Choosing an open-source CMS, part 2: Why we use Joomla

In the second part of our three-part series on selecting the best open-source content management system (CMS) for your requirements, we reached out to two organizations that opted for Joomla to discuss why they believed it was the ideal choice for them, how the migration proceeded, and if they were content with the outcomes. (To discover why other users selected WordPress or Drupal, see part 1 and part 3 of this series.)

Although Joomla was launched in 2005, which is after WordPress and Drupal, it has grown to become the second most widely used open-source CMS, boasting an ease of use that rivals WordPress while providing some of Drupal's power and adaptability, according to Paul Orwig, Open Source Matters' president, which is the nonprofit that supports the Joomla open source initiative. Joomla seeks a middle ground between its two open-source rivals, with a simplicity of use closer to WordPress, but it also provides some of Drupal's power and flexibility.

W3Techs, the web technology tracker, reports that approximately 2.7% of all websites use Joomla as of February 1st, compared to WordPress at 17.4% and Drupal at 2.3%. Joomla has been downloaded more than 36 million times, according to Open Source Matters, including over 9.5 million downloads in the preceding 12 months, representing a 27% increase.


To read detailed evaluations of these three open-source content management systems, see the article titled "Site builder shootout: Drupal vs. Joomla vs. WordPress." A more recent review of Joomla 3.0 is available in "Joomla 3.0 review: Making way for mobile." If you're interested in development tools, "10 Joomla extension modules for easier and better websites" is worth checking out.

According to Paul Orwig, president of Open Source Matters, Joomla has a committee-based governance model that consists of independent thinkers who are passionate about the project. Although this model has led to some disagreements and delays in the past, the community has committed to releasing major updates every 18 months, with interim releases every six months for early adopters and developers. Joomla 3.0, the latest version, supports 68 languages, offers more than 10,000 extensions, and includes features for developing mobile-friendly websites.