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Open Source Usability — Joomla! Vs. WordPress 240

Posted by kdawson
from the apples-and-orange-trees dept.
An anonymous reader writes "PlayingWithWire profiles two open source tools for Web development, comparing Joomla! and WordPress through the lens of usability. The article has apparently upset a few people at the Joomla! forum, but it does bring up a good point. Many open source projects are developed by engineers for engineers — should they focus more on usability? PlayingWithWire makes a bold analogy: 'If Joomla! is Linux, then WordPress is Mac OS X. WordPress might offer only 90% of the features of Joomla!, but in most cases WordPress is both easier to use and faster to get up and running.'" The article repeatedly stresses that blogging platform WordPress and CMS harness Joomla! occupy different levels of the content hierarchy. How fair is it to twit Joomla! on usability?
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Open Source Usability — Joomla! Vs. WordPress

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  • Quite fair (Score:5, Informative)

    by rallymatte (707679) * on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @06:31AM (#27049303)
    I'm a Linux Systems Admin. I write php code quite often, I know several other script languages and I know the basics of CSS.
    I managed to install Joomla quite easily, but I must say that once it was installed, it was really hard to use. Modules wouldn't install properly and simple things were really hard to accomplish, like being able to upload files etc.
    It was also really hard to brand the page, we wanted our company look of the page. Took a good while before we got to something that only looked ok.
    Maybe I'm being harsh as this was a few versions back. But still...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wfWebber (715881)
      Same here. It's not too hard to use an existing template for better looks, but once you want to make things look like you want, you'll need to delve into template building. Not for the weakhearted. On the other hand, I'm not too sure WP would score higher on this one.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I develop with Joomla daily, and you do certainly need skills in PHP to be able to get it work - a non-programmer would be unable to get the most out of the package and modules. Saying that I've only been developing PHP for 6 years, and it took me about three days to be able to work and build complex e-commerce solutions with Joomla. I was able to create good sites for customers after a couple of days and didn't experience the probelms you mentioned.

      In terms of usability it is quite poor though. In previous

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by matthewboh (927604)
      I own a business that does computer consulting and I've found that Wordpress is easier to use, easier to administer and easier to train. I also agree that Joomla! does a lot of other things, but I've found it difficult to use, difficult to set up and a little more buggy than Wordpress, so I completely agree with rallymatte's evaluation
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by reashlin (1370169)
      I use Joomla! quite alot and in my experience once you get your head around how Joomla! views a "page" things are pretty easy. The wealth of the extensions community is both a benefit and a burdon to Joomla!. There are huge numbers of commercial modules etc. for it. Often the "free" ones are so tight in with what the origional developer wanted that they are not of much use to everyone else. Then there are the modules etc. that were coded before the API was even finalised. These are often the more matur
    • by Darkk (1296127)

      Version Joomla! 1.5 has gotten alot better. 1.6 is coming out soon with better control on the content.

  • by howlingmadhowie (943150) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @06:33AM (#27049309)
    at the moment, the link goes to a thread with 5 posts, none of which seem to have been written by an upset person.
  • by Einmaliger (1052420) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @06:34AM (#27049317)
    He is comparing the usability of the two very different applications for a quite limited scenario, namely setting up very simple web sites with only a few static pages. For larger projects Wordpress simply won't do the job, but in that simple case, I agree that WordPress is a often much better choice. For my personal homepage I tried out lots of Open Source CMS, but finally got stuck with WordPress + some plugins. It does a surprisingly good job as CMS, but I would not recommend it for - say - my company's website.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MrNaz (730548) *

      So you're saying that a spanner is better than a power geared pneumatic torque wrench if all you're doing is tightening a bolt?

      No shit, Sherlock.

    • by DiegoBravo (324012) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @07:25AM (#27049523) Journal

      I use BOTH systems for the company web site. Joomla!, lets me create and customize things like menus, download zones, galleries of images, a forum, etc. A link points to our blog implemented in Wordpress. There are blog extensions for Joomla, but WP is IMO better than those.

      Joomla is both a CMS and a framework to add powerful extensions, and using just for a blog is overkill. Wordpress is a blog (and of course able to present a simple static web site), but is limited beyond that.

