When I get new clients that request an open source CMS to manage their websites, two popular brands always pop up- WordPress and Joomla. Both are free, open source technologies that offer similar features. Both allow for web development and built in plugins and extras like online stores, login systems, portfolios, sharing tools, and more.
The biggest question is which is more beneficial and efficient. I get a lot of clients that, wanting an online store, ask what is the difference between the two. Joomla has been around longer and WordPress became popular as the ideal blogging module in the market, then quickly became used to build fully functional websites. Both are coded in PHP and both allow for customization from top to bottom.
Personally, I feel WordPress is better suited for all facets of the newest trends in web development like HTML5, Jquery, and AJAX tools. Joomla is easier to use and implement, and requires hardly any coding experience. That is why Joomla is more widely used, as it gives front end web designers the ability to add in back-end capabilities. But, in the long run, WordPress is more robust and allows for future customization and changes a lot easier.
Joomla is built in “modules”, as one section of the website is dependent on the framework of another. So the layout and tools added in cannot be easily adjusted and modified in different positions and sections. WordPress is completly built in HTML and PHP, so it allows for fuller access to core code and can easily be adjusted and customized with an experienced PHP developer who is familiar with WordPress CMS framework.
I see WordPress as the future of open source CMS development. Others exist for specific and more advanced purposes, like Magento and Drupal. I will go into those another time!