Craft CMS vs. Joomla: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

Craft CMS vs. Joomla: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison guide between Craft CMS and Joomla! As digital leaders and decision-makers, you understand the importance of choosing the right content management system for your organization. Craft CMS and Joomla are both powerful platforms in the CMS market, but they have distinct features and functionalities that set them apart. In this guide, we will delve into the foundations, design and user experience, content management capabilities, collaboration and user management, performance and scalability, customization and extensions, SEO and marketing features, security and compliance measures, as well as migration, support, and maintenance options for both Craft CMS and Joomla. By the end of this guide, you will have a clear understanding of which CMS is better suited for your organization's needs.

Foundations of CMS

When it comes to the foundations of content management systems, Craft CMS and Joomla take different approaches. Craft CMS is built with a modern PHP framework called Yii, which provides a strong foundation for developing robust websites. It is known for its flexibility and scalability, allowing developers to create custom functionalities and easily integrate with third-party systems. On the other hand, Joomla is an open-source CMS built with PHP and uses an MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture. It offers a wide range of out-of-the-box features and extensions, making it suitable for both small and large organizations.

In terms of ease of use, Craft CMS provides a user-friendly interface that simplifies content creation and management. Its intuitive control panel enables users to effortlessly navigate through the system and perform tasks efficiently. Joomla also offers a user-friendly interface but has a steeper learning curve compared to Craft CMS, especially for non-technical users. However, once users become familiar with the system, Joomla's extensive features and options can be a powerful asset for managing complex websites.

Additionally, Craft CMS has a well-documented API and developer-friendly environment that allows for seamless integration with other systems. It provides developers with the tools they need to build custom solutions and create personalized user experiences. Joomla also has a strong developer community and offers an extensive collection of extensions and templates, making it highly customizable. However, customization in Joomla may require more technical expertise compared to Craft CMS.

When considering the foundations of a CMS, both Craft CMS and Joomla have their strengths. Craft CMS excels in flexibility and scalability, while Joomla offers a wide range of features and a large developer community to support customization.

Design & User Experience

When it comes to design and user experience, Craft CMS and Joomla provide different approaches to meet the diverse needs of organizations. Craft CMS offers a highly flexible and modular approach to design. It allows designers to have complete control over the front-end development with its Twig templating engine. Craft CMS provides a clean and intuitive control panel that allows content editors to manage content and preview changes in real-time.

Joomla, on the other hand, offers a wide range of ready-to-use templates and themes that cater to various industries and design preferences. It provides a user-friendly back-end interface for managing content and designs. Joomla's template system, powered by its MVC architecture, allows for extensive customization and the creation of unique designs.

Both Craft CMS and Joomla allocate significant importance to responsive design, ensuring that your website looks great on any device. They support responsive templates and offer tools to optimize website performance and enhance the user experience across different devices. However, Craft CMS stands out in terms of flexibility and complete control over the design, while Joomla provides a vast array of predefined templates for quick setup and customization options.

Ultimately, the choice between Craft CMS and Joomla in terms of design and user experience depends on the level of design control and customization you require for your organization's website.

Content Management

Efficient content management is vital for any organization's website. Craft CMS and Joomla offer powerful tools and features to manage and organize content effectively.

Craft CMS provides a user-friendly content editor that allows non-technical users to create and edit content effortlessly. Its WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor offers a familiar editing experience and supports various content types, including text, images, videos, and more. Craft CMS also allows content editors to set up custom fields, making it highly flexible for managing different types of content.

Joomla offers a robust content management system with a flexible article manager. It provides an intuitive editor and supports various content types. Joomla also allows for content versioning and offers multi-language support, enabling organizations to create multilingual websites easily.

Both Craft CMS and Joomla have built-in SEO features that enable content editors to optimize pages for search engines. They provide control over meta tags, URLs, and other on-page SEO elements. Craft CMS offers more advanced SEO capabilities out of the box, while Joomla requires the use of extensions for certain SEO features.

