Making The Right Choice – Joomla vs Drupal!

Making The Right Choice - Joomla vs Drupal!
As a webmaster, choosing the right and best suited Content Management System (CMS) is one of the most important decisions to take. The two widely used open-source softwares are – Joomla and Drupal. They are free to download and use, and the platforms have been continuously improved over the years to support the latest technology. This write up is an attempt to throw some light on how each CMS features, when compared to the other.

The Boxers In The Arena:

We have the two most popular CMS available today – Joomla and Drupal. In 2011, both came out with their latest versions- Joomla 1.7 and Drupal 7.0. These are now supporting advanced technology, and an increasing choice of add-ons, contributed from their respective communities.

The new Joomla 1.7 is has better support for the extensions with a one-click update feature. It is also notable for its new access control interface. It now has unlimited categorization due to the integration of the section and category managers. Another new feature to look out for is the Semantic XHTML layout.

The new Drupal 7.0 has a power packed dashboard and a new admin theme. There are many shortcuts and a better organized toolbar. In the new Drupal, updates begin from the very first screen. Users will enjoy the ease of access management and the inclusion of comment field.

Let The Match Commence:

Go through the comparison below for a better insight into the differences between the two content management systems. Read-compare and decide.

A.) Setup

Many users have found Drupal’s installation slightly complicated. However, the newest version is easier to use. You have to make a choice between standard installs and advanced ones. For new users, the installation system will let you download majority of the commonly used modules. If you are a newbie, then the file structure may seem complicated to you, but don’t worry, you will be able to manage. The advanced users can customize the installation, depending on their requirements. You can opt for a different installation profile and can install with multiple functions as per your preferences.

Joomla is pretty easy to install. You can copy the Joomla files to the server and simply follow the clear instructions for a successful installation. The sample data installer is a real help for the newbies. With Joomla, you can provide META description and keywords at the installation stage! Keep in mind that to avoid complexities with Joomla, you must have a file transfer system supported by it. Joomla supports FTP for file transfers.

B.) Administrative Armor


Drupal allows you to customize its menu to display the buttons you use regularly. But to do this you have to be really advanced. However, the Drupal 7.0 has a horde of features and tons of flexibility at the administrative level. With Drupal 7.0, you can have separate emails for installation and administration. This will give you an easy choice incase you have to transfer the administrative right to some one. You can sift through tasks like generating reports, integrating multiple site access etc very quickly and efficiently. The Drupal 7.0 has the potential to assign the administrator automatically. A very god feature for large websites with multiple admins.

Joomla’s interface is easy to maintain, as it has a point-and-click interface. In the newest version, Joomla’s administrative access has been upgraded. On line with his previous versions, you need a separate backend interface to run the site and manage the functions (manage users too, for specific tasks). Joomla 1.7 also notifies you, when you need an upgrade. The biggest disadvantage is that for each site, you have to download another Joomla. It does not provide support for having multiple sites managed from a single backend platform., so developers need to install different Joomla interfaces for different sites.

C.) Content Management


Drupal is very convenient and advanced to use. It allow you to have unlimited grouping levels along with categorizations and tagging. The content management system lets you generate varied forms of content, even though it requires the most technical expertise, but it produces the most advanced sites. With this CMS, you can easily identify the tasks and features, task automation and quick report generation. You can configure and manage each type of content separately.


Joomla’s CMS has three stages for content management: Section, Category, and Content. You cannot do cross categorization. However, you can create fairly complex sites, once you have understood the architecture. The new Joomla 1.7 now provides more control over the editor. It is simple to use, and is preferred for the same by the new users.

D.) Plugins


With the multiple modules available, you can experience far more functionality than in the native platforms. Apart from that you can get more features in-built into the core application. For example you can include the most downloaded modules in the base application.

Joomla’s thousands of extensions make it the leader in plugins. Its varied and expansive range of third-party extensions, you have better support for theme building, and creating aesthetically rich sites. You get plenty of support and guidance from Joomla’s extension community too. The latest figure of Joomla 1.7 supported extensions being 1,700 in June 2011.

E.) Loading Time And Security

Drupal- It loads really fast. As far as security is concerned. Drupal is the most secure open source CMS platform.

Joomla- Can be slow and really slow at times. But in the case of security, in 2009 Joomla had some issues with spam links.



It is good for SEO as you can work on customizing the URL with an addon: Pathauto. The code of the site is well-optimized and lightweight.


You may face an issue here, as it does not have the ability to control metadata or URLs. However, you can optimize a Joomla site with many SEO extensions available.

And The Winner Is…

As of now, it seems that Drupal gets the prize, but this is not the ultimate result, as comparisons can continue on other issues. The right choice of a CMS depends on your needs. You have to understand your budget, goals, technical expertise etc. to decide which CMS suits you the most. If you have a complex, and highly customized site, then go for Drupal. But for a site with slightly simpler content organization, Joomla may be the right answer.

Whatever CMS you choose, make sure to take guidance and remove doubts at the various online support communities.