Joomla vs. WordPress: What’s the Difference?

joomla vs wordpress

If you are considering setting up a website, you may be wondering about Joomla vs. WordPress. Both are free Content Management Systems – CMS for short – that can power your website. They make managing your website content easier.

Both have been around for a while, and have active members and developers who are supporting these Content Management Systems.

Both Joomla and WordPress can be used for hobby websites as well as commercial platforms.

Which is better?

Joomla vs. WordPress: An Overview

In a nutshell, if you have a small business or want to run a blog without a lot of fuss or muss, then WordPress is the best solution, hands down.

WordPress is easy to use, and most web hosts will now offer a one-click install for WordPress.

On the other hand, Joomla might be better for larger commercial websites and more complicated endeavors. It also has this feeling of being more “professional” in how it handles things in the backend.

Let’s take a look at both platforms.

WordPress: For More Than Just Blogging

wordpress website

Image screenshot from WordPress website

When WordPress first came out in 2003, it was a platform designed to support blogs. The entire administrative interface was blog-focused. The default front page was a list of blog posts. Creating menus wasn’t entirely intuitive.

If you wanted to do more on WordPress than just blogging, you could, but it wasn’t that easy out of the box.

Fast forward to today, and WordPress is the most widely used Content Management System on the Internet. It is for more than just blogs. It is a fast and easy way to set up small business websites, online magazines, digital stores, and even virtual schools.

In short, WordPress can do just about anything you’d need a website to do. That said, it still has a bias towards blogs, which can make using it for something more complicated a little frustrating at times.

You can extend the functionality of WordPress using “plug-ins,” which can be installed by doing a search of the WordPress plug-in directory embedded within the backend.

Joomla: A More Ambitious Project

joomla website

Image screenshot from Joomla website

Right from the get-go, Joomla was more positioned to be an enterprise website solution. It had a lot more bells and whistles than WordPress, and its back-end interface was filled with a lot of nifty icons and organizational levels that just screamed “professional.”

The biggest problem with Joomla, however, is and has been the learning curve in dealing with this backend.

Especially when Joomla was first launched, a strong line in the sand was put between the administrative interface and the public-facing website.

With the competing CMS Drupal (and to some smaller extent, WordPress), you could easily edit pages and access the administrative interface while reading the website itself. Not so with Joomla. With Joomla, once you were in the backend, you were in a whole different world.

This meant you could not easily edit a page in Joomla if you were browsing the website and found a mistake in the middle of the page. You would have to login to the backend and search around for that page and edit it separately.

Joomla has plug-ins a.k.a. “extensions” that can give you inline editing access, so it’s not a deal breaker per se. But this should give you some idea of the different mindset that went into creating Joomla.

On the positive, Joomla, while perhaps not having as many extensions as WordPress has plug-ins, tends to have more professionally developed add-ons.

WordPress and Joomla Plusses and Minuses

Woman using computer

Image by rawpixel.net via Freepik

WordPress’s biggest weakness is its security problems. This is not because the WordPress developers aren’t security-conscious. Rather, WordPress is so ubiquitous that it has become a major target for hackers and spammers.

If you do not keep your WordPress installation and plug-ins up-to-date, then you can expect to get hacked at some point. All of a sudden, you will login to WordPress and see some sort of ad in a foreign language.

Joomla does not have this problem. It is generally secure. Additionally, because it separates out administrative roles from front-end user roles, Joomla provides better account control than WordPress.

On the other hand, WordPress is simply a lot easier to use out of the box. It is the Content Management System for people who don’t want to feel like they are dealing with a Content Management System.

Joomla vs. WordPress

group of graphic designers discussing laptop at their desk

Image by peoplecreations via Freepik

Generally speaking, if you want to build a small website or blog, and you don’t want a lot of fuss, go with WordPress. If you want to build something a bit more complex and want a more secure solution, you might try Joomla. For a third option, give Drupal a try. It is probably the best option for technical-minded developers.

Everything You Need to Know About PSD to WordPress Conversion

photoshop application on a laptop monitor

Image via Pexels

If you are wondering what it means to convert PSD to WordPress, you are in the right place. Before you dive in or spend money, however, you will want to be sure this is the right method for your website project.

Let’s get clear on terminology first.

