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06 Mar

Why we use Joomla! and NOT WordPress

Joomla! and WordPress are Content Management Systems (CMS). A CMS is an application that allows multiple users to manage the content, data or information of a website project.

Choosing the right CMS is key to building the best website for the client, and Joomla! is always our first choice. Not only is it user friendly and responsive, but it also allows a great amount of freedom in website development, whereas WordPress can be restrictive, difficult to use, and unstable to update. Dolia have been using the Joomla! CMS platform for over 10 years and consider ourselves expert developers with this platform. It provides us with an excellent and flexible CMS framework, as well as a brilliant user-interface for users in terms of updating and maintaining the site.

From this year onwards, we have decided to exclusively design and develop using Joomla! rather than WordPress or other CMS packages.

In 2019, 80% of the websites we developed were Joomla! sites. We have developed a small handful of WordPress sites in the past for clients who have specifically requested the platform, but we’ve always come up against issues or niggles and restrictions that we simply don’t get when using Joomla!. When working with larger, more complex sites, WordPress doesn’t offer us the organisation, structure and content flexibility that Joomla! does. We are bespoke website designers and don’t use templates, so like to have maximum development freedom.

Sure, WordPress is the most used CMS… but it was built primarily as a blogging platform and was designed to be used by people with little website design and development skills. Over the years, WordPress has become more and more popular with the availability of off-the-shelf templates and a huge range of plugins, but in our opinion, it still lacks the flexibility and freedom for designers and developers that Joomla! offers. Although popular, we feel that it’s very much a ‘beginner's’ CMS system.

The key issues we have experienced with WordPress are:

Plugin Updates

WordPress seems to require a plugin for EVERYTHING… This means you have all sorts of plugins for the simplest of features or code, and therefore you have lots to manage and update. We like to keep plugins to a minimum to reduce the vulnerability of the site and also to keep it performing well and loading as fast as possible. More plugins = more code and more code = slower site (generally).

wordpress plugins

Template Updates

When updating templates in WordPress, it can cause big issues. For some reason, updating templates in WordPress can strip out customisations, settings and configurations; it can be a real set-back. We don’t like to rely on someone else’s template… that’s why we have our own template ‘framework’ for Joomla, which we know and understand 100%. Overall, we find WordPress to be ‘clunky’ and unstable when it comes to plugins and template updates.

Content Ordering

If you have a fairly large site, WordPress is horrible to manage content. We find that a lot of the time, the ‘Search’ feature does not work for Pages/Posts and it’s not easy to categorise content and search or order it. When ‘inside’ Joomla editing content, it’s very similar to WordPress… but, just much more organised and easier to search for and find content.

File Upload Ordering

This is a big one actually. WordPress sites can quickly become a right mess in terms of file storage. When uploading images, documents etc. to the website you have no control as to where they go, unless you upload manually every time via FTP. So, WordPress puts everything into the ‘Uploads’ folder then ‘Year’ then ‘Month’. This would make sense if you were writing a blog as you have everything in date order, but we’re not creating blogs and want our media files in a better structure so that we can find/edit/change them easily.

Code ‘Hooks’ and Workarounds

We love to tweak/change and write our own code to customise and create features. Whilst it is possible with WordPress, it’s not always straight-forward and WordPress has a clunky ‘Hooks’ system for adding in code… it’s just not nice to work with.

wordpress code

Widgets

Widgets allow you to put fixed content blocks onto a number of pages. They work okay if you just have a few… but, if you have too many, they become very hard to manage and very messy. In Joomla!, we have ‘Modules’ which work in a similar way, but they are so much easier to manage and configure.

To summarise, our main reasons for choosing Joomla! over WordPress are:

  • We’ve been working with Joomla! for over 10 years and are experts at using this CMS
  • Joomla! is a much better platform for larger websites (easier to manage pages, assets etc.)
  • There is an excellent range of Extensions available for Joomla!
  • We have developed our own Joomla! CMS Framework which is streamlined for maximum performance
  • Our Hosting Environment is optimised for Joomla! websites
  • Updates are quick and easy and don’t cause issues
  • The user-interface is much more user-friendly than WordPress

If you have only ever used WordPress and are unsure whether Joomla! will work for you, we can assure you that you’ll get on very well with Joomla! because not only will you have have a website that is much more robust and has a better performance, but it will also allow us to provide better on-going support with new developments, updates and general maintenance. We would be more than happy to take you through a Joomla! website so that you can ‘test drive’ the interface and get a feel for how it works if you think that would help you decide what platform to use for your new website.

Ultimately, in order for us to produce the best website we can for you, we recommend that you choose Joomla! over WordPress or other CMS packages.

Emily

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CONTACT

Dolia Design Ltd
The Old Coach House
The Avenue, Farleigh Wallop
Basingstoke RG25 2HT

01256 536 080

info@doliadesign.co.uk

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