Turn Your Joomla Site Into a WordPress Site

Feb 1, 2024

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In the ever-evolving landscape of web development, content management systems (CMS) play a crucial role in simplifying the process of creating and managing digital content. Joomla and WordPress are two of the most popular CMS and approximately 45% of the world’s websites are built with these two platforms. However, while there are definitely cases where Joomla’s more advanced built-in features make it the best solution for some, the majority of users seem to prefer WordPress’s more modern styling and ease of use. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s learn the highlights of each CMS to weigh the pros and cons of each.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Joomla
  2. Notable Users of Joomla
  3. The Benefits of Joomla
  4. The Drawbacks of Joomla
  5. What is WordPress?
  6. The Popularity of WordPress
  7. Notable Companies and Government Entities
  8. The Benefits of WordPress
  9. The Drawbacks of WordPress
  10. Migrating From Joomla to WordPress
  11. Moving Joomla Content to a WordPress Site
  12. Templates and Themes
  13. Platform Differences

What is Joomla?

What is joomla

Joomla is an open-source content management system that enables the creation and management of dynamic websites and online applications. Launched in 2005, Joomla has evolved into a powerful platform, recognized for its flexibility, scalability, and powerful features. Powered by PHP and MySQL, Joomla allows users to build websites, ranging from simple personal blogs to complex enterprise solutions. With over 2 million active websites, Joomla has a dedicated community of developers, designers, and users contributing to its growth and improvement.

Notable Users of Joomla

Joomla has found favor with a diverse range of users, including some of the world’s biggest companies and government entities. Notable adopters of Joomla include:

Harvard University:

The prestigious Ivy League institution relies on Joomla to manage various aspects of its web presence, demonstrating the CMS’s ability to handle the needs of complex educational institutions.

IKEA:

The global furniture retailer IKEA utilizes Joomla for its online presence, showcasing the platform’s adaptability for managing e-commerce websites with a vast array of products.

United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC)

As part of the United Nations network, UNRIC employs Joomla to disseminate information effectively and engage with the public on critical global issues.

 

Benefits of Joomla

Joomla’s widespread adoption can be attributed to its numerous advantages:

Advanced Built-In Features:

Joomla ships with many features that other CMS don’t have. Access levels with granular permissions, selectable modular placement of content, access controls for member-only content, built in languages and on-page SEO controls make it one of the most flexible platforms available without the need for third-party extensions.

Extensive Customization:

With a vast collection of templates and extensions, Joomla allows users to customize their websites to meet specific requirements. This flexibility makes it suitable for a wide range of industries and purposes.

Scalability:

Whether you’re starting with a small blog or managing a large-scale enterprise website, Joomla scales effectively. Its modular architecture enables the addition of features and functionalities as a website grows.

Affordability:

Joomla itself is free as are many of the extensions available for it. Commercial extensions are usually incredibly inexpensive.

Community Support:

Joomla boasts a vibrant and active community of developers, designers, and users who contribute to forums, documentation, and extensions. This communal support ensures that help is readily available for troubleshooting and customization.

However, like any platform, Joomla is not without its challenges. While there are many excellent reasons to use Joomla, there are at least as many reasons to not use Joomla.

The Drawbacks of Joomla

The drawbacks of joomla

Learning Curve:

One of the primary drawbacks of Joomla lies in its steeper learning curve compared to WordPress. While the user interface is supposed to be designed to be user-friendly, the complexity of Joomla’s architecture and terminology can pose a challenge for beginners. Maintaining a Joomla site with regular content updates usually requires more of a time effort, even for those who are proficient using it.

Limited Extensions Quality:

Joomla boasts an extensive library of extensions and plugins that can enhance the functionality of a website. However, the quality and reliability of these extensions can vary. Some extensions may not be regularly updated or may not adhere to best practices, potentially leading to compatibility issues and security vulnerabilities. Users need to exercise caution and thoroughly vet extensions before incorporating them into their Joomla websites.

Smaller Community Compared to WordPress:

While Joomla has an active and supportive community, it is smaller compared to the community surrounding platforms like WordPress. A smaller community can mean fewer resources, tutorials, and third-party integrations available for users. Additionally, finding specific solutions or troubleshooting assistance may take longer due to the reduced pool of community members.