What Is PSD?

graphic designer working on computer

Image CCO via PexSnap

“PSD” is really a PSD, as in a Photoshop document or PSD file. You might see it referred to as PSD because those three initials refer to the file extension of a Photoshop document in Microsoft Windows: .psd.

Photoshop is a program by Adobe that has been around for decades, and it is the premiere graphics manipulation program on the market.

Yes, a freeware alternative is available, called GIMP. GIMP stands for “GNU Image Manipulation Program” (GNU being a reference to free software).

However, Photoshop is the default program many graphic designers use to create graphics, not just for print but for the web.

When you work on an image in Photoshop, it is saved automatically as a PSD file. (In GIMP, that working image file is an XCF file, though you can save XCFs as PSDs if you want.)

What Is WordPress?

typing wordpress blog on a laptop keyboard

Image CCO Public Domain via Pxhere

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that delivers web content (such as blog posts) to a web browser using pre-made software. It comes with a back-end interface that you can use to publish and manage your blog posts.

WordPress also delivers the graphics to the browser to create the user interface (UI) that frames your website content.

WordPress does this by using themes. A theme is a graphic overlay on your content. The content will be the same no matter what the theme is, and you can change themes at any time without changing the underlying content.

A WordPress installation can actually have any number of themes installed, but only one theme will be activated at one time typically (unless it is a very special setup, which you do not have to worry about).

What Does It Mean to Convert PSD to WordPress?

The whole point of converting PSD to WordPress is to take a PSD file (from Photoshop) and transform it into a WordPress-ready theme.

The problem is, this may not be as foolproof as it sounds.

These days, you can find many websites that will offer to convert your PSD file to WordPress with the click of a button. This is certainly preferable to the old-school way of doing this, which could involve a heck of a lot of image wrangling and coding.

The question is, how accurate will this conversion be, and is it even a desirable way to create a WordPress theme?

The Problem with Using PSD Files for Websites

macbook laptop on a workspace table

Image CCO Public Domain via Pxhere

Chances are, if you are wondering how to convert a PSD file to WordPress, it may be because of a graphic designer you are considering working with. Or, you might be thinking you can create your website using Photoshop.

Here are a few reasons why, if you haven’t started this process yet, you might want to think twice about using this method.

1. Some Graphic Designers Do Not Understand the Web


This is less of a problem than it used to be, but it still is an issue. Many graphic designers have no clue how to design a website. Oh, sure, they can create an attractive logo. But there is a massive difference between a graphic and an interface. And a website is an interface.

Unless your graphic designer has training or experience in user interface design (UI design), you probably don’t want to trust them with your WordPress theme. They are likely to come up with something that is not practical or doesn’t work with WordPress.

2. Photoshop to WordPress Is Never a Direct Translation


You can have the prettiest website design in Photoshop but that doesn’t mean it will translate perfectly to WordPress even if the designer understands the content management system.

3. You Are Actually Limiting Your Website


These days, so many WordPress themes, whether free or premium, have options for custom colors, backgrounds, and fonts. There is absolutely no reason to reinvent the wheel with a new theme that won’t have those customization options.

Your Best Bet: Skip PSD to WordPress

photoshop application running on a macbook laptop

Image CCO Public Domain via Pxhere

Instead of spending money on an expensive Photoshop design, avoid going from PSD to WordPress. Instead, get a WordPress theme you can easily customize. If you are that determined to use Photoshop as part of the process, simply search “PSD to WordPress” to find many websites that offer conversions for free or a fee. Don’t try to do it manually. It’s not worth it! 

Starting a Business? Know What’s the Average WordPress Developer Salary

WordPress, the world’s top content management system (CMS) and web platform, supports more than 30% of the websites around the world.

As a free and open source system, getting started with WordPress is easy. Once you have your website up and running, you have access to free and low-cost themes and plugins to help modify your website to meet your needs and requirements.

wordpress developer

There may be requirements that can’t be filled by an existing theme or plugin. In cases like this, you may need to customize your WordPress installation. A freelance resource like a WordPress Developer may be the best solution.

We’ll help you find the right freelance resource and keep your project on budget. Let’s take a look at the current state of the WordPress developer salary, and see what factors are impacting the market.

