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How WordPress Took The CMS Crown From Drupal And Joomla

According to W3Techs1, almost 55% of the 1 million most visited websites that are run on a content management system (CMS) are run on WordPress. WordPress is a darn fine CMS and is stable and easy to use, but so are Joomla and Drupal. So, why does WordPress have the lion’s share of the top 1 million websites?

This article does not set out to prove that one CMS is “better” than another. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and dozens of other platforms are mature, stable, great CMS’ that can do a fantastic job in most cases.

Market Share Link

As a point of reference, at Gravity Switch, about 50% of our projects are in Drupal and about 35% in WordPress; the rest are in other CMS’ or written by hand in PHP or built on a framework such as CakePHP, Django or Ruby. Some of you might be squirming in your seats asking, “But why don’t you just use [insert your CMS of choice]?” The answer is simple: blind luck.

Market share of top 1 million websites2
Breakdown of websites with a clearly identifiable CMS, according to W3Tech’s survey of the top 1 million domains.

A couple of our top clients asked us to use Drupal or WordPress (based on their own technical requirements or preferences), so right now we have more in-house experience with WordPress and Drupal. Our job is to be flexible and to help our clients do their jobs better. While we’re able to guide the folks who don’t have a preference, our job is not to evangelize one technology over another.

So, rather than attempt to convince you that one CMS is best, I’ll share some data that compares WordPress to Drupal and Joomla in order to understand how and why WordPress got the crown.

Name Recognition Link

When I want to understand how popular something is, one of the first places I go to is Google Trends. Based on WordPress’ market share, I expected to find that it is searched for about five times as often as Joomla and about nine times as often as Drupal.

What I found was quite different:

Graph of global searches for CMS'
Global searches3, as shown by Google Trends.

It turns out that, internationally, Joomla is almost as well known as WordPress, and Drupal is searched for about a quarter as often.

This data suggests that:

  1. Out of the top three CMS’ out there (WordPress, Joomla and Drupal), people are choosing WordPress more often.
  2. People are choosing WordPress without searching for it.

Where WordPress Excels Link

Let’s be honest. It probably doesn’t matter which of the top 20 CMS’ you choose. (Curious what they are? W3Techs lists them.4) They’re all reasonably secure, stable and easy to maintain. While WordPress might have been “just blogging software” for a time and didn’t have the features needed to be a true CMS, those days are gone. Anyone who says otherwise is trolling or living in the past.

In fact, the “SxSW Web Content Management System Showdown5” a couple of years back clearly showed WordPress, Joomla and Drupal all to be powerful and expandable systems.

So, what does WordPress do differently than Joomla, Drupal and others?

1. Focus Link

Unlike Joomla and Drupal, which were designed as proper CMS’, WordPress was designed to solve a problem. Also, because WordPress had a clear target audience (bloggers), its developers were able to build a successful business at pretty much from day one.

The story of how WordPress established itself is simple: bloggers had problems, and WordPress provided services to fix those problems.

By contrast, Drupal and Joomla tried to be “everything a geek might need”. Alas, capitalism always wins. Having clearly defined uses is more effective than working in the abstract.

2. Ease of Use Link

Let’s face it: WordPress is the easiest CMS for a non-techie to install and set up, and the easiest to use out of the gate. That counts for a lot.

Anyone can set up a blog on and be up and running in a few hours. It’s easy enough that a 60-year-old IT employee can set up a company CMS without losing face for not being up to date on the newest technology. It’s easy enough that a hobbyist can start their own website or blog in a weekend. It’s easy enough that an old-school marketing firm can set up a website in house and, just as importantly, understand how to use it without reading pages of manuals.

WordPress is committed to serving non-technical users who want to communicate easily and effectively. So, its appeal makes sense when you consider that people who go into communications fields (including sales and marketing) tend not to be introverted technologists.

And because of its corporate ties, WordPress never had the luxury of being able to tell its users to RTFM6, nor could it shrug and say, “It works for me.” Rather, the features of WordPress were driven by content people, not techies. Every feature had to be usable by bloggers, including non-technical ones.

Ease of use is an issue that both Joomla and Drupal are working on. But it doesn’t come naturally to them, evidenced by the slow progress they’re making and the fact that their ships are still being sailed by technologists. For example, Drupal still doesn’t even ship with a WYSIWYG editor. Unbelievable but true.

