Should I Use Joomla Or WordPress?

Now I could be wrong about this but I believe there are two groups of people who read this blog. There are those who are interested in Joomla Templates, and have arrived from the main site. And those who have come from search engines or from some of the niche marketing circles I have been frequenting.

If  you are part of the first group, those who love Joomla, own a Joomla website, or want to build a Joomla website then you may be wondering what this blog is based on. Yes you probably guessed correctly, it’s WordPress.

I am big fan of Joomla and I believe it is an excellent choice for many types of websites, but I also believe that you should pick your CMS based on what you intend to use it for and what you want to achieve.

WordPress is an excellent framework to quickly publish your thoughts and ideas to the web and I’ve chosen it for the JoomlaBear blog because I believe it is the most efficient tool for my purposes.

The main site at is based on Joomla – Joomla 1.0.15 to be precise, and will very shortly be upgraded to Joomla 1.5.9.

So when to use Joomla and when to use WordPress? Well that is something I will be addressing in future posts because I think it’s an important topic and could save many of us days or weeks of grief in the long run if we choose the correct CMS framework that best matches our site’s purpose.

A strength of each system, off the top of my head:

Joomla’s user management which is built in and allows for user registration on your site out-of-the-box. Includes user email authentication, i.e the user must click a link in a n email they receive before their account is activated. Once registered a user will be able to use other components integrated into teh Joomla site such as forums, etc.

WordPress on the other hand has an incredibly powerful commenting system which is built in – and for which I do not believe there is anything yet for Joomla that compares – not when spam protection and other factors are taken into consideration.

Of course there are hundreds of pros and cons for each platform, and amongst my many tasks over the coming weeks I intend to write a little bit more about this as I think it’s a topic that people will find very useful and something I have had quite a bit of experience with over the past couple of years.

In the meantime I want to let you all know I am installing a WordPress plugin that makes my comments “dofollow“. WordPress by default ads a “nofollow” tag which means Google, and the other major search engines, ignore the link  back to the commentators website.

I’m removing this because I have decided I do not agree with the principal behind the nofollow tag – I believe if you take the time to comment you deserve a credit to your site. I also have a zero tolerance for spam and will not accept comments if they are spammy or off topic. And finally, I want to encourage people to interact with me and others here.

So go ahead and leave me a comment, what are you waiting for!


 Add your comment
  1. WordPress as a whole has worked pretty well for me. I like the filter Askimet that does a great job of catching the one or two word comments. WordPress has seemed pretty stable but the interface could use work. I’m going to check out Joomla though. Sounds like a winner. ;)

  2. I totally agree. Seems to me that using Joomla for a blog would be like pounding in a nail with a screwdriver… which I admit I’ve done. Still, they are both awesome pieces of software and it works out as you said because they don’t really compete, they just have different purposes.

  3. I have been having the same dilemma myself – I use WordPress to power most of my sites, but my latest project has been different. I am making an Independent film database, and decided to go back to Joomla! to see if I could conquer it after abandoning it 3 years ago.

    I am loving it, Joomla as a CMS and WordPress as the powerful blog.

  4. @ Norman
    I like your analogy – there is nothing that compares to the speed and ease of management in WordPress – I can post fast, with tegh right plugins I can control my SEO and even URL’s all from the post page. Super quick.

    @ Shelby
    I hear you – I’ve been using Joomla for years and know it inside out – As I’ve explored WordPress over the past 6 months I’ve found that I can do a lot with it, and very fast. I think a mid level developer can wrangle WordPress and make it do some really impressive things.
    Joomla on the other hand is a much larger framework that is extremely powerful but requires some serious muscle if you want to customize it. The flip side of that is we get plugins like Sobi that add incredible functionality to Joomla, and simple concepts like ‘Module Positions’ lets people without much technical knowledge setup very customized layouts.
    It’s an interesting debate and one I’m still pondering.

  5. Regarding dofollow and PR/link juice – I actually belive you will benefit from using dofollow on your comment. First off – if you’re a bit strict – it will bring more quality to your comments. More people will comment – more traffic. And, you will be added on hundreds of dofollow blog lists on forums and blogs. This link juice will increase your PR.

    Bye bye nofollow – welcome dofollow.

    Best Regards,

    • Thanks for the comment Chris – strangely Akismet blocked yours and some other legit comments (well, mostly legit – I do like the way your surname is a keyword ;-) I’m prepared to publish comments as long as people take the time to respond to the actual article.

      Does Akismet base itself on a database of people who have been marked for spam commenting elsewhere?

  6. i am waiting for your article when to use wordpress and when to use joomla. I am impressed with your view on do follow. I have not tried joomla till now and this time i am gonna do it :) thank you

  7. I won’t be able to flesh this out properly for a week or so as I have a ton of work on right now. I could probably also write 20,000 words + on this topic as their is a lot to say on behalf of each CMS.

