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Joomla or Drupal? Which CMS is for You?

Many people have turned to the CMS to build and manage their dynamic sites.  When it comes to content management systems, there are several to choose from, but two are compared more than any others: Joomla and Drupal.  Joomla is a fork from the original Mambo CMS while Drupal began as a bulletin board system.  Both are widely used and considered as two of the best on the market.  So which one is right for your site?  Lets see what they have to offer.

Far from the Average

Both Joomla and Drupal are robust systems, meaning they are geared for complex applications and steep requirements.  For this reason, anyone with a small business or site would get more benefit out of a system such as CMS Made Simple or Website Baker.   What sets Joomla and Drupal apart from these small, simple systems is that they offer a greater level of flexibility but are also more complicated.  Both will grant you with extensive administrative capabilities including authoring, editing and the ability to grant privileges to others.  Anyone with a bit of knowledge of web-based programming languages can get by with a little training.

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Joomla

While there are a few similarities, the differences set these two systems apart by far.  Joomla is perhaps most known for its plethora of templates and ability to handle complex layouts.  The software lets you arrange content in various locations, capable of creating a number of different looks from a single layout.  However, because the HTML generated isn’t always the cleanest, this freedom could make your content difficult to management.  Joomla designed pages also tend to load slower as the system makes a number of requests to the server.  Additionally, one of the biggest complaints from the user community is that it isn’t as search engine friendly as other systems.

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Despite the drawbacks, Joomla works well and is responsible for some of the best sites on the internet.  With an active community, improvements are constantly being made along with numerous add-ons that increase the program’s value.  Many of these modules are templates which give you more options for enhancing the presentation of your site.

Drupal

The programming functionality of Drupal enables it to handle the complex layout issues you would encounter with Joomla.  Unlike like its competitor, the code generates clean and the pages load very quickly.  Additionally, Drupal is one of the most search engine friendly systems right out of the box.  This software goes beyond the average portal as it is extremely flexible and can be customized to suite your needs.  At the same time, its flexibility is heavily tied with technical jargon and complex coding that can leave the beginner stomped.  Apart from being more challenging, Drupal is an elegant system capable of doing much for your website.  Learning how to master this CMS is worth the frustration.

RELATED:   Assessing the Open-source CMS

The downside to Joomla and Drupal are one in the same – coding.  Anyone without basic knowledge of CSS and HTML cold have a very hard time.  Because PHP programming and the MySQL database play a major role, learning about these technologies wouldn’t hurt either.

If you can walk the steep learning curve, you will have the power to build several feature-rich sites that appeal to your visitors.

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