      Note also that there are many Joomla extensions in order to let other projects being integrated in the Joomla framework. See for example:
      http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/content-&-news/blog/6659/details [joomla.org] (integrate WP with Joomla)

      It's pretty obvious that Joomla will have a larger learning curve so the comparison is really pointless.

  • by tnok85 (1434319) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @06:41AM (#27049339)

    Wow, this article is blatantly biased. Just look at the way he writes.

    For the Joomla! examples, they feel the need to put quotations around everything. 'Control Panel', 'Title', and so on. Those same words (or similar words) in the WordPress section are for some reason easier to understand, so they don't warrant quotations.

    Not to mention he described Joomla!'s processes as a technical writer would (loosely) and then described WordPress' processes as if casually telling a friend.

    That alone stopped me from reading the article.

    Disclaimer: I've used Joomla! once, and WordPress once. Both did their jobs admirably, but you can't compare apples and oranges - which is what this article is trying to do, with a heavy bias.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jrumney (197329)

      Wow, this article is blatantly biased.

      I figured that from the "Wordpress might only offer 90% of the features of Joomla!" quote.

  • not a question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @06:42AM (#27049345) Homepage Journal

    should they focus more on usability?

    Errr... yes?

    How can you possibly answer "no" to that question? Do you want your stuff actually being, you know, used by people? There's a reason it's called "usability" and not bumblebee.

    • by ady1 (873490) *

      Depends on the project. Project involving Hardware drivers/low level services/operating systems, probably not (should be performance and stability).

    • Re:not a question (Score:5, Interesting)

      by moosesocks (264553) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @07:13AM (#27049479) Homepage

      Errr... yes?

      How can you possibly answer "no" to that question? Do you want your stuff actually being, you know, used by people? There's a reason it's called "usability" and not bumblebee.

      Go read up on the arguments against the GoboLinux [wikipedia.org] filesystem structure. (These Ubuntu folks have a bunch [ubuntu.com]). There are some fairly passioned "screw the n00bs" rants out there. Does anybody honestly think that the traditional Unix filesystem heirarchy makes an ounce of sense in 2009?

      Both vi and EMACS seem to have taken the "fuck the users" approach to heart. I suppose I might be of the wrong mindset to operate either application, though the developers could have at the very least taken the time to provide a decent set of documentation for their astonishingly-complex applications.

      • Re:not a question (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tpgp (48001) * on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:04AM (#27049699) Homepage

        Both vi and EMACS seem to have taken the "fuck the users" approach to heart.

        There is a difference between being easy-to-use-first-time and usable. You appear to be confusing the two.

        • by tkinnun0 (756022)

          There is a difference between being easy-to-use-first-time and usable.

          Well, yes, but one implies the other. I'll let you work out which one.

        • There is a difference, but you're cutting it very thin. Applications that a first-time user finds easy are often (not always, but usually) also easy for experienced users. If you can walk up to something and 'get it' right away, it's often an indication that the designer has really captured the user's mental model for the task. If you find something usable only after months of practice, that application is not usable for most values of the word usable.

          • Re:not a question (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Draek (916851) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @12:01PM (#27051861)

            If you find something usable only after months of practice, that application is not usable for most values of the word usable.

            I once heard a definition of "usable" I quite liked, though I can't remember where: "it makes the simple easy, and the complex possible". ViM and Emacs may require some initial training and a willingness to RTFM, but once learned they excel at the latter in ways that no other editor I've tried has done.

          • Not that thin.

            Notepad is easy to use the first time. But it's unusable if you intend to do any serious coding.

          • by jbolden (176878)

            Not at all. Professional applications can assume things like background and vocabulary that are not available to general users. They can assume higher levels of interest and specialization. Intuitive interfaces seek to hide complexity, professional interfaces seek to organize complexity so that as much of it as possible can be displayed.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by nidarus (240160)

          So, basically, as the OP said, "screw the n00bs", right?

          Given enough time, you can learn how to use just about anything. A program that's usable only by people who took several days (weeks?) to read the manuals, is not usable, by any meaningful definition of the word.

