I've only used Drupal thus far, and I've heard people comparing Drupal to WordPress all the time. "WordPress is easier, but lacks the ability to customize as well as Drupal" variations are all over the forums.

I'm curious if anyone has ever tried Joomla and might be able to make some comparisons of Drupal to them?


WorldFallz’s picture

before you either 1) get attacked or 2) get ignored let me suggest you google "drupal joomla" -- there's already, quite literally, TONS of info available on this topic and both words are unique so googling will yield relevant info quite easily.

tuthanh’s picture

Are you going to Pepsi to ask if is it better than Coke? You will get bias info here, to ask if Drupal is better than Joomla.

Anw, in my point of view: "In the long run, every market become a two-horse race". That's going to be Drupal and Wordpress. Joomla will fall behind.

poloplayer’s picture

With regard to your quote, I'm interested in why you think Joomla will fall behind. I've been googling, as you suggested. It seems Joomla is growing faster than WordPress is right now according to the latest figures.

They may not have the total number of users, but they're getting more users at a faster rate.

So why isn't it "in the long run" a "two horse race" between Drupal and Joomla?

tuthanh’s picture

rsrocha has given you the answer:


Joomla is not as easy as Wordpress, and not as powerful as Drupal. So in the long run, it does not know where to develop to. It can't be easy as Wordpress, and it is no way as powerful as Drupal.

MarkHiatt’s picture

This is just a trick of large and small numbers.

Suppose I build a program, Widgetron, and I get twenty-five users at the end of my first year. Suppose you build one, SuperZoomer, and you get 2500 users at the end of the first year.

At the end of the next year, I have a hundred users. You have five thousand. My growth rate was 300%! 25+300%=100. I had 25, gained another 75 (three times my original, or 300%) and now I have 100.

But you went from 2500 to 5000, "only" doubling your installed base. My growth rate is way beyond yours, even though your growth is more than my entire installed base, today.

poloplayer’s picture

I think you guys are overcomplicating this...

I really just want to hear what people think about Drupal over Joomla. There's got to be some reasons out there that people who knew about both specifically chose Drupal instead, or converted.

And yes, I have googled. I'm hoping for some different answers. Didn't realize that was too much to ask for.

rsrocha’s picture

- WP is known as a blog system, but it isn't (well it is, but isn't the only thing it does). It allows you to do awesome websites (as long as you dont want many options). WP is simple.
- Drupal is just awesome - for everything you need, there is a module for that (for most cases)

- Joomla is btw WP and Drupal - not as good as Drupal, and not as simple as WP.

(google will give you this info)

superjerms’s picture

Yes, everyone is understandably biased on the Drupal board, just as they are on the Joomla board.
Here's my attempt at a useful answer:

Joomla is good if you want to have a pre-configured site, for a wide range of uses, with a lot of expandability in the form of commercial add-ons. It's not as flexible on the dev end (that's an understatement), and I would say the overall platform is a bit less coherently thought out (e.g. the Mambo split, long pause on J1.5, overly rapid iterations after 1.5, confusing but serviceable ACL), though that's getting better.
J! + paid add-ons make a site pretty much ready to go out of the box, for a variety of user cases, so long as you're happy with default feature sets. And, clients can effectively be taught how to manage the site. That said, it gets kinda hairy if you need extensive modifications, you get a range of quality in the add-ons, and support for paid extensions is sometimes a crap-shoot.
From a community standpoint, you get a spectrum of user skill level and willingness to help out. At the same time, there are so many novice users that there are a good number of the answers you might seek already out on google.

Drupal is good if you want the site made on your terms, with a lot of available power, and a lot of the investment is your time instead of paid add-ons. Fresh installs are pretty stark (this has gotten better, and packages let you launch with more pre-configured sites, but you're still going to need to learn a couple things to really tap the power), and has a solid vision for the platform, but you'll often come across incomplete features.
If you don't mind getting your hands dirty, you can make a site that is amazingly powerful, meets your exact needs, and is simple to administrate for novice users. If you can't get through the learning curve, or don't have the budget to customize, you can still make a pretty decent site without too much fuss...there are templates and most add-ons can deliver 80% of their functionality without customization. If you know enough to leverage the right plugins, you can even do insane things without messing around in PHP.
The community is very knowledgeable and helpful, and is much more open, collaborative and free. The paid plugin is rare, and tutorials abound, though documentation is no where near as robust as Joomla or WP. A big reason for this is that Drupal stuff is constantly evolving and innovating (whether it's to add features or simplify UI), so tutorials become sparse quickly. And, most active users are too busy building cool stuff to stop and write things out. That said, there are some really strong tutorial and documentation sites (drupalanswers, mustardseedmedia, lullabot, nodeone.se, packtpub, just to name a few).