Limited Themes and Designs:

While Joomla does offer a variety of templates and themes, the selection is not as vast as some other content management systems, particularly when compared to the extensive library available for WordPress. This can limit design options and may require additional customization efforts to achieve a unique and visually appealing website.

Outdated Styling and Clunky UI

While Joomla extensions do tend to have very advanced features and robust settings, the styling of most of the extensions seems to be given very little thought. Styling on a great number of extensions hasn’t changed much at all over the last 15 years and are reminiscent of the old “Tron” era of UI.

An Update System from Hell

Although there are those in the Joomla community who would argue that there is not a thing wrong with Joomla’s method of updating, most users move away from Joomla exactly because of the issues surrounding the update process. There are no automatic updates in Joomla that will update Joomla and its extensions automatically, updating from one major version to another (like updating from Joomla 3 to Joomla 4) often requires a complete template rewrite if the site’s styling is to remain the same. Many Joomla extensions are not compatible in all versions of Joomla and must be researched each time an update is available. Many things can go wrong in a Joomla update, and costs to update from one major version to another can be pricey.

Joomla, with its strengths and weaknesses, continues to be a viable choice for many web developers and businesses. Understanding the disadvantages highlighted in this guide allows users to make informed decisions based on their specific needs and preferences. Like any content management system, Joomla requires careful consideration of its pros and cons to ensure a successful and secure web development journey.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) that simplifies the process of creating, managing, and publishing digital content on the web. Initially launched in 2003 as a blogging platform, it has since grown into a versatile CMS that powers websites of all types and sizes. Built on PHP and MySQL, WordPress’s strength lies in its user-friendly interface, extensive customization options, and a vibrant ecosystem of themes and plugins.

What is wordpress

The Popularity of WordPress

WordPress dominates the CMS landscape, commanding a staggering market share. As of the latest statistics, WordPress powers over 40% of all websites on the internet. This astronomical figure speaks to the platform’s widespread adoption and its ability to cater to the diverse needs of users across the globe.

Notable Companies and Government Entities

WordPress has become the go-to choice for various high-profile entities, including:

The White House:

The official website of the United States’ government, whitehouse.gov, is powered by WordPress. This demonstrates the platform’s robustness and scalability, handling the digital presence of one of the world’s most influential governments.

The Walt Disney Company:

A global entertainment giant, Disney relies on WordPress for several of its websites, showcasing the platform’s versatility in managing content for diverse audiences and purposes.

The New York Times:

A renowned media outlet, The New York Times uses WordPress to power parts of its digital presence. This highlights the platform’s capability to handle the content demands of large-scale news organizations.

The Benefits of WordPress

User-Friendly Interface:

WordPress’s intuitive dashboard allows users, regardless of technical expertise, to create and manage content effortlessly. This user-friendly approach has contributed significantly to its popularity.

Extensive Customization Options:

With a vast library of themes and plugins, WordPress offers unparalleled customization possibilities. Users can tailor their websites to suit specific aesthetics and functionalities, making it a flexible solution for various industries.

The benefits of wordpress

Scalability:

Whether you’re running a personal blog or managing a complex e-commerce site, WordPress scales seamlessly. Its modular architecture accommodates growth, allowing users to expand their websites as their needs evolve.

Active Community Support:

The WordPress community is a thriving ecosystem of developers, designers, and users. This network ensures that help, support, and resources are readily available, fostering collaboration and innovation.

SEO-Friendly:

WordPress is inherently SEO-friendly, incorporating features that contribute to better search engine visibility. Plugins such as Yoast SEO further enhance the platform’s capabilities in optimizing content for search engines.

Automatic Update System:

Website updates ensure that the site is receiving regular security patches to cover any found vulnerabilities. They also introduce modern technological advances and trends so that sites can continue to keep up with the technological advances of the day. WordPress recently introduced an automated update system that allows site administrators the ability to switch on and off automated updates for the WordPress core, each installed theme, and each plugin. This allows the site to continue to run smoothly with little to no intervention at all.

