WordPress Has A Smaller Community Than Either Drupal Or Joomla

WordPress has a smaller community than either Drupal or Joomla, so you may not find be able to find the help you need. – Not sure who could agree with that statement, especially after reading this report which is about a year old but most likely, still relevant. Regardless of the report, I’d love to hear anyone back up the claim that WordPress has the smallest community amongst the two.


17 responses to “WordPress Has A Smaller Community Than Either Drupal Or Joomla”

  1. And here’s someone else’s (equally lacking in cited references) opinion, stating that one of WordPress’ advantages is its “huge community”.

    For an attempt at relevant comparisons, let’s start with community gatherings.

    For purposes of brevity, I’ll ignore WordPress MeetUp gatherings, and just compare the number of Joomla Days events with the number of WordCamps. Joomla appears to have about 25 this year. WordPress appears to have about 55 this year.

    Advantage: WordPress

    Next, we’ll look at community-contributed extensions.

    Joomla appears to have just over 8,000 extensions (I cannot find a separate listing for themes/templates) contributed from its community. WordPress has over 16,000 Plugins, and almost 1,500 Themes contributed from its community.

    Advantage: WordPress

    Next, let’s consider the official support forums.

    Joomla’s official support forum has about 2.4MM posts, in 575,000 topics posted by over 500,000 people. WordPress’ official support forum has about 2.4MM posts, in 590,000 topics posted by over 2.7MM registered posters (according to Forum moderator Andrea R.).

    Advantage: WordPress, based on # of registered users, though this could fairly be considered a push overall.

    How about community-contributed documentation?

    We could compare community-contributed documentation, but I cannot find a good metric to compare Joomla’s documentation against WordPress’ documentation.

    Advantage: (undetermined)

    What else is relevant?

  2. While completely agreeing with the premise of that the article is purely to drum up traffic, there’s also some truth in it.

    Ultimate Caveat: In my experience…

    I’ve rarely been able to put my hand on my heart and recommend/use WordPress for larger projects; in part due to it’s reliance on a small “core” community (there are of course many other issues).

    While WordPress has an exceptionally large userbase, my experience is that number is almost always skewed by “WordPress.com”. Which is not to say it’s not a huge number, it’s just to say that it’s not as big as people make out.

    The opposite of that though is the central/trusted community (I’m trying to avoid the word core). WordPress has a greater number of fanboys ready to “drink the kool aid”, and it’s current release cycle is difficult for casual contributors (theme, plug-in, core, forum support) to keep up with.

    Drupal and Joomla on the other hand have a very different type of community, that on the outside appears to be lacking in some of the basic processes and metrics that the WP community has gotten used to. But when dealing with sites larger than “Blogs with some static pages” or with large amounts of data-utilisation/complexity actually getting answers to in-depth technical questions is considerably easier with both Drupal and Joomla communities.

    Much like your plug-in post, it’s less about the numbers and more about the quality/responsiveness of the community. Personally, I find the quality/responsiveness of the WordPress community very high in the centre, but drops very quickly. Drupal and Joomla have a slightly better curve on their community.

  3. Oh, and I forgot to mention Stack Exchange:

    StackExchange is a great example of community-driven, developer-level support. WordPress Answers launched 7 months ago, and has 11K questions, 16K answers, and 7K users. Drupal Answers launched less than a month ago, and 4.6K questions, 6.6K answers, and 2.9K users. Joomla answers is currently at “failure to launch”, not having yet even reached the Beta phase.

    Advantage: WordPress

  4. Chip,

    While I respect the heck out of you, can I play devil’s advocate?

    – Is the WP website on StackExchange one popular because the support on WordPress.org/.com is so poor?
    – Or is it so popular because people are asking such small/simple to answer questions that it’s easy to answer them?
    – Or is it because there is a higher number of “hobbyists” that use WP over say Drupal?

    Couldn’t that be just as likely a reading from those stats?