WP is as simple as it gets, and has a wide range of add-ons, and crushes it when you want to blog. It wants to grow into wider use scenarios (and has made some strides there), but it's an effort to graft new features onto specialized software, whereas joomla and drupal are founded on flexibility.


Want power and a wholly custom site? Don't mind longer development, and have the skill/patience to learn? Drupal is a hardware store and lumberyard.

Want versatility without much configuration, and a lot of vendor products? Don't need absolute flexibility and access to code? Joomla! is a supermarket.

Want user simplicity, lots of documentation, and a great blog? Want additional features as they come up, but it's not top priority if they're merely passable instead of a perfect fit? Wordpress is a boutique shop that is expanding its offerings every day.


My opinion, each has their uses. Ideally, everything would be drupal and I'd customize everything to make it totally dummy proof and perfect. Sometimes, the perfect is the enemy of the good, and Joomla is more than able to handle the needs.
In my experience, clients can grow to a point where you feel handcuffed by Joomla's more rigid design paradigm, but not all clients get there and you can still get a lot done (for a lot less money) on that platform.

ankitchauhan’s picture

I agree with you @superjerms.

Great Comparison


DrScribe’s picture

Thank you for this summary - I'm about as new as it gets to Drupal, I made 1 WP website and wanted something more - looked at Joomla and then Drupal and found Drupal to be the most exciting so far. Your post has encouraged me to look further as I have no clue as to how to proceed with my own site. Cheers DS

Balu Ertl’s picture

Hi superjerms,

Thank you for your expensive time spent on sharing your opinion with us and me. I found extremely useful and especially liked the fair tone you talked about all 3 of them.

dueron’s picture

Loved the retail store analogy! I'm pretty new to all this, and am glad I chose Drupal over the others. (I'm a Lowe's / Home Depot sort).

tomkis’s picture

Drupal 7

Why everyone stands for "drupal is hard to use". IMO it is easy, intuitive, excellent support from community, lots of books and usefull tutorials. Views are great and with minimum ability to learn you can build what you want. Front end developing with templates is easy, structured and clean. Back end with modules, as far as you understand hooks and know arrays, become piece of cake. Even complex website is easy to manage, the most of modules are free anf good quality.

Joomla 2.5

It is not that intuitive as J1.5, lack of books, poor community support. I did few times and the most helpful was google and learning by try and mistakes. Extensions, most free, but also ith back links,restricted features or paid. If you want more add K2 module, then with time it is hard to manage. With complex website it actually takes longer to set up correctly.Templates are easy to make, like drupal. Back end, for me it was diseaster, so many different places (n actually it is two sides front and back end ).Components, plugins, modules... I started with Joomla, than found Drupal 6 easier.

Wordpress. Can't compare at the moment, but will work this this cms.

Conclusion. Drupal is the way to go. If not for freelancing than are jobs out there, google it. Wordpress has got good opinion among clients as easy to use and it is well known. Joomla, well..worth to know, although some customers have negative experience, but it is good system. I am working on freelance Joomla project now using T3 framework. I am really missing OMEGA and Drupal.

Try and find what is the best for you. Good luck

Harold Villacorte’s picture

I started with Joomla about five years ago and I faintly remember having a very hard time trying to set any kind of granular permissions for a multi-user site. With Drupal it is a major part of the core functionality. I also briefly tried to set up a multi-site installation in Joomla which was hopeless while Drupal is made for just such a thing.

