10 Top Reasons To Choose Joomla Over WordPress

Published: 19th July 2009
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One of the difficulties with writing on a seemingly black and white topic ("choose A or B") is that there really are shades of gray everywhere. The first place it pops up in "tech talk" is in definitions, and manipulating them to compare apples with oranges. In other words, in the subject at hand are we making a choice based on whether Joomla or WordPress (WP) is the best Content Management System (CMS), which one designers like better, which one code-heads like better or what? Frankly, this one falls squarely in the "or what" category.

Seriously, though, for all their differences, both Joomla and WP are touted as CMS tools, even though blogging is without a doubt the main chore to which they are both assigned. Truth be told, they are both capable tools with plenty of happy users. Even after you read the top 10 reasons to choose Joomla over WP, meeting your particular needs still might call for the latter and not the former. We can give you the reasons, but you are still the one who has to choose.

In no particular order, here they are, top 10 reasons to choose Joomla over WordPress:

1. Layout flexibility

Joomla wins this one over WP pretty handily. Trying to create a WP blog template can be awkward, with the process involving a search through stylesheets and php files to resolve irksome conflicts. In Joomla, however, you just present the content as "blog" and style it elegantly, easily and quickly.

2. Pings and trackbacks

WP has the straightforward edge here. These two items are important, but not enough to outweigh the other advantages of Joomla and disadvantages of WP. How wide is the gap in this race so far? Not very, but there are eight items to go.

3. The developer community

Among the strongest things about Joomla is the developer community. One online forum poster wrote about installing a certain bot for placing tags in the side column, but it made a big mess. He sent an e-mail to the developer and it was fixed within 48 hours-and this was a free extension. Now that's community spirit.

4. SEO'd titles

For many users Joomla is the magic wand for creating redirects. Many developers and designers were using various one-trick-pony tools that would cause all kinds of issues. Switching solutions meant they had to change lots of URLs, meaning links from other sites. As you monitor your logs and see traffic arriving from the old URLs, it's literally a three-second job to set up redirects to the new URLs. No messing around with that anymore.

Joomla 1.5 saw a huge improvement over 1.0 (the older version) in URL handling, bringing it up to Wordpress standards. The upcoming 1.6 version has still more improvements and tools that Wordpress doesn't yet have.

5. Internal links

A sort of second part to the foregoing process is internal links. These can be useful for SEO, but no one cares how high you show up in Google on a search for the classic "read more." In Joomla, a few available plugins and modules will change that, and include the article titles in the links.

6. Solid, attractive comment system

When the Joomla comment component JomComment showed up a few years back, it filled a big hole and kept folks on board. Its front end is attractive, it has a robust "captcha" and it's easy to build into templates. It also has a few niceties like the ability to hide the comment form with Ajax.

If you need a slightly different comment experience, there are several strong candidates in the rest of the 3rd party developer community.

7. Sidebar categories

Easily done. Create a menu and module with the blog categories you want.

8. Good RSS that can service categories

Run Digital's default RSS feed allows you to get a feed from anywhere, so you can provide unique feeds for each of your blog categories. This is handy.

Joomla's RSS is very powerful. You can effortlessly create an RSS feed of any page of your site with a modified URL. You can also easily display feeds and links from other sources in your site.

9. "Chicklets"

Chicklets are those small icons by which you subscribe to an RSS feed with your reader of choice. Feedburner will automatically create them if you simply copy and paste the code into a module. This HTML embedding feature (in articles and modules) is a major benefit of Joomla.

10. Versatility

WordPress is a very good, very mature blogging tool. It's really quite good at that, but it is not a versatile CMS like Joomla, and because it's mature it won't morph into one anytime soon. When you attempt to customize WP or get it to do that "little bit more," the curve gets steep very fast.

Summing up, it is clear to see that Joomla is a full-blown CMS that can also blog if that's what you want. Sure, there are some minor gaps in the toolkit, but the developer community is huge and growing and new solutions are popping up daily. Bottom line? Joomla is a powerful CMS with which you can create and manage your blog, as well as do all the CMS work that WP can't handle.

You can also check out a more light-hearted comparison of Joomla vs Wordpress at compassdesigns.net.For professional joomla templates, visit Joomla Shack.com online for a design that can deliver clean content for medium to large scale sites for complete control over the look and feel.

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