Joomla vs WordPress

    Under the Hood
Posts & Pages/Articles

WordPress

WordPress for some reason wants to distinguish the content between a post or a page. This does have its advantages as only posts are shown in a blog entry but at the end of the day, they both pretty much do the same thing – display a page of content. And I don’t see any difference in terms of their look. I think it’s redundant. If they do need to separate them, maybe a drop down selection would have sufficed when creating the content.

The interface is either WYSIWYG(What you see is what you get) called Visual or HTML cleverly disguised as Text. WordPress again takes extra effort not to use terms like HTML when Text is completely misleading. The interface uses TinyMCE (which is used by majority of the best CMS’). Everything is very basic, you type in a title and the actual content. There are no settings to deal with except whether to save as draft or publish, set visibility (public, password protect, or private), trash it, and a featured image. Nothing to really right home about. Posts have a few added advantages as you can select the format (which I have yet to really see a use for as I don’t see any difference between them), Tags and Categories (why can’t these be in a page is mindbogling). If you don’t like what you did this time around, you can revert to a different version. This is very handy in case you mess up terribly.

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Joomla

Joomla uses the term Article instead of Post and Page. An article can be any content. Joomla’s interface is overwhelming at first and I will try to give a brief description of the entire interface. Many areas of this interface is pretty much consistent through all areas of Joomla including modules, articles, and settings.

As familiar with WordPress and other CMS’, Joomla uses TinyMCE as it’s editor. This pathetic excuse of an editor should be made mandatory to be replaced with (which I am trying desperately to find a plugin in WordPress like it). The title is at the top like WordPress. Below the editor window you have options to include an Article, Image, Page Break, or a Read More into the Article. These buttons are extremely helpful and I miss such functionality in WordPress (among so much more out-of-the-box). Toggle Editor will toggle between visual/text mode (in WordPress terminology). Joomla has introduced versioning and will by default save 10 versions. This can be changed in Content – Article Manager – Options – Editing Layout (poor choice of tab to put this in).

Right side gives you options in easy drop downs to set the status (published, unpublished, archived, trashed), category, access (Publice, Guest, Registered, Special, Super Users and any other you may have added), Language (in case you have a multi-language site and this should be in all or one of them) as well as select whether it’s featured and include tags (which you need to define earlier).

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Sample JCE
Sample of JCE

Joomla is a beast compared to WordPress when it comes to function, and many will be put off by the sheer vastness of the Joomla core out-of-the-box that is until they start to really invest time and effort to learn all the possibilities and capabilities. I will need a blog entry in itself to describe all the functions available but I will briefly state them here.

Note: The options available are just that, options and for most people might not be required.

Publishing allows addition of author information as well as to select the start and end date of the article being published. This is extremely helpful when you want to show an article for a specific time period only – like a holiday greeting.

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Images and links are as the tab suggests to include additional Images and Links. I have not had much chance with this but should I do as the concept does seem interesting, I will update the post.

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The Options tab will blow the mind of any WordPress user new to Joomla. This is what makes Joomla so great. It allows you out-of-the-box to set options (that are only for this article, module etc) so you can hide and show only what is the requirement like dates, hits, tags, categories etc. These can be defined in the configuration as well in case all articles should have these settings and not this particular article.

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Configure Edit Screen gives you more options that are specific to the tabs above. Whether you want someone to see them or not for this particular post.

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Permissions allow fine grained permission settings for this particular post. For instance you want only administrators to be able to delete or edit this specific post.

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My Thoughts
WordPress is clean and simple…too simple. Joomla is as simple or as complex as you want to make it. I will give it to Joomla as there are so much basic functions that I am struggling to find a solution for like hiding author details.