I am currently running one single Drupal 7 installation for all of my sites. Keeping them updated now is ridiculously easy, like updating software on an Android device or a Linux box. Just a few clicks and you're done. I don't know anything about the current state of Joomla but from my brief experience with it I have to say there is no comparison, Joomla is not in the same league. I encourage anyone who is struggling with deciding between the two to choose Drupal and don't look back. With some basic knowledge of php and jQuery you can make Drupal do anything you want. Lynda.com has some great video tutorials on it as well.

tonyd’s picture

I have been a software engineer for many years. A web developer for only a few years. Web development is extremely difficult if you are not using a CMS. Many of my dev friends had been using either WordPress and Joomla and described them both as simple to get a site up and running, but admitted they could never get specific features built that would perform exactly the requirement their users were expecting. No one I knew had experience with Drupal. I decided to evaluate D6, so I installed a LAMP stack, downloaded Drupal and went for it. The post are correct in that documentation is somewhat limited, but the drupal community is extremely useful. Also, I have discovered from help from the community that many drupal devs are former PHP devs, that have seen the light of day. I had a few problems with my installs but nothing I needed hand holding with and was able to rely on my engineering skills to get me out of trouble. After 18 months later, I am so hooked and not looking back! I plan to write a new module and help port D6 modules to D7. I know that I have a learning curve still for new concepts in D7, but I know we will be better for it. Now that I know much more about Drupal now than a year ago, I can say I don't agree with every decision that is made in D7 core, but I have seen from the community what happens when a Drupal deficiency exists in core. Some developer, somewhere builds a module that solves or mitigates that deficiency. Thats is the beauty of open source! My opinion is there is a wide gap between what you can do with Drupal vs the other CMSs.

smallcoder’s picture

Couldn't agree more - the community aspect of Drupal surpasses anything I've experienced with other packages - and even programming languages. I've yet to come across a project I could not accomplish with hardly any need to adjust code with most of the work being done in the CSS files.

My clients just love it AND they love how quickly I can respond to their requests for changes.

Just had a look at Joomla 3.0 and it looks pretty good BUT installing it outside the localhost environment seems to cause a few headaches with the php.ini so I hear. Still think Drupal is miles ahead as a serious CMS package and I don't think Joomla is really targetting itself to devs.

dlt123me’s picture

Hi, I am new to Drupal and still need to learn PHP. I found your statement interesting since I can tell this must be an inside observation. Could you please explain this statement.. and I'm not trying to start any PHP vs. ??? vs. you war, just curious what you mean when you say....

" I have discovered from help from the community that many drupal devs are former PHP devs, that have seen the light of day. "

Thank you,

superjerms’s picture

What he means is, many community members come from a background where they used to hand-build everything in PHP with the assumption that any CMS would have "baked-in" features that would either break, get in the way, or require so much modification that it'd be faster to just start from a blank slate.

Drupal gives those folks a flexible enough tool, they can start with the CMS and build out just about anything they want, getting to the same custom site without compromising on features or reinventing the wheel.

It offers a great deal of easy customization, has an active and collaborative community, and is built so that its core features generally stay out of your way while you're working. It's a viable alternative to working with a framework like Zend or Rails, and a whole heck of a lot more accessible (especially for folks who aren't versed in PHP). Or, if you are a PHP master, you can just as easily start with Drupal as your base and build features entirely in your own code.

In many CMSs, the workflow is: find extensions that fit your needs, hope you can find something that delivers the exact features required, hope that it doesn't break anything else. Depending on how specific the specs are, you'll almost never find a boxed solution that works, so you'll need to hack it in some way or another. Then you might have to hack the add-on so that it works together with your other add ons, try to get the original author to do you a favor, or buy additional layers of add-ons to make the originals work correctly. In the end, you're fairly likely to have something that can't be upgraded, or doesn't have the exact features you'd like, or is patched together using a lot of duct tape and bubblegum, or has massive security flaws that will not be identified because the individual plug-in has been abandoned by its authors. Blank slate starts looking pretty good again.

