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November 28, 2011

Joomla or WordPress?

Should I use WordPress for my business website?

 

As of 2011, Joomla now powers more than 5% of the entire internet. But, WordPress is a much more commonly known CMS and companies are often puzzled over the differences.
Is WordPress a good solution for a business website?

Well...it can be, sure. WordPress is an excellent platform with a great simple CMS. The question here isn't really, "is WordPress good?", it's what it is and what it isn't. WordPress is a simple "micro cms", primarily intended as a bloggin tool. Probably the easiest to use, it is a stripped-down, "light" platform with an easy to learn backend system for amateur Web Designers and end-users. Like Joomla, it can be expanded to do all kinds of custom things by installing and customizing "extensions". Save a few robust, highly sophisticated components, WordPress can be made to do most things Joomla can. But, even after all the customization in the world it will still have the same basic, minimilistic backend.

WordPress is an excellent CMS, but should be used for simple sites. We would never recommend tackling an enterprise-level eCommerce site using WordPress, or trying to produce the next "craigslist" replacement. However, it can be an extremeley easy to use and economical solution for, say, a salon or simple law firm website. When making the decision between WordPress and Joomla, it really comes down to features. Consider whether or not you'll need any advanced features in the future. Do you have plans to add a product catalog down the line? Perhaps you've thought about integrating a lead form that sends leads to SalesForce? Some of these things will be much easier with a more sophisticated CMS, and you may find out-of-the-box extensions that require no customization at all in Joomla.

A small business may not need anything fancy, which makes WordPress a great idea. Updating a blog, contact info or adding some new photos to your WordPress site can be done easily and cost nothing. But, if you're using the website for a more demanding business you'll need to have someone on staff, as things will quickly go beyond "simple". Consider that paying your in-house WordPress guy/gal to continue making daily updates + adding in new features and plugging away all that customization may run you up to $4800/month. For likely a thousand less, you could pay a flat rate for a Joomla website and be able to manage everything with your non-technical $15/hr employee whenever updates or additions were needed.

In summary, having a system that doesnt require any fancy coding or customization will always cost less. If you dont need anything fancy, WordPress is probably the best way to go. However, be well prepared for ongoing costs if you have plans for bigger and better functionality - or make the switch to Joomla.

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