Joomla vs Drupal

Joomla Strengths            

Joomla is considered to be the both the most user friendly and easily installed script out of the bunch.  It has extensive documentation plus a large forum community to obtain support in.  Joomla is easy to scale when your site becomes bigger.  Joomla has a much larger selection of themes available for it than Drupal although many require payment.  It is considered to be the most feature rich ‘out of the box’ solution meaning little work is required by the user for most applications of the software.

Joomla Weaknesses

Security issues are much more abundant with Joomla when compared to Drupal, keeping up to date with the constant influx of patches being released can sometimes be rather tedious.  Mods tend to require more manual work to install than Drupal.  If you have a large team of staff and users configuring access permissions is a lot more complicated than Drupal and in many cases may simply not be possible, you should be aware of the potential security issues here.

Drupal Advantages

The admin system is very advanced and flexible.  Installing mods is also very easy and only requires a few clicks, there’s also a much larger selection than there is for Joomla with more than 12,000 mods and growing every day.  Drupal can be considered to be a programming framework which means that if you have the necessary knowledge to do so it can be extensively customized, much more so than Joomla.  Extensive user access permissions are also included with Drupal unlike Joomla. Security is generally excellent in Drupal with few if any holes being discovered.  Drupal tends to be less resource intensive and faster loading than Joomla.

Drupal Disadvantages

Users new to Drupal may find the admin interface to have a rather steep learning curve.  Drupal is not very good at scaling so it you find yourself running a large site with it you may need to perform a lot of additional work to ensure that it remains running smoothly.  Drupal requires PHP5 so if your hosting company doesn’t have that you simply won’t be able to use it.  The selection of templates on offer for Drupal is somewhat more limited than Joomla.  Support for Drupal can be described as somewhat disorganized in comparison to Joomla.  SEO mods are not as plentiful as they are for Joomla.

Which is most suitable for you?

You should choose the solution which meets your requirements best based on the features available and the advantages and disadvantages outlined above.  For example if you need extensive user based permissions then Drupal is the way to go with Joomla offering limited functionality in this important aspect.  If you are a beginner it would certainly be better to choose Joomla due to the extensive wiki based documentation available for it.  if you are looking for the most powerful and customizable solution then Drupal easily wins.  Joomla is the best ‘off the shelf’ solution available.  This is very much a personal decision; don’t let anyone tell you that one is better than the other.