Whenever someone decides to setup a website, be it a personal blog or an ecommerce store, the platform of choice is a thorny issue. Right now, the web developer has to choose one from the Big Three, WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.

In this post, a comparison of the three platforms will be given to help web developers in choosing the right platform for their project.

Things to keep in mind about these platforms

  • All three are available under various open source licenses.
  • All three have a large community of developers that constantly maintain various features of the platform.
  • All three have a large collection of plugins, extensions and third-party apps which extend the default capabilities of the platform.


  WordPress Joomla Drupal
About WordPress was initially designed to be an easy-to-use blogging platform. The software was very innovative for its times and proved to an instant hit. Now WordPress has evolved into a full-fledged CMS with implementations as other website formats as well. Joomla falls somewhere between the developer-friendly capabilities of Drupal and the complex but user-friendly options of WordPress. Drupal is designed to be a very extensive developer-friendly platform. Like most powerful software tools, Drupal requires both proficiency in programming and experience in web development for extracting optimum performance.
Example Sites Social Networking: PlayStation Blog

News Publishing: CNN Political Ticker

Education/Research: NASA Ames Research Center

News Publishing:The New York Observer

Social Networking: MTV Networks Quizilla

Education: Harvard University

Restaurant: IHOP

Community Portal: Fast CompanyTeam Sugar
Ease of Use Technical experience is not a requirement. The platform is designed to be intuitive. Hence getting a simple site up is a pretty straight forward process. Joomla has a rather uncomplicated installation and setup. The platform is slightly more complex and requires some experience in web development.  Setting up complex websites is easy after spending some time in studying the architecture and nuisance of the platform. Drupal requires the most technical expertise of the three CMSs. In return, it allows you to create very complex websites efficiently. The developers are trying to demystify the platform but it is no easy task.
Features Ease of use is a key benefit for all WordPress users, experts and novices alike. It’s powerful enough for web developers or designers to efficiently build complex sites. The client could then operate the website after minimal of instructions from the developers. WordPress has the most extensive collection of plugins. This allows non-techies to add features quickly to the website. Joomla has extensive social networking capabilities, thanks to its focus on building a connected blogging platform. Sites developed in Joomla are among the most “social” on the internet. Drupal has the best categorization subsystem of the three CMS. It has extensive capabilities of tagging, categorizing and organizing various layers of information.
Best Use Cases WordPress is considered ideal for simple web sites, such as everyday blogging and news sites. The platform offers ease of management that is the best thing for a nontechnical user. The add-ons could be used to add the desired capability to the website with minimal help from the techies. Joomla is ideal for e commerce and social networking websites because of its native set of features.  The platform offers more flexibility then WordPress in terms of style, structure and the volume of content. Drupal is ideal for websites with complex data organization such as community platforms. It offers extensive features for advanced and versatile sites.