I know that there are a variety of opinions on this subject but basically what I am looking for is the strengths and weaknesses of the different systems, mainly looking at it as a CMS . What features make it superior and what are the pitfalls of your particular favorite?
WordPress for sure.
Joomla and Drupal are no competition
I would add Movable Type to that list (http://www.movabletype.org/). It is now my new favorite CMS . Well it’s tied with Wordpress. Here is my take on CMS ’s:
Wordpress: Great for beginners, quick to install on nearly any platform and there are plenty of themes and plugins. Downsides are that it has PHP in the style, so it violates my rule of separating design and code. More of a blog than a CMS unless you get one of the great themes from ThemeForest. Definitely get WP-Super-Cache to cache your pages as static HTML .
Movable Type: Very robust CMS , with the latest version, it is just as easy to install as Wordpress, but it is written in Perl, so your mileage may vary more than with Wordpress. It publishes either dynamically or statically (it can publish static HTML files, great for high traffic sites). There are lots of plugins, probably if there is a plugin for Wordpress, the same one exists for Movable Type. The downside is that there aren’t as many good themes out there that I’ve seen. Here is a site I redesigned from the ground up in Movable Type: http://www.steves-digicams.com (14,000+ blog entries imported from the old site). The site is published as static HTML files for fast loading, and PHP on certain pages for interactivity.
Drupal: I have only used this on a handful of sites, and I found it bloated and difficult to use. There are very few good templates for it, aside from the ones that are adapted from Wordpress themes. The best part about Drupal are the modules, like the shopping cart and forum.
Joomla: Not a fan.
My next two sites are Movable Type and Wordpress.
I would say it all depends on the magnitude of the project and how much control you want over the CMS (i.e. Customization). I’ve been using Joomla for 3+yrs and WordPress 6mnth – 1yr, maybe. And I wouldn’t say Joomla is better nor would I say WordPress is better.
Tried using Drupal and it was too time consuming to learn, though I have seen some excellent Drupal websites, it just takes too long to learn.
I spoke about a similar thing here: pxJunkie
I have not used Drupal, but I have used Joomla, had a brief encounter with Wordpress & I fell in love with ExpressionEngine.
Obviously ExpressionEngine is my fav. I come from a design background, not programming & for ease of moving an XHTML /CSS file into any system I found ExpressionEngine to be a dream. It is easy to port HTML themes from this site right into EE. And the customization of the control panel for the clients is great. You can simplify it down to 2 tabs that the client has access to (Publish and Edit). Add on a wysiwyg editor (My only complaint – it doesn’t come with one out of the box) and you are set.
The sites that I have worked with Joomla, I found there was a huge overhead just to run the system, and the sites were dead slow. Mind you that was 1.3, but I have not gone back to check out the newer versions.
In the new year I plan on experimenting with wordpress more (just because of the popularity of it).
If you are just looking for a simple CMS there are hosted solutions like surrealCMS too.
I am a drupal person and I love it (even coming from a design background), but I have to say that it was difficult to learn and took a long time. It seems like people that learn it, love it though… and I use it for everything from microsites to huge convoluted e-commerce systems. I wouldnt say it’s bloated unless you make it bloated. Theming is pretty easy but I agree with above there there is very few nice drupal themes available.
I heard a good saying about drupal a while back: “Drupal makes complicated tasks easy, but easy tasks can be complicated”
I have used joomla quite a bit too… and in my opinon it really is bloated and it is difficult to customize things in a really precise way… I found myself going “well, that will do” a lot with joomla It has probably changed quite a bit since I last played with it though.
Not too familiar with much else, you will get a lot of worpress fanaticism on themeforest (which obviously says something!)
It all depends of the project. Use WP for a simple website, good for blogs. Use Joomla for ecommerce sites, photo galleries. Joomla has lot of components that will do what you need but many of them are commercial. Drupal is good for complex website, where you need to do lot of custom programming and workflows. Each CMS is good, if used for the right project.
- Wordpress – quick learning, very flexible, easy to work with, the most wanted out there and highest sales on the market. The big disadvantage is low security.
- Joomla – relatively easy to use, a bit slower about learning, it’s alot more complex but less flexible and this makes it have it’s own disadvantage. An advantage over WP is the increased security, more core functions (includes contact feature and many other modules and plugins giving it more power from the very start). I can say you can easily make a living working with, not as much as with wp, but perhaps that depends on many other factors.
- Drupal – this baby is the most powerful and smart CMS out there. It’s so good that many big profile corporations adopt it. Why? It’s the most abstract, stable, flexible and secure in all out there, and that is why high profile developers adopt it and this is why it’s the hardest to learn because you really need to rock coding. Income could be even better than for Joomla and WP combined.