          I disagree with the OP though - vi and EMACS weren't about "fucking the users", in fact, when they were created, they were relatively user-friendly. Hell, they are still more user-friendly than some later DOS programs. But now, they are showing

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wumpus188 (657540)

        Does anybody honestly think that the traditional Unix filesystem heirarchy makes an ounce of sense in 2009?

        Yes.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by BlackPignouf (1017012)

        vimtutor is actually pretty good.

      • Re:not a question (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Xabraxas (654195) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @09:41AM (#27050259)

        Both vi and EMACS seem to have taken the "fuck the users" approach to heart.

        Really? Both Vi and Emacs have some of the best builtin help available. They are both modal editors so they aren't going to be easy to understand without reading the manual but is it really the fault of the programs's creator that you cannot do advanced editing without reading the manual? If you want easy there are are hundreds of other text editors that are easier to use although they can't do half as much.

      • Re:not a question (Score:4, Informative)

        by DaleGlass (1068434) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @09:51AM (#27050361) Homepage

        Does anybody honestly think that the traditional Unix filesystem heirarchy makes an ounce of sense in 2009?

        Yes.

        In Linux you install things with a package manager. This means that for 99% of users, it doesn't matter whether it's called /usr or /Programs, they're not going to go there anyway. You're not going to install things in Linux in drag and drop style by dropping stuff into /Programs, because it's most likely not writable by normal users (never used Gobo though), and because the vast majority of applications are dynamically linked and won't work without the dependencies in place.

        This just seems a pointless waste of time. As a sysadmin, this sort of thing means I have to learn where everything on this system is, and when something breaks it'll take extra effort to fix.I much prefer consistency, so this won't be the distro I'll be going with. The existence of a kernel module to keep compatibility is annoying and limiting. And this won't end there, I'm sure some other distro will think that it should be /Applications instead of /Programs. I'd rather stay with the normal layout, thanks.

        As an user, everything outside of /home might as well not exist, so it doesn't matter what they call it, I don't care or notice any benefit from it. So it's a waste of time as well. Also it doesn't really make anything more intuitive, it simply moves things around. /System/Settings/passwd isn't any more intuitive than /etc/passwd: It's still the same file, with the same weird formatting and editing requirements (keeping shadow in sync)

        • by tkinnun0 (756022)

          /System/Settings/passwd isn't any more intuitive than /etc/passwd: It's still the same file, with the same weird formatting and editing requirements (keeping shadow in sync)

          That's because you know what it's for. If you look at it with a new user's eyes:

          /System/Settings/passwd is something to do with the system's settings, probably some system password file from the looks of it.

          /etc/passwd is one of those "et cetera" files when the "programmers" just couldn't put it anywhere else, and if I had to guess, I'd say it stores the passwords I use to go to websites and thus it should be deleted when I clear my private data.

          • /System/Settings/passwd is something to do with the system's settings, probably some system password file from the looks of it.

            Or it just exactly as meaningless as /etc/passwd to somebody living in Russia or China, because they have no clue what "settings" or "password" mean.

            Though why do they have to mess with that stuff anyway? If you're going to assume a stupid user who is going to think that /etc/passwd keeps web browser passwords and will try to delete it (how? modern friendly distros don't run

          • by jbolden (176878)

            I use to go to websites and thus it should be deleted when I clear my private data.

            Which will fail because you don't have permissions to edit /etc unless you are an administrative user, i.e. logged in as root. So what is the problem.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by moosesocks (264553)

          Why not? The approach works fine on Mac OS X (even though I do lament the lack of a proper package manager).

          It's not even that the traditional Unix filesystem is cryptic.... it's that it no longer makes sense for the manner in which it's used.

          What is /opt used for these days?

          Is the distinction between /usr/ and /usr/local/ particularly important any more? /lib, /usr/lib, /usr/local/lib, /usr/X11R6/lib, /var/lib etc... all tend to point to the same libraries.

