CMS (WorldWide)123
PerformanceHandles lower traffic well. However, it needs a better hosting plan for higher traffic.Needs tweaking to avoid quick resource consumptionLoads more quickly with faster response times.
SEOExcellentBasicExceptionally Potent
E-CommerceYes, with woocommerce plugin.Virtuemart for managing products and content.Yes for the older version.
Best featuresCustomizableStablePowerful extension architecture
Easy to manage, Great community Integrated Help SystemPowerful CMS
Plugins & WordPress premium themesEasy CMS to make websitesMid-Hight End level CMS
DesignWidget areasPositionsRegions
ExtensionsPlugins & WidgetsComponents, Modules & pluginsModules & Blocks

Here, are three platforms used in different situation which clear when to use which CMS.

  1. WordPress is an ideal option for CMS that’s simple and quick to install. WordPress is an excellent CMS as it  is fast to set up, easy to customize with available in millions of different templates. It is now good for Online stores as well. It is used by The White House, University of Washington, PlayStation Blog etc.
  2. Joomla was the best option for people who want to create a social network or eCommerce store. Unfortunately, it is fast falling back in terms of updates and upgrades. No longer a top choice even for senior developers. It is used by, United Nations Regional Information Centre, itwire etc.
  3. Drupal is the most powerful system but only suited to experienced internet users and programmers. It is great for complex website that deal with complex data. It is used by NASA, Harvard University, Tesla etc.


For easy data migration between CMS, that saves you countless hours of manual intervention we recommend the following:

  1. CMS2CMS: It is an automated service for CMS data migration. It allows to import content, categories, users, images, internal links, comments etc. from your existing CMS, (Joomla) to a new one (WordPress) quick and easy at an affordable price. You save hours on manual data migration.

  2. FG Joomla to WordPress: It has both Free and Premium Versions. it helps you migrate sections, categories, posts, images, medias and tags from Joomla to WordPress. It supports Joomla versions 1.5 to  3.9 and WordPress 5.4 on huge databases. It is also compatible with multi-site installations.

  3. WordHerd: If you are planning to migrate from Joomla to WordPress, checkout WordHerd. It provides full-service website migration services to move data from any CMS (Joomla) platform into WordPress. WordHerd handles migrations of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises. In addition to CMS migration, the WordHerd team is also well-versed in assisting with CRM data migration.

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