3. The Blog Factor Link

OK, I know that calling WordPress “blogging software” is taboo in the WordPress community. But before you hardcore aficionados get defensive about WordPress being “more than blogging software,” hear me out. The blog factor is a great strength that helped to establish WordPress as a CMS.

First, let’s admit that WordPress is great blogging software. Consider the following:

  • is the 18th most visited website in the world. Its tagline is “A better way to blog,” and it claims to have “355,355 bloggers.” Quite simply, a lot of bloggers use WordPress.
  • Of the new blog posts featured on’s home page, three out of eleven of the blogs run on their own domains, and one out of eleven (or 9%) is in the top 1 million websites, according to Alexia.

If we extrapolate this, we can say that approximately 9% of all blogs (or 34,000 blogs) are in the top 1 million websites.

Let’s put that into perspective.

According to W3Techs, 2.7% (27,000) of the 1 million most visited websites in the world run Joomla, and 1.7% (17,000 websites) run Drupal. That means that almost as many popular bloggers use websites as use Drupal and Joomla combined.

This doesn’t include people who have a custom installation of WordPress, only those with accounts!

Let’s slice that number differently. The graphs below show how many WordPress, Drupal and Joomla websites are dedicated blogs or news websites, compared to being straight CMS websites.

Graph of the percentage of most popular websites on WordPress
Percentage of most popular websites run on WordPress7, Drupal8 and Joomla9 that are blogs or news-related.

Think about it. If the content of a website determines its popularity, then websites that offer news or blog posts will make up a sizeable percentage of the top million websites. A blogger or news provider understands by nature that content is more important than technology, so their ability to manipulate content will win out over “technical” features.

By plan or by luck, WordPress was designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the people who best understand how to communicate digitally.

It’s also worth noting that many of the top blogs in the world are technology-related. This is pretty relevant, because when websites such as SitePoint10, Six Revisions11 and Smashing Magazine run on WordPress, their readers (i.e. people who are interested in Web technology) are more likely to use it, too. This gives WordPress a huge amount of built-in credibility, as well as the potential for a statistically significant editorial bias.

WordPress market share
Estimated market share of blogs and websites running on WordPress.

Based on the above estimates, approximately 87,000 popular blogs or news websites run on WordPress, and 58,000 of the top million non-blog websites run on it, too.

To say, then, that WordPress is just blogging software is naive. Likewise, to say that WordPress is not blogging software is a bit disingenuous. The reality is that WordPress is a very successful blogging platform, as well as the world’s most successful CMS. Three to five years ago, this might not have been true, but today no one could dispute it.

Going strictly by numbers, WordPress is more of a blogging platform than Joomla or Drupal are straight CMS’ — meaning that more WordPress blogs are out there than there are Joomla and Drupal websites combined.

I mention this because some people insist that WordPress is not just blogging software. But for 87,000 popular websites, it is. Getting defensive about it would be silly. It would be like Apple saying that the iPhone isn’t a phone. It is a phone, even if it can be more than one.

And yet WordPress is also a CMS. Remember that 58,000 websites in the top 1 million are not blogs or news websites but are powered by WordPress. This means that, as a CMS, WordPress is 3.4 times as popular as Drupal, which means that anyone who says that WordPress isn’t a “real” CMS is smoking something strong.

WordPress’ pedigree as blogging software is a key part of its success as a CMS, for the following reasons:

  1. Blogging helped it focus on usability. Designing a product to do a particular task is always more effective. Drupal and Joomla have always wanted to be expandable. WordPress has always wanted to be used by people. Drupal doesn’t even include a default WYSIWYG editor, because… um, why? It’s not like doing it would be expensive or a lot of work.
  2. It had a clearer business model than the others, and 8.7% of the top communicators in the world could easily use it.
  3. The platform gained instant credibility as soon as websites such as Engadget and Smashing Magazine started using it.
  4. (And the point that is actually most important…) Bloggers know content. And the Web is all about content.

I’m not saying whether this was by luck or by plan, but if your goal 10 years ago was to create a technology that would be used on as many websites in the world as possible, and you approached it with the mindset that the Internet is about content, then you’d probably design the software around writers who are interested in the Internet.

In other words, bloggers.

If your goal 10 years ago was to create a Web technology that would “take over the world,” you might try to get your technology used by as many of the most influential technology-related websites as you could.

In other words, bloggers.

