What Are the Differences Between WordPress, Joomla and Drupal?

When it comes to creating a website from scratch, there are a few web development platforms that come to mind. Most of us are familiar with WordPress.org, the most popular content management system (CMS) used around the world. But did you know there are many other options out there?

The purpose of this article is to help you understand the differences between WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal so you can pick the right one for your needs. We will also discuss the pros and cons of each platform.

Key Facts About WordPress

First off, let’s look at some key facts about WordPress:

  • There are over a million blogs powered by WordPress.
  • It is one of the most popular content management systems, particularly in North America.
  • WordPress is free and open source software, which means its source code is available for anyone to look at and improve.
  • WordPress was created by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little.
  • WordPress started out as a simple blog platform but has grown considerably since then. It now offers a variety of tools for people who want to create websites.

Key Facts About Joomla

Next up are the key facts about Joomla:

  • Joomla is a free, open-source web content management system (CMS) initially designed for use with small businesses.
  • It was originally created by a group of volunteers from the Joomla! Project.
  • Joomla is released under the GNU General Public License, which grants the users complete freedom to use, copy, and modify the software.
  • Joomla has over a million downloads from various platforms and websites.
  • Joomla is available in 37 languages, and the app store offers over 100 free apps to choose from.
  • There are over 35,000 extensions for Joomla, ranging from small tasks (e.g., forum hosting) to complete websites (e.g., a complete shopping center).
  • According to Google Trends, ‘Joomla’ is the most searched for web content management system (CMS) globally.

Key Facts About Drupal

The final key fact about Drupal is:

  • Drupal is the biggest and the most popular CMS among users globally.
  • It is one of the most downloaded free software packages globally.
  • Drupal is free, open source software released under the GNU General Public License.
  • Drupal was originally created by Dries Buyga.
  • Drupal began as a simple blogging platform but has grown considerably since then.
  • The community behind Drupal is enormous, with thousands of different extensions, themes, and customizations available for it.
  • Drupal is also available in a variety of languages, with versions released in over 40 languages.
  • And last but not least, Drupal is completely customizable. You can change almost everything about the way it looks and functions. This gives you full control over your site’s content and design.

What Are the Differences Between WordPress, Joomla and Drupal?

Now that you know the key facts about WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, let’s explore the differences between these three content management systems (CMSs).


One of the first things you’ll notice when comparing WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal is their features. Let’s compare them in terms of features, as listed in the official docs:

  • WordPress has a built-in shopping cart function that allows merchants to sell their goods directly through their blog.
  • Joomla has a news section where users can submit press releases and articles.
  • Drupal is a fully-fledged e-commerce solution that provides online stores with all the tools they need to operate.
  • Each of these CMSs have powerful search tools that can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
  • And last but not least, all three of these platforms have blogs built in which you can write and publish content.

As you can see, there are several key differences between these platforms. WordPress is a blogging platform, and Joomla and Drupal are both fully functioning content management systems. Let’s examine each one in detail.


Another key difference between WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal is their architecture. While WordPress is a free, open source software package, Joomla and Drupal are both commercial products. This means their source code is not available for the public to review. Let’s look at their architecture in more detail:

  • WordPress’ architecture is based on MySQL, which is a widely used open source database.
  • Joomla’s architecture is based on a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) stack. (Including Linux as part of the stack gives it the moniker ‘Linux-based.’)
  • Drupal is built on the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP).
  • Each of these database-backed CMSs have a back-end where all the data is stored. (A back-end is the part of a website that is not visible to users; the back-end gives techies (developers, software engineers, etc.) full access to the data and functionality of the websites.)
  • Additionally, WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal all have front-ends where users can preview and manage content. (A front-end is the part of a website that is visible to the public; it is the part that users interact with using a web browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.)

The thing to note here is that while WordPress is very open source, Joomla and Drupal are both very powerful and feature-rich CMSs. (Open source is a software license that gives you access to the source code and the ability to modify the software to suit your needs. In return, you give back to the community by contributing your changes back to the project.)


All the data you need to operate WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal smoothly and efficiently are contained in their back-ends. These databases hold all the content and settings for your website. You don’t have to wade through dozens or even hundreds of megabytes of data to find the information you’re looking for. Because all the information is stored in one place, it’s easy to find and easy to use.

When it comes to creating a website from scratch, the thought of having to learn a new software package can be daunting. Fortunately, WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are all very easy to use. They are beginner-friendly, meaning anyone can set them up and learn to use them in no time. Not only that, but their learning curves are fairly shallow. You don’t need to be a tech whiz to use WordPress or Joomla; they are both simple to use.

In terms of design, WordPress is very minimalistic and clean. The interface is very streamlined and easy to navigate. The same can be said for Joomla. And if you’re using Drupal, you’re in for a treat. The default look of Drupal is rather minimalistic too (as you’d expect) but has a distinctively friendly and approachable design that appeals to newbies and experts alike.

As you can see, WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are all very different animals. While they have many similarities, each one has enough unique features to make them stand out as worthwhile alternatives for your next web creation project.