Drupal VS Joomla VS Wordpress - Which Is The Best CMS?

by Quinton Figueroa on December 17th, 2007

Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress are the 3 most popular content management systems according to Alexa and most webmasters. They all have their own blend of features and options that allow for extremely powerful and well-built web sites. With such feature rich systems it is important to understand the different aspects of each one to help with making a better choice as to which CMS fits you.

It should be noted that this chart is written from a web developers perspective and I am fairly experienced with creating sites with a CMS or without. I have used all 3 systems for developing web sites, but strictly stick to Drupal now as it allows me to built the most powerful sites the easiest.

  Drupal Joomla Wordpress
Homepage http://www.drupal.org http://www.joomla.com http://www.wordpress.org
Example Sites
Installation Fairly easy, but requires a bit of technical stuff (will be much easier with version 6) Piece of cake A walk in the park
Ease of use Not for the casual user. Drupal is usually more oriented towards developers and webmasters, although it is becoming more and more user friendly with each new version. Fairly easy and straightforward. Very easy to use. Pretty much anybody can use this.
Administration Lots of control, but a bit confusing for the newbie Very graphical and intuitive! Very easy to administer the site
Themes Decent, but lacking when compared to Joomla and Wordpress Good selection of themes Excellent, large theme selection!
Comments Yes Yes Yes
  • Fantastic! Title tags match your article title and clean URLs are easy to add.
  • Content is categorized nicely and eveything is listed as a preview and also has a permalink.
  • Requires OpenSEF or SEO extension.
  • May offer security risks due to SEO changes
Fantastic! - All content has a unique page with an SEO friendly Title and URL.
Users Yes - Full user accounts and profiles can be set up. Users can log in and set preferences and settings. Yes Yes, can have multiple users
Blogs A bit more cumbersome for blogging, but still has many blogging features and modules. Also, great for allowing more than 1 blog. Yes, you can create blogs easily with Joomla By far the best blogging software. Has support for many blogging features and plugins.
RSS Feeds Yes, everything has a feed   Yes, made for RSS!
Forums Decent, functional forum, but it doesn't have a traditional type of forum look and feel. It requires heavy theming to get it to feel right SimpleMachines integrates in very well. Yes
Ecommerce Contributed ecommerce modules that are dencent, but a bit cumbersome Yes, as extensions Joomla offers ecommerce Yes, with plugins
Video Full support for conventional video (.mov, .avi, .mpg) and Flash video (.flv) conversion via FFMPEG. Users can upload videos. No, unless embed YouTube videos No, unless embed YouTube videos
Audio Full audio support for uploading of MP3s by users with audio module. Yes, with multimedia extensions Yes
Photo Galleries Decent looking photo galleries with the use of the Image module. Gallery extensions allow for image galleries Yes
Calendars Decent events and calendars, although they could definitely be improved on.   Yes
Web 2.0 Yes! Pure! No, it still has the older content driven aspects and less community focus. Yes, very web 2.0!
Permissions Yes, very granular permissions allow for precise control over certain features for each user Lacking Yes
Scalability Great for adding new sections and elements to a site. It is very easy to build off the existing codebase. Decent Scalabily Limited scalabilty - much harder to add new sections and elements.
Multisite Yes, full multisite integration out of the box! No Yes
Categorization Complete control over categorization of content. Can sort and order content virtually any way. Super easy to create pages listing whatever you want. Limiting, only allows for section/category/content structure. Very good categorization via categories and tags
Documentation Good documentation with lots of user submitted guides and tutorials. The forums are very friendly with helpful users. Decent, but a bit sparse on certain topics. Large community with lots of active contributors. Good documentation over all important aspects of the system.
SSL Yes - SSL is all built in and pretty much transparent. Yes, requires some programming No
Standards Yes sir! Close, but not exactly Full standards compliance
Learning Curve By far the hardest learning curve. Easier to wrap your head around if you are a developer. Pretty easy learning curve. Lots of features, but pretty easy to follow. Fast and easy!
Speed Very efficient, but page loads can take a bit longer as it can be common for many queries to happen with modules and features. Very fast with rendering pages. Can also slow down when features are added. Fast, pages render quickly and efficiently.
Theming Complete control over all aspects of HTML. Hard to get used to, but fairly straight-forward once learned. Control over most aspects of the theme, although certain parts are injected in that can not be themed or tweaked. Changes on certain parts of the site may break other parts of the site and theming in general is a lot more buggy. Control over most aspects of HTML.
Anti-Spam Features Lots of modules, features and captchas for removing and preventing spam Extensions that help prevent spam Lots of spam features
Features Tons of features for blogging, communities, social networking, content management and everything you could ever want for a web site. A lot of good features, but lacking in social and user oriented areas. A lot of blogging features, but not many site features.
My opinion My CMS of choice. Great for any type of website and very easy to build off. The Drupal community is very driven and has a great vision of where to take Drupal. Very good for brochure type sites. I guess you could say it is less powerfull than Drupal, but more powerful than Wordpress. It doesn't offer complete control on things which I don't particularily like. It is also hard to build off and is kind of more of a web 1.0 system and not web 2.0. If all I had was a blog and I wasn't too good at programming I would use this for sure. By far the best blogging software and still very good for smaller sites without a user base.
Stability Rock solid, although be careful when adding modules, things can go downhill very quickly. Also avoid hacking core code. Very stable. Extremely stable.
  • MySQL
  • PostgresSQL
Security Great Good Great
Programming Language PHP PHP PHP
WYSIWYG Editor Yes, but not seamlessly integrated Yes Yes, great integration
Page Caching Yes Yes  
Integrated Statistics Yes Yes Yes
Download Size 728kb 878kb 802kb
Sitewide Search Yes Yes Yes


