If you are a business owner, you have probably heard that without a website, your business is virtually dead in the water. The trouble is, if you are like most business owners, you are also wary of the cost of setting up and maintaining a website.

Eventually, if you research how to create and maintain a business website relatively cheaply, you will ‘discover’ CMS, or Content Management Systems.

Two of the biggest, and most popular CMS on the market right now are Joomla, and WordPress, and in this article, we put them head to head, to determine which one is better for your business.

What Are They?

Both Joomla and WordPress are PHP – MySQL based content management systems, which means that they use a database to store and retrieve your content. That means that they both lend themselves to large, content heavy sites, which is perfect for a business website.

They’re both template based, which means that each page uses a set design, and all of the pages of your website will have the same basic look, regardless of the content you choose to host on that page.

So far so good, they match up fairly well, but what about the rest?

Cost

When it comes to launching a website, or anything else for that matter, most business owners will tell you that cost is one of the most important factors.

The good news is that both Joomla and WordPress are free to download and use, and are often included in free script programs on hosting packages, so you do not even have to download them to use them.

The primary costs involved in setting up both Joomla and WordPress sites are in the registering of your domain, and choosing and signing up for a hosting package for your site.

Functionality

Both WordPress and Joomla work as CMS packages, although WordPress is technically a blogging platform.

Both allow you to create sections and pages, upload content quickly and easily, and have a flexible, user-friendly interface. Both are also stable, thanks to the work of the communities that use and improve them, and that means that your site will be ‘up’ more often than not.

Anyone with a basic understanding of computers and the internet should be able to start using either Joomla or WordPress, and within a few hours, have mastered the basics to update their content and make basic changes to their site, so they’re both great for business owners on a budget!

Size

Since hosting is one of the major cost factors involved in creating or maintaining a Joomla or WordPress or any other kind of business website for that matter, you’re probably going to want to make sure that the CMS you choose is not going to use up all of your hosting space!

The good news is that at 30Mb and 10Mb respectively, neither Joomla nor WordPress will be using all your server space when you install them. In fact, compared to some other CMS platforms, they are downright tiny.

Templates, Plugins and Other Stuff

When it comes to free templates, plugins and modules, Joomla is probably slightly better than WordPress, because it is an open source package, with a huge global community who are constantly working on new designs and scripts.

However, while there’s probably more you can get for free when you use Joomla, which does not mean that there are not other options.

Many of the major freelancing platforms online have Joomla and WordPress developers who will create custom templates, plugins, or modules for a very reasonable price. Those templates, modules or plugins can do just about anything you like on your site, so if you spend some time looking at other sites you like, you could probably have a developer somewhere in the world whip it up for you.

Then there are also software packages, designed to allow you to create your own templates using a drag and drop system, which is super simple, and requires zero knowledge of html, java, or any of the other complex internet stuff.

All in all, both packages are very customizable, and there is sure to be something that suits your needs out there.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you are working on a company website, you will probably want to spend some time thinking about SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.

Both Joomla and WordPress offer full SEO functionality, with tags for headlines and other important elements of your pages, easy tagging and description for pages and more.

In fact, with a little practice, you should be able to do your own on site SEO with both of these platforms with little or no effort.

Pages and More

Strictly speaking, WordPress is not a website CMS – it is a blog CMS.However, it has become something of a hybrid of late, which allows you to create more pages, and improve site navigation.

It is not quite up to Joomla's sections, pages and articles model, with multiple menus, which lends itself to huge, content heavy sites, but for a simple business website, it’s more than up to the task.

The Conclusion?

When it comes to a pure website application, Joomla comes out tops – the code is stronger, there are more features, and it is growing and expanding as a platform on an almost constant basis, which makes it easier to adapt to the ever-changing requirements of large-scale websites.

However, if you are looking for a basic website or blog that looks like a website, and you want something quick, easy and simple, WordPress is more than up to the job.

In all, both of these CMS packages are great, easy to use, adaptable, and low cost. Decide whether you need a monstrous, mega site, or a simpler site that showcases your business in the best light, and then work from there. Joomla is up to managing just about anything, including thousand page mega sites, while WordPress will give you a clean, stylish and simple business site without breaking a sweat.

Survey by Janice Gentles-Jones @janicegentles

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