Which CMS is right for your Company or Brand Website?



From the days when one had to hand-code HTML and PHP scripts in order to get a slick, fully functional website, Content Management Systems (CMS) over the last decade have improved and eased website building. The most popular CMS are Joomla, Drupal and WordPress that come with tens of thousands of add-on tools created by very active developer communities.  

These CSM applications have a lot of similarities. They are all written in the PHP programming language, are licensed under the free GNU General Public License (GPL), and all depend on the MySQL database to hold and manage the actual content within a website.

With almost the same platform requirements (PHP, MySQL, Apache) to use, the challenge comes in making a choice of which CMS is appropriate for your website’s purpose.  Below are some of the aspects to ponder upon as you make that choice.


The installation differences between Joomla and Drupal are negligible. WordPress is the simplest to install.

Interface Intuitiveness  and Ease of Use

Drupal tools are less intuitive but ultimately more flexible and powerful. Joomla has easy-to-understand controls, but comes with many limitations. WordPress is the average of the two here.


Joomla has some issues with site configuration (e.g you may need to change CSS code at very early stages of configuration). Drupal configuration offers more flexibility. Joomla sites will require more coding to get the site to look and feel the way you want, unless you find one template out there that matches the vision you want for your website.

Modules, Plug-ins, Extensions, Example for Shopping cart

Drupal has modules such as Ubercart that comes with completeness of its features whereas Joomla has JoomShopping and eShop that make it easier to build product catalogs. Nevertheless Ubercart is superior here. Drupal has a steeper learning curve, but the long-term payoff is a better overall experience.

Support Community

There are over 15,000 WordPress plug-ins, 11,000 Drupal modules and 8000 Joomla extensions. It’s not all about the numbers, though. These are strong communities that definitely add to the strength of each CMS.


Drupal takes the lead here with much more flexibility with links.


Mobile is a new domain, so far all are trying to incorporate this in their themes/templates


All of the CMSes are very good and play to different strengths. If one is a beginner, WordPress is the simplest to jump into the CMS world. The themes and plug-ins are diverse and numerous, and this is a very good starter CMS that can scale quite well into a more a complex site.

Joomla is good for sites that are a bit more complex and are going to be managed by someone with stronger technical skills. For this type of situation, Joomla is perfect: plenty of extensions, easier to learn and enough templates to make site design worries moot.

If you are considering building a much more complex site that needs much flexibility, Drupal is the KING. Though it’s harder to learn, it has much more flexibility to scale a site in terms of complexity. It also has the ability to scale up into very complex sites to be used for a variety of business needs.

Despite the existence of these strong CMSes, that reduce the cost to own a website, many companies and brands in Uganda have not yet made use of this as an opportunity to set up an online presence.   For consultancy with any of the CMSes and for setting up your website, check out HiPipo Digital Media Services.