In summary, both Craft CMS and Joomla provide robust content management capabilities, but Craft CMS offers greater flexibility and a more user-friendly experience for non-technical users, while Joomla provides a comprehensive set of features and multi-language support.

Collaboration & User Management

Collaboration and user management are essential for organizations with multiple content creators and administrators. Craft CMS and Joomla offer various features to facilitate collaboration and manage user roles efficiently.

Craft CMS allows organizations to define user roles and permissions, ensuring that each user has appropriate access levels. It offers granular control over user permissions, making it easy to manage an editorial team. Craft CMS also provides a live preview feature, enabling content editors to see how their changes will look on the website before publishing.

Joomla has a robust user management system that allows organizations to create multiple user groups with different permission levels. It also provides access control levels for administrators to define what different user groups can do within the system. Joomla's workflow feature enables organizations to create approval processes for content creation and publishing.

Both Craft CMS and Joomla offer extensions and plugins to enhance collaboration and streamline user management. Craft CMS has a vibrant ecosystem of plugins that extend its functionality, including tools for collaborative editing and workflow management. Similarly, Joomla has a vast repository of extensions that provide additional collaboration features, such as file sharing and task management.

Overall, both Craft CMS and Joomla offer robust collaboration and user management features, but Craft CMS's flexibility and live preview functionality give it an edge for organizations focused on efficient content creation and publication.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and hosting options are critical factors to consider when selecting a content management system. Craft CMS and Joomla have different approaches to these aspects.

Craft CMS is known for its performance and scalability. Its modern architecture and flexible caching system contribute to faster page load times. Craft CMS allows organizations to optimize their website's performance and scalability by leveraging features such as asset caching, database caching, and efficient query handling. Craft CMS is compatible with various hosting environments and can be easily deployed on cloud platforms.

Joomla also provides good performance and scalability, but it may require additional optimization efforts for larger websites with high traffic. Joomla offers various caching options and enables advanced cache management through extensions. It supports multiple hosting environments and can be seamlessly deployed on shared hosting, virtual private servers, or dedicated servers.

When it comes to hosting options, both Craft CMS and Joomla allow organizations to choose the hosting provider that best suits their needs. They are compatible with popular hosting platforms and provide documentation for easy deployment.

In summary, Craft CMS offers better performance and scalability out of the box, making it a great choice for organizations with high traffic websites. Joomla also provides solid performance but may require additional optimization efforts for larger websites.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization capabilities and the availability of extensions are vital factors when choosing a content management system. Craft CMS and Joomla have different approaches to customization and offer vibrant ecosystems of extensions.

Craft CMS provides a highly flexible and extensible platform for customization. Its plugin architecture allows developers to create custom plugins and modules to meet specific needs. Craft CMS also offers a marketplace for purchasing and installing pre-built solutions. It has a dedicated community of developers who actively contribute to the ecosystem, ensuring constant growth and innovation.

Joomla excels in its extensive collection of free and paid extensions, allowing organizations to add features and functionalities to their websites without the need for custom development. The Joomla Extensions Directory offers thousands of plugins and templates that cater to various needs, from e-commerce to social networking. This vast ecosystem makes Joomla a great choice for organizations that want to quickly enhance their website's capabilities.

Both Craft CMS and Joomla offer support and documentation for developers, making it easier to create custom solutions or integrate with other systems. However, Craft CMS's flexible architecture and developer-friendly environment give it an edge in terms of customization.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

Search engine optimization, marketing, and monetization are crucial considerations for organizations looking to maximize their online presence and generate revenue. Craft CMS and Joomla provide different approaches to these aspects.

Craft CMS has strong built-in SEO features that enable content editors to optimize pages for search engines. It allows fine-grained control over meta tags, URLs, and schema markup. Craft CMS also provides integrations with popular SEO tools and services, making it easier to manage and track SEO efforts.