    I have to say I am very impressed with the way WordPress allows you to build a followiig, and encourages interaction with other people right out of the box – just as we are doing here, now, with these comments.

    There is definitely something to be said for the blogging community in general and this is something Joomla lacks.

    I am using Joomla for my main site as I mentioned in the article above – And something I’m excited about is a plugin called JFusion which lets you link the Joomla registration process with a 3rd party forum application such as phpBB or vBulletin. This is one of teh strengths of Joomla I guess and I’m looking forward to having a phpBB forum next week with the 16,000 JoomlaBear registered users profiles merged into it.

    A week from now I’ll be running Joomla, WordPress and phpBB all on this one domain ;-) I’m sure I’ll have a few things to say once this is all running smoothly.

  8. Well I haven’t tried Joomla, but I’d like to try it. Regarding Akismet – I train it. When someone puts certain vulgar words in their posts, I just add those yucky words to my akismet filter. It knows I don’t like the icky and shady websites out there, so I never have to review the comments, they just go away.

  9. I currently use WP for my blog. Seems like Drupal is gaining some momentum and the community of users/developers is strong. I’ll be lloking forward to additional that look at the pros and cons of each platform in relation to what your goal is online. E-commerce, information sharing online marketing etc.

    • Thx for the comment Marc. Good thoughts – I must look into Drupal – It keeps popping up on my radar.
      The past two years for me have only been Joomla/Wordpress

  10. I think Joomla is lacking in some basic social/web 2.0 features. Commenting is not that great, rating systems, easily installed social bookmarks, etc. it will catch up though, just as WordPress is taking on CMS aspects. Each has it’s weak points, but give it a couple years, and they will both be do-all solutions.
    Regarding your decision to do-follou, the SEO jurry is still out, but I don’t think letting PR bleed a little matters compared to the activity, traffic your site will gain from it. Do-follow = good move.

    • Thanks for that insightful comment.

      I would agree with you on the social features front. There are some reasonable social bookmarking plugins for Joomla, and the task of creating these has fallen on 3rd party developers as it has with wordpress.

      However I note that features like commenting, URL rewriting(permalinks), and a decent WYSIWYG editor – complete with image uploading and reszing, has been taken on the the WordPress core team.

      However these features in Joomla have been left to 3rd party developers as well, and I find the integration and continuity is lacking because of this – not that there arn’t some excellent tools available to do these tasks in Joomla, but the workflow is not as seamless WordPress, and it also requires the new Joomla user to do more research and testing of plugins to find a solution.

      I agree Joomla will catch up at some point ;-)

      Glad you approve of the dofollow decision – I have been enjoying far more intelligent and well thought out comments since the change. Such as yours wordpress. ;-)

  11. I see your move to provide your commentators with DoFollow links to be really heads up. Your initiative is surely going to bring more webmasters, allowing comments on their sites to receive dofollow love from search engines.

    Thanks in advance!

  12. This is the first I’ve ever heard of Joomla . . . more proof that I’m not quite the tech geek that I want to be.

  13. Kevin your comment made me chuckle. Nothing is more important than a sense of humor!

  14. I think he’s not joking. Anyway, I haven’t used Joomla, but prior to starting my blog, I also did some research on what platform will best suit my blogging needs, and so i chose wordpress. some of its plug ins are very useful, especially the database back up plug in. and of course the akismet.

  15. Hey to all and bear,

    I discovered this blog days ago and I found it very useful and informative. Actually I wanted to write you an email but I couldn’t find contact information instinctively right from the site so I think drop off a comment should do fine :)

    Anyway, I have the same dilemma: To use WP or Joomla for personal blog. I have one year web making/Joomla experience (yup I picked up fresh Joomla 1.5.0 without knowing it was just being released) and basically that was when my interest in making website started. I have no background or skills but I managed to learn some interesting stuffs within my first year with Joomla.

    Days after days I found WP always has the advantage when it comes to blogging. Some of it like WP for iPhone, iPhone theme plugin, Twitter auto post for new blog post and many more. I just find Joomla couldn’t keep up with that.

    My concerns and questions (if you mind) is there anyway Joomla could catch up soon or it just not happening? I asked since I bought a commercial component from Joomla (Myblog) and if I switching to WP it would be a waste of money and time. And as a new user, could you recommend any plugins (WordPress define plugins/modules more thoroughly right?) for me to look into?

    Also, I read about making affiliate tools article from this blog. I have been wonder since my first few months with Joomla: What is the best way to implement buysellads just like how I see on EVERY WP based sites. Since you are expert in both Joomla and WP, I am sure you can give few words on options we have for doing that in Joomla.

    Thank you for all your useful posts that has been a huge help for me.