  Drupal Joomla Wordpress
Pros Scalable to support high-end comunities Lots of features and little programming knowledge needed Best blogging software with tons of themes and plugins
  • Lots of modules that aren't updated and not compatible with the current version
  • Coding knowledge required to really make it shine
Hard to control the theming and flow of certain parts Not many!

Overall they are all very great systems, but Drupal and Wordpress stand out to me as being at the top of their game. Wordpress is best if you are the only user and are mainly blogging or building a small site. Drupal is the best if you have multiple users and are looking to build out a full web community. Joomla kind of falls in between these as it has many features but is a bit less scalable and less customizable.

 Filed under: Internet / Web, Drupal, Web, Blog, Joomla, Wordpress

About The Author

Quinton Figueroa

Quinton Figueroa

Los Angeles, CA

I am an entrepreneur at heart. Throughout my whole life I have enjoyed building real businesses by solving real problems. Business is life itself. My goal with businesses is to help move the human ...



Greg Hamlin: Joomla Security Vulnerability

Thank you for your helpful matrix. I have been attacked twice by a hacker at my Joomla site. Each time I have had to delete everything and start over. I starting to feel that I can't use Joomla unless I can pay big bucks to someone to constantly monitor (and defend against) security threats.

I was wondering if you would comment on this? Is it more likely that someone has just taken aim at my site? or might it have to do with Joomla not being as secure?

also, What do people do when their sites are attacked by people who turn them into virus pumping machines? I've had web sites for 3 years but have never encountered this until I started using Joomla.

Quinton Figueroa: I'm not really sure what to
@Greg Hamlin (view comment)

I'm not really sure what to say, it could be a number of things. In general I think Joomla is pretty secure as it is open source and has a solid team continually updating it. I would think this would already be at least 10x more secure than something one would write from scratch.

The security problems may come into play when you start adding extra modules and custom stuff that isn't necessarily promoted by the core Joomla team. But it all depends on what the hack was. It could have not been on the application side at all and been at the server / OS level. And considering that it has happened twice I would almost think that something like this would be a more reasonable answer, but it all depends on what happened.

Were files deleted? Was the database tampered with? Were there errors? What did the logs say? etc, etc.

As far as I know Joomla is pretty secure.

Sheldon: Great Advice

Thank you for the great comparison! I'm using Drupal on my first site now, but I am volunteering for a nonprofit that wants to upgrade their site, and this is very helpful in deciding which CMS to use!

Anonymous: I see many "No" regarding

I see many "No" regarding the features in Wordpress. Please study in depth before publishing such post. With Wordpress we can do anything that can be done with Drupal or Joomla, and with more ease.

Quinton Figueroa: Thanks for pointing this
@Anonymous (view comment)

Thanks for pointing this out. You are right. I have updated the page with more accurate information.

Lars: Which versions of the software are you talking about

Would like to know the date of your review and the versions of the software you are reviewing.

DrupalBeginner: Getting Drupal Installed on your Home Computer

The hardest part for me, as a hand-coder, non-programmer, beginner was getting copies of the drupal/wordpress/joomla programs installed on my home computer so I could buy some books and try them out and learn how they worked before I took them live to the Web.

That was a lot harder than I thought, and where a lot of other people, I'm sure, get stuck.

So to help everyone out I wrote down the steps to install drupal on your home computer:

Feel free to add your own comments to my instructions, and add any explainations you think would help.

Sheldmandu: When to choose which...

Great detailed evaluation. I've used all three myself and summarised when I would use each of these on my blog Drupal vs Joomla vs WordPress Comparison. I pretty much agree that Drupal has the best wide use and WordPress is great for blogging, but I also think that Joomla has it's place. I had one project where Joomla was pretty much the only option because of some modules that it had like JEvents and Docman. You could do the same in Drupal but with a lot more pain.

Mike Jason: I Pick Durpal

I think as you said, Durpal & Wordpress are the best mainly because of the SEO part,
However i keep reading online that wordpress requires tons of plugins for it to be SEO friendly (ranging from URLs,Page...etc) which makes me belive in this case the Durpal is the best then.

Anyways i want to ask is LiveJournal uses any CMS or it is itself is CMS? because i like it and would be great to see it on this comparision table.

Mike J.

Jenny: Which Is The Best CMS?

