Drupal 6 vs. Joomla 1.5 (2009)

Submitted by n8coder on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 17:29

Drupal versus Joomla!This is a comparison of most popular content-management-systems Drupal 6x and Joomla 1.5 series.

Drupal pros: free, professional coded, multilang, multisite, performance, great community, flexibility, power, role-based user access, flexible content types, excellent taxonomy system, seo friendly urls, multi-db-support
Drupal cons: hard to learn, poor online themes, not-core-included important modules, e-commerce, too simple looking forum system,

Joomla pros: free, good coded, multilang, easy learning curve, quality templates, ssl-login-support
Joomla cons: high loads, not seo-friendly urls, not-flexible, confusing arc.

Learning Curve

Joomla is the best choice for beginners. Drupal has excellent online-documentation and great community but it is not enaugh for beginners with less time and poor knowledge.


You can install both cms over a webinterface. Joomle core comes with Media Manager, Language Manager, Contact Management, Banner Management, Polls, Search, WYSIWYG editor. Drupal core comes with Collaborative Books, Friendly URLs , Search, Polls , Blogs, Blogger API support , Content syndication , News aggregator , Multi-language , Discussion forums. There are also different installation profiles on Drupal site. Drupal modules should be uploaded to modules directory. Joomla components (.zip packages) should be installed over webintarface. Updating Drupal core is much easier as you can put your own modules, templates, config files in seperate directories, which will not be overwritten.


Drupal has a clear architecture, uses blocks for right-left-top-bottom-.. etc blocks and modules for plug-ins. Joomla has a bad-named system; uses "modules" for blocks and has components, extentions, mambots etc as modules, which are confusing by names. Both cms have seperated templating systems. Drupal is oop but does not use php-classes in code. Drupal is "database-independent"(Mysql, Postgresql, ...), Joomla using MySQL.


Drupal looks more powerful. APIs, Views, CCK make Drupal the winner.


If Joomla were a barebone Drupal would be a desktop-computer. Joomla is easy to start but hard to customize. Drupal is much more flexible. ie: You can add capctas to each form on Drupal but not on Joomla.


Drupal would be the best choice for high-traffic sites (because of its good caching system and optimized code).


Drupal is a good system with bad looking-templates. Joomla has much more professional designs, both free and premium. There are live demos of Drupal's most popular themes on www.themegarden.org.

Search System:

Both cms have good search systems. Drupals advanced search is very flexible.

SEO-Friendly Urls

Drupal has excellent url system using path(core) and pathauto modules. Each content item is avaliable under "node/123" like Content_ID too. Joomla has seo modules too but they are poor compared to Drupal.


Drupal wins, there are much more professional developers on Drupal forums than Joomla. Most Drupal-module coders make it possible that their modules communicate with other modules using Drupal APIs.

Management & Administration

Drupal has bad looking but easy-to-find admin area. Drupal does not need extra admin login, rights are loaded with user/root login. Drupal has no admin groups by default, there is also one root-admin with userid #1. But Drupal is very flexible you can create new roles with different access settings and assign users to this roles. Joomla uses completely seperated admin area with extra login. Joomla has a couple of both user and admin-moderator levels. Drupal has poor backup-recovery functions. Joomla has better solutions at the moment. Joomla lock content to prevent double content editing from multiple editors same time.

Content, Categories, Menus

Drupal wins with excellent taxonomy-system and flexible menu system. There are also image-upload, file-attachment, WYSIWYG modules for both cms. Joomla has options for meta-data description, keywords for each content item but Drupal not.

Shopping Cart

E-Commerce was one of two most important Drupal Weakness with Forum system. Now there are two e-commerce modules(Ubercart and E-Commerce) on Drupal site. Joomla's Virtuemart is an excellent shopping cart.


At the moment Joomla looks more popular than Drupal, probably because of high number of newbie users(higher Google-PR, better Alexa rang, better placement on Google-Trends and Twitter, more backlinks). But Drupal -the system of future- is getting more popular everyday. Drupal can be next CMS champion with version 7. Drupal's website is more popular.