    The reality is there is no good long-term measurement for quality, quantity nor responsiveness of a community for an Open Source Project. We have to go with our gut, and our own experiences. Obviously we’re all WordPress fan’s (I believe you’re now on the Theme review team Chip – congrats), but in my experience this community more than any other has a tendency to only want to hear the good about itself.

    In my experience, finding out answers to simple WP questions is very quick; but rises at an exponential rate as you move from simple to moderate to advanced. In large part due to the input/output of it’s community.

  5. Just wanted to say that I’ve asked questions on WordPress StackExchange before, and you get some really helpful and knowledgeable peeps on there.

    I don’t think I really considered asking the same questions on the WP forums, mainly because its quite hard to find answers to questions sometimes compared to the WP SE system, which is able to suggest very relevant content due to the (better?) tagging and search system?

  6. Hi Kevinjohn,

    First, I’m always up for having someone playing Devil’s Advocate! :) But I should note: I’ve actually got another comment held in the moderation queue (too many reference links), in which I compare WordPress and Joomla, with respect to Community Gatherings, Community-Contributed Extensions, Official Support Forums, and Community-Contributed Documentation. I merely left off the StackExchange comparison, and posted a follow-up comment – which currently appears rather out of context.

    Second: the premise primarily entailed not the quality of the help provided by the community, but rather by the relative size of the community. The assertion that WordPress has a small community relative to Joomla or Drupal is prime facie absurd.

    The relative quality of help provided by each community is another question entirely, and one that I wasn’t really attempting to address. But, to that point:

    In my experience, finding out answers to simple WP questions is very quick; but rises at an exponential rate as you move from simple to moderate to advanced. In large part due to the input/output of it’s community.

    That’s actually what prompted me to mention StackExchange. The relative difficulty of a typical WPSE question is considerably more advanced/complex than the typical WPORG support forum question – and in my experience, the answers are commensurately advanced and thorough.

    (Although, I would also counter that the problem with the WPORG support forums isn’t the quality of answers, but rather the quality of the original questions; people simply fail to follow instructions – instructions designed to help them get the best-possible answers to their questions. That is, in part, why I believe that WPSE is uniquely designed to help get answers to the more difficult WordPress-related questions.)

  7. Absolute nonsense this report – we see that the writer has no knowledge about CMS – he just likes getting traffic

  8. @Brian Flores:

    I really wasn’t trying to say absurd statements for “link bait” purposes. I just wanted to stir it up a bit.

    Do you have a metric by which you compared the relative size of the WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla communities, or does your assertion rely solely on anecdote?

    See above. A quick search demonstrates that WordPress has twice as many community gatherings (counting only major “conference”-style gatherings, not local meetups); that WordPress has twice as many community-contributed extensions; that WordPress has roughly the same number of community support forum topics and posts, but five times as many registered forum users; and that WordPress has a well-established StackExchange presence that is twice the size of Drupal’s (and Joomla still hasn’t launched).

    So: on what are you basing your assertion, regarding relative size of the WordPress community (much less, the relative quality of community-provided support)?

  9. It’s of no issue to me whatsoever if Joomla does or doesn’t have a bigger community that WordPress.

    We just prefer to develop sites with WordPress than with Joomla and to us, that’s all that counts.

  10. For some reason I don’t believe it. WordPress has a much larger community than both combined, but it’s probably that both Joomla and Drupal have a much more dedicated/technical community.

  11. Why should we form opinions or make mission critical choices because of the size of a community and not the viability and function of a tool?

    I came to Word Press a year ago from years of using Joomla and Drupal and have not looked back for even a second since. They were compelling and useful CMS at the time, until I felt that I had indeed found something better and more vibrant.

    Now that I have been well-steeped in all three, it’ll take more than hype to turn me away from Word Press.

  12. Having used all 3 at various points I have to say my “gut” instinct is that WP has a way larger community. I think just common sense tells us that WP is much more widely used simply due to the popularity of blogging. Joomla / Drupal kinda offer something different.

    That said, does it matter? It’s like people saying that iPhone beats Android because there are a gazillion more apps. Well so what when pretty much everyone just wants angry birds and facebook ;-)


Subscribe Via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: