Drupal vs. Joomla: What's Best for Online Sellers?

8 min read

So you’ve decided to get into online selling. It’s a pretty large world with as much potential as someone can make out of it.

Whether it’s buying, selling, or trading, the internet has vastly changed the idea of what the world considers to be a “free market,” and that concept is perpetually evolving. What is someone supposed to do when they want to get in on the action, though, and set up their own online shop? Well, thankfully, that is not the formidable obstacle that it used to be in the early days of the internet.

Ever since the early 2000s, there have been myriad companies that have popped up who specialize in content management services. Content management services, or CMSs for short, facilitate software that allows clients to “set up shop,” so to speak. They typically do so by providing a place to host and manage personal data and assets. Meanwhile, they provide templates for customization, sturdy security protocols, and a vast amount of widgets and diverse toolkits—allowing online sellers to easily create their own personal online shop.

Outside of online sellers, these types of companies also help anyone looking for their own personal spot, ranging from online cooking blogs to private fitness instruction. The realm of possibilities is limitless with a solid CMS company.

With all this said though, what’s the best option for just getting started?

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Drupal

If you’re doing research into the world of online ecommerce and starting your own online shop, then there’s a good chance that the name “Drupal” has come up during some of your searches.

drupal online shop example (1)

Drupal-based online store

Starting in 2001, Drupal is a content management service before anything else. Believe it or not, many of the websites and applications that you might already be using are powered by Drupal. It boasts an extensive package of content authoring and reliable performance. They allow ease of use for many of their clients, despite requiring a little bit of background knowledge.

Drupal is a reliable and go-to option for anyone looking to set up their first online business, amongst many of its potential uses. What makes Drupal stand out is its noticeable degree of flexibility. Drupal is well-known for its vast modularity, allowing extensive customization and a wide variety of options for anyone’s online hub. Its diverse customization options make it a solid contender in the CMS world, especially when evaluating the differences between Drupal vs Joomla.

Speaking of Joomla, let’s take a look at them next!

Joomla

Joomla, also referred to as “Joomla!” in other contexts, is an open-source content management system similar to Drupal.

They provide a space for clients to set up their own domain for publishing personal web content on their websites. Web content ranges from discussion forums, photo galleries, ecommerce, and user communities to numerous other web-based applications. Joomla got its start in 2005, 4 years after Drupal, but has steadily acquired a devoted community of developers, clients, and volunteers. These helping hands ensure its accessibility, responsiveness, and multilingual functions.

joomla online shop example (1)

Joomla-based online store

Having won several awards over the years, Joomla has established itself as a top competitor in the world of ecommerce, second only to the CMS giant WordPress. Their reputation as a go-to option to enter the worlds of CMS and ecommerce is solidified by their consistently positive reviews and effective delivery of services.

Drupal vs. Joomla

Now that we’ve got a brief background on both, let’s recap the similarities. Both are open-source CMS companies. What this means is that they are self-hosted and can be set up on any server a client wants. Whereas with other companies, you might be limited to which servers you can set up or be hosted on. At first, it might seem like the only difference is in terms of popularity, in which Joomla comes out on top by a longshot. However, to better understand which is the best option, let’s take a look at the ease of use, performance, and security of each company.

Ease of Use

When looking to set up an online shop, it’s best to find a service that will provide a lot of flexibility without being too difficult to use. If it takes any amount of online classes or resources to understand how to use their services, then it’s probably going to be more of a hassle than it needs to be. In regards to Drupal vs. Joomla, Joomla immediately jumps out as the clear winner. Their dashboard is intuitive and easily guides a new user around to whatever they might need to get set up. The tools provided are clear, and their text formatting options are diverse.

Drupal, on the other hand, is not as user-friendly. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth looking at, though. It takes a bit of digging to find the staggering amount of options they provide, and might require some basic HTML understanding, but once this wall is passed, Drupal’s potential stands true. For this one, however, Joomla is the winner.

Performance

We’re speaking about the online world, so when you need your content to load, you need it to load quickly. Fast loading services and reliable site functions are what keep a customer returning for more business.

Two main factors affect this speed: the CMs provider and the hosting platform and plan you plan to use.

With both being open-source platforms, this round ends in a tie, with Drupal and Joomla being equal in terms of performance.

Security

Once again, this one ends in a tie. When it comes to security for Drupal vs. Joomla, both provide excellent security. Both offer consistent patches and updates to stay on top of potential exploits. They also deliver an extensive package of widgets to allow personal customization in regards to site security.

Overall

Overall, if you’re weighing your options between Drupal vs. Joomla, it comes down to personal needs. For a newcomer to online selling, we would recommend Joomla for its ease of use and popularity.

For a larger enterprise with some greater experience in the web content development world, we recommend going with Drupal for their massive amount of customization options, once the higher learning curve is surpassed. Always choose what’s right for you, and don’t be afraid to test the waters. Remember: it’s all free!

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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