Like Joomla, WordPress also began as a forked project in 2003, gracefully leaving b2, its parent project. WordPress actually has two implementations, which can confuse newcomers to the software. WordPress.com is a free service (not unlike, say, Blogger) that allows anyone to create blogs using pre-built themes and tools. (WordPress.com, along with Blogger, Tumblr and Posterous, will be reviewed in an upcoming roundup.) The other, the open-source WordPress CMS software, is the technology I will examine in this article. Initially, my inclination was not to include WordPress in this review. Past experience indicated that WordPress, while gaining complexity and flexibility, was still not quite up to speed with Drupal and Joomla. But after re-examining the WordPress ecosystem and tools, I decided to include WordPress in this shootout of the Big Three open source CMS platforms.
So which CMS is right for you?
It's a difficult question to answer. Apples and oranges are both fruit, but it's hard to quantify one feature or another that makes either better. The same holds true for Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. It's easy for site creators to be passionate about one CMS or the other, but from the outside looking in, it really looks like an apple and oranges comparison.
In the past, I've helped build sites in all three CMSes and I have found good and not-so-good features in each one. To get a better idea of what's going on with these platforms, I used each CMS to build a simple business website for Happy Flights -- a company devoted (somewhat maniacally) to making people's flight experiences, well, happy -- complete with a blog, static pages, forums and a marketplace for goods to be sold. Along the way, I discovered some interesting things that challenged my preconceptions and gave me a clearer picture of the pros and cons of each CMS.
Installing Drupal, WordPress, or Joomla is essentially a three-stage process: prepare a database for the CMS, download and uncompress the files for the CMS, then walk through a Web-based installation that completes the job.
Other ways to install