  16. Hey Pembaris,

    In answer to your question I think Joomla will catch up to a degree, but I think fundamentally these two applications are doing slightly different jobs and I do not think they will both be able to do the best job in every situation.

    I would definitely go with WordPress for your blog – If your site revolves around posting regular content that you want sorted chronologically, and you also want to encourage user interaction, then WordPress is your friend.

    In my opinion Joomla cannot keep up in these areas – unless you are prepared to do a lot of work with extra components to handle comments, etc. Even then spam may well overwhelm you because these areas have not had the time or the testing in Joomla compared with WordPress.

    Joomla’s core strength is user management in my opinion. And also specific components like Virtuemart or Sobi Directory which are really whole other applications that plug in to the Joomla architecture – So if you want the functionality of one of these components then Joomla is also a good choice.

    For a selection of WordPress plugins for SEO you can find a good article here:

    Also always use Headspace2 to manage your title and description tags.

  17. @ Victor
    I agree he is probably serious – But I’m sure their is a hint of humour in there…

    WordPress plugins are good – Joomla plugin are also good and there are a number of backup plugins to choose from.

    I cannot stress enough though that if you want to blog then choose WordPress. I love using WordPress on this blog.

    I will however be using Joomla and phpBB forum on my rebuild of (this blog will stay WordPress) and I will be making good use of Joomla to handle the 16,000+ registered users at Joomla Bear.

  18. Bear,

    That’s why I love your blog instantly, everything you wrote has always been helpful if not significant.

    oh my you just surfaced my other dilemma: Built-in forum (kunena or anything built-in) or external?

    I have seen few friends go one way or another, both have pros and cons. But say cost-wise and technical-wise, which one would be preferable for you?

    I for once certainly love using external forum as user, but as webmaster, it’s a nightmare (for me at least).

  19. I need powerful commenting for my clients. I agree WordPress delivers. What I don’t care for is the log in process, membership. In your opinion what blog has the best dommenting system without the login and allows for urls?

    I would really appreciI need powerful commenting for my clients. I agree WordPress delivers. What I don’t care for is the log in process, membership. In your opinion what blog has the best commenting system without the login and allows for urls?

    I would really appreciate your opinion.

    • Hi Rob,
      Wordpress commenting does not require login or membership – you have this option but by default WordPress does not require logging in to comment – check your settings.

  20. Thank you for this nice article i will bookmark this article for future reference.

    I use both Joomla and WordPress CMS, im bigger fan of WordPress because is the platform that suit best my blogging needs and i also use dofollow plugin in my WordPress websites.


  21. I recently switched from WP to Joomla, joomla is much more advanced and much easier to SEO then WordPress!

    Just my 2c!

    • I’m actually finding WordPress easier at the moment lol – mind you both systems are easy enough once you have the right plugin combo.

  22. Like many others here, i have been using Joomla since it was Mambo and i have seent he progress that it has made, but like the others here i believe that Joomla and WP are very different animals.

    Joomla has fantastic user facilities and the level of customisation that can be achieved is very good. However this is only really available once a plethora of 3rd party plugins have been added. WYSIWYG editors need to be installed and comment plugins added.

    I firmly believe that all CMS systems are only really great at some things and will never be able to acomplish everything that a developer will need. The real changes will be made when the content management developers allow their systems to merge. (imagine Nuke and PHPbb for grown ups)

    The future does not lie in a fantastic user experience coming from just one CMS system, the future is being able to run several different CMS’s with several different strong points SEAMLESSLY!

  23. …And i bet your having a wonderfull time making it all “work”

  24. I would go for wordpress because it’s much easier and faster to setup a site.

  25. thanxs for making it simple

  26. Funnily enough I found this via a google search which matched your page title exactly!

    Thanks for this really useful article (and the comments which have also been a valid input). Having created sites in Joomla this has given me food for thought. I will now consider WordPress as it seems from a usability and blogging functionality perspective its perhaps better suited to certain customers than Joomla.

  27. Both WordPress and Joomla are excellent platforms for developing sites.

    In my experience, clients love WordPress if all they want is a simple portfolio site with blogging capability, and if they don’t want to spend time learning how to use a fully-functional CMS.

    Joomla seems to serve better for more complex sites, and personally I find it very easy to work with. The availability of really excellent modules makes it easy to develop quite complicated sites with multiple functions at very low cost.

    There is more of a learning curve for clients with Joomla, but for many clients I find that an hour’s basic training and a well-written manual will get them up to speed pretty quickly.

    It’s “horses for courses” really. Basic, simple websites that are easy for clients to learn, use WordPress. More complex sites for clients who want to be able to do more, Joola is the one.

    Thanks for a great article.

  28. I have a website about photography. I am using wordpress right now. I am wondering if joomla provides good plugin for creating albums and other things.

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