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Why I switched from Joomla! to WordPress

This website previously used Joomla! (version 1.5.x) as the backend CMS, but I switched over to using WordPress (version 3.x). The two main reasons were:

  1. Comments
  2. Ability assign an article to multiple categories

Comments

Comments are built into the WordPress core, but you need to install a third party plugin to allow visitors to leave comments in Joomla!

There is nothing wrong with third party plugins (WordPress has many, as does Joomla!) – some are better than others. However, you always run the risk of the plugin no longer being supported, or the plugin not functioning with the latest version of the software. For some things, this is not really a big deal, for others, it is. For me, comments are an important part of a website – it allows interactivity and feedback. As well, I was not thrilled with Joomla! comment plugins because they use BBCode for formatting text instead of the more ubiquitous HTML tags.

Many other CMSs (such as Drupal) have commenting built into their core, so why not Joomla!.

Categories

Joomla! has a strict hierarchical model. In version 1.5.x, you had only two levels: sections and categories. You could have as many sections as you wanted and each section could have as many categories as you wanted. A two level hierarchy is not that limiting, since most hierarchies tend to be shallow rather than deep. Joomla! 1.6.x eliminates this two level hierarchy and permits nesting categories as deep as you want.

The problem is trying to assign an article to more than one category. It can’t be done in Joomla! (there are third party plugins that allow this, but they completely change the way you manage articles in Joomla! and require too much fiddling (for my taste) in the backend to do this).

The ability to assign an article to multiple categories is built into WordPress. Nice.

Not all websites need the ability to post articles to multiple categories. A good example of a site that does need this ability is a recipe or cooking site. In Joomla! you decide on a hierarchy and stick to it. You might decide to have a top level organization of

  • Salads
  • Soups
  • Appetizers
  • Main Dishes
  • Desserts
  • Drinks

Which is a good way to organize recipes.

Under Main Dishes you might provide subcategories of:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish
  • Vegetarian

Which is a good subcategorization of Main Dishes.

But what if you want to give a different view to your users. It would be nice to categorize recipes by Season:

  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • Hanukah
  • New Year
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Easter
  • Passover

Or maybe by dietary restriction:

  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Fat Free
  • Low Fat

While you can certainly create all these categories and subcategories in Joomla! you could not assign an article to multiple categories. For example, Roast Turkey, aside from fitting under the Turkey category, would also fit under Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. In Joomla! you would have to post it 4 times – once in each category. What happens when you update the recipe (perhaps there was a typo – say 2 tbsp of ground cumin instead of 2 tsp of ground cumin). You have to update it in four places.  Will you remember all 4 places? If you hire someone to maintain your site, will they know that the recipe is published in 4 different places?

NOTE: Joomla! is a fine CMS and I run other sites using Joomla! However, for this site, it was not the right solution.

6 Comments

  • enrique says:

    me too also switched from Joomla to WordPress…
    i think wordpress is quite good to do SEO…isn’t is?

    • admin says:

      I think much of the discussion over SEO is over rated.

      The most important things are:

      (1) have good content (this is not guarantee of success, but people come to your site because they are looking for content – not ads)

      (2) be specific in your use of words. I had to remove my site title from being displayed with my article title because it was causing Adsense to display too many adds related to concrete (which has nothing to do with this site).

      (3) Use meaningful titles. I could have called this article “Joomla vs WordPress” and gotten more hits, but that is not what the article is about.

      However … I have noticed a definite increase in the number of hits when I changed from Joomla! to WordPress – despite the content being the same (at least at the beginning of the change over). So … maybe there is something about WordPress that search engines like better than Joomla!

      Anyway, SEO aside, I think for most poeple, WordPress is a better CMS than Joomla!

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

      • luzan says:

        hello admin!
        i really impressed by your saying>>>>>>>>>>.
        Your a real and unselfish person for giving free knowledge and information.
        Thank you very much..
        please keep on updating too…………

        • admin says:

          Thanks for the praise. Yes, I intend to keep updating as needed.

          If you have requests for particular types of tutorials or information, please let me know and I will try my best to accomodate.

  • luzan says:

    Hello admin!
    i also like wordpress because it is has a user friendly environment and has many user required plugin…

    • admin says:

      WordPress has many features that make it easier for those who want to just use a CMS rather than maintain a CMS.

      Thanks for your comment.

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