Joomla and Drupal – Technical Comparison

Posted on in University

It’s an ongoing debate since 2010 and has definitely become more heated in recent years. As we have worked with both Joomla and Drupal, we believe it is safe to have a technical comparison to give you the exact idea of what to expect when working on either of the two CMS. However, before we start, let’s clear the terminology as understood by these two CMS:
1. Modules in Drupal are similar to Component in Joomla
2. Modules in Joomla are similar to Blocks in Drupal

Joomla and Drupal – Technical Comparison

Joomla Vs Drupal – Ease of Use

What most data and web development analysts do; is that they deploy a spectrum to determine the best CMS according to ease of use. In this regard, WordPress is the easiest CMS, both in developer installation and configuration, and webmaster usage, followed by Joomla, and then Drupal at the other end. However, in terms of custom programming for developers, Joomla is far easier to use than both Drupal and WordPress. That being said; all three CMS framework are easy to tweak, but then, the difference is in reliability, maintenance, and security, which is quite significant. Many people are of the opinion that Drupal is more suited for complex projects compared for Joomla.

That, to a certain degree, is true, when we take programmer usage into perspective. Drupal gives flexibility in terms of web page development, regardless of the complexity. However, when building custom functionality, the ability to move content around pages on a modular interface is just not enough. As your business needs will evolve, Joomla will be able to accommodate them. Drupal on the other hand, will be difficult to manage unless you’re exceptionally skilled in webmaster and programming.

Joomla Vs Drupal – Database

Customizations in Drupal are fairly difficult given the procedure-oriented framework. On the other hand, Joomla features an object-oriented framework that allows implementation of design patterns. In term of database, views in your Drupal database are stored by default. In other words, developers cannot collaborate on increasing views and you don’t have the version control option, such as SVN and GIT.

While Drupal Core can help you override the default views, this process requires extra steps in the development. As for content, the type will correspond to the database tables in Drupal. In other words, when you create and change content types, the database structure will also change. For a developer who creates ERD (Entity Relationship Diagrams), this is a potential nightmare. Last but not the least; all the logs are also stored in the Drupal database. As such, it becomes difficult to access, view, analyze, and profile these logs. This makes your database grow inefficiently with log data that is not even derivable. For high traffic sites, it can become next to impossible to analyze all the logs. While Drupal has now introduced the syslog, it is however, not recommended, if you are running your site on a shared hosting network.

These are just few of the many technical difficulties you can face with Drupal. In the case of Joomla vs Drupal, ask any developer and they will let you know that they prefer Joomla, unless the driving factor is not based on technicalities!

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