Drupal, WordPress and Joomla: The Ultimate CMS Face-off!

March 8th, 2013 by

content management system


WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are among most widely used content management systems (CMS) on the web today. As well as powering the popular WordPress.com free blogging site, WordPress is available as a stand-alone product that users can download from WordPress.org and run on their own webspace. Drupal and Joomla can also be downloaded from their respective sites.

All three are open-source, meaning that they can be used free of charge; it also means that users can view and edit the code. Open source software also has the advantage of an active volunteer developer community who continuously upgrade code, spot errors and security flaws and provide extra functionality.

Comparison Between Systems

Originally a developed as a blogging tool, WordPress has expanded into a full-featured CMS, although it remains popular as a blog platform. The oldest of the three, it has the biggest market share and is utilized by prestigious organizations such as CNN and NASA. Drupal is powerful but hard to use; while developer-friendly, it demands a high level of technical expertise. Joomla is something of a compromise, offering freedom for developers while being more user-friendly than Drupal.

CMS Usage by the Top One Million Websites

Based on analysis of the million most visited and best-known sites, Drupal, WordPress and Joomla control over three-quarters of the total CMS market share between them. Of the three, Drupal commands the lowest market share, with a little under 10 per cent; Joomla is the next highest, with slightly more than 10 per cent. WordPress is significantly more popular than either, with a huge 65 per cent of the top one million sites being built using WordPress software.

The Top 100,000 and Top 10,000 Websites

The picture is rather different when analysis focuses on the top 100,000 websites. Joomla’s share drops significantly while Drupal’s rises, with Joomla commanding less than seven per cent and Drupal just under 18 per cent. WordPress’ market share shrinks somewhat but is still considerably more than half of the total. When studying the top 10,000 websites, WordPress and Drupal retain a similar share, with Drupal gaining a few percentage points; Joomla’s market share almost disappears, shrinking to less than half of one per cent.


The rate of migration from one platform to another favors WordPress; significantly more people switch from Drupal or Joomla to WordPress than vice versa. Additionally, users of other CMS platforms are more likely to migrate to WordPress than to another CMS.

Key Takeaways

• WordPress is the most user-friendly and widely-used CMS, seeing the most migration from other platforms.

• Drupal requires significant technical expertise and has a much lower market share than WordPress.

• Joomla is not widely used among the top tier of websites but enjoys a similar market share to Drupal overall.

Author Bio: Jason Stevens from jason-stevens.com / Freelance web developer, tech writer and follower of cloud computing trends. Follow him on Twitter: @_jason_stevens_.

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