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231 comments

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  1. Avatar

    We are a non-profit international organisation and want to integrate an eCommerce website, an affiliate membership platform and payment portal with our CRM.

    If we were to integrate with our current CRM (Copper), we would face some challenges:
    1) It would require several additional platforms. Eg Zapier, Wufoo
    2) Privacy concerns exist with multiple platforms. Eg Zapier, Wufoo
    3) Recurring high costs of integration

    Our eCommerce vendor is recommending Zero BS CRM (WordPress CRM Plugin). We did not see this in your list of comparisons.
    What is the best CRM programme to meet our needs? Your expert advice is highly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Best,

    Kaliswarran Rao

    Reply
    1. Avatar

      Zero BS CRM is a plugin for WordPress, not a CRM program in itself. It works together with WordPress, one of the CMS in this comparison. Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience working with CRM, so I can’t make any recommendations. However, maybe someone else in this comment section has an idea.

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  2. Avatar

    I’m a web developer who’s used WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, as well as some older CMS’s like Nuke and PostNuke.

    WordPress is garbage. The biggest reason it has 30+% of the websites in the world is because it has such a low barrier of entry. But building a GOOD WordPress site is, in my opinion, way more difficult and expensive than building a decent Drupal or Joomla site. There are literally millions of bad and un-maintained WordPress sites on the web. It’s why hackers now almost exclusively target them.

    I’ve literally NEVER had to buy a Drupal module to build a decent site for a customer. I’ve bought themes, but it’s relatively easy to customize several of the contributed open source themes. Drupal definitely has much better community oversight on their contributed modules and themes as well.

    I don’t use Joomla as much but it’s still better than WordPress, and has (in my opinion) better e-commerce integrations than Drupal. You’ll pay for them though.

    Telling beginners to use WordPress because it’s simple just invites them to build bad sites. If they’re not a programmer, they should use Wix or Squarespace if they really want to build their own. If they WANT to be a programmer, I’d still recommend Drupal – it’s a steeper learning curve, but will give them a better end result and better community support for budding developers.

    Even most WordPress development firms do nothing except install paid plugins. A pretty hefty percentage of them couldn’t program their way out of a paper bag.

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    1. Avatar

      The low barrier of entry is exactly the point. People choose WordPress because it allows them to have a site up and running very quickly and do it by themselves. No need to hire someone, you can get up and running in minutes. Plus, many developers appreciate the platform because it is easy to teach to clients.

      On the other hand, I agree with you that there are a lot of badly made WordPress sites out there. As with everything in life, you need to be willing to educate yourself in order to use the tools at hand properly. For WordPress users that means learning how to make your site fast and keep it safe. Not everyone can or wants to be a programmer but there’s still stuff you need to be aware of or hire someone to take care of for you.

      Wix and Squarespace come with their own set of issues, namely lack of flexibility and the fact that you don’t really own your site – you rent it. It’s also hard to move on to some other platform and take your content with you. Therefore, even for beginners, I’d still recommend WordPress, maybe in combination with a page builder plugin.

      I think each of the CMS has their own market and areas they excel at. WordPress has definitely struck a nerve, otherwise it wouldn’t be the most successful platform out there. Sure, it has its issues and no system is perfect but WordPress has also helped revolutionize web publishing and given many people the means to start their own businesses and online presences that they otherwise would not have been able to.

      So, while I don’t share your opinion, I appreciate you taking the time to leave such a detailed comment. Thank you!

      Reply
  3. Avatar

    I called WordPress and it is NOT user friendly! I was told it takes months to learn how to use it and if I’m not taking a class i would probably need their help at $100 monthly. Like I said, it could take months. Why do you recommend such a difficult website for a beginner?!