Joomla also offers SEO features such as meta tags, URL optimization, and XML sitemaps. However, some advanced SEO functionalities may require the use of extensions. Joomla has a vast collection of marketing extensions that help organizations manage newsletters, social media integration, and analytics.

Both Craft CMS and Joomla offer monetization options through integrations with popular e-commerce platforms. Craft CMS has a flexible architecture that allows for seamless integration with platforms like Shopify and Stripe. Joomla offers powerful e-commerce extensions that enable organizations to set up online stores and manage transactions.

In summary, Craft CMS provides advanced built-in SEO features, making it a top choice for organizations that prioritize search engine visibility. Joomla offers a robust set of marketing extensions and comprehensive e-commerce capabilities.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are critical concerns for organizations selecting a content management system. Craft CMS and Joomla take different approaches to address these concerns.

Craft CMS has a strong focus on security and follows industry best practices. It regularly releases security updates and patches to address any vulnerabilities. Craft CMS provides features like user permissions, brute force protection, SSL support, and options for two-factor authentication. It also has a detailed audit log to track user activity and changes made to the system.

Joomla also takes security seriously and has a dedicated security team that releases regular updates. It offers features like user access control, CAPTCHA support, SSL compatibility, and two-factor authentication options. Joomla's strong developer community actively contributes to security enhancements.

In terms of compliance, both Craft CMS and Joomla provide tools and extensions to ensure compliance with regulations such as GDPR. They offer features to manage user consent, cookie policies, and data handling. Craft CMS has robust support for managing user data and implementing compliance measures. Joomla also provides extensions that assist with compliance, making it easier for organizations to meet regulatory requirements.

Overall, both Craft CMS and Joomla have solid security measures and address compliance requirements but Craft CMS's focus on security features and its dedicated tools for managing user data give it an advantage in terms of security and compliance.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

The ease of migration, availability of support, and maintenance options are crucial factors for organizations considering a content management system.

Craft CMS provides comprehensive documentation and resources to assist organizations with the migration process. It offers a Command Line Interface (CLI) tool that simplifies the migration of content and configurations from other systems. Craft CMS also has an extensive community forum and dedicated support channels, ensuring that organizations have access to assistance when needed. Craft CMS offers regular updates and has a clear versioning and release schedule for transparent maintenance procedures.

Joomla provides resources and documentation for migrating from other systems. It also offers various migration tools and extensions to facilitate the process. Joomla has a large and active community forum, providing support and guidance. Additionally, there are support subscriptions available, which offer priority support and access to experts for complex issues. Joomla follows a regular release schedule for updates, ensuring that the system remains up-to-date and secure.

In summary, both Craft CMS and Joomla provide resources and documentation for migrations, have active communities for support, and follow regular maintenance schedules. Craft CMS's CLI tool and clear versioning provide more streamlined maintenance and migration process.


In conclusion, both Craft CMS and Joomla offer powerful features and functionalities that can meet the needs of organizations of various sizes and industries. Craft CMS excels in flexibility, scalability, and performance, making it a great choice for organizations requiring custom solutions and efficient performance. Joomla, on the other hand, offers a comprehensive set of features, a large extension ecosystem, and multi-language support, making it suitable for organizations seeking quick setup and customization options.

To make the right decision, it is essential to evaluate your organization's specific requirements, technical expertise, design preferences, and long-term goals. Consider factors such as content management capabilities, collaboration features, scalability, customization options, SEO and marketing functionalities, security measures, and support and maintenance options. By thoroughly assessing these factors, you can make an informed decision on whether Craft CMS or Joomla aligns better with your organization's needs.


Martin Dejnicki
Martin Dejnicki

Martin is a digital product innovator and pioneer who built and optimized his first website back in 1996 when he was 16 years old. Since then, he has helped many companies win in the digital space, including Walmart, IBM, Rogers, Canada Post, TMX Group and TD Securities. Recently, he worked with the Deploi team to build an elegant publishing platform for creative writers and a novel algorithmic trading platform.