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Which is Cheaper to Run? Joomla or WordPress?

Summary: There are many blog posts seeking to answer which is better, Joomla or WordPress. But there is little analysis on which is cheaper to run, assuming you opt for paid software. We seek to answer this question in this blog post and demonstrate why Joomla is cheaper

 

Paid WordPress Plugins & Joomla Extensions

WordPress and Joomla, both popular content management systems (CMS), and have free and paid software available. Both are open source content management systems. Though the freemium of free software is generally really good for most purposes, there are times in Joomla and WordPress web development where you need to buy or subscribe to premium software. Premium software includes advanced functions not available in freemium. We explore typical costs of running a business website with no custom coding required. All the costs calculated here will be using paid, premium software as a solution to their website needs.

 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is an important part of any website. In Joomla, all SEO functions are included out of the box, so the cost is nil. For WordPress, you have to get software like Yoast. Here is the pricing of Yoast Premium:

Yoast Premium pricing

So from the outset, you need to start paying $69USD, just for SEO. Let us start a tally:

WordPress Year 1:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 69.00  Annually

 

Joomla  Year 1:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 0.00  

 

Performance

Every serious website needs to spend money on performance. Poor performance leads to less conversions and a poorer user experience. It is in the website owner's interest to ensure that the website is quick. For WordPress, you need to spend money on W3 Total Cache Pro, pricing below:

w3 total cache pro pricing

 

As for Joomla, the price of JCH Optmize is below:

jchoptimize pricing

Here is an updated tally:

WordPress Year 1:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 69.00 Annually
Performance 99.00 Annually
Total 168.00  

 

Joomla Year 1:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 00.00 Free
Performance 99.00 Lifetime
Total 99.00  

 

Security

The next cost that any website likely needs is security. Hackers prey on any website, and here is the typical cost of getting Wordfence, a popular WordPress security plugin:

wordfence pricing

That is an annual expenditure of up to $99.00USD annually.

Let's look at Joomla. Akeeba is one of the most popular security and backup solutions for Joomla. We can see that you can buy Akeeba Admin Tools and Akeeba Backup in a bundled annual subscription called Essentials:

akeeba essntials pricing

Let us revise the tally again:

 

WordPress Year 1:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 69.00 Annually
Performance 99.00 Annually
Security 99.00 Annually
Total 267.00  

 

Joomla Year 1:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 00.00 Free
Performance 99.00 Lifetime
Security 66.70 €60 (3 Nov 2016 Exchange Rate) Annually
Total 165.70  

 

Backups

Backups are sometimes necessary, especially when web host services like Installatron cease to work. Here are typical costs for BackupBuddy for WordPress:

backupbuddy pricing

The updated tally:

WordPress Year 1:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 69.00 Annually
Performance 99.00 Annually
Security 99.00 Annually
Backup 297.00 Lifetime 
Total 564.00  

 

Joomla Year 1:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 00.00 Free
Performance 99.00 Lifetime
Security 66.70 €60 (3 Nov 2016 Exchange Rate) Annually
Backup 00.00 Security & Backup bundled together
Total 165.70  

 

Social Media

Social media, including sharing icons can be handled with popular free solutions like Digg Digg for WordPress. In Joomla, more likely than not, you have to pay for social media solutions. See below for JFBConnect pricing, a popular social media solution for Joomla. If you wish to know more about JFBConnect, click here.

jfbconnect pricingPlease note JFBConnect's subscription is half yearly, not annual.

The tally:

WordPress Year 1:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 69.00 Annually
Performance 99.00 Annually
Security 99.00 Annually
Backup 297.00 Lifetime 
Total 564.00  

 

Joomla Year 1:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 00.00 Free
Performance 99.00 Lifetime
Security 66.70 €60 (3 Nov 2016 Exchange Rate) Annually
Backup 00.00 Security & Backup bundled together
Social Media 119.98 Two half yearly subscriptions at $60USD each
Total 285.68  

Cache

Now in WordPress, all cache issues are handled by W3 Total Cache Pro. In Joomla, there may be instances where you want a third party cache cleaner for Joomla. Assuming you purchased such software for Joomla from Regular Labs, the Cache Cleaner's pricing is below:

cache cleaner pricing

Here is the updated tally:

WordPress Year 1:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 69.00 Annually
Performance 99.00 Annually
Security 99.00 Annually
Backup 297.00 Lifetime 
Total 564.00  First Year Total Cost

 

Joomla Year 1:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 00.00 Free
Performance 99.00 Lifetime
Security 66.70 €60 (3 Nov 2016 Exchange Rate) Annually
Backup 00.00 Security & Backup bundled together
Social Media 119.98 Two half yearly subscriptions at $60USD each
Cache 16.68 €15 (3 Nov 2016 Exchange Rate) Annually
Total 302.36  First Year Total Cost

 

Interim Conclusion

From this analysis, you can tell startup costs of WordPress is much greater than Joomla. Although WordPress has many options for free software, if you wish to have advanced features and pay for software, Joomla is much cheaper despite having to buy more types of paid software. Plugins in WordPress tend to attract higher premiums than Joomla.

If you still prefer a WordPress website, you should have a look here: http://www.000webhost.com/blog/install-wordpress. This guide is made by 000webhost, a free web hosting provider, and is very helpful.

 

Subsequent Years

Now we calculate the cost of running paid software and assess which CMS is cheaper in the long run. Here is the cost of JFBConnect, a popular Joomla social media solution in subsequent years:

WordPress Subsequent Years:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 69.00 Annually
Performance 99.00 Annually
Security 99.00 Annually
Total 267.00  Subsequent Years Total Cost

 

Joomla Subsequent Years:

Purpose Cost (USD) Notes
SEO 00.00 Free
Security 66.70 €60 (3 Nov 2016 Exchange Rate) Annually
Backup 00.00 Security & Backup bundled together
Social Media 83.98 Two half yearly early bird subscriptions at $41.99USD each
Cache 16.68 €15 (3 Nov 2016 Exchange Rate) Annually
Total 167.36  Subsequent Years Total Cost

 

Conclusion

From this analysis of WordPress vs Joomla, you can save around $100USD per year, just by using Joomla site. Software is much cheaper in Joomla, and cheap WordPress plugins are hard to find.  You generally need to pay more often in Joomla, but you pay significantly less than WordPress. You cannot always rely on the fremium of a WordPress site. If you want to do things properly, sometimes you have to pay a premium for proper software. The pros and cons of CMS should not simply be assessed from free software. If you want to start a new Joomla website or switch over, please contact us through the Contact Us tab, or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You may also find out our point of difference here. You will see why we are capable in Joomla web design.

About the Author

Clarence Ling

Clarence Ling is the founder and business owner of CLASS Digital Marketing. He is a self trained Joomla Front End Web Designer and a Digital Marketer, constantly procuring the latest martech (marketing tech) and incorporating current developments in marketing. Based in Perth, Western Australia, he is also a real estate agent in Malaysia, selling Australian property overseas, attached to the largest and best East Malaysian real estate agency, Kozin Real Estate Sdn Bhd. Clarence regularly commutes between Australia, Malaysia and sometimes other parts of Asia in his line of work. 

Phone (Australia): +61 413 665 375 
Phone (Malaysia): +60 12 818 1160 
Email: clarence@clarenceling.com

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