Wordpress is one of the most popular content management systems available today. It is extremely easy to use and extensible and it is free for both personal and commercial use. Many webhosting companies offer WordPress as a one-touch installation option and some webhosts even offer templates that the customer can use with the system such as e-commerce templates that integrate with online marketplace plugin functions. WordPress can take direct imports from other management systems such as Blogger and is in competition with other content management systems such as Drupal, Joomla and Expression Engine.
Among the most popular content management systems, most users find WordPress the easiest to use. Drupal and Joomla are often seen as more advanced management systems that require more programming knowledge. WordPress is also the only main content management system that allows hosting on the company’s website. This means that users who want to start their website immediately without having to invest any money can host their WordPress installation with WordPress immediately and without the need to have any technical knowledge.
Due to the popularity of the WordPress content management system there is a wealth of free templates and plug-ins to choose from. Templates allow the user to change the look for their website completely. These templates can also be altered manually by the user for additional customization and they can be programmed for more advance functions. Plugins allow further customization, such as automatic integration with social media websites or performance-increasing caching mechanisms.
Drupal and Joomla have most of the same functionality as WordPress but some users find it more difficult to set up. Drupal and Joomla are both open content management systems whereas WordPress is biased towards a blogging system and users who want to construct a website that is different from a standard blog may find it somewhat difficult. Alternatively, Drupal and Joomla make it easier to create more complex websites such as social media websites.
Expression Engine is well-known to designers and developers but not used as often by regular users. It is favored by many designers because it is seen as easier to develop and modify. Expression Engine is seen by many as more technical than WordPress and overall more powerful but it does require more development work. Expression Engine may be more difficult for many users to set up but developers find the flexibility extremely valuable provided that they have the budget and the time. Unlike the other popular content management systems, Expression Engine is a paid for program.
One issue that new adopters of the Expression Engine might encounter is that the community is not as large as WordPress. WordPress has a growing and thriving community that continually develops themes, plugins and modifications for the system. Expression Engine’s community is not as large and some believe it has begun to stagnate. This means that many developers will not be able to find as many available plugins and templates for the Expression Engine system and this may again extend development time.
Wordpress is a faster overall solution than Expression Engine for easier applications. Users that need to set up a blog quickly will usually find WordPress extremely easy to set up and may even be able to get a website live within a few hours. Those that need to do further customization may find it slightly difficult to modify the templates and files and those that need a website other than a traditional blog may find themselves having to do a lot of alteration work. Many simple functions, however, will require absolutely no programming because they will already exist in the plugin library.
Expression Engine is more suited for extensive projects than WordPress and for projects that go beyond a standard blog format. However, Expression Engine will often require more time for installation and development because of its extensibility. Expression Engine is favored by many developers despite the additional work that needs to be done because after the initial installation is completed they often find that modifying it for advanced features is easier than modifying WordPress for the same.
Many developers switch between WordPress, Expression Engine, Joomla and Drupal depending on what is best suited to their individual projects. Having experience with all four of these engines can be extremely valuable to professionals and hobbyists alike. It can also save hours of development time by allowing the developer to easily identify which software solution is best.