Horses for courses

Being technology agnostic has advantages.  It means I can use the best tool for the job, instead of using the same tool over and over again regardless of if it is actually the best fit or not.

One of the reasons I’ve not been blogging so much lately is because I’ve been lucky enough to work on some quite varied projects, using both Joomla and WordPress.  People often ask which is “the best”. Joomla or WordPress?  The truth is that each has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, in fact, comparing Joomla and WordPress really is like comparing chalk to cheese.

Clearly, Joomla is a very mature product, being a fork of Mambo (itself an award winning product) which began life in 2000, Joomla became a distinct software package in 2005 and has grown in popularity since then.  Joomla is open source and has a wide range of support available including some great templates and extensions to the basic Joomla installation to get you up and running quickly.

A recent exciting development in the Joomla community is the Gantry Framework which offers a lot of additional functionality within Joomla.  But as always, with additional sophistication the learning curve goes up, and it can be difficult for those new to Joomla to pick it up and figure it out, it isn’t very instinctive.

WordPress is also open source and not much younger than Joomla. It to has a lot of support and themes and extensions to it’s basic functionality. WordPress is clearly focused on blogging, but can be used to build normal websites. WordPress looks and feels a lot easier to use than Joomla, and it just seems more polished overall. Though it offers less basic functionality than Joomla, this can be a good thing.

So which is “best”?  Joomla or WordPress? They are both great products and my advice would be to analyse your requirements and then figure out which product best suits your specific needs.  Check out the possibilities each offers you, including investigating the different themes and extensions available. Consider trying a small proof-of-concept site with each system together with any plug-ins and themese which you are thinking of using.

It really is horses for courses but do make sure that you specifically build some time into your web design and build project in order to learn how to use your system of preference and become familiar with it.

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