          Does it make sense for /var and /proc to be separ

      • by jbolden (176878)

        Does anybody honestly think that the traditional Unix filesystem heirarchy makes an ounce of sense in 2009

        It doesn't make any sense when everything is on one partition. Gobolinux as a series of symlinks makes sense. Where there is a problem is in how directories are mounted. For example /usr/local /usr and /bin are often on different machines or have different maintenance schedules. /home may be distributed across the enterprise or the collection of machines. /opt can have all sorts of weird licensing issues which address how they can be shared and cross mounted.

        You may want to distribute drive loads. Frag

      • by jbolden (176878)

        Both emacs and vi/vim have excellent documentation and have had it for decades.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tom (822)

        Does anybody honestly think that the traditional Unix filesystem heirarchy makes an ounce of sense in 2009?

        Actually, yes (mostly).

        Usability does not necessarily mean you have to change the system structure. You can also display it differently. For example, on the low level, OS X knows files and folders, just like every other OS. However, on the higher levels, it will display some folders as if they were applications, and allow you to interact with them as if they were a third kind of filesystem entity that does not actually exist on the lower levels (e.g. double-clicking on a normal folder opens it, double-click

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by extrasolar (28341)

        Both vi and EMACS seem to have taken the "fuck the users" approach to heart. I suppose I might be of the wrong mindset to operate either application, though the developers could have at the very least taken the time to provide a decent set of documentation for their astonishingly-complex applications.

        How can I take the rest of your comment seriously when you are either trolling or speaking out of ignorance (and is there a difference?). Have you even glanced at the Emacs manual? It is quite thorough. You can read online within emacs, read it on the commandline, order a printed book from the FSF or your favorite publisher, or print out your own copy.

        There are a lot of weaknesses as far as documentation in the GNU/Linux system; Emacs isn't one of them. You can also read the Emacs Lisp and the Introduct

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by moosesocks (264553)

          I've seen the EMACS documentation, and would simply like to respectfully disagree.

          Like EMACS itself, it's unnecessarily thorough. The text, IMO is dense, unnecessarily lengthy, and poorly formatted.

          The EMACS docs read like a novel, which is great if you want to sit down for a week, and learn the guts of the program inside-and-out. Unfortunately, this is not how most software documentation is used.

          Most (good) software documentation is briefly glanced at as a quick reference. To make the most of this scena

    • by JohnFluxx (413620)

      > How can you possibly answer "no" to that question?

      Well given finite resources, the reason question should be:

      should they focus more on usability and focus less on stability/bug fixing/adding features?

      In which case the answer could quite possibly be no.

      It's somewhat akin to "should teachers be paid more?" etc type questions.

    • by 7 digits (986730)

      > > should they focus more on usability?

      > Errr... yes?

      > How can you possibly answer "no" to that question?

      Well, it is open source we are talking about.

      Here is Linus Torvald back in 2000 explaining that adding features that make development easier in the kernel is not a good idea:

      http://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0009.0/1148.html [indiana.edu]

      (And of course, it was a stupid position to begin with, but clever people are pretty good at rationalizing anything. I guess that in 2000 he would have rejec

    • The people who are motivated to contribute to Joomla only do so as it meets their personal needs to write intricate, arcane, obscure code that will impress their friends - who are doing the same.

      If anyone actually wants to use this, in ways more complicated than point-click-publish, they will have to open it up, look desperately for any comments (which either don't exist, are wrong, or weren't changed when the code was updated) or other clues about how it works.

      If you put any financial cost on your time

  • I've worked as a programmer (various languages and platforms, these days mostly Perl apps on Debian) for over a decade now. I tried to get comfortable with Joomla! for a few months, but it never really worked for me. For most sites that require a CMS, I just install WordPress, configure necessary plugins, and call it a day.

    For any needs that exceed the capabilities of WordPress, I just wind up writing custom code anyhow. It's never been worth the effort to implement a decent-sized site in Joomla!.
    • Try out ModX CMS... it's like WordPress but with infinite Template Variables which automatically create input fields for your page authoring screen... and can be of any input type (text, textarea, radio group, select list/menu, etc) and can be bound to a data source or hardcoded or dynamic via user input... so sweet.

      Wordpress is still more usable but only because you can't make a generated authoring page more usable than a stripped down simple static page like WP uses.

