For many the choice between Joomla! and WordPress comes down to personal knowledge. Many people will be inclined to stick with one or the other when it comes to website design simply because they spent so much time learning and perfecting the software and don’t want to bother to learn the other. Joomla! in particular has a fairly steep learning curve for the novice or part time programmer. For those already well versed in WordPress and simple PHP Joomla! may not take quite as long to get the hang of.
We have been using Joomla! primarily for website developement because of the advantages it offers with regard to content display. The main problem we have run into is that it does not offer a robust blogging system that can come close to the speed, flexibility, and robustness of WordPress. To remedy the situation we have learned how to completely integrate WordPress into a Joomla! website installation so that you can get the best of both worlds!
Before getting into detail about how this is done it’s important to understand exactly what Joomla! and WordPress should are best at. For basic sites or Blogger only sites one may not even need to bother with Joomla! as WordPress has evolved into a fairly sophisticated CMS in it’s own right, however it still is not as complete in this regard as Joomla!
Joomla! is probably the best CMS (content management system) available to designers today. Because it is open source it has support from thousands of talented programmers that have added to the core functionality of Joomla! in what seems to be a never ending variety fo ways. Joomla! is a module based templated CMS platform. This is where it shines over WordPress as Content can be placed in any of the preset module positions that are designed for both static and dynamic content. There are many pre-made templates available for free that allow unbelievable flexibility in the way that content can be displayed through your web portal.
Additional functionality such as community management, message boards, ecommerce, rating systems, twitter interations, facebook integrations, etc.. are all very simple upgrades for a Joomla! installation. Once one fully understands the incredible power of the CMS platform, the ease with which it is manipulated and added to is incredible. Designers are free to make custom templates and easily port WordPress or basic HTML websites into Joomla! templates. All of these features mentioned are free to anyone with the time and the talent to learn how to master Joomla!
Joomla!, for all it’s great flexibility still has some shortcomings. One of the most obvious shortcomings is it’s inability to produce a serious blogging platform that would rival WordPress. There are several plugins available that try to provide blogging integration for Joomla, but the only one that even attempts to rival WordPress is still in beta and is not free.
WordPress has long been known to be the king of blogging software. Many people today use WordPress to manage their entire website. WordPress is complete capable of being used in this way. In the future we expect that WordPress will be developed to rival Joomla! in it’s ability to be used as a complete and fully functional CMS. For the time being WordPress is limited in it’s ability to fully function as a dynamic web portal in the way that Joomla! is. Today one can setup a complete website designed using wordpress software complete with static web pages and Blogging functionality, even ecommerce and more. WordPress is faster and more lightweight that Joomla! which is always a plus for a web design. When it comes to a fully functional Blogging system there is no match… WordPress is king.
If you are looking to build yourself a small site or one that is geared specifically toward being a Blog, then this article may not be for you since a pure WordPress installation will be just fine for your needs. If you require the full functionality of Joomla! for your website deign, but still want to have the power of WordPress Bloggings software integrated into your website design… then please read on!
The best part of both Joomla! and WordPress is that they are both free open source software. Anyone with the skills to master the software can design stunning websites completely free of charge. This is why both of these softwares are so popular around the world today.
There are many plugins that will provide blogging features for a Joomla! website, but some people require more!
In order to install WordPress onto a Joomla! installation we recommend installing the software into a subdirectory such as yourwebsite.com/blog. This will ensure that none of your Joomla! files will be conflicting with the WordPress files.
Once the WordPress files are complety installed simply continue to setup the WordPress installation as you would any normal WordPress install.
Now you will have access to the WordPress blog by visiting your blog URL at mywebsite.com/blog. You can customize the WordPress template through your admin section of your WordPress installation. Customizing the WordPress installation to match your Joomla! website may be the most challenging part for people that are not well versed in PHP code and website design. You may need the assistance of a professional in order to exactly match the WordPress template to your Joomla! website template. For an experiened website designer however, this will only take a short while to complete. If you need assistance with this please contact us. We will write a tutorial on how to completely customize the default WordPress template to match ANY Joomla! template in the near future. In the meantime please contact us directly if you need asssistance.
Once the WordPress installation has been made to look like the rest of your website (by modifying the header.php,index.php,footer.php,single.php, and comments.php files in the WordPress themes folder) you simply have to link the mywebsite.com/blog URL as an external link in your Joomla! menu.
Now you have the best of both worlds. A Joomla! website that is completely integrated with a powerful WordPress blog.
You can customize the WordPress blog with your favorite widgets and plugins just as you would any other WordPress installation. We highly recommend submitting a second Sitemap to Google Webmaster tools for your Blog since you will already have one for your main Joomla! website content.
Sit back and start enjoying the benefits of a well optimized website and powerful Blogging software which will help you in your efforts of dominating your market!
Example Joomla/Wordpress Blog Integrations: