WordPress versus Joomla! – which is best for a news site?


just seems to be getting better and better all the time. Like Joomla!,
WordPress is free and there is plenty of online community support. 

Like many people, I thought that WordPress only produced sites that look like blogs. In fact designers have been coming up with templates that look like news sites for ages (and really sexy-looking news sites as well). Perfect for any small business, charity or university student project.



  • I use WordPress for a site that is used by Level 1 students.  It
    allows me to introduce students to the idea of the CMS and how
    information is organised online.
  • WordPress allows multiple users 
  • The WordPress interface is far more intuitive than Joomla! (more on that later).
  • Like Joomla! it has loads of great extensions/ add-ons / widgets – whatever you want to call 'em!


  • Poor categorisation – WordPress only has a shallow hierarchy
    for organising stories. You can  file stories into main categories, but
    that's about it. I don't believe (and I could be wrong) there is not
    the deep level of sub-categories you get in Joomla!
  • Adding sections to the navigation bar – This involves
    a trip into 'template manager' and you need to make changes to the
    code. In this area, one tiny slip or mistake and you are sunk. In
    Joomla!, it's very easy to adjust menus headings using menu manager.
  • Manage Posts in WordPress is weak – compared to article manager in Joomla! You can't sort posts or unpublish through this manage posts section (you have to go into each article – correction. This is now solved). When you have hundreds of posts and you need to locate some information, this can be a problem!


Creating a student journalism site on a tight budget – using WordPress to create a news site.
NewsWire.NZ – what can be achieved using a fantastic WordPress template.
WordPress a CMS for Journalists (Andy Dickinson) 

4 Responses to WordPress versus Joomla! – which is best for a news site?

  1. Freelance Unbound July 29, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    Your point about categorisation is interesting – there’s a good paper by Clay Shirky on taxonomy – – in which he critiques the old-style top-down, library-style categorisation as not being very relevant to the internet.
    Instead, sites like Flickr that let users tag their own content however they want, and then use software tools to show how people are searching the tags, are reinventing how we understand categorisation.
    That may not work for a structured news site – but at the moment I’m working on a web project tagging content which is proving less than satisfactory, mainly because the taxonomy that has been created is too rigid and too little thought has gone into the purpose of the tagging (ie what ultimately will it achieve).

  2. Guy Incognito August 12, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    You’re wrong on point #1… WordPress can organize categories in a hierarchy as deeply as you wish.
    As for point #2… A plugin like WordPress Menu Creator or NAVT will give you a full blown menu management system.
    Bottom line for me is, WordPress generates much cleaner code and it’s interface is a million times more friendly and easy to use. Plus it has blogging tools (commenting, tagging, automatic archiving, etc.) right out of the box… which is exactly what you need for a news site.

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