Best CMS: WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal – What makes one a winner over the others?

I was recently asked [again] about what platform to choose for an open source web CMS. At the highest level, and to avoid considering too many variables that introduce confusion into a decision, my general feeling on this is to go with the technology that best balances the following (in order):

  1. Community (users, third parties, and developers): size, enthusiasm, and proselytization
  2. Technology: tech stack and solution architecture
  3. Leaders: commitment, flexibility, release schedule

I feel the community size and enthusiasm is so important that I decided to chart out the general trends. Although we implement will all of these CMS’s successfully, we have been choosing WordPress over the others for a number of years on most CMS implementations. My own experience is that the WP community has been growing rapidly and gaining enthusiastic momentum. The below results prove it.

Overall, trends show popularity in WordPress far surpassing Joomla and Drupal over the years:

Joomla Drupal CMS Trends

For the past year, we see WordPress in its own league of popularity:

Jommla Drupal CMS Yearly Trends

Trends for the three solutions with the word “CMS” attached shows a slightly closer picture overall. I feel this is mainly because WordPress was initially marketed as a blogging platform. Though I’ve been using it as a CMS for quite some time, only more in the past year or two have people really embraced it as a powerful CMS:

Joomla Drupal CMS Trends All Years

However, when you look at the past year, again WordPress far surpasses the others:

Joomla Drupal CMS Trends Last Months

Using these products for years, I have many insights and considerations that have yet to be put down in writing, but I hope the above provides you a little idea of one of the main variables we consider when selecting a solution for our customers.

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