If your goal today was to build a technology based on the single most enduring theme in Web design of the past 15 years, that principle would probably be “Content is king.” Savvy PR and marketing firms the world over are trying to figure out how to make their clients premier sources of information.

In other words, bloggers.

All that being said, I can appreciate why the WordPress community is trying to put less emphasis on its blogging pedigree. But a stronger message about WordPress is out there, which is that other CMS’ focus on the system, while WordPress is all about the content.

Wrapping Up Link

What this all boils down to is that content management systems perform a job for us, which is to manage content. Drupal does this. Joomla does this. WordPress does this. Judging by the market share of CMS’, WordPress just happens to do this very well and more often. WordPress undeniably runs more websites out there than any other competitors on the block.

But I also meant it earlier when I said that, in most cases, any of the top three (or even the top 20) CMS’ out there will do the job admirably well. Picking one CMS over another is usually determined more by the IT department’s personal preference or by the core competency of the firm you are working with or by the platform of choice for peers in your industry.

This is a case study, and it shows that users will choose the tool that best solves their problem and gets the job done. In this case, users are developers and content creators, and when they need to get things done, they want the tool that is right for the job, that is easiest to use and that gives them the best experience.


Footnotes Link

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Jason is an educator, business owner, and author. As one of the first dozen professors of website design in the country, his lectures and workshops dynamically cater to all user levels. His company, Gravity Switch, works with higher education and innovative businesses and is the top agile web development firm in New England. Jason keeps his carbon footprint down by bicycling to work year round. He's enjoying Twitter, so be sure to shout out if you have any impossible problems. He likes to be challenged.

  1. 1

    I’ve been trying to put this into words for the past year for all the WordPress naysayers… And there are a surprising amount of them.

    I’ve used all the popular CMSs, a few less-popular ones, as well as custom ones and written a few of my own. And a lot of them are really great to work with, but I keep going back to WordPress because it’s easy for the end-user (although, arguably, not the EASIEST), and incredibly extensible for the developer. None of the others offer nearly as much support from both the company and the community.

    • 2

      wordpress is much better and easy for everyone and support is great because if you check out joomla support you will see why. Asked simple question in forum and you get banned! Joomla support is not professional in forum but wordpress is amazing and fast response from everyone.

  2. 3

    So true Anna. In the past 6 months, I have converted 5 sites from Joomla to WordPress, so the back end would be easier for customers. And every single one has been impressed and happy with the switch.

    That and a lot of the Joomla guys are really annoying, trying to explain to me why Joomla is clearly better, using generalities like “its inherently more powerful”. Since WordPress is more extensible, it is more powerful, there has never been one shred of evidence about any advantage of Joomla over WordPress. I don’t claim that WordPress is “better”, just simpler for end users, and easier to develop for.

    • 4

      Easier to develop for? LOL!
      Oh, ok… all sites made with WP has nothing really well developed, only simple text and some galleries.

      Your is a fanboy not objective comment, not the comments from “joomla guys”.

      WordPress is used by a lot of “not so good webmasters” to do quantity compared to quality. And to offers to the costumers low “sweet” price for “low quality” and fast build sites.

      • 5

        Jepser Bernardino

        November 30, 2011 3:35 am

        Who are you? I see more sites bad coded in joomla than another CMS

      • 6

        Depends on the developer. You can say the same for joomla, for example.

        Of course, the higher the usage of cms defines higher the amount of “poor” websites. Any open source CMS is a cheap way to do a website, and if it is hard worked, polished and so on, then more expencive it becomes. WordPress is a good platform that minimizes this expences, many things are already polished.

      • 7

        Care to elaborate that a bit? Nothing well developed? Nothing? Really? This doesn’t mean that all of it is poorly developed? Or does is? How would you rate the developing part? And are you suggesting that if i use wp for my customers, i am a.. quack? Me? How did that happen? Help a guy out, how awesomely it should be developed then? What should i use?

      • 8


        Clearly you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • 9

        Yes, but most websites need just that, few pages of text and galleries! I’m Drupal developer myself, I used Drupal for every site up now but I’m strongly considering switching to WordPress because every site I have build was bloated with Drupal advanced options that were not needed.

      • 10

        I totally agree, well said.

        People who use WordPress usually retheme the same generic 5 page web site over and over. So for them WordPress is the best.

        The fact that more sites are powered by WordPress just means there are tons more 5 page crap sites online using Wordpess. Dont get me wrong, there are some very good sites too!

