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Joomla vs. WordPress is a perennial debate. Millions of users who love WordPress would not try any other content management systems. Those who are in love with Joomla would swear by it and settle for no other platform. There are many popular CMS solutions today. There’s Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, Straight HTML, DotNetNuke, Blogger and Artisteer.net among others. Before we delve into our assessment of Joomla vs. WordPress, it is necessary to shed some light on the basis of the comparison. A CMS should match your needs. It does matter which one is better but not at the cost of what your needs are.

The type of site you wish to develop, the scope of its presence and the endgame of your web presence, everything will influence your choice. You may want an online store or a hybrid site. You must focus on scalability. A CMS should have an active community of troubleshooters and users to offer you the needed help from time to time. Most importantly, you need a CMS that is easy to use.

Joomla

Joomla has an easy user interface. Setting it up and installing it is simple. Joomla is compatible with a plethora of plugins. It is widely considered as a blend of the best of Drupal and WordPress. Joomla is a powerful platform. It is compatible with almost all web servers. It is not as technical as Drupal. You can use Joomla without any coding prowess. Joomla is loaded with themes and there are plugins for almost every type of function or feature you want on your site.

Joomla is great for integrating social networking. You can also create your own social network on the site using Joomla. The CMS is ideal for ecommerce. Setting up an online store is very simple and easy with Joomla. Many critics cite the fact that WordPress is just as good for ecommerce but the process of setting up a store with Joomla is simpler and faster. Also, Joomla has better support for ecommerce.

Joomla is more technical than WordPress but that works to its advantage for those who want a bit more freedom. Drupal is highly technical and WordPress is almost nontechnical. Joomla is a bit of both. Joomla is free, just like WordPress but its help portal is more interactive and satiating than that of the latter. WordPress benefits from its active community of millions. Most users contribute in myriad ways and develop the platform. Joomla doesn’t have that leverage but more than compensates with adequate support. Many people find WordPress support pages to be more helpful and that cannot be refuted if one looks at the track record.

A substantial drawback of Joomla is the fact that you cannot host it for free. WordPress can be hosted for free. Joomla as the CMS is free but you should pay for hosting solutions.

WordPress

Those who have been accustomed with Joomla may not even try WordPress and the vice versa is also true. But by most accounts, WordPress is a more preferred CMS, for its sheer simplicity and the freebies.

WordPress is the absolute champion of free content management systems in the world. It is the most used CMS right now. While it was deemed ideal for blogging initially, it has now transformed itself to be deemed fit for everything, from business websites to ecommerce. It is estimated that almost half of all sites that use some CMS is developed and hosted with WordPress. That is a staggering market share.

WordPress is very easy to use. There are webhosts that offer WordPress for free with their plans and initiate automatic installations if the user chooses. You can basically have a site up and running in a few minutes with WordPress. The manual installation process is also simple. Even a novice would be able to have a site up and running in about an hour, or less.

WordPress has the largest collection of plugins and widgets. That makes it the most customizable CMS in the world. The open source community of WordPress keeps contributing something or the other every day and that has lead to this humongous collection of plugins, widgets, themes and a plethora of other customizable elements.

WordPress is free. There are free themes, free plugins, free widgets and a ton of freebies that can be upgraded at a cost. There are millions of people using WordPress so you wouldn’t be alone and you would never have any lack of support. Even if you don’t hear from the official channels or some expert, you would have some help from generous users who have experienced similar problems and have found solutions before. You don’t have to live with a problem for even an hour. If you are having a problem, someone has experienced it already and a solution is already out there. A few minutes and your problem would be fixed.

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Brandon Gaille is one of the nation's top experts on blogging. He built the monthly traffic to his marketing blog, BrandonGaille.com, to over a million visitors in 15 months. He also runs an online course & podcast called "The Blog Millionaire."