Drupal vs Joomla

Posted by Lyemium Editorial on Dec 04, 2009

We compare two of the more popular Content Management Systems. This article in entitled Drupal vs Joomla, another popular choice is wordpress, but for the sake of this article wordpress is not included in the comparison this time around.

We compare two of the more popular Content Management Systems. This article in entitled Drupal vs Joomla, another popular choice is wordpress, but for the sake of this article wordpress is not included in the comparison this time around.

What is it?

Drupal – Developers choice, if you are the type of individual who thrives on hand-coded content and scripts. In comparison to other Content Management Systems (CMS), Drupal, relates more to the developer as its structure is more script based. This platform may not be strictly for designers unless they are willing to commit to the development side of web design and web functionality.

As being a CMS the functionality is quite similar to other popular choice, and for the sake of comparison: Joomla. When we talk about a functionality we think of the necessary features, blogs, comment section, author's name, etc. Drupal, in its essentials, can function similar to any standard blog you see on the web today. However, the capabilities expand farther beyond the releam of blogging, and thrives, when building large dynamic sites.

Joomla – The name Joomla literally means “all together”, with that in mind comes the theory that the CMS would live up to its name. In comparison to Drupal, code-wise, Joomla falls short, for designers and artist a like, Joomla is more favoured as the support for themes is much larger based than Drupal. If you looking for a well designed theme with the basic functionalities of the standard “web 2.0” blog, Joomla is a more favourable option.


Out of the Box?

Drupal – Drupal is in a way its own two-tier system. One end being a CMS operating right after installation, while the other part relates to the level of complexity the project entails, in this case being dynamic content. To further reiterate the the idea, operating as a blog, Drupal is fine, however the use of Drupal plugins which would be called, in the Drupal community, “modules.” is geared toward making dynamic websites.

Joomla – The amount of additions you need to add on-to Joomla is minimal. That means having the features and functionality of a more dynamic site is already included in the core.


What are the necessary modules for Drupal?

If you are still committed to using Drupal then an interest must be drawn toward the idea of downloading and installing Drupal modules. The two most popular and useful choices are Views and CCK. Not to long ago we covered, a highly popular article, on the 9 Under-rated Drupal Modules.


Whats an easier sell Drupal or Joomla?

This would depend on your skill level, and sales pitch. The disadvantage with both Drupal and Joomla, or many CMS on a whole, would be the “open source” tag, this would lead many to believe that you can get services targeted toward these CMS for cheap or near free. However, the reality of the matter is that these CMSs require a very talented individual to run and maintain.

In short – If the job is minimal or “standard”, Joomla. If the job is more complex and dynamic (think social network), then Drupal.



Drupal – From an SEO standpoint Drupal does not hold up when considering CMS out-of-the-box. However to have a full Search Engine Optimized site, a few modules, most importantly the Path Auto module, will help better optimize your site. What this module does is automatically generate path aliases for various kinds of content (nodes, categories, users).

Joomla – Out of the box, Joomla makes SEO easier to integrate than Drupal. As of Joomla 1.5 it is a matter of setting the SEO settings, included with Joomla, to automatically rewrite URLs by setting the search engine friendly option to “Yes.”

Community Support

Both Drupal and Joomla have a vibrant community. However if you are unaware of Drupal you might not realize that most of the discussions take place in their Groups subsection rather than their forums per say (not to say that their forums are inactive or dead). If your next project is more dynamic I highly recommend joining the Drupal Newspaper Group as its one of the more interesting and active groups on Drupal. As for Joomla, their forums are what makes Joomla what it is today, with a very active community seen by many Joomla enthusiasts as their “bread & better.”



In comparison to the two CMSs there is no better option but rather a personal preference or skill set. If you are more developer oriented, and do not mind the learning curve of Drupal, then Drupal would be the favourite of the two, if you are more on the art or design side, then Joomla would be the better choice, its not to say that a designer can not choose Drupal or a developer should not use Joomla once again it comes down to a matter of preference. Install both on a test server and see which one suites your needs accurately.