Joomla has been my favorite blog software but working with WordPress makes me reconsider. I have built more than 5 websites using Joomla as my content management system but lately I have converted 2 blogs from Joomla to WordPress and found it easier, faster and more user friendly. Besides, you’ll need coding skills for both, if you want to create a great looking blog, so why spend your time over the steep learning curve of Joomla, instead of mastering PHP, CSS and HTML code?
My first Joomla blog was this very website, Jimmakos.com. At the time most WordPress blogs looked like Blogger blogs showing tens of posts in the first page, that seemed to never have a footer section. I wasn’t fond of that, so I opted for Joomla as I could find beautiful templates and really wanted to be different from other gambling blogs. Then came BetStories.com, a website aiming to collect all the latest betting news from gambling blogs, and moved on to install Joomla at several other websites of mine, not relating to gambling though. I began using Joomla 1.0.3 as I can recall and nowadays Joomla creators have announced the 1.5.20 version. Of course I kept updating all my blogs to the latest Joomla release, and there were times when I re-installed Joomla, in order to start over and build even better blogs. Reinstalling Joomla and using a new template is not that big of a deal if you know what you are doing, but I will probably discuss the matter some other time.
The past few months though I came across some exciting blogs, which do rank excellent in search engines and are regarded as top notch blogs. I was surprised to find out that they were created with WordPress, so I began installing WordPress in my online server to learn how to use it. The first two attempts ended in deletion of the WordPress folder, as I couldn’t understand how the templates worked. Last week though I gave it another go and finally managed to comprehend the logic behind WordPress. I have now converted two websites from Joomla to WordPress and I must say not only do they look prettier, but are also easy to administer.
In the battle between Joomla and WordPress, there are a lot of articles online suggesting WordPress for casual bloggers and Joomla for a more complicated website. They often mention Drupal as the ultimate content management system, but I have no experience with that. Although I mostly agree with that, I believe that if you devote time and have the will to go beyond limits, both WordPress and Joomla can be used to build one of a kind websites or blogs. However, WordPress is far easier to get the hang of and you can quickly start editing the PHP files for more enhancements. You won’t spend so much time as with Joomla understanding how the articles get published, why so many plugins are needed, how the template is structured, which php file to edit and where the RSS feed link is.
My recommendation for a new blogger is WordPress beyond doubt. If you are willing to invest time in your blog, you could end up managing a blog as big as Mashable and ultimately make a good living of it. On the other hand, there are some great websites built with Joomla, such as the Gazetta.gr which shows what Joomla is capable of. Total respect to the designers. The choice is yours of course but the remarks above come from a fellow blogger, just like you, who has spent hundreds of hours working with Joomla and tens of hours working with WordPress.
And if you happen to think of a great idea, don’t hesitate to contact me and perhaps build it together!