There are many aspects to opening an online store but choosing the right content management system is most certainly one of the most fundamental elements of building a website, alongside the web hosting service and the SEO. Now, there is no shortage of CMS software in the market today and frankly, that choice is more confusing than liberating, especially for someone who has not had years of experience with all the top content management systems.
Even when you have managed to sort through the rest, it usually comes down to making a choice between Joomla and WordPress, which is actually the most confusing part. To help a budding entrepreneur make the best choice between the two, here is a detailed comparison of features from people who have had vast experience with using of them.
An Overview of WordPress
More than a quarter of all websites in existence are using WordPress in some form or the other, so it’s safe to say that WordPress is, by far, the most popular content management system of all time. It initially started as a platform exclusively meant for bloggers but has expanded and evolved to a great degree since then. Even then, most experts agree that WordPress is more suited for blogging sites, magazine sites, portfolios, business sites, and news sites. Not that it cannot be used for e-commerce, it’s just that the structure of WordPress is traditionally more suited for the publishing format. WordPress is also more newbie-friendly and easier to access than Joomla.
An Overview of Joomla
Joomla is not for beginners or even people with casual knowledge of web design. Joomla was and still is used mostly by professionals because it is not a viable option for those who do not have experience and knowledge specific to web development. A model view controller or MVC is a design pattern in software that basically divides the concerned software into model, view, and controller, which are, of course, the three primary logical components of the code. As Joomla utilises the MVC structure perfectly, professionals prefer it for web development.
Word Press Vs. Joomla: Plugins/Extensions
There is practically no difference between plugins and extensions in WordPress as all software expansions are called “plugins.” Joomla, on the other hand, makes clear distinctions in between plugins, modules, and components.
The extensions/plugins available for WordPress are vast, but one may feel that they are not as well categorised as they should be. You can easily use a plugin like WooCommerce or EDD to transform a WordPress site into an e-commerce site. Installing a new plugin on a WordPress site is as easy as clicking the “Add New” button from the Plugins tab and following the onscreen instructions, so that’s a big advantage for beginners.
As explained earlier, extensions are divided into three primary categories in Joomla, which are plugins, modules, and components.
Plugins: The lighter, smaller applications which add features to your site.
Modules: They expand the main content section through extensions such as JFBConnect, which lets subscribers/customers/followers interact with the site via their Facebook accounts. Modules are primarily concerned with information presented on the site.
Components: Components are the heaviest applications on Joomla that expand the core functionalities of the CMS. They may or may not have both plugins and modules in them. For e-commerce platforms, VirtueMart is probably the most popular component available for Joomla. To install any component on Joomla, users either need the link to the location of the installation file or will have to upload the file with the inbuilt extension manager.
WordPress Vs. Joomla: Themes and Templates
This one’s pretty much an easy win for WordPress as the popular CMS has thousands of themes and templates available with customisation options and the list continues to grow bigger with each passing day. Of course, they are not all free, but if you spend some time on it, you will actually be able to find quite a few excellent free WordPress themes and templates on the official WordPress theme store itself. On the other hand, you will have to rely on downloading/uploading themes and templates from external sources on Joomla. While there are definitely good choices for e-commerce templates if you are okay with going to a third-party site for them, it just cannot match the vast official collection available for WordPress.
WordPress Vs. Joomla: Security
In terms of security, none of the two are lacking because patches are released constantly and fast to close any loopholes that might open up in the software’s code. Nonetheless, there are a few points to be considered here and they are as follows.
- Sites built on WordPress will be attacked a lot more because of the CMS’s popularity and worldwide use
- Joomla will not always automatically update itself with the latest patches like WordPress does by default
- Irrespective of your choice, always backup your data on a daily basis and be prepared for emergencies
- The popularity of WordPress likely means that threats will be dealt with a bit faster than it would be on Joomla
As security of an e-commerce site doesn’t only depend on the content management system but also on the web hosting service, it is imperative to choose a reliable one and preferably a hosting plan that also gives its users the option to create and save backups.
Which One is Better?
To sum things up, WordPress is a better choice if you would like a simpler interface and a huge collection of themes and templates to choose from. Then again, if you know your stuff and would love to dabble into the complex, core-level customisations which Joomla allows for, it’s the CMS for you. It is hard to say one is better than the other without sounding biased because they cater to different crowds. Nonetheless, WordPress might be the safer choice for most people because it keeps itself secure automatically and you will likely have fewer things to worry about.