  • While an interesting comparison which draws conclusions I broadly agree with I feel that this is mostly unfair. They author states at the start that he has developed two solutions to the problems he commonly faces one based on Joomla the other on Word Press. Since Joomla is much harder to work with it must be bringing something to the party that Word Press isn't. Having said that I do feel that a lot of open source projects are far more complicated than they need to be because they are produced by developer

  • by randomsearch (1207102) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @07:11AM (#27049471) Journal

    Hi All,

    If anyone is looking at Joomla etc. right now and trying to decide on which CMS to use, please take my advice:

    If you're a competent programmer, appreciate good design, know PHP to some extent, etc. then use *Drupal*. It has taken me 6 painful months to learn how frustrating the other systems can be if you already have these skills.

    Joomla et. al seem to be designed for people without a strong technical background. Drupal is a tool that speeds up the process of building sites for technical literate designers without constraining them too much.

    RS.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      At our company we have found Drupal to be more secure and easier to modify than Joomla. Especially the former. I don't know if Joomla is more popular so it gets hit harder or if Drupal is that much more secure - empirically the evidence just said to us we didn't get attacked as much with an up-to-date Drupal than with up-to-date Joomla.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nidarus (240160)

      If you're a competent programmer, appreciate good design, know PHP to some extent, etc. then use *Drupal*

      I'd say, even if you aren't any of those things, you should still go with Drupal.

      Everything, from module installation, to template creation (which you have to do, even on the most basic site) is simpler and less technical in Drupal. The only thing that's better in Joomla! is a slightly more attractive admin area layout.

      The idea that Joomla! is somehow more newbie-friendly, is a myth.

  • in our office... (Score:3, Informative)

    by powerspike (729889) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @07:30AM (#27049545)
    When we start building a site (for anything), the first question is - is it going to be run by tech staff or admin staff, if it's admin staff, it's wordpress, trying to teach admin staff about front page featured, order etc, their eyes just glaze over.

    Been able to just tell them to "click on new post, put it in, and click on publish" makes life so much easier...
  • I'd say the comparison between Linux and MacOSX vs Joomla/Wordpress is wrong in one very important point: both Joomla as well as Wordpress are free. Linux is free. MacOSX is not. I see that the person who made the comparison is using a Mac so I see where he is coming from but that does not mean he should forget that one very important point. His favourite computing platform is proprietary, can not be shared between friends and family and will even land you in jail if you try to do so on a large scale. Share

  • Joomla is evil. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Swampash (1131503) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @07:45AM (#27049609)

    I have administered (and currently administer) a number of sites for various clients across a wide range of publishing systems - flat html, php, various CMSes running on Linux, UNIX, and Windows servers.

    I cannot find the words to convey the depth of the hatred and loathing I feel for Joomla. It embodies the worst of Open Source - as if it were written by a million angsty teenagers suffering from ADHD, with duplicated functionality across a hundred different modules, little or no sensible documentation, and the usability issues...! Most CMSes try and at least look like some thought has been given to how people in the real world will use them. Joomla feels and behaves like it was designed to be DELIBERATELY confusing, as if the author of any given module was sneering at his imaginary end user, thinking "it's perfectly obvious to ME what to do here, fuck you if you can't work it out, n00b".

    Gah! Just thinking about Joomla makes me want to go and wash my hands.

    • Re:Joomla is evil. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gravyface (592485) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @08:53AM (#27049919)

      See, here's where you're wrong: Joomla makes it incredibly easy to grant full editing access to anyone visiting your site!

      How?

      With hundreds of essential 3rd-party modules [milw0rm.com]! These action-packed add-ons feature high-quality and easy-to-use SQL injection exploits, empowering your visitors to take full control and do whatever they want to your site.

      Now that's usability!

    • Joomla Bugsquad here. Sorry but your post doesn't mention a single point in Joomla that you dislike or even a single point that may be flawed. It actually sounds like a little hissy-fit by someone teenager or early twen with ADHD - to use your own words.

      And as you are and "admin for various sites" (Links please) you might actually maybe have some substancial criticisim to add. I'll be glad to pass it on to the core team.