        However try building a large intranet for an Enterprise organisation on wordpress… You cant… you use Drupal. There is less Enterprise companies needing websites than Small to medium Sized ones!

      • 11

        C’mmon guys, developing is not a matter of what brand of CMS you use. WP is awesome because of its flexibility and user-friendly backend for most inexperienced users, mostly the end users. Drupal and Joomla are also great… for geekies and techies. If you’re gonna build a site for dynamic content which is gonna be managed by an end user who actually don’t have a clue of what PHP or MySQL is, WP would be the absolute winner. In the other hand, if you’re gonna build a site for static content, let’s say a portal for a company which is gonna make sporadically changes, then Drupal or Joomla would be the choice.

        Being derogatory from one side to the other would just make you look a bit arrogant and very little understanding with people out of the geek cliché.

        p.s. Sorry for my very bad English, btw. :)

      • 12

        I completely agree with you. I think wordpress is crap for a CMS. People who say otherwise don’t know how to develop a real CMS. Out of the box you cannot figure out your page navigation easily under the pages tab. If you have a few hundred pages nested under other pages, your “pages” tab becomes multiple pages long with indents. How is anyone supposed to know where the contact us page is in the system if everything is in alphabetical order and then indented. Think about it. WordPress is a great blogging platform and should stay at that. Too many plugins and bad developers make wordpress a pain in the ass to deal with for the real developers out there.

    • 13

      Making things simpler for end users and easier to develop for?

      Can you back that up?

    • 14

      Well I will comment that you truly don’t know how to use Joomla then.

      I have set up Joomla and WordPress sites for clients over many years and if you set it up right in the frontend of Joomla can be set up to be extremely user friendly. Much more so than the WordPress mess they call an admin area.

      I have taught non computer users to edit their sites in under 30 minutes. Including content, galleries, news articles and more. You just cannot do that with WordPress.

  3. 15

    It’s the end user that benefits most. Training users and watching their excitement grow as they proclaim ‘Wow I did not know I could do that’ is what make WordPress great IMO.

  4. 16

    The only alternative to Worpdress is Yii Framework.

    • 17

      I wish I could telegraph a slap to you. Yii Framework?? Really? You’re comparing an MVC framework where you HAVE to write code to a CMS that a newbie can use? You deserve many slaps…

  5. 18

    Well… WP success is a marketing success (thanks to articles like this one). No doubts.
    User interface is probably one of the most user friendly. Ok.
    WP is incredibly slow.
    WP’ APIs are inconsistent.
    WP is poorly written.
    WP’ database structure is.. a total mess (argh wp_postmeta!!).

    I totally agree with Joost : Modx is better by far! (and it’s probably the fastest CMS out there).

    • 19

      Vincent – Quick note about speed, Smashing is a WordPress site and is one of the top 600 most visited sites in the WORLD according to Alexa, so it’s fast and handles a very high volume.

    • 20

      Opsie, It’s the second in google results –

    • 21

      My question to you is, are you doing anything else to manage your page speed, like minify your javascript or offload calls to images to a CDN and use page caching? It doesn’t matter what CMS you use, it’s up to you as a developer to code your themes correctly and use the tools and host providers that can help you improve your page speed. I ran a news site that used large images on the home page and I got WordPress loading the full home down into the 9 second range, and that wasn’t even fully optimized. I’m not working on that site anymore, but if I was, I’m sure we could have shaved off another few seconds.

    • 22

      Daniel Chatfield

      December 20, 2011 12:50 pm

      Well as a WordPress core developer I am offended. WordPress is slow in the sense that any CMS programmed in an interpreted language is slow, but that is what makes it so powerful and extensible – no need to recompile after tweaking a plugin. Any web developer worth his weight in turd would set up caching and thus make it blazingly fast. You say the APIs are inconsistent – examples please? It is a hell of a lot more consistent than PHP. Sure it has a lot of depracated arguments in functions but that is testament to its age and any CMS that has to have backward-compatibility will soon get like that. The database structure is optimized for speed, not how pretty it looks.

      There is a reason why 14.7% of top million websites use WordPress.

    • 23

      Adam Elleston

      January 16, 2012 6:50 am

      So to sum this up

      WordPress is written badly, code and database but popular
      MODx is fast but lacks some things like revision and moderation
      Drupal is bloated and not as fast as MODx but has more enterprise features

      At my work we use Drupal for 90% of our PHP projects because the type of projects we work on can use technologies like Varnish and Memcache which can help overcome some of Drupals short fallings with speed. We would use MODx for smaller sites, due to its previous version having a realistic page limit of around 4-5k but we do have some WordPress sites.

