Comparing the Numbers: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal

Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Web Design [ 19 Comments ]

What used to be a WordPress vs. Blogspot battle is now more like WordPress vs. Joomla & Drupal. The once relatively unknown, blogger platform has grown up and adopted a name for it’s self as one of the most user friendly content management tools, used by everyone from Bieber buffs to established businesses. In fact, WordPress is used by over 13% of the world’s 1,000,000 biggest websites. So what’s the difference between WordPress, Joomla & Drupal? What are the tradeoffs? What CMS is best for your business?

It is widely known that WordPress is gaining momentum. Their main value proposition is the ease of use with the user interface and back end system. Drupal is widely known to offer a wide variety of features with their CMS system. Drupal is popular for its scalable potential and ability to grow with a business. WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal are similar because they offer the ability to add plugins for virtually anything from SEO to security, widgets and themes. A draw to this system is that there is no need for FTP access. Drupal’s myriad of plugins are very functional however they aren’t as easy to use as WordPress or Joomla, but they are more customizable.

Joomla! and WordPress are both known for their user-friendly interface. Drupal, however may be able to last you a bit longer, but also take some time to master. For those looking for slick web design and creative plugins, Joomla! and WordPress take the cake. For those looking to optimize things such as load times and performance, while planning for the future, think Drupal. Take a look at the 2010 numbers comparing all three platforms:

According to the OSCMS Report:

Downloads Per Week in 2010

WordPress 983,625

Joomla! 113,836

Drupal 33,671

What Are Most Sites Running On?

WordPress 12.9%

Joomla! 2.5%

Drupal 1.4%

Any Preferred CMS and if so, which one?

Joomla! 1105

WordPress 278

Drupal 318

All three of these CMS’s should go above and beyond to deliver what you are looking for with your CMS. However still, none of these three content management systems have integration with HTML5  and they offer minimum collaboration across systems. Overall, WordPress is quicker, more flexible and simpler. If your web designer specializes in Joomla! or Drupal it won’t affect the success of your businesses marketing, SEO, and e-commerce operations. The trends however are point towards WordPress CMS for website management but as WordPress matures who will take its place in the blogger world… Tumblr?

Image Credit: MokuMax


19 thoughts on “Comparing the Numbers: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal


  1. avatarJon

    I’ve been playing around with WordPress for the past couple of years. Also have looked at Joomla and Drupal. My main draw back to WordPress is the ease of use for end users to make updates. I also find it easier to get a site up and running with a good number of features and the ease of updating and downloading plugins and themes.

    Joomla is a good second and Drupal just seems overly complex unless you want to spend a good deal more time becoming an expert at it. I do a lot of other things like server and network management besides web development. The real need is ease of use and function.


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  3. avatarAndrew Eddie

    Thanks for the article Matt. One comment regarding “Drupal’s myriad of plugins … are more customizable.” I don’t think you can make that generalisation because it really depends on the plugin (cf Joomla extensions). It would be the case for all systems that the bigger they are, the more difficult customisation becomes. The big difference is the Joomla culture tends to put the onus of new or extended features on the author of the extension (which means everyone benefits), while I believe with Drupal, that’s left up to the person building the web site like a Mechano set (which means only individual sites benefit – as a generalisation). There’s also a bit of a skew when comparing WordPress to both Joomla and WordPress – that’s because WordPress covers a subset of the features of the other two. If you knocked the “dial-a-blog” sites out of the equation it would be a far more interesting comparison :)


  4. avatarAnonymous

    Hi Matt,

    Sorry for the no name stuff, but I just wanted to remind people that WordPress is not a CMS ( Content Management System ) it is a blogging platform. Thanks !


  5. avatarMatt Krautstrunk Post author

    Thanks, that is a common misconception, however WordPress is a Content Management System that has been widely adopted by bloggers to publish content.


  6. avatarMatt Krautstrunk Post author

    Thanks Andrew,
    Good info to know about the plugins. I listed some generalizations with regards to Joomla! extensions and Drupal plugins because I haven’t seen first hand the customizations of Drupal plugins (mostly hearsay) . I appreciate the brief though, Thanks!


  7. avatarRonni K. G. Christiansen

    The numbers seem way off – or atleast how they summarize things – try and look on CMS Crawler.

    http://cmscrawler.com/completelist

    Out of 9 mill crawled sites Joomla is ahead with 287.000 and WordPress coming behind with 286.000.

    The download numbers seem very strange too – considering Joomla has overtaken WP in amount of downloads as i recall Joomla grew with atleast 5 million downloads in 2010 yet this numer would only show 1,7 million downloads and as i recall the actual number would have been from 10 million to close to 20 million.

    So quite a lot of the numbers dont add up – at all.


  8. avatarMatt Krautstrunk Post author

    Ronni, I just check out CMS Crawler’s Complete list. The Complete List only indexes 1,285,734 sites. The data that these numbers were pulled from is a site called http://trends.builtwith.com/cms which indexed more than 6 million sites.

    You may have a point though, the data on Joomla! was gathered from a spokesperson source, however your math may be a bit off with average of 113,000 weekly downloads per week times 52 weeks in the year you get around 5.9 million downloads for the year. On the flip side WordPress 3.1 has been download around 3.5 million times in the 4 months its been available according to http://wordpress.org/download/counter/

    Hope that clears some questions up.


  9. avatarDon

    Downloads can be a very misleading number. I use Joomla on a lot of different sites that I run or manage for clients. If a new version comes out, I download it once and then use that one download to update all of my various sites.

    However, with WordPress using the auto-updater, if you are running 50 sites, it will download that for each site.

    So, the number of downloads does not really give any accurate view as to popularity of a CMS, because a “download” for one doesn’t necessarily equal a “download” for another.





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  11. avatarJoomla ecommerce

    One who makes every move with the latest technology and innovative concept will be definitely going to set new trend and one who understands the language of current demand will going to set his own landmark for others. Joomla is indeed in ecommerce will trigger you to the desired target.


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