      Otherwise please quit any aimless ranting and flailing. You get may modded +5 Interestin

      • by Swampash (1131503)

        Joomla Bugsquad here. Sorry but your post doesn't mention a single point in Joomla that you dislike or even a single point that may be flawed. It actually sounds like a little hissy-fit by someone teenager or early twen with ADHD - to use your own words.

        And as you are and "admin for various sites" (Links please) you might actually maybe have some substancial criticisim to add. I'll be glad to pass it on to the core team.

        Otherwise please quit any aimless ranting and flailing. You get may modded +5 Interestin

      • Create a new entry in Joomla. Where does it live? Does it even exist other than in the db table? Is it a page? No. Is it a blog entry? Maybe, if the system is set up that way. What kind of entry is it? Try explaining the difference to a non-technical user.

        Choose the category you want. Oh, you need a new section. Forget about making a menu link to the entry and create a new section, then a new category. At this point it's actually easier to delete the original entry and post it again.

        Now create a menu item.

        • Create a new entry in Joomla. Where does it live? Does it even exist other than in the db table? Is it a page? No. Is it a blog entry? Maybe, if the system is set up that way. What kind of entry is it? Try explaining the difference to a non-technical user.

          It's a content item. It has enough meta-data to be rendered as a blog entry, if you wish, as it has publishing and 'go offline' dates and tons of other stuff. How it is rendered you can choose once you build a menu item that leads to its category,section o

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by macurmudgeon (900466)

            all your points are valid. *AND* they are not easy concepts for the non-technical user to grasp. The article we're supposedly discussing compares ease of use of Wordpress and Joomla. I've built and trained people on 8 Joomla sites. Without exception I have many more support calls from Joomla users asking how do I do.... Many of them come from just the connection of an entry to the menu that I've outlined.

            I've made step-by-step tutorials. I've created screencasts. I've spend hours upon hours in training. It'

  • by sortius_nod (1080919) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @07:47AM (#27049615) Homepage

    Linux with a fountain pen.

    While Linux is more feature packed, my fountain pen is easier to setup.

    Therefore, fountain pens seem to be designed for "average Joe", and Linux is designed for engineers.

  • For all it's "friendly" facade, once you try to do anything with Joomla that's more complicated than selecting the modules you want to use, you have to get deep and dirty in XML, PHP, CSS and a whole mess of languages, undocumented code and interdependencies.

    A couple of years ago I was attracted to Joomla as a way to quickly produce some professional looking websites. However, the logo I wanted to use was a different size from the standard Joomla template.

    Just making this simply and obvious change meant

  • No, of course not. Engineers should focus on engineering. Usability experts (sidenote: what a loaded term. First step, get a better name for the people who focus on usability) should focus on usability. Developers (who are often also the engineers) should coordinate with UI people and engineers to make the end result.

    • Usability experts (sidenote: what a loaded term. First step, get a better name for the people who focus on usability)

      Something like, umm, ergonomist?

  • Who uses Wordpress for Web development?
    blogging: yes
    Web development: me not

  • Wordpress (Score:3, Informative)

    by MazzThePianoman (996530) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @09:49AM (#27050343) Homepage

    I looked at both Joomla! and Drupal but settled on Wordpress as a basis for setting up some freelance web development jobs. It was much easier to build a custom template from scratch by backwards engineering the default and customizing everything.

    And for those who think it is only for blogs needs to look around a little. For example http://autoshows.ford.com/ [ford.com] is Wordpress.

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @09:54AM (#27050387)

    Well, at least the summary is complete and utter rubbish. The article is slashdotted, but from what I can extract from the comments, the author doesn't know what he's talking about.

    WP does not have '90%' of Joomlas features. That's nonsense.

    I have used, deployed and administrated WP since the b2 days, before it became WP and have been using, deploying, adminstrating and developing Joomla since the Mambo 4 days. And - take it from someone who makes a living on this stuff (and is a member of the Joomla Bugsquad) - both are very sohpisticated webkits!

    WP is basically a Blogging engine. Plain and simple. It's a very pimped out matured blogging engine and is used as the foundation for some very large sites and complex apps - which is totally ok - but it started of as a blogging engine called b2 and all it's workflows are derived from blogging workflows. Which explain it's simplicity and thus its notable ease of use.