That's exactly right. I had to think about what you meant by "If you have to work hard to post, you won't" and then I realized that the truth in it. If I can't figure out how to do something quickly, it will become more of a hassle than its worth.

There's actually a new plugin for Wordpress and Joomla that allows owners to combine the two. It's put out by corephp and seems to be very promising for those people who want to have the blogging capabilities of Wordpress with the flexibility of Joomla.

Ronaldo: Thanks

This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality.
This is very nice one and gives in depth information.
Thanks for this nice article Good post......Valuable information for all.
I will recommend my friends to read this for sure.

Hassan Arshad: Thanks

Thanks for posting this. I still like wordpress the best but I'll have to take a gander at Drupal, just to know how to do it.

Thanks again.

Servicemasters: Dreamweaver vs Drupal

Dreamweaver is a decent program, but it is fundamentally a design program and not a content program. If an organization has someone who is experienced using it and you aren't trying to maintain more than a dozen pages, it probably would make sense to use it. However, it is not setup for people who just need to modify the content to their website as it is a complicated application that takes sustained time and effort to use correctly. Most organizations would benefit from separating content and design, as they are different skill sets.

webdevmatt: Wordpress MU

Has the the authur checked out Wordpress MU?

Wood Chipping Machine: Thanks for posting this. I

Thanks for posting this. I still like wordpress the best but I'll have to take a gander at Drupal, just to know how to do it.

Thanks again.

Sandok: Thanks for the chart. I've

Thanks for the chart. I've never seen a better one. Everything is so clear, besides, you've touched nearly all the points. As for me, I prefer Wordpress. You don't have to be a developer to deal with it. It is pretty easy and that is the most important fact for the majority of people. I've found interesting video: Wordpress vs joomla and drupal a> There are some more points why I prefer wordpress in it.

Jessyjen: Informative post

I am very much pleased with the contents you have mentioned.I wanted to thank you for this great article.I enjoyed every little bit part of it and I will be waiting for the new updates.

mole wart removel: I really appreciate your

I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.

free3ds: its informative

This is a nice post in an interesting line of content.Thanks for sharing this article, great way of bring this topic to discussion.Keep up the excellent work for your helpful matrix. I have been attacked twice by a hacker at my Joomla site. Each time I have had to delete everything and start over. I starting to feel that I can't use Joomla unless I can pay big bucks to someone to constantly monitor (and defend against) security threats.

CBSE School in Bareilly: CBSE School in India

Genuinely good and informative post, thank you so much for sharing this great stuff with us.these are all blogging application, but joomla is one of the best application for create the blogs or webpage.

Anonymous: very informational

I have used joomla on a number of sites and it does integrate video easily. There are plenty of of 3rd party extensions that allow you to play multiple formats 'out of the box'.

amish furniture lancaster pa: i feel drupal and joomla are
@Anonymous (view comment)

i feel drupal and joomla are equally great!!! Many times i visited joomla wchich provide us 3rd party extensions that allow you to play multiple formats 'out of the box'. I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I never thought I could have a good read by this time until I found out this site, It’s have been trusted by many individuals and business organization, it’s a open source management system and its codes are easily available for modifying and using.

arnold carrington: In short, both

In short, both Drupal,Wordpress, Jhoomla are popular among users.

Loshoe: my choice of CMS

When talking about the best CMS I think they all have their special key features for the betterment. I mean there are some features that is good in wordpress but not in Drupal or Joomla, and similarly vice versa. So it is better to choose what kind of site is suitable with which CMS. When going for my personal view, I think Wordpress is taking good pace in the market due to it's features and also so called Search Engine Friendliness or SEO friendly website. I do use Wordpress for creating blog but I used Drupal for creating local directory listing website enhancing the good feature within them.

Ashley Forrester: An informative blog

Wow! What a blog! I like the way each of the CMSs have been measured according to various categories. All three of the CMSs have their own pros and cons. So we cannot say with credence that any one of these is the best of the lot.

Web Design Philadelphia: I find drupal and joomla is

I find drupal and joomla is very great and i think wordpress seems good .i will check out wordpress also.

Anonymous: I use WordPress and the

I use WordPress and the Wordpress Themes for almost five years and must say I’ve not found a better platform for building and managing a website. Doesn’t matter whether you’re blogging, have a store front, create a massive business site or need a basic, static website to promote your services and products – WordPress can manage it all.
And te themes are not only good for personal use, but also for your clients, makes it easier to customize to there style.

Magento Themes: This is a complete and clear

This is a complete and clear comparison of most powerful content management system but i really like SSL service of drupal. Thanks for this awesome post.

DWD: Drupal is the best...

Many say Wordpress is the best, but I had been using and working on Drupal from a long time and I would suggest Drupal for others too.

Some of my friends too use Drupal based on my suggestion and they are satisfied.

Heena Len: CBSE

I think that everybody should go for Wordpress because its a very easy to use and a optimized blogging platform for bloggers. It would help to post content easily and edit all thing manually (It's very fast than other sites).

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