WordPress vs Joomla: Which one is better for 2020?

WordPress vs Joomla, the battle of these two popular CMS platforms has been raging on for years. However, they receive updates and they evolve with time so which one is better for 2020? They both have their pros and cons so in this post we’ll find out which one is the best for you.

As for me, although I’ve been working with WordPress for most of my life, I did spend time looking around at other platforms. And Joomla stands out as an excellent alternative. WordPress is the most famous platform and it currently powers 35% of all Internet websites. However, Joomla also has numerous community and powers more than 2.5 million websites. But with so many CMS platforms, why has Joomla become the fiercest rival of WordPress? In this post, we’ll have a look at what each of these two content management systems has to offer so you can answer that question on your own.

WordPress vs Joomla: The Clash of CMS

To give you the clearest insights into the two options, we’ll compare some relevant facts and figures first. Then, we’ll dig deeper by providing the pros and cons of both WordPress and Joomla.

WordPress vs Joomla: Talking Figures

When in doubt, look at the numbers. Numbers are the fairest judges and they provide you with a good context to better understand each platform’s popularity.

Market share

As of March 2020, WordPress is present in 35% of all websites on the Internet. This proves an increase of 2% since early 2019 and a rise of 4% compared to 2018. Meanwhile, Joomla accounts for 2.5%. Even though this doesn’t seem like a lot, Joomla is more popular than other platforms such as Drupal, Shopify or Squarespace, and it’s the second-largest content management system on the market.

Number of websites

WordPress powers around 455 million active sites while Joomla runs on 2.5 million websites.

Downloads

Joomla has been downloaded over 97 million times. WordPress version 5.3 alone, on the other hand, has already been downloaded over 46 million times since its launch in November 2019 (and there are 36 previous WordPress versions!).

Business websites

9% of all Internet business websites are using Joomla, while nearly 28% of all e-commerce goes through WooCommerce and WordPress.

Themes/plugins/extensions

WordPress currently offers more than 3500 GPL-licensed themes together with 50.000 plugins. Joomla, on the other hand, has thousands of free and premium templates and more than 8000 extensions.

Languages

While WordPress is published in more than 120 different languages, Joomla is available in 77 languages.

Daily figures

Last but not least in the battle of WordPress vs Joomla, let’s compare the number of newly-built websites on each platform. Around 660 WordPress new sites get created daily, while Joomla powers roughly 300 new websites each day.

So now that we have a better understanding of each platforms’ popularity, let’s have a look at some of their features so you can find out which one is the right one for you: WordPress vs Joomla.

If you want to get more figures about each of these platforms, you can check out WordPress and Joomla’s statistics.

WordPress vs Joomla: Shared Features

We’ve just seen the differences in statistics between WordPress vs Joomla, but the truth is that they have many things in common. Let’s have a look at their similarities:

  • They are both free and open-source platforms with their source code released under the GPL license. As they’re open-source, anyone can inspect, modify, and improve them. That is why these platforms are so popular.
  • MySQL is the database management system for both platforms. However, while WordPress only supports MySQL, with Joomla you can also use other management systems as well.
  • Both platforms use PHP as the main scripting language, giving developers the ease for website development and other uses.
  • More importantly, both of them offer thousands of themes and templates so you can easily customize your website, as well as thousands of plugins/extensions to upgrade their functionalities.

WordPress vs Joomla: Pros and Cons

WordPress and Joomla are excellent platforms but they both have strengths and weaknesses. So now let’s go through a thorough comparison and explanation of WordPress and Joomla’s advantages and disadvantages. More importantly, you will also see at what aspects one is better than the other.

Ease of use

WordPress is extremely easy to use even if you don’t have any coding skills. If you want to create a free website from scratch on WordPress.com, you just need only a couple of hours to get everything done. Since you can’t use plugins on a free website, customization is quite limited. However, there are many themes options to choose from:

So if you want a full-fledged website, go for hosted WordPress. Additionally, most hosts offer auto-installers and some even give you a pre-installed WordPress. If you want to further upgrade and customize the look and functionality of your site, there are many plugins out there to help you out.

On the other hand, Joomla is a bit more complicated to use and has a steeper learning curve. Although most hosts have auto-installer for Joomla users too, you will have to spend a little more time creating content. Generally speaking, Joomla is more expertise-oriented, so it’s better to gain some coding knowledge before using it.

Security

In terms of security, let’s take a look at statistics.

According to the 2019 website hack trend report by Succuri, 94% of hacked websites use WordPress while only 2.5% use Joomla. Even though looking at the numbers you may think that WordPress isn’t very secure, there are two main reasons for that. Firstly, it’s the most popular CMS so it will naturally have a higher percentage of hacks.

Additionally, developing malware for WordPress is more attractive for hackers as they could break into many more sites than if they did the same for Joomla.

In terms of updates, WordPress usually releases regular updates every 45-60 days where they fix bugs and improve users’ data. Major updates usually occur 2 to 4 times per year. Joomla, on the other hand, usually receives small updates once a month and bigger ones 1-2 times per year.

Both WordPress and Joomla are secure platforms but if you want to add extra layers of protection to your site, you can add backups and security plugins. It’s important that when you install a plugin, you make sure that it has the proper safety standards to keep your website safe.

If you want to know more about WordPress security, you can have a look at our guide.

Support

Another important aspect of our WordPress vs Joomla clash is customer support. Both platforms pay great attention to providing excellent on-time support to their users.

WordPress offers a support section on their WordPress.org site. Apart from user guides, you can also find documentation and relevant FAQ on nearly any topic ranging from how to install it to basic usage to how to customize it to maintenance and so on. There are also many forums where people with the same problems gather and help each other.

Joomla, on the other hand, has more diverse forms of help. They offer the main documentation together with video courses for the training of various subjects. Additionally, there’s also a forum where you can discuss your site’s issues with the community.

So overall both platforms offer several tools for support but due to the variety, Joomla has a slight advantage over WordPress. However, it’s worth noting that if you need professional help, it’ll be much easier to find WordPress developers than Joomla ones due to its popularity.

Costs

While both of the platforms are free, there are many side costs you should take into account before choosing one.

If you want a professional-looking website, you will need a domain name and hosting. A domain name will cost you somewhere around 15 USD/year or more, and a good hosting provider is likely to charge you as little as 50 USD or as much as 500 USD per year. These costs are similar for both WordPress and Joomla.

However, the main difference comes with the design. As Joomla is more developer-centered, you may need professional help for web design so you might have to spend 1000 USD to 5000 USD. WordPress, on the other hand, is easier to use so you can customize your site without any extra help.

This means that the cost for maintaining a WordPress website ranges from 99 USD to 299 USD per year and 2000 USD to 6050 USD per year for Joomla’s sites.

WordPress vs Joomla: Which one is better?

WordPress and Joomla are both excellent platforms. Instead of asking which one is better, the most important question is which one is better for your specific needs?

To sum up, if you are on your own and want a platform that’s easy to use, highly customizable, user-friendly, and easy to set up, then WordPress is your best choice. It doesn’t require any coding skills and there’s a huge community to help you out with your issues.

However, if you know how to code, you can hire professional help and you need a website that can display and manage different types of content, then Joomla is probably a better option.

You know yourself best, so consider everything above and answer the question yourself!