Joomla is a free open source content management system (CMS) for publishing content on websites and intranets. Therefore it can also be referred as a web content management system (WCMS). Joomla has it's roots in Mambo CMS from which it was forked in August 2005. The name comes from the English spelling of the Arabic word "jumla" (Arabic: جملة ) meaning "all together" or "as a whole".


As of today Joomla is one of the three most popular open source CMS available, together with Drupal and Wordpress. Regarding the fact that Wordpress is more a blog system than a full featured CMS and that Joomla seems to be more popular than Drupal, one could say that Joomla is the most popular open source CMS today (Resource: CMS Market Survey).


There are countless discussions out there in the Internet about which CMS is the better one. Reason for the differing opinions are often the different needs of different users. A developer or web agency might prefer Drupal because of it's flexibility and a home or semi professional user might prefer Joomla for it's easy installation and ready to go package.


Joomla is easy to install and to run. A fresh installation and a downloaded theme make a good start for a simple website. Thus someone with some understanding of HTML and how to upload files to a web server can put together a simple website quite easily. Plus with the pool of available plugins one can add a lot of functions to his website. This is fine for "home users" or web masters without further programming skills. For a website with more custom requirements things can get more complicated. Joomla is not as flexible and simple to extend or change as Drupal. Creating custom designs out of the ordinary or developing new functionality can get hairy. Other shortcomings of Joomla are the lack of a granular user access control and very limited categorization possibilities. Creating complex sites with a lot of structured and categorized content is much easier with a system like Drupal.


For the above reasons we believe that for us as web developers Drupal is the better choice to fulfill our customers needs.

last edited: 18-03-2010