Drupal is very popular in:
Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Russian Federation, Hungary, New Zealand, Belgium, Norway, United States, Canada

Joomla is very popular in:
Indonesia, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Malaysia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Austria, Portugal

Drupal's Google Pagerank: 8
Joomla's Google Pagerank: 9

Drupal's Alexa Rang: 1.285
Joomla's Alexa Rang: 1.016


Use Joomla for a small to middle website if you are a beginner with less experience, less time and less money. Use Drupal for a small to big website if you have web programming experiences, enaugh time and enaugh money for layout-designers.


I am currently learning Drupal, and I notice it is harder to learn then Joomla, but forums really help when learning it.

Joomla is still easiest to learn, but hard to position objects, also it is easier to customize module in Drupal.

Submitted by Frank (not verified) on Thu, 06/04/2009 - 19:55


Joomla! may be "easier" to learn, but it is not "easy" by any means.

The big problem any noob will have is the architecture. As noted above, "modules" does not mean extensions or plug-ins as they are elsewhere in CMS land. A J! module is a container for particular kinds of content.

The big thing for new folk to remember is that in Joomla!, architecture comes FIRST. The fundamental unit is not content, but organization: the MENU. Menus first - THEN what goes in them.

You can't just start typing away in Article Manager and have stuff pop up on your homepage. You need to assign it to a menu. And section, too - if you publish the article but forget to publish the section, it won't show up.

If you remember that J! needs to know WHERE content goes before it can process that content, you're off to a good start.

There's also much online help, altho specific solutions are harder to find than beginning-to-end tutorials. The Absolute Beginner's Guide is your rite of initiation - most forum folk will ask you to complete it before posting for help.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/08/2009 - 01:03


Drupal has the best developers and Joomla has the best designers!

Submitted by repairer (not verified) on Tue, 06/30/2009 - 01:00


Let's make little more accurate comparison:

Joomla = Volkswagen Golf
Drupal = Lexus


The massively greater popularity of Joomla is why Joomla wins out.
The number of extension appearing is staggering.
The number of users contributing to the forums in massive.
The number of developers working on it are miles more than Drupal.

If the world were starting from scratch you would not chose to learn English. The spelling is crazy, just learning to read and write is hard. But it does have its good points. There are no accents to have to write and type. The verbs are easy to use.
The main positive is so many people speak it.

Billions of people speak English and there are over a million words to chose from. Because so many people are using it and so many ideas are expressed in it, English becomes a big asset when you want to communicate throughout the world.

Same with Joomla.
It would appear that J!1.6 which is likely fully online by the year end (2009) and will overcome some of the defects in the CMS.
I would always plump for Joomla, warts and all.

I use Windows - I HATE Microsoft because of that dumb browser IE and the extra work and stress it gives me. But if you want some software you will always find decent software that works with Windows.

You want some decent software to add to your website - you have a huge number to chose from in Joomla. I can live with the routine of create the section, create the category, create the menu item and then publish the article.

Submitted by david (not verified) on Fri, 07/17/2009 - 00:56


really interesting aspect! I agree with some popularity related points. if you build a very quality car but with an airplane like drive panel, who can drive it? it must be as easy as possible to drive it especially for beginners!


Joomla's terminology is complicated to newbies. A blog in Joomla terms is a title, a teaser, and a body. "Dynamic-content" are articles in Joomla words (not Flash or AJAX). Modules are blocks in web terms (and Drupal too).

Granular access control

Unlike other CMS's (like WordPress or Drupal), Joomla is the only major CMS which doesn't have granular access control (which will be added in Joomla 1.6, the community behind it says).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/25/2009 - 10:48



I've been using Joomla 1.0 and I learned programming with that first version. Then it came on the Joomla 1.5 and it's GREAT MVC Api, Template Overrides, Core seo routing, etc, etc, etc.

Now I have a big project and I wondered if I should use Drupal, this is my first aproach to Drupal, by the moment I see that it's not so heavy to load, etc.

But I'm not shure if I will need to learn so much Drupal, when Joomla 1.6 is comming more light-wieight, mootools 1.2, etc.

I think people talking about Joomla should take a look to "new" 1.5 MVC API and great extensions like K2.

When you say Drupal is more professional, what are you thinking about? 10.000 visitors a day? Joomla 1.5 can make this EASY and that's what i'm doing.

The only goal with joomla is that you have to up to date and carefully when upgrading. Always test and retest to see if all is going well.

Hope I'm not wrong