      So isn’t it right tool for the right job. All this “my favourite cms is better” is just personal interest. If we had a spec to decide which CMS would be best for the job that.s fine but there would still be projects the CMS would not be the best choice for.

  6. 24

    I love WordPress because it’s easy to use, very simple, and it has great support community!
    Yet, there was a wrong argument about why Drupal doesn’t implement WYSIWYG editor out of the box. The idea of Drupal is to give high level of control, and customization to the developer. The end result is a CMS with only most needed things, simplified to the bone which makes the site much faster. But on the other hand, it was very hard for me to start learning Drupal, when the first thing I had to do was to find a proper WYSIWYG instead of adding content.

  7. 25

    @Yasen – It can definitely be a pain to use Drupal out of the box if you don’t go in the the expectation that ‘everything is a piece of something.’ Drupal was created by a bunch of developers who wanted total control over every possible moving part they could. This works really well for a lot of sites, and not so great for others.

    I’m a total Drupal geek and even I can attest to the fact that WordPress does have a higher CLIENT satisfaction rate than Drupal in my years of experience. I don’t think it’s fair to measure a CMS based on how many developers think it rules because all that does it get everyone into an ‘I’m better than you’ contest which just becomes an infinite loop. When you are in business to build websites, the CMS you use should be chosen based on the client’s needs. We use 4 different CMS’ in my office and there are uses and situations where each one trumps another. I don’t think that’s really the point of the article though, it’s about market share.

    WordPress definitely did the best job marketing and they continue to do so. That can be proven with something as simple as these URL’s..

  8. 26

    **And because of its corporate ties, WordPress never had the luxury of being able to tell its users to RTFM, nor could it shrug and say, “It works for me.” Rather, the features of WordPress were driven by content people, not techies.**

    For the record, WordPress doesn’t have corporate ties. has a separate user base, separate support forums, separate people deciding on features (there are many that .com makes on its own that aren’t in core), etc.

    While I like to think that all the people volunteering in the forums are too polite to ever say RTFM, it’s not because of a corporate tie, we just don’t like it when people are rude or mean. We try to remember what it was like to be new. That said, it does happen on occasion. Also, our Trac installation has a “worksforme” resolution label that does not go unused. :)

    The scope of each release is decided on by the core team: that’s one ux person (me) and about 8-10 developers with input from additional contributing developers. We do look at the Ideas and Feedback/Requests forums on to see what people are talking about, but we don’t really have “content people” involved in making the feature decisions, unless you count everyone on the team as a content person by virtue of having a WP blog/site.

  9. 27

    Wordpres is succesfull because of the enormous amount of templates available. This makes it easy for a newbie to launch a website. If you want to use your own design, MODX would be an much better and easier option.

  10. 28

    I develop websites using both WordPress and Drupal and I choose which CMS to use based on the clients requirements. If the client wants a simple website that doesn’t require too many features then WordPress is the way to go. However if they want a serious website then Drupal is the answer because it is extremely flexible. In my experience WordPress while easy to set up, it lacks basic functionality that make it an inappropriate choice for large scale websites. For example, it lacks a proper events calendar which is now a days a basic functionality that most website could use or need. Also after years of development, WordPress’ search functionality is abysmal. Try searching for anything on a WordPress website and chances are you will not receive any results. Take this site for example: type ‘typography’ into the searchbox and you will get nothing as a result (despite that there are alot of articles about this topic on this website). I don’t know why WordPress haven’t fixed this issue after all these years.

    Don’t get me wrong, you can make some really nice websites with WordPress – but it only works well in limited use cases.

    Drupal may not be popular, but it is by far the better platform for developing websites compared to WordPress. Drupal is not without it drawbacks as well, but I find its issues are less significant then WordPress’. It offers more flexibility and in my opinion is easier to create a great website. The search function actually works in Drupal (and is quite powerful) but that is the least of the benefits that Drupal brings. The ability to easily create custom content types combined with custom views is what makes Drupal shine.

    Popularity does not signify whether a certain CMS is better than another. They both fill certain niches, and I will continue to use both based on the clients needs. After all, I am here to solve their specific problem using the best tool for them.

