11 Feb 2021

Drupal Vs. Joomla: Which is Better for Custom Web Design?

We know what you're thinking: Haven't we heard of this enough of this argument already? Well, it's still a tough call between these two giants of CMS when it comes to custom web design.

By 2022, the open source services market is expected to become a 30-billion-dollar industry. Software and tech companies such as Adobe and Google are staunch supporters of open source projects.

A professional, user-friendly website will help you gain more leads and grow your profits. There are N number of CMS options you can pick, but among seasoned users, the two most popular options are Joomla and Drupal. (The other name that pops up a lot is WordPress, but we've covered that.)

Companies that use Drupal include NASA, eBay, and Tesla. Those are household names, but don't reach for your wallet yet. Joomla is used by IKEA, Lipton Ice Tea, and Guggenheim.

So which should your business choose for its custom web design?

Open Source vs Proprietary Software

Before we begin on the differences between Joomla and Drupal, it's best to know the differences between open source and proprietary software.

Proprietary software, or closed source software, is not freely available on the internet. The source code is typically kept secret. This was the norm from the dawn of the Internet era until the late 1990s. Microsoft even accused open source software of being "un-American"

Check out CNBC's video on the matter

A major advantage of proprietary software when it comes to web design development is usability, since open source technology is typically not reviewed by experts and user guides tend to be ignored. For the same reason, it is also considered a safer option than open source CMS.

Dropbox, AutoCAD and Microsoft Office are examples of closed source software.

Open source CMS solutions came into being as a rebellion because of large companies, such as Microsoft and Oracle, charging for software that was not considered up to the mark.

They can be utilized without paying a license fee. Furthermore, anyone can modify the software – the rights to that do not lie solely with the originators.

One should be wary: Open source CMS platforms may be cheaper than proprietary software, but it is not free. There are, increasingly, charges for "extras", such as integration, add-ons and other services.

If, however, you have the resources to manage the software for your custom web design, then open source development is a great, cost-effective solution.

Why Do Companies Go For Open Source Platforms?

When it comes to custom web design, open source CMS platforms give users a lot of control over the website's functionality, content and aesthetic. Businesses can further ride on the coattails of technology giants, saving themselves the endless hassle of developing a CMS platform from the ground up.

You also are unlikely to find issues with the software being outdated, due to its being updated frequently. Open source isn't the future – it's here, and it's on a winning streak.

Every open source platform, however, provides different options, each with their own merits – hence the raging debates. (And if you want a bird's eye view of the UPIs of the most popular open source software? Read this bite-sized piece!)

Drupal vs Joomla: The Battle Begins

A quick rundown of Joomla and Drupal numbers:

  • CMS Market Share: 2.91% for Joomla, 1.5% for Drupal

  • Percentage of Websites in the Top 1,000,000: 1.69% for Joomla, 2.87% for Drupal

  • Price: $700–$6500+ for Joomla, $15,000+ for Drupal

A note: While there is debate over how much these two "really" cost, these are good references. The actual cost will depend on what you require, whether you're maintaining it yourself, and so on.

We asked our experienced open source team to give us a few insights. Here's what they had to say.

The most common question is, 'Which one is better?' But that is not going to help you make a decision.

The right question is, 'Which CMS should you use to optimize your website according to your business needs?' Are you a fashion blog? A construction company? A funded startup? Everything hinges on your requirements.

We collected a few insider tips that will be of help in your decision-making process.

It All Depends On Your Business Goals

Drupal offers modules and attractive themes, and is harder than Joomla to learn. However, once mastered, it is a powerful framework.

To create an advanced system with specific content appearing in different ways on different pages, you can use Drupal's complex content relationships to get maximum flexibility.

Joomla, on the other hand, is meant to perform as a community network, and can be utilized for organizational websites as well as government apps. For a site with hierarchy-based content arranged consistently which lets you author pages easily, you may be better off with Joomla.

Size Matters. Which One Are You?

Joomla is usually preferred by small and medium businesses because of the ease of using themes.

Drupal, on the other hand, is used by enterprises for medium to large-scale projects.

The Ecosystem

Rahul Mahida of CMS Wire writes: 'The difference between Drupal and Joomla are mainly in the resources available in implementing the extensions and the customization needed.'

Drupal's extensions or modules can be downloaded and used for free. The downside is that support for these free extensions are limited. Furthermore, Drupal doesn't need any other coding facility, such as HTML, because it comes with free inbuilt modules in the thousands.

On the other hand, Joomla has many commercial extensions that come with greater support for modules. Joomla extensions are plug and play while Drupal extensions need configuration.

Have You Jumped Aboard the ECommerce Website Development Train?

Joomla is a content-friendly platform that is quicker to set up and also helps you keep track of your digital content. It is particularly suited for e-commerce websites and social media.

Drupal is a modular-ready platform with strong modules like Ubercart. While it is excellent, it may be better suited to SEO.

But here's a BluEnt insider tip for you – consider Magento for open source development. It's highly customizable, SEO-friendly, and works well with different services and devices.


In boils down to this: Drupal is more suited to SEO, Joomla is more suited to ecommerce and social media, and both are secure. However, you may need the advice of professional custom web design developers to get a better idea of which one is better for your business.

And lucky you, you don't even need to look far. BluEnt is a web design development company that prides itself on transforming organizations into flexible, intelligent enterprises with CMS platforms.

But don't take our word for it. Check out our portfolio and decide for yourself whether we're up to the mark. And if you think we're not? We're happy to hear how we can improve our services for you!

Platforms we work with include Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, osCommerce, Magento, and many more. Contact us now to get started on your custom web design.

Maximum Value. Achieved.



Your Citation

Bluent Tech. "Drupal Vs. Joomla: Which is Better for Custom Web Design?" CAD Evangelist, Feb. 11, 2021, https://www.bluent.net/blog/custom-web-design-drupal-vs-joomla/.

Bluent Tech. (2021, February 11). Drupal Vs. Joomla: Which is Better for Custom Web Design?. Retrieved from https://www.bluent.net/blog/custom-web-design-drupal-vs-joomla/

Bluent Tech. "Drupal Vs. Joomla: Which is Better for Custom Web Design?" Bluent Tech https://www.bluent.net/blog/custom-web-design-drupal-vs-joomla/ (accessed February 11, 2021 ).

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