Drupal was built with an eye towards customization. Instead of packaged extensions, you get hooks, APIs, variable tables, modules that extend very specific site capabilities, and functions that let you build whatever you need without starting at ground zero. Once you've built it, you can pack things up for future reuse (from something as discreet as a type of story or specific feature, to a distribution that has everything you'd need for the finished site). And, that extensibility will become even more important as sites shift towards the needs of mobile and external applications. It's a beautiful thing.

k_mohsen’s picture

the main benefit of joomla is its modules are less require to other modules.
for example in Drupal for installing Entity reference module you must first install Entity API and CTools.
these depended modules make people confuse. recently, i want to add about 5 new function to my Drupla7 , so i download requisite modules. for activating those modules they require to one or more other modules. after about 1 or 2 hours, i have to install about 18 modules.

in joomla you must only find your modules and install it. no depended or require modules are need.

nevets’s picture

I prefer the module approach to Drupal, yes it means loading more than one module in some cases, but it means Drupal modules tend to reuse functionality other modules use which I see as a good thing.

saurabh_saxena’s picture

My choice is Drupal. Joomla might be easy than Drupal but If we talk about admin experience then Drupal has a wider admin experience for content editors. And about Security? Drupal is renowned for its level of security and site scale. Several government websites are built on Drupal, even Whitehouse.gov.

jessicakoh’s picture

Try Drush. When you install a module with drush, all dependent will be installed automagically. 1 minute, max.

jetwodru’s picture

In core, Joomla does NOT have
1.) Comment
2.) Tagging.
3.) Front-end Posting
You need extensions to make Joomla work as a Blog notably K2 & Content Builder.

I'd rather go for Wordpress which is natively more powerful with Custom Post Type in core since version 3. Later, it might replace Drupal as well. Just see the following Wordpress themes, buying a theme at $45 can easily be transformed into hundreds of beautiful layout without coding, click the Showcase.

samcis’s picture

People moving from Drupal to Joomla will feel suffocated by the limitations and lack of options
People going from Joomla to Drupal will feel confused and helpless by the lack of pre-built "features"

Still Wordpress & Joomla which are used by masses because of popularity, are a tough competitior to Drupal.

It is easy to use WordPress without reading a manual, Wordpress is definitely easier to get up and running. On the other hand Drupal is a framework for building CMSes & It is not easy to use Drupal without reading a manual

CaseyA’s picture

I have seen this question popup a lot lately, both online, and in person at meetups and with my friends/coworkers. Just like most things in life where we have choices, "it depends," but nobody wants that answer, especially not here. Also, I liked another response on this post stating "Are you going to Pepsi to ask if it's better than Coke?" but I digress...

Personally, I favor Drupal (which is probably why I'm hanging out here), but here are some of my pros/cons, which I posted on Quora.


- Extremely flexible
- Developer friendly
- Strong SEO capabilities
- Enterprise friendly
- Stability
- Active community willing to help
- Tons of helpful modules built by the community
- Multisite and multidev capabilities
- Quality code & API

- Steeper learning curve
- Lack of easy to implement themes (I'd say Wordpress is best for that)
- Need to add modules for each site

Drupal can handle pretty much any site from a personal blog to a full blown enterprise website. There are many high profile sites that use Drupal. I will add more info with links in my resources below.


- Relatively user-friendly (far behind WP though)
- Extension variability
- Easy installation

- Learning curve, similar to Drupal
- Lacks SEO capabilities
- Limited ACL support

Thoughts? Things I should add?

PetarB’s picture

Drupal vs Joomla?

Drupal, hands down. However, it's a bit more complicated when you put Drupal against Wordpress. Really depends on your client and the job brief.

CWSmith1701’s picture

When I was rebuilding my story archive site I went looking at a few things. I had one associate recommend joomla, took a look and wasn't really impressed with what I saw. It seemed almost impossible for me to create a site out of the box with what was there for my rather limited needs. ONe person recommended Wordpress, which I had some experience with on my blog site. I had used wordpress for a single user blog with no issues. But I couldn't see how to urn it into a multi-user site. I just didn't think it would work well.

I played around with drupal and I was easily able to create stories and chapters with it. I had to mess around with some modules in order to create structures to simplify the process for non-technical users. THe biggest thing that made drupal my go to was the extensability and already available structure. Books, comments, things of that nature. I've had to figure out and am still figuring out the more complicated things but this worked out well for my user case.