    • 29

      > Popularity does not signify whether a certain CMS is better than another.

      Well stated!

    • 30

      Aniket Mohite

      May 31, 2013 7:11 pm

      “Popularity does not signify whether a certain CMS is better than another. They both fill certain niches, and I will continue to use both based on the clients needs. After all, I am here to solve their specific problem using the best tool for them.”

      Really Well Said.

      I have been using drupal for 3 years now. Its surely based on a person’s requirement that which CMS platform should be used. Drupal provides high level of customization thanks to modules like Views, cck, panels, etc. Drupal, is now going great with drupal-commerce as well.
      So hope people understand, that drupal is highly extensible & hence such things are getting incorporated in the platform.

      But in the end it comes down to the requirement (end user) & what a person (developer) is comfortable with providing to his client.

  11. 31

    Vassilis Koutouvalis

    November 30, 2011 2:03 am

    Just a heads up, correct the link url of W3Techs top20 CMS.

  12. 32

    Vassilis – Good catch. I’ve put that into the system and it should be fixed soon. Thanks for the heads up.

  13. 33

    I love WordPress. In my experience, WordPress is the easiest if you’re ready to just buy a pre-cut theme and get your content up fast.

    However, if I want to have a custom graphic design with custom content types for a site that isn’t a blog, I would pick ExpressionEngine or Modx over WordPress any day.

    • 34


      Why you would say this doesn’t make any sense to me. WordPress has custom post types, custom post formats, and custom post taxonomies. Where is it written that custom content types are not possible in WordPress?

      Also, if coding WordPress themes was hard, then tell me…why are there 20+ theme dev shops listed under the commercial themes directory on And, why are there a few thousand free themes listed on the free directory?

      My developers at Digital Strategy Works, my WordPress consulting shop, have built many themes for WordPress is standards compliant HTML5 and CSS3 with jQuery and other technologies. WordPress provides functions.php as an entry-way to build tools within your theme. And, many WordPress themes today have their own c-panels.

      I have no idea what you’re drinking, but I would surely make your case for Expression Engine (which was absolutely a horrible UI the last time I checked…I know they’ve updated since then, but I’m too far gone into WordPress to work with it) by citing some rock solid examples, before you go sprouting off that WordPress doesn’t do something that it actually does.

      • 35

        Erich’s comments make perfect sense to me. Also “I have no idea what you’re drinking”, get over yourself! just because someone has a different opinion to you doesn’t make them drunk.

        For a simple site use WordPress. If you are going to need a great deal of custom work then WordPress is terrible. Custom content types in WordPress suck.

  14. 36

    If you unwrap WP and take a deep look, you will find the codes are messy. If you ever need to customize it, you often have to switch back and forth among different files just trying to find for a specific spot…… This makes it hard to maintain.
    Another problem I encountered is regarding the WP plugins. I usually have about 15 plugins installed for each of my site. A lot of WP plugins are poorly written, have sneaky callbacks, poor dependency management and they can really slow your site down. Because WP is extremely easy to install & setup, this makes testing any biz idea using WP very easy. But would I build a high authority website using WP? Probably not , the cost for maintenance and customization could escalated as the site grows. But on the other hand, I haven’t tried other CMS yet, so this assumption could be wrong.

    • 37


      All custom plug-ins for any CMS are usually written by external developers. I’m sure there are plug-ins for Drupal or Joomla that are poorly written. What does this mean? Work with trusted plug-in developer who update often and participate in the WordPress community. Or, work with 3rd party companies and use their plug-ins. For example, if you’re looking for a mailing list plug-in, then use Mail Chimp or Contstant Contact’s WordPress plug-in, instead of a full on mailing list plugin, even though good ones like Newsletter exist.

      I have over 8-years of experience working with WordPress. I have given presentations on WordPress and Social Media and WordPress and Multimedia at WordCamp’s in NYC and Raleigh. There isn’t yet anything I have tried to do on WordPress that is not possible. I have run a WordPress site with 90+ plug-ins and haven’t had nary a problem. Well, maybe I had a problem then removed the issue and asked a developer to update their plug-ins code, or something like that. But, that’s open source.

      I’m sure in the Drupal and Joomla world, you are going to run into the same issue. I surely did with Joomla, which is why I switched over to WordPress 8-years ago.

      Now, I am not a developer–more of a program manager and ia/uxd, but in my extensive and exhaustive research, I’m quite comfortable using WordPress as my primary CMS for client sites and my own sites.