Researching WordPress Developer Salary


How much is the standard rate for a WordPress developer salary?

Answering that question is more difficult than you might think. Companies have evaluated standard hourly rates to determine an average WordPress developer salary, but many focus their research on a limited market perspective.

wordpress developer


WPEngine conducted research on developer resources for WordPress. They analyzed hourly rates but focused on a few job sites in the US which doesn’t provide a comprehensive view of the freelance market.

Upwork, another website that focuses on freelance creative resources including WordPress developers, provides hourly rates, but they aren’t entirely accurate. These rates are often further negotiated after the employer contacts the freelancer.

The work being done will also impact the WordPress developer salary. Implementers, or freelance resources who can take an existing solution and craft it to your requirements, are less specialized and will command a lower salary.

An actual developer, with experience using PHP and other programming languages to create custom themes and plugins, will command a higher salary. The term, “WordPress developer,” encompasses both skillsets.

This can lead to a wide range of WordPress developer salary that a prospective client must navigate.


WordPress Developer Salary and the Market


Let’s go over the results of the research.

Looking over Upwork, WordPress developers, both implementers and actual developers, will earn between $20/hour and $100/hour or more.

PayScale, a company that provides average salary data for businesses and employees, reports an average salary of more than $50,000/year for WordPress developers. Experienced, front-end developers who can manage database work command significantly more – as much as $80,000/year.

WordPress Developer

WPEngine researched freelancer hourly rates to determine the average WordPress developer salary and found most charge between $25/hour to $35/hour. Many will charge as little a $15/hour, while the most experienced and successful developers can charge as much as $400/hour.

Another website that posts rates for freelance resources, People Per Hour, lists WordPress developer salary rates between $20/hour and $60/hour, with an average of $36/hour.

It’s a wide range of potential salaries that could potentially confuse someone looking for a freelance resource for a website.


A Closer Look at the WordPress Developer Salary


There are other factors which can impact the salary, including the market and the work to be done.

The salary for a WordPress developer in California or New York City will be higher than the salary for a developer based in Idaho or India. In fact, many companies that service WordPress work remotely, and may have developers based around the world.

Clients may not understand the difference between an implementer and a developer, leading to confusion.

Even with the wide range of rates, compared to other website systems like Joomla and Drupal, a WordPress developer salary is low.


Factors Impacting the WordPress Developer Salary


The idea that so much of the benefit of WordPress is available for free, including the platform itself and many of the best themes and plugins, may also be artificially depressing the salary of WordPress developers. Many clients may mistakenly believe free software should be serviced by low-cost work.

money

Another factor that may lower the average WordPress developer salary is the job board. Competition between freelancers becomes a race to the bottom. The posted rates may be low, and during negotiation the salary will increase.

The market may also be feeling pressure from inexperienced freelancers looking to earn their first job. They may not understand the value of their work and have set their rates too low. This drives the market rate down.


A Final Word on WordPress Developer Salary


When starting your business, keep in mind a low-cost freelance resource or WordPress developer may not be the best option for success.

Determine your requirements before hiring anyone, and let the requirements drive the project. Look for WordPress developers with experience meeting your requirements. Ask for references and review their work.

In the end, your business will benefit from the right WordPress developer working on your project, rather than the least expensive.

How to Change and Customize your WordPress Dashboard Login

Businesses love WordPress.

For many businesses, the flexibility and power provided by WordPress helps them accelerate their company and land new work. With the themes used in WordPress, you can quickly change the design of your site. Need more power and functionality? Plugins allow you to update functionality without using a programmer, developer or having any knowledge of coding.

WordPress is a proven system that works. After all, it’s used by more than 30% of all websites around the world.

As flexible and friendly as WordPress can be, the WordPress dashboard login is one area that frustrates users who want to customize the experience.

Not to worry, we have a few ideas you can use to update the generic WordPress dashboard login.

A Closer Look at the WordPress Dashboard Login

dashboard

The WordPress dashboard login is the first screen users see as they log into the administration area of your website or blog. This area is also known as the WordPress administrator dashboard.

The easiest way to log into the WordPress dashboard is to add /wp-admin to your site URL. For example, if your website is mywebsite.com, then to access the WordPress dashboard login screen you will simply use mywebsite.com/wp-admin. This will take you to the standard WordPress dashboard login screen for the site.