    Reply
    1. Avatar

      Hi Diane, I have used Drupal in the past and currently use WordPress. My experience is that there is definitely a learning curve with both but the vast number of plugins, themes, tutorials, etc. for WordPress make it an attractive choice. My main site is for a local newspaper. I host it on WordPress.com and pay $300 a year and I can chat with their support people 24/7 and as long as I work with one of their themes, they provide detailed help. (They can still help with other themes but don’t train on them.) If I have a problem or can’t figure something out they explain it and often fix it. They will even figure out what custom CSS I need to change a font or color or alignment of something, etc. and give it to me in the chat.

      I don’t know if I will stay there forever, or if I will always use WordPress. I am there now because the site has been running on wordpress.com for 12 years and I initially had the address like mysite.wordpress.com and now use our domain. Because I keep it there the old links will still work. Plus they handle backups and maintain WordPress automatically. I don’t have to worry about hackers or the site crashing and losing everything because I was inattentive to something.

      There is no perfect solution and all cause occasional frustration and require some time. But I can’t imagine a scenario where the typical person would have to pay $100 a month.

      Reply
    2. Avatar

      Compared to the other two solutions in this comparison, WordPress is definitely the most user friendly. However, every website system you start out with will have a learning curve. From your comment, it also sounds like you went with WordPress.com, not self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org). I recommend you look into installing WordPress locally to test drive it without any risk. Here are a few useful articles:

      /install-wordpress-locally-xampp/
      /customize-wordpress-101/
      /best-popular-wordpress-plugins/

      Let us know if we can help somehow!

      Reply
  4. Avatar

    This is a very good comparison. Would have loved to have seen some performance information and how difficult it is to scale the CMSs for large #s of pages and high volume sites.

    Reply
  5. Avatar

    I expected a fair assessment of the three content management systems. It’s quite obvious that the author has little or no experience with Joomla. As for the comment that a Joomla developer needs to be skilled in PHP, nothing could be farther from the truth. Joomla is extremely flexible without resorting to the management of code.

    The last time I started to develop a WordPress site, I quit when I realized that I was going to have to edit the code to insert a simple logo in the header. (Yeah, I know that some templates already have that built-in.) I know developers that make a lot of money writing PHP and Javascript to make WordPress do what it wasn’t designed to do. Pretty much all the things those developers want to do can be done in Joomla with much difficulty.

    As for the appearance of the site, the example shown is of a starter template that almost nobody would use. Many of the best WordPress templates have a Joomla version that is just as good or better.

    Reply
    1. Avatar

      Hey Paul, thanks for your input. Since Joomla is built on PHP, if you want to be a developer, it’s probably a good idea to be skilled in that language. The same is true if you want to develop for WordPress, though here, JavaScript is becoming more and more important.

      Whether you are working with Joomla or WordPress, knowing the right tools to get the job done will always make your life easier. Most modern WordPress themes will allow you to change the site logo from the back end without editing code.

      As for the starter template, WordPress comes with a new default theme every year that is built on the latest technology and design trends. Since the same doesn’t happen for Joomla or Drupal, WordPress tends to look a little better right out of the box. Of course, nobody is saying that you can not change Joomla’s look with another template. We just compared what a site built with the different CMS looks like right after installation.

      In the end, which is the right solution for you depends on your needs and skill level. We just think that WordPress is the easiest solution to get into as a beginner (which is our main audience) but we are also aware that the other two CMS’s can be used to build awesome websites.

      I hope this clarified some of the points in the post.

      Reply
  6. Avatar

    I will compliment you with an expertly written article. WordPress is my CMS choice since 2004. I choose it because of the aesthetics and extensive library of add ons but I have also had no real issues with security. Most developers will tell you that 90% of security issues are user-related. They don’t use recently updated themes and plugins and don’t stay up to date on their core install which gets security tweaks a couple of times a month because WordPress is such a big target. There are also exceptional security suites like WordFense and server-side security systems as well that keep sites safe.

    In the 15 years of using WP, I have only had 2 of over 2 dozen sites hacked and bother were only cosmetic breaches and they were weak password situations. Joomla and Drupal are clunky and not visually on par with WordPress. Most clients are not tech-savvy and WP has a lesser learning curve as you mention.