Ease of Use

WordPress is the GOAT when it comes to an easy to use interface. It ships with a visual block editor that allows the user to add content and media and arrange the content with a simple drag-and-drop interface. In addition, visual page-building plugins can allow point and click ease for adding or editing content just as it is seen on the site.

 

The Drawbacks of WordPress

Now we will explore some of the disadvantages associated with using WordPress, shedding light on aspects that users and developers should consider when choosing this content management system.

The drawbacks of wordpress

Security Concerns:

WordPress’s immense popularity makes it an attractive target for hackers and malicious actors. While the WordPress core itself is secure and regularly updated, vulnerabilities can emerge due to poorly coded themes and plugins. Users need to exercise caution and keep their themes, plugins, and the WordPress core up to date to mitigate security risks.

Performance Issues:

As websites grow in complexity, the sheer number of plugins and customizations available for WordPress can sometimes result in performance issues. A poorly optimized website, laden with unnecessary plugins, may experience slower loading times, affecting the user experience. Careful selection and optimization of plugins are crucial to maintaining optimal performance.

Dependency on Plugins:

While plugins extend the functionality of WordPress, an overreliance on them can lead to compatibility issues and potential security vulnerabilities. Additionally, if a plugin is abandoned by its developers, users may face challenges finding alternatives or adapting to changes in the WordPress ecosystem.

While WordPress undeniably stands as a powerhouse in the world of content management systems, acknowledging its limitations is essential for users and developers. Each disadvantage should be weighed against the platform’s myriad strengths to determine whether WordPress is the right fit for a particular project. With proper maintenance, security practices, and strategic decision-making, many of these disadvantages can be mitigated, allowing users to harness the power of WordPress effectively.

Migrating From Joomla to WordPress

Unfortunately, there is no point and click method of automatically recreating your Joomla website as a WordPress website. There are many steps that need to be taken in order to achieve a WordPress replica of your Joomla site.

Moving Joomla Content to a WordPress Site

Because of the platform differences, much of the “content” on each Joomla page is really a combination of articles and modules. With Joomla, there is no built-in method to export the content so a third-party extension will need to be uploaded to the site. Most of these extensions will only export the “Articles” content and not the module’s content, so expect that you will be manually recreating the pages one at a time regardless of your approach. Because WordPress does have a built-in import tool, the content can easily be uploaded to the new WordPress site once it has been combined. However, your styling will have to be applied manually and it is likely that it won’t just appear in the same blocks and layouts as it did in your Joomla website.

Templates and Themes

Templates and themes

Although Joomla uses “templates” and WordPress uses “themes”, there is relatively no difference between the two. However, a Joomla template is written just for Joomla and can’t be used on a WordPress site. One of the biggest challenges of recreating a Joomla site with WordPress is to find a WordPress theme that has a layout that closely resembles the Joomla site that you are trying to duplicate.

At Moore Tech Solutions we develop themes internally so recreating an almost exact replica is not challenging for us. However, if you lack the HTML, CSS and PHP knowledge to create a custom theme then you will likely either need to find someone else to create the site for you or you will need to find a theme that has similar styling and be willing to accept the differences.

 

Platform Differences

Regardless of whether you are rebuilding a Joomla site in WordPress or rebuilding a WordPress site in Joomla, there are going to be slight differences. The styling in WordPress is usually a bit more modern, so things may look a bit sleeker. UI items like buttons, tabs, and FAQ sliders may not look or behave exactly the same, and on-page animations may be slightly different. While a Joomla website can be rebuilt in WordPress very successfully, you should still expect very slight differences in the two.

 

Wrapping it all up

In summary, all CMSs have their benefits and drawbacks, and every business will need to assess which platform is the wisest choice for them. If you determine that your Joomla site is not the best platform for your needs then recreating the site in WordPress may be your best bet.

If you’re not sure which CMS would fit your needs the best, we offer consulting services to help you select a platform that will be the greatest benefit for your usage case. If it is determined that WordPress is your best platform, then we would be happy to talk with you about rebuilding the whole site using the WordPress CMS. Our pricing and time to produce the site is extremely competitive.

Contact Us today to get started!