Joomla and WordPress are content management systems that enable you to build websites. Joomla must be downloaded and installed, whereas WordPress can be used directly on a Web browser with no additional installation required.
WordPress is geared towards building blogging and social websites, whereas Joomla is oriented towards e-commerce and business websites. WordPress is available in two formats: WordPress.com and WordPress.org, with WordPress.org the more complex of the two.
WordPress.com enables you to create a site directly within your Web browser and start creating your content without any previous design experience. Joomla offers a steeper learning curve, but a higher level of complexity once mastered. Neither Joomla nor WordPress requires you to have any knowledge of HTML; however, Joomla must be downloaded and installed onto your computer before you can use it.
Joomla and WordPress are both free to use, although you have the option of purchasing premium themes and plugins to compliment your website. You can also buy space upgrades and custom CSS designs either for a one-time fee or on a subscription-based service.
Although the initial download is free, Jooma requires you to register a domain name and host the site yourself. WordPress.org has similar requirements, although WordPress.com offers free Web hosting, enabling you to concentrate on building and maintaining your website.
Both WordPress and Joomla can be customized by applying different themes and extensions. WordPress also has widgets that can be added to your page by dragging and dropping them from the “Widgets” page in the “Dashboard.” WordPress plugins are more focused on optimizing your current content, whereas Joomla plugins add more complex functionality to your website, such as creating an e-commerce page.
WordPress plugins can be installed from within your WordPress CMS, whereas Joomla extensions must be downloaded and installed before they will work.
Both Joomla and WordPress have active support forums that can help solve any problems you might be having. If you are unable to solve the problem yourself, you can hire professional assistance from either the WordPress Jobs page or the Joomla Resource Directory.
WordPress has an additional resource at WordPress.tv, which offers tips and tricks to help your blog grow. Jooma has a community magazine that embraces the sharing of ideas and experiences.