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  7. Avatar

    Thank you for your interesting article. Since 2016, as a church in the Netherlands, we have to meet the new EU ‘privacy law’. For one thing, you are not allowed to gather personal data of your members without their explicit permission. A big step to realize this on the church website would be the possibility for church members to select themselves which items they would register/ disclose in the membership database. To make this possible the website needs a password protected area and functionality which enables members to fill in their own data. Which CMS facilitates this functionality the best?

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    1. Avatar

      Hey Jack, unfortunately, I don’t know any solution for your request from the top of my head. I know that there are a lot of GDPR-ready plugins for WordPress. You can find many of them here but you would have to make your own research as to what fits your needs.
      Overall, I would recommend you to go with WordPress or Joomla as those two solutions are much easier to implement than Drupal. Especially, if you want a relatively simple site.

      Reply
  8. Avatar
    Szymon Chmielowiec

    Yes, I must also thank you for the work you have done! You compare the most popular CMS on the main areas that are important for website owners before making a decision.

    Looking from the perspective of a person who creates dedicated solutions every day, I think that Drupal 8 is by far the best CMS for larger organizations that need extensive functionality – non-stop updated while maintaining the security of the site. There is a reason why so many websites of government organizations and universities use Drupal 🙂

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  9. Avatar

    The big argument in favor of Drupal, for me, is the degree to which a Drupal site can be customized to fit the client’s needs. The back end may be more complex, but it’s relatively easy to provide a simplified interface for those who are to have editorial responsibilities on the site. The content managers can deal exclusively with information blocks that make sense in their world.

    There is a new option in the Drupal world. There was a fork from Drupal 7 that provides some of the Drupal 8 benefits, but with a commitment to simplicity (albeit relative simplicity). The Backdrop CMS is an attractive alternative to Drupal 7/8, at least for smaller sites. It still allows the back end designer to present editors with information blocks that make sense in their world, but with a strong back end commitment to simplicity and (relatively) easy upgrades. For me, it’s the most promising of the serious CMSs.

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  10. Avatar

    Great article. You outlined some costs in another article which was also helpful. But I’m still not clear on the big picture cost differential. I understand it’s tied to feature, function and individual developer costs, but generally is Drupal xx% more than WordPress but x% less than Joomla for development (or whatever the math is)?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Avatar

      There was a real test comparison between Drupal, Joomla and WordPress a couple of years ago to see which system was built fastest easiest from ground up from a specification from 3 developer teams from each of these CMS.

      Unfortunately the commercial interests from competitors took that comparison away when it was not favourable for them. That was the best non personal biased comparison that has been made.

      And Joomla won that competition for being fastest to set up and with best looking result. And Joomla have also winning Best Free CMS – Joomla! many years ie 2018 and before. https://www.cmscritic.com/awards/

      Reply
    2. WebsiteSetup Editorial
      WebsiteSetup Editorial

      Hi Jennifer,

      It’s hard to make a general estimate like that, but WordPress has the most free stuff out of the 3 so it will likely be the cheapest with Joomla in the middle and Drupal having the most costs, assuming you’ll hire someone to develop on it as it’s a difficult platform to work with.

      Reply
      1. Avatar

        That is not true that the most of the WP stuff is free.
        The most of the WP plugins are not totally free, those plugins which are free, actually have just basic features, to be able to use all the features you have to pay.
        Joomla have many extensions which are totally free or partially free similar such as WP plugins.

        Reply
        1. Avatar

          Hey Nikola, it’s true that there are a lot of freemium WordPress plugins. However, in my experience, for most functionality you are able to find a free solution in WordPress. This is especially true because the WordPress sphere is a lot bigger than Joomla’s. Depending on the scope, you might also have to purchase premium solutions, however, these are usually quite affordable. Overall, both CMS are quite similar in this regard.

          Reply