If you’re ready to design your new small business website, you’ve most likely started searching for an easy to use, free website builder that will allow you to create a custom website. That search inevitably lead you to stumble upon the two largest and most widely implemented content management systems (CMS), Joomla and WordPress.
Joomla – About
Joomla was spun off of Mambo, a previous CMS behemoth before arguments about open source rights split the community. Joomla’s CMS, written in the PHP programming language and licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), is completely free to use and brings complex website functions into it’s GUI administration portal.
Joomla – The Good
Some of the most code savvy web designers choose Joomla for it’s ability to deploy quickly and efficiently on any level. Joomla is well-known for being able to be the backbone for anything from a small business website to a large, fully customized eCommerce store. And with over 8,000 extensions shared by Joomla’s developer community, even the most novice web developer has the ability to add a function that was custom-designed by someone who most likely experienced the same need before they did (i.e. a calendar module, or auction component, etc).
Joomla – The Not So Good
Such comprehensive features come at a price. That price isn’t paid with money, but rather with time, dedication, and educating yourself on using even the most simple features. The reason why most web designers choose Joomla is the same reason why the average person is unable to use it–the ability to customize everything. While just about anyone can run through the 3 step Joomla installation process and even load content, customizing your website with anything beyond the default template is beyond most users initial understanding.
WordPress – About
WordPress spun off of b2, a blogging tool in 2003 and has never looked back as the favorite CMS choice for content syndicators around the world. While WordPress.com’s free software competes with Blogger and Tumblr for the plug and play blogging market, WordPress.org offers full Blog and CMS customization to novice bloggers and web developers and, like Joomla is built on PHP, licensed under the GNU, and is absolutely free.
WordPress – The Good
The famous five minute installation is about as easy and straightforward as you can get. Once you are up and running, searching for and adding customized plugins from the 16,000 available in the plugin directory to your website can all be done within the administration dashboard. Your dashboard also gives you access to posts, allows you to upload media, and edit your menus. For the novice user who wishes for their website to focus on the blog function, WordPress is the obvious choice.
WordPress – The Not So Good
Unfortunately, that last line is the issue. While Joomla allows deployment for virtually any website function, WordPress is built on the premise that your website will be a blog–and to customize it beyond that is not as easy as you think. There are many free themes available, but with millions of users around the world, most themes are cookie-cutter or oft-used. In addition, WordPress implements proprietary code inside “the loop” to change and customize the blog’s functionality–meaning, that’s more code to learn.
WordPress and Joomla both have great advantages that allow novice users to create and edit their content. However, while most users can manage the CMS’s once they are built, the initial deployment and the customization needed to satisfy every type business is still reliant on professional help unless you are satisfied with an ugly, template-based Do it Yourself (DIY) website builder.
And while the best website builder is a real website design professional, that doesn’t mean you have to pay for one. WE offers free custom websites to small businesses, individuals, and organizations around the world on the popular Joomla and WordPress platforms. Their team of professional website designers will design your site for free, you just pay hosting.