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Why chose Joomla over WordPress when ordering your new website

Being a Joomla web developer in a world dominated by WordPress is a challenge. Especially here in Canada, where WordPress seems to be the standard and the way to go. Every time I meet potential clients I spend more energy selling Joomla than my professional skills!

The cause of all this is WP mainstream reputation: it’s the popular guy or girl in high school!. Just because everybody does it, so let's do it!  There are no real benefits or pros for WP for a business or organization owner who hires a developer for a turnkey website.

True, setting up a simple WP blog is easy for anybody; install in a few minutes, setup template and tweak it in one hour. And start writing a blog! But this user-friendly get a “website for free easily and quickly” aspect should be of little concern for the business or serious organization needing a professional website and willing to pay an independent developer to do it.

Some WP fans claim Joomla is obsolete. But they are bloggers who only know WP! Very little do they realize how much more advanced Joomla is, and how many advanced components have been developed for Joomla then adapted later to WP.  

As a developer, I find for the most part WP obscure and difficult to handle, and will not work for customers who want to fix or update their WP website.

Here is a summary of the advantages of Joomla for the client. He is the one buying the website, not making it! So the fact it is hard to learn to develop a website using Joomla is a moot point in this argument.

 

Joomla pros for the end user

These are the basic functions most clients will want to use their website for: enter new content and access the components, so publishers and editors.

  • Easy access: One password to remember, log in through the front page, no need to go to the admin side of the website and learn a new interface.
  • Frontend publishing of new posts and content. Just login into the website and new menu options will show up for the user, according to his level of access.
  • Frontend editing of content. This option is also available for restricted users who have permission to change or correct text and image content of any published article and module.
  • Easy management of bilingual content for the translator.

Joomla pros for the website backend manager

For managers and advanced users who wish to take up the management of their website internally. This is done through the back end (admin side of the website).

  • Control of access level This can be controlled down to how the text editors act and what functions are available or not for one specific user group.  This is a great feature for a website that will grow and have many users, both on the front end and back end, and helps keep damages to a minimum.
  • The website managers can have themselves can have a customized access level customized to their knowledge and experience with website maintenance development.  One who is willing to go through the steep learning curve of Joomla could have a close to super admin access while another can have a simplified stripped down backend control panel.
  • Control of uploaded file sizes, post length, line breaks editor functions for each user according to their group level.
  • Template’s styles are easy to modify. Here again, depending on the manager’s experience, it can be done directly in the CSS files, in the backend through the template manager or directly through the front-end thanks to the Wysiwyg template editor.
  • Backing up the website and downloading the compressed file is easy, and if needed in case of emergency, the reinstall of an older version is done with a few clicks.
  • Managing files with the native Joomla system is straightforward. This is especially true regarding the media files, one of the weak point of WP where it gets really confusing unless a plugin is purchased.
  • Managing extensions and their updates are done seamlessly, unlike WP where any updates can break the website when it has too many added plugin
  • Categorization of content elements means a much easier management of the internal hierarchy of content when the website uses many extension.
  • Better control of UIX. Need to move the position of a module of even add a column? Easily done, as the layout of pages is not rigid as it is in WP.



The most obvious disadvantage of a Joomla website

It is hard the learn for a developer! But I think WP is hard also if you want to go beyond templating and playing with styles. For developers and like to work directly with codes, the files system in Joomla is straightforward and easy to play around with.

Hiring a developer to work on a website in Joomla is more expensive.

 

The best thing about a Joomla website

It doesn’t look like the same predictable millions of WordPress website you find on the web

A Joomla website will just grow with the company, start with a few pages and functions on a simple free template, end up with a complex website with thousands of pages, many interactional functions, a huge user or membership database, and a fully customized template, without ever redoing the website’s chore base or switching CMS.

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