Which Open Source CMS Would You Prefer: Drupal, Joomla or WordPress?

Wordpress Joomla Drupal

Open source CMS form the nucleus behind uncountable businesses worldwide. While some corporates prefer them due to their availability as free tools, others embrace them for the ease of use, multiple plugins, themes and templates, high security standard, etc., they ensure. Should you wish to avail the services of one such content management systems, either on your own or through an open source web development company, there is literary no dearth for the options. However, it won’t leave you scratching your head to know the foremost platforms in this context; merely a little bit Googling is enough to make you realize the power of Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress. Let’s know more about them and figure out which one should you prefer for your ventures.

Topmost Open source CMS


Initially released in January 2001, Drupal is rated as among the most popular open source content management systems or frameworks.

  • It is free and written in PHP.
  • Benefits the developers from more than 20,000 add-ons, all contributed by Drupal community members.
  • Preferred as back-end framework for over2% websites across the globe.
  • Useful for developing complex, customized and professional websites.
  • Basic features include menu management, page layout customization, user account registration & maintenance, RSS feeds, system administration, etc.
  • Prominent organizations /offices using Drupal websites include The White House, Warner Brothers, and Linux.


Launched in August 2005 Joomla is another powerful open-source content management framework.

  • It is written in PHP scripting language.
  • Leverages Object Oriented Programming techniques.
  • Semi user-friendly.
  • Uses Model View Controller (MVC) design pattern.
  • Comprises multiple features like blogs, polls, RSS feeds, page caching, etc.
  • Possesses capabilities of Drupal.
  • Used to develop complex websites that require simpler learning curve.
  • Popular Joomla users include United Nations, GE, eBay, Harvard University, MTV Networks Quizilla, The Hill, etc.


Released first in May 2003, WordPress is a preferred choice for open source website development requiring simple functionalities.

  • It is an open source CMS and blogging tool based on PHP & MySQL.
  • Highly user friendly as well as search engine friendly.
  • Ideal for news sites, blogging and other easy to manage sites.
  • Needs average or no technical experience to quickly set up the site.
  • Some popular users include Forbes, The New York Observer, CNN & Sony.
  • Among its popular features include Template system and plug-in architecture.
  • Other features comprise clean permalink structure, integrated link management.

Open Source CMS or Core website Development?

While you decide to have a website that could be managed easily, you have two choices – Either use the combination of HTML, CSS and a programming language (say PHP) to develop the site from the scratch, or alternatively, use a CMS. For a seasoned web development company or an individual, using complicated programming languages may be daily affair but if you are a novice or non-technical person, it is not your cup of tea. Perhaps, finding solace in ready-to-use content management frameworks is a much better option. And if you wish to customize the CMS as per your preferences, you can always approach open source CMS developers.

Drupal vs. Joomla vs. WordPress

Each of the open source CMS are important in their own sphere and are widely used by masses worldwide for quality website development projects- be it in-house developers or offshore custom software development firm. However, they differ on certain aspects as well, which ultimately make them less or more preferred accordingly. Some major differences are given in the image below:

Other important comparison aspects include:

  • Drupal CMS is a complex CMS to work on.
  • Joomla is less complex.
  • WordPress is easier than the other two to design and develop websites.
Website Appearance
  • Look and feel and functionality of a Drupal site depends entirely on the developer’s skill
  • The same holds for Joomla site.
  • WordPress makes way for simple and easy to use website.
Installation time
  • It takes around 10 minutes to manually install both Drupal and Joomla on a system.
  • WordPress takes only 5 minutes to get installed manually on the system.
Plugin availability
  • Drupal offers numerous plugins or ‘modules’. But most of them are not available for free.
  • The plugin library in Joomla, also known as ‘amplifications’ comprises a thick of open source plugins.
  • WordPress consists of a huge number of plugins in its broad library that play a significant part in WordPress development.
Update Frequency
  • Drupal updates its versions on an average of every 51 days.
  • Joomla’s update frequency is 36 days.
  • WordPress lies between Joomla and Drupal with an update frequency of 42 days.

On observing the comparisons, it could be inferred that all the open Source CMS are more or less at par and are equally important for website development. The difference however lies in the preferences of the developers and end user.

Best Use cases

The following points give some more inputs on the choice of preferred CMS development platform.

Drupal is best for developing:
  • Sophisticated, complex, and versatile websites.
  • Community platforms and online stores.
  • Websites for corporates and SMBs.
Joomla is best for developing:
  • Ecommerce and social networking sites.
  • Websites with more flexibility and insightful administration UI.
  • Websites that could leverage ready-made extensions.
WordPress is best for developing:
  • News and everyday blogging sites.
  • User friendly and simple to manage sites.
  • Websites with added functionality using add-ons.
  • Faster, cheaper sites and those requiring the least maintenance.

To summarize, open-source CMS or frameworks are the best alternatives to core website development. While they allow the users to use the sites without any prior knowledge, such CMS also enable the developers to customize the sites using latest plugins, add-ons, templates and themes. Among the topmost CMS to entice users and developers worldwide include Drupal, Joomla and WordPress. All three may differ in features and functionalities but they all serve the same purpose, to ensure high-quality and cost-effective web development solutions.

Finoit, an experienced software development company, provides quality web development solutions using open source CMS. We possess credible experience in utilizing the capabilities of open source frameworks of the likes of Drupal, Joomla, WordPress and Magento to develop most feasible solutions. Our clientele represents a thick of verticals worldwide.

Finoit is among the best service providers when it comes to providing solutions regarding open source CMS development customization. Feel free to contact us to avail our service in this domain.

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