      • 38

        Just as a point to Drupal – all module maintainers on (where pretty much all Drupal modules can be found) must go through a pretty thorough code review of their first module in order for it to be listed on It has served as a very effective way to enforce good coding practices on third-party modules in Drupal.

  15. 39

    to be the best, wordpress, just needs something else: a succesful equivalent of Drupal Views and Custom Content Types, that, would give them a lot more power and ease of use for non hard-code developers.

    • 40

      You can create custom content types and fields as of wordpress 3+, somebody just needs to write a good views plugin ;)

    • 41

      Custom Post Types already exists and is dead simple to use. You can even incorporate them into themes without any extra plugins!

      Custom fields can be used in any post type, and templating them is dead simple.

      Query Wrangler is views for WordPress. But honestly, is it even necessary? In most cases it is so simple to code a template for my post type with custom fields that the time it would take to set up a custom query (or a view) would be the same to just create a custom template. While Views is cool, it is usually not even a necessary concept in WordPress. Just create a custom query with whatever parameters to achieve the exact same thing. In Views you still have to template your view in most cases. WordPress just simplifies the entire process.

      I’ve worked with Drupal Joomla and WordPress. All are good. WordPress has improved so much over the last couple of years that I can say that there really is nothing I cannot do in WordPress that I can do in Joomla or Drupal. And Joomla in many cases will be expensive for functionality, and Drupal will just take way too long to develop and configure everything. WordPress is a good balance. And clients prefer it by far because the backend is so user-friendly. Clients barely require any training and they “get it” the first time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients call me back asking questions, totally frustrated with the administrative side of Joomla, and especially Drupal, despite having dumbed it down.

      WordPress’ workflow is much more natural and custom post types can have their own buttons in the menu even. It does not get any more simple than that.

      I have been told that the Drupal community is what makes it so good. Well, many of the people in the “community” are totally rude and snobby. If you ask a simple question, good luck with getting a simple answer, if any one at all for months. WordPress on the other hand is extremely friendly and well documented.

      • 42

        Jay Collier

        July 12, 2012 3:13 pm

        WP Types & Views provide Drupal’s CCK/Views/Blocks functions in WordPress.

  16. 43

    Nice post, never actually seen it broken down like that.

    ps: your link to the top 20 CMS is broken (there’s a bracket at the end of the link address that shouldn’t be there)

  17. 45

    Betamax and VHS all over again, history repeats itself. Quality vs quantity…

  18. 46

    Just want to mention Expression Engine. I’ve used WP, Joomla and Drupal but recently made the switch to Expression Engine because from a development point of view it gives me far more control than these other 3. It’s a blank slate to work with, rather than overbloated code to cut back. Not free and no templates, so difficult for newbies and cheap sites, but good for developers and bespoke designs. Admin interface is even easier than WP (when only edit content is provided).

  19. 47

    It is important to note that in some ways Drupal and WordPress are not competing directly. Drupal is a bit overkill for a simple blog, but if you are making a complex social-network style site than its ‘abstract’-ness and ‘techy’ nature make it a much better option than WordPress.

    Each platform can succeed individually in their own niches.

    • 48

      “…but if you are making a complex social-network style site than its ‘abstract’-ness and ‘techy’ nature make it a much better option than WordPress.”

      I have to say I disagree entirely. I just finished a v2 upgrade of a social intranet for a large hotel chain that has 1650 posts, 182 pages, 5,126 photo galleries, 981 video galleries, 26,640 comments, and 34,029 users. Users are can upload photo galleries, videos, submit blog posts, maintain public profiles, etc. This is all done from a basic install of WP with a few plugins I developed.

      A valid point to make would be, WordPress doesn’t have a “niche” per say. It is flexible enough to handle a wide range of projects.

      • 49

        I don’t think your list of ‘social network’ features was what Nicolas had in mind. I think he means real social networking site (think facebook). The kind only drupal is up to.

    • 50

      BuddyPress for WordPress turns WordPress into a complete social platform. See

      • 51

        “jomsocial” and “joomla community builder” are far more powerful than buddypress

  20. 52

    Christopher Anderton

    December 2, 2011 7:03 pm

    For me is all about the community. In that case WordPress wins hands down. Now, i gonna get some popcorn and watch the upcoming WP vs Joomla Vs Drupal Vs Something else Fanboy war.


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