The #1 Reason Why Companies Switch from Joomla to Drupal

We had a phone call earlier this week from a client telling us that the IT department of his company wants to move the website from Joomla to Drupal. The client was actually the CFO of the company, and he was having a hard time understanding the real reason to switch the website to another CMS, when the current website works!

The client told us that the answer coming from his IT department was something like: “Drupal is more secure”, “Drupal is more stable”, “Drupal is faster”, “Drupal can handle large amount of traffic”, “Drupal is used by many Fortune 500 companies”, etc…

The client wanted our opinion. So we asked the client, “How many visitors do you have per day?” He told us that they have about 3,000 visitors, “And how many pages the website has?”, we continued, “Approximately 2,000 pages are indexed by Google, and we add a blog post every week”, he replied. “That’s not a lot”, we said, and it certainly doesn’t justify moving to Drupal for “performance reasons”. In any case, even if your Joomla website reaches a point where it can no longer handle the traffic, then you can optimize it…

“OK”, the client said, “but Drupal is more secure, no?”. “Definitely not”, we said, “The reason why Joomla seems less secure than Drupal is because Joomla is used by many small businesses because of its simplicity and friendly interface, and these small businesses can’t afford to always update their websites to the latest version, run security checks on their websites, and control the security of the environment that their websites run on, and that’s why their websites get eventually hacked”.

“How about stability?”, the client asked. “Joomla is very stable.”, we answered, “Instability issues in Joomla are, nearly always, caused by some 3rd party extensions. This problem exists in Drupal as well, and in any other CMS, for that matter. It’s just that a Drupal website requires a team of professionals to maintain, and those professionals tend to fix the bugs on the fly. Most Joomla websites, on the other hand, are managed and maintained by a single person, who is typically non-technical.”

“Then why is Drupal used by these Fortune 500 companies?”, the client continued. “Because the IT department in these Fortune 500 companies decided that. But bear in mind that there are some Fortune 500 companies that also use Joomla such a Citigroup and Intel (we serve Intel at itoctopus)”.

“So why does my IT department want to move us to Drupal?”, the client asked us while sounding frustrated.

We didn’t answer. What should we tell him? Should we tell him that the majority of IT decisions out there are made to ensure the continuity and the prosperity of the IT department, and not that of the company? Should we tell him that his IT department wants to go with Drupal because it’ll ensure that the business part of the company will become increasingly dependent on the IT department? Should we tell him that Joomla is much easier to use than Drupal, and such a move will make updating the website a task that should always be assigned to IT, regardless of the update? Should we tell him that this move will definitely increase the IT overhead on the company, since Drupal needs much more maintenance than Joomla and Drupal consultants are paid nearly the double of what Joomla consultants get (because of Drupal’s complexity)?

We didn’t know what to say, because we might be wrong, it might be that there’s a reason, a valid reason, why his IT department is doing this move. We just couldn’t figure it out, and that’s what we told our client, we said, “We don’t know, at least we hope that we don’t know.”

If your company is switching from Joomla to Drupal or from Drupal to Joomla and you need a sound technical advice, then feel free to contact us, we’re always there to help you make the right decision. Note that our super affordable fees apply.

2 Responses to “The #1 Reason Why Companies Switch from Joomla to Drupal”
  1. Comment by Christian Bisson, PMP — February 21, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

    Based on feedback I got from old colleagues in the past, it would seem it is very hard to work with Joomla if you are working in the code.

    Those same colleagues had worked with Drupal, WordPress, Joomla; and said they really “hated” Joomla compared to the others!

    No idea if it’s reliable, but it might be the reason an IT department would require a switch.

  2. Comment by Fadi — February 21, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

    Hi Christian,

    Actually it’s quite easy to extend Joomla – Joomla follows the well known MVC framework in the code, so it’s not that hard to understand what’s going on in the code (and the code is super-clear). Even if your colleagues are right (and I’m not saying that they are), that doesn’t make Drupal the best alternative. Drupal is by far the most complex CMS from a user perspective.

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