Joomla to Drupal Migration: Why and How


Two of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) are Drupal and Joomla. Similar to operating systems (like Mac and Windows), there are staunch believers in which one is better. In reality, both are great tools and which one is better depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

What is Joomla and Drupal?

While comparing Joomla to Drupal, both are open source CMSs, which means you can modify the code to your wish, and they are free for anyone. So it is possible to get both and play around with them to see which one you like better. If you are not familiar with either Joomla or Drupal, a great way to look at these two CMSs is:  Drupal is a language or framework, and Joomla is more like a program.

In laying out the 10 differences, we will compare Drupal to Joomla and help you get a clearer idea of which of these CMSs is better for you.

Comparing Joomla to Drupal: How They Are Different

1. The Interface Of the Administrators Tools

Joomla has an all-in-one-place interface for controlling content, design, modules, etc. It is just like you would expect a control panel to look. For example, the articles are in the article manager, and images are in the image manager.

With Drupal, it is controlled by a control bar that appears at the top of screen when the administrator is logged in. The one advantage of this is all the controls adapt to the page you are on. However, for the main dashboard you can pick and choose what you want to appear.

2. Flexibility

This may sound like a running mantra in this post, but Drupal has more flexibility than Joomla. However, the downside is that Drupal can be more complicated. This is ok if you already know Drupal, but it can take time for new users. So, if you are just starting you may have to hire a web developer to complete the site using Drupal.

3. Size Of The Site

Very similar to the flexibility difference, Joomla is a perfect fit for medium sized sites that do not require a lot of complexity, while Drupal suits better for large website that require a lot of complex features. So, in some cases Drupal can be overkill for small websites that have no ambitions of adding very complex features. In the same instance, Joomla may be ok for a site now, but the site may run into problems if the owner has a desire to add a very complex feature in the future.

4. Out Of The Box Features

If you are looking for a solution that works out of the box, then Joomla would be that CMS. With Drupal, you will may need to install modules for certain features.

A good example of this in Drupal default installation is that there is no HTML editor. So, in order to format the text, you must know HTML or use a HTML editor from another program. However, you can install a module that will bring in an HTML editor into Drupal. In contrast, Joomla already has an HTML editor when it’s first installed.

5. Blocks

In Drupal, all its content is within blocks. Blocks are the visible boxes in various areas of a Drupal website. Whether and where these boxes will appear depends on the both the theme and administrative block settings.

In Joomla, you create content within categories, but the content is tied to the location on specific pages.

6. Communities

Both of the CMSs do have huge communities, this is easily noticeable by the number of Drupal modules or Joomla extensions that are available.

Drupal is more open and less centralized. While there is a central website for Drupal that has a lot of information and documentation, there are thousands of other sites. So, it is a good chance that if you do a search for a issue with Drupal, you will be directed to a third party website.

Joomla has a central website that is wiki-based. It is often updated and has great information. So, it is more of a one-stop shop for issues with Joomla than Drupal.

7. Community Events

This is connected with community difference. Drupal has two big conferences every year. One is in the US and the other one is Europe. Joomla has smaller, regional events.

While events may not be what you look for in a CMS, it is nice that they exist and you can learn more about the CMS and how to do new things with the CMS by going to one. Plus you get to meet and network with new people.

8. GPL Extensions

While the CMSs are open source, only Drupal’s extensions (sometimes called modules) are 100% GPL. This means all the extensions you can download and use for free. While Joomla does have free extensions, there are also numerous commercial ones.

9. Support of Extensions

Related to the above difference and one downside to the GPL and free extensions are the support for them may be non-existent or limited. So, if you have a problem with a module, you will have to find the solution yourself.

Since Joomla does have commercial extensions, you have the support for these extensions if you ever need it.

10. Learning Curve

As you may expect, the learning curve for Drupal is much steeper than with Joomla. However, once you learn Drupal, the payoff is great. Then you will be able to develop any website with ease using Drupal. For the less techy person, Joomla is much easier to use.

In conclusion, both Drupal and Joomla are great CMSs. One theme that is running through all the differences is Drupal has more flexibility that may be needed for larger or more complex sites. This does not mean that Joomla cannot do complex things, but it is easier to get the hang of.

Willing to Migrate to Joomla or Drupal?

If you already have a website, and would like to import data from Joomla to Drupal or, vice versa, you might be looking for the way to migrate your Joomla to Drupal. aisite online service will handle your migration and save you from the hassle.

These website content elements are available for migration to Joomla or Drupal:


Would you like to get your site content migrated instantly and save your sanity? Then, go ahead and start your FREE Demo migration to make the first step to obtaining your dream website right now!

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