    Joomla is a full-blown web-cms. It gives backend controll over what functions the frontend has, it has 7 user groups by default (which you can't change or extend - one of the downsides compared to other systems like Typo3) and basically is a feature behemoth right off the bat compared to WP. The built in editing toolset dwarves that of WP. Contrary to that, Joomla is extremely easy to install and installation plays in the same leage as WP usability wise. I actually find Joomla 1.5 easyer to install than WP 2.7.

    That aside, Joomlas featureset and philosophy required that you sit down and learn it!. WP will have you publishing 5 minutes after installation, while Joomla might take an hour until everything is halfway in place. And you still won't understand half of it. Which is entirely due to the wide range of options Joomla offers, compared to WP.
    Likewise doing nifty things like moving the login and/or search widget aroud the layout to make room for a large bulletin with 3 or 4 clicks of a mouse is simply impossible in WP. With the upside that you don't have to know what Joomla modules and module-positions are.

    I currently use a plugin-pimped WP for my everyday blog (which I share with another blogger) and I use Joomla in 4 different sites, which are all more complex than a online essay site - and both do a very fine job and are very usable. ... Aside from maybe the fact that WPs editor lacks the features I'm used to from Joomlas TinyMCE setup. But for people who'd rather screw up the layout when given to much power this would be a plus. So there's no wonder why WPs editor is slim by default.

    Bottom line: Ignore the rubbish and choose the best tool for the job. Both Joomla and WP are well suited for the prime choice in their field.

  • The article repeatedly stresses that blogging platform WordPress and CMS harness Joomla! occupy different levels of the content hierarchy.

    Eh, yeah. That's pretty significant, as it completely invalidates the "Linux/MacOS" analogy. If Joomla is Linux, WordPress is OpenOffice (or Firefox, or Totem, or any other application).

    Not that I'm a fanboy of Joomla! Or WordPress for that matter. I use both packages and, as has been pointed out, even by TFA itself, they're intended for different applications. Comparing their usability is like comparing the performance of a Ferrari and a John Deer tractor: Sure they're both motor-vehicles, but any comparis

  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @10:33AM (#27050767) Homepage Journal

    by people who apparently dont know zit about what they are comparing. i like neither joomla, or wordpress, but i am a web developer by profession and mess with both occasionally. let me wrap it up :

    joomla is basically a content management system that seeks to allow for many different functions through many different modules you can install. issues and problems are BOUND to happen, for you are installing many different modules coded by different people. it also has very diverse modules made for very diverse purposes other than just basically publishing articles.

    wordpress is a codebase based on a BLOG first, and everything later. its capabilities are more limited than joomla is, because its initial goal and vision was narrower. therefore it can be made and is made simple to use. it also has less diverse modules performing less diverse spectrum of tasks.

    therefore its kinda like comparing a family van to a utility truck. with one of them you can do the same thing you can do with the other one, but both are efficient in different areas.

  • "usable" means you download a file, click on it, the complete package is installed and ready to use after a wizard guides you thru setup
    someone will have the brains to put thiss together, and all these stupid, hard to use, badly designed packages like joomla and word press (their web sites are designed to imitimidate users) will die a deserved death

    look at why steve jobs is succesfull: if your grandmother can't use it, it is to complicated
    look at why DEC and Prime and Data general and Cray are gone: volume

  • I've not used Joomla! so I can't compare it.

    But, I have installed WordPress for a client of mine, and whilst I like that you can setup users with different roles (from memory they are Admin/Author/Editor... and maybe another one), it's *really* dumb that the person who gets sent emails regarding blog comments is the administrator. *I'm* the Administrator because I want to be able to configure the site, but I don't care at all about the blog posts or comment -- my client can handle that. But I found the WP
  • by Saint (12232) * on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @11:14AM (#27051281) Homepage

    The real message is that joomla suffers from a lack of useability. The fact that a software component can perform complex tasks, does not require that the interface be confusing.