The standard login screen for WordPress is generic for all sites. The WordPress logo is at the top. There are fields for your Username and Password, as well as a button for Remember Me. You can also access functionality to recover a lost password.

Because this screen is standard for everyone using the dashboard in WordPress, many companies seek options for customizing it. They’d like to brand the site not only for visitors, but employees as well. We’ll look at a few ways you can make the WordPress dashboard login your own.

Please keep in mind, the credentials you use for the WordPress dashboard login are not the same as your cPanel credentials unless they are set to be the same.

Customizing and Modifying the WordPress Dashboard Login

changing dashboard theme

We’ll be using the functions.php file to modify the dashboard login. We don’t normally suggest this, because any modifications will be lost anytime you update WordPress.

However, the only other way to modify the WordPress dashboard login screen is by creating a custom WordPress plugin. Currently, WordPress doesn’t offer themes to modify dashboard login.

To get started, you’ll need a custom CSS folder. In the folder, you can add new PHP code to make modifications to the WordPress dashboard login. You can find samples of the code used in the WordPress Codex

Here are four sample modifications you can make to your WordPress dashboard login.

Create a Folder for WordPress Dashboard Login Modifications

You’ll need to create a new folder in your site’s WordPress theme’s folder. Add the folder and call it “dashboardlogin”.

Next, inside of the folder create a new .txt file and name it, “dashboard-login.css”.

Let WordPress know to load the new CSS file. You can do this by adding a redirect to the “dashboard-login.css” to the functions.php fiel in your current theme. Again, look in the WordPress Codex for a copy of the latest code for each of these modifications.

Replace the Background for the WordPress Dashboard Login

You can also replace the generic white background for the WordPress dashboard login with a custom image. This can be done by adding your own background image URL to the “dashboard-login.css” file in your theme.

Keep in mind, you will need to position the image as your background before finishing the work.

Replace the WordPress Logo

You can easily replace the WordPress logo with your own by adding an image URL to the “dashboard-login.css” file.

You’ll need to save the logo file in the /dashboardlogin folder you created, and where your custom .css file is stored.

Update the WordPress Dashboard Login Logo URL

Even though you’ve replaced the WordPress logo with your own logo, the link for the logo is still pointed to wordpress.org. You need to update the code to redirect the link on the logo to your own site.

You can select the site the logo redirects to and the alt text. This could be the site managed by the WordPress Admin dashboard, or a company intranet (if you have outside access to the internal network). The choice is yours.

Other Options for a Custom WordPress Dashboard Login 

As easy as it is to use these options to customize your WordPress dashboard login, not everyone will be comfortable making changes to the code.

Before you get started, you may want to reach out to a WordPress developer for help or look at purchasing a premium WordPress plugin with options for customizing the WordPress dashboard login.

Good luck!

 

What is the Best WordPress Ecommerce Plugin for your Online Business?

For entrepreneurs and businesses who want to start selling a product or service in the internet, WordPress is a great way to start your online store.

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) used by more than 30% of the top websites. It’s the most popular website management system in the world with good reason. WordPress uses a web template system and a plugin architecture that makes it easy to build your own system and add the features and functionality you need.

For businesses, you spend less time and resources building a website, and more time building your business.

Finding success selling online, or ecommerce, requires more than a great product, you need the right tools. We’ll look at what you need in a WordPress ecommerce plugin, and then show you our pick for the best WordPress ecommerce plugin.

What to Look for in WordPress Ecommerce Plugins

Ecommerce plug ins

Ecommerce, or “electronic commerce” is buying and selling items, both physical and digital, online. It’s a rapidly growing business, as many are turning to the internet for shopping rather than brick and mortar stores.

Just like a physical store, successfully selling a product requires more than a shop. While website management systems like WordPress can help a company put their product on the internet, there are a few other items to consider before you launch your business online:

  • Payments: No matter what you are selling, your customers need a way to pay. Electronic payments eliminate the need for mailing checks and money and provide more security for you and your customers.
  • Product Display: You’ll need a system that connects, or integrates, with the other system you’ll be using to sell your product. This includes your WordPress website. For example, when someone selects a product on your website, the integration should initiate the process in the WordPress ecommerce plugin to complete the transaction.
  • Managing Inventory: Just like a brick and mortar store, you need a way to accurately manage your inventory. For physical products, this may work like a warehouse management system (WMS). For digital products, such as a subscription, you’ll need a platform to safely control and manage use.
  • Shipping and Delivery: Once a customer purchases your product, you need an efficient way to deliver it to them – a fulfillment process. Even for online products, you need a delivery mechanism.

