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:
- Ability assign an article to multiple categories
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!.
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
- Main Dishes
Which is a good way to organize recipes.
Under Main Dishes you might provide subcategories of:
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:
- New Year
- Valentine’s Day
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.