    Comparing joomla to wordpress is silly as everyone else has noted...but it accomplished the author's goal of getting a lot of traffic....:)

    I have to say that IMHO the Joomla developers would see an explosion of new users if they would just allow someone with useability experience to walk through the admin ui and suggest changes. It is repetitive. There are aspects that are not clear and thus confusing. In 2009, there really is no excuse for that.

    Having said that, it is an excellent piece of software for catalogs, commerce sites, etc. I can think of none better in general...even considering drupal.

    Just my opinion.

  • by neowolf (173735) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @12:43PM (#27052509)

    I reviewed about a dozen Web CMS systems for a project for my company. We wanted something that we could just release to our content providers and let them submit their content. We didn't want to get heavily invested in the engineering, or have to deal with a lot of background maintenance just to keep it going. Wordpress was far easier to set-up and get our users working, than anything else we tested, including Joomla. Wordpress may not be as flexible and expandable as some of the others, but it also doesn't take nearly as much tweaking and plug-in hunting. It met our needs with only a couple of plug-ins, and was a no-brainer to install. As always- YMMV.

  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @04:24PM (#27055765)

    I've deployed multiple sites on both Wordpress and Joomla. Currently our content portal uses both. Joomla for CMS and then Wordpress for blogging. My problem with both of them is that they take up a bit of time to maintain security updates. They are the favourite platform of script kiddies from Turkey and asian spammers.

    Drupal is arguabely a more powerful platform than either, but you need a technical person to admin the damn thing. Trying to explain the concept of content nodes to the average person who just needs to update pages.

    Recently I came across concrete5 (concrete5.org). It is certainly not a blogging platform. But if you have sites that maybe need updates once a week or month and needs to be maintained by none web people, it is by far the most easy to use, easy to understand CMS I've ever seen. What is lacking is a lot of "features" that will come in time. But if you have a developer, the framework is easy enough to figure out.

  • by gordguide (307383) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @11:54PM (#27060503)

    Well, I can see it ruffling a few feathers, but it's hardly news and I can't believe anyone, contributor or user, would seriously contest it. Usability is a problem on Open Source and on Linux. There, I said it.

    Linux is really an ever-evolving work in progress, and it is never "done", and never done in a way that, say, XP or PalmOS don't experience. They pause for a while and let the world catch it's breath, developing as a more holistic whole. New documentation can be written as the next point upgrade is written, and tech blogs can write support as things come up in the user's experience.

    Not so with Linux. Not only does nobody want to do the job in the first place, but nobody can keep up even if they are crazy enough to want to do it. Everything is in a constant state of (mostly useful, mostly working) flux.

    It's much the same for the "usability" issue. To even start exploring usability with an Open Source app is to say it's "almost done", if not "done, period". That's a state that is rare indeed. "Why work on menus when the guts need work and it will all be different in the next release and besides I have this great idea to ... " well, you get the point.

    Linux really needs non-geeks to write and maintain that aspect of it, and it really needs non-geeks to say to developers, "no, that shouldn't be there, it should be here" and "if you do it that way, everyone will be confused" and so on. That kind of feedback should probably be happening in tandem with the underpinnings and code being written and rewritten.

    But, there is no mechanism to pair the unsophisticated user with the code contributor and project manager, and I'm not even sure that if there was, they would still be talking to each other after a few months of collaboration. It definitely would slow things down a bit, and that alone might be enough to kill the idea with the traditional contributors.

    Until then (and I'm betting on that being a word something like "never") Open Source tools will always be geeky and defiantly quirky, which leads to confusion and frustration at least some of the time. I really wish there was a way to change that, because all it really takes is that first 3 months and many people are hooked on Open Source, yes, even as an "only" desktop with no Commercial OS "safety net" to fall back on.

    But it's damn hard to get over the hurdles of that first install, and although everyone loves to help, no-one wants to be a full-time free support person for your buddy. I can imagine wives of Open Source users who happily run OOo on Linux all day going out and buying a copy of Vista right after the divorce.

    What choice do they really have? You can either have decent hand-holding documentation or you have intuitive software. Some dare to try for both. Some Open Source projects seem bent on having neither, and in a very real sense, it may not even be possible because Linux and Open Source never really just sits in one place to begin with.

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