WordPress ecommerce plugins should manage these core requirements, in addition to the other requirements you have for your business.

The Best WordPress Ecommerce Plugin

As more customers look to the web for shopping, and businesses reach out to those customers to sell products, software companies will provide options for WordPress ecommerce plugins.

Many ecommerce plugins target niche markets. They offer specialized functionality to differentiate themselves from the competition. Due to this specialization, and the inability of many WordPress ecommerce plugins to integrate with other systems or support the evolving needs of online business, we selected WooCommerce as the best WordPress ecommerce plugin.

Benefits of WooCommerce, Best WordPress Ecommerce Plugin

WooCommerce was purchased by Automattic, the company that owns the WordPress blog hosting service in 2015. Since then, the company has continued to support the plugin addons, themes, and a deep connection to the WordPress platform.

It has become most widely used WordPress ecommerce plugin, with a passionate developer and user community that continues to push and improve the product. Here are three critical reasons you should use WooCommerce:

1. Flexible Options for Ecommerce Transactions

woo commerce

WooCommerce supports not only physical sales, but also digital products and downloads. The software offers a complete inventory management system to handle physical products and includes integration tools for download options. WooCommerce even includes support and functionality for affiliate and external products.

2. Rich Support and Integration with WordPress

WooCommerce WordPress Graphic

Adding new features or looks for your ecommerce site is easy with WooCommerce. With hundreds of themes and extensions available for WooCommerce, and more are being added almost daily, you can find exactly what you need. Updates for WooCommerce are centered on WordPress, so you know the product will continue to support WordPress in the future.

3. Extensive Product Support and Documentation

WooCommerce support

If you have a problem or need help with WooCommerce, support is never far away. In addition to a supportive community of users and developers, WooCommerce offers an entire library of online documentation, as well as a help desk, ticket system and contact information.

Getting Started with WordPress Ecommerce Plugins

There are no WordPress ecommerce plugins currently on the market that offer the mix of functionality, support and flexibility that WooCommerce does.

Even so, WooCommerce may not be the best solution for every business.

Determine your requirements before selecting your ecommerce plugin. Identify what your top priority will be. Use those requirements as the basis for your selection process. You may find a product that meets your needs better than WooCommerce.

 

Developing Something? Here’s a Guide to Install WordPress Locally

For anyone looking to start a blog or website, WordPress can be an extremely effective tool. However, having an unfinished website that is available to the public can present problems, specifically when it comes to the development process. That is when the importance of installing WordPress locally comes into play.

In this piece, we will present the steps you need to take to effectively install WordPress locally.

Getting and Installing XAMPP

installing xammp

To most easily install WordPress locally, it would be a good idea to install XAMPP first. With XAMPP, you will get an operational PHP processor (crucial to running WordPress), a working database system in MySQL, and a working web server in Apache.

To get XAMPP, you will first need to go to the download page. It is important to note that the download package is more than 100MB, so be prepared to wait for a little while. Next, you will want to start up the XAMPP installer and simply follow the instructions from there (this following part mostly just necessitates you clicking on “Next.”)

As an important note, it is possible that you will get asked during the installation procedure to permit the server’s components to bypass the system firewall. You may be hesitant to do this due to the security implications, but this is absolutely a required step to get the server to properly function.

Installing WordPress Locally

wordpress installation

Next, you will need to go about the process of actually installing WordPress locally. To do this, you will need to download the most current WordPress installer.

Once you fire up the installer package, click “Next.” After this, you will need to fill out some Admin account information such as your real name, username, and email. You can leave the database password section blank, but for the application password, simply type in your WordPress dashboard password. Then, if you so choose, you can uncheck the option to install WordPress in the cloud.

The installation process will begin and, once it is finished, you can find your website on http://localhost/wordpress or you can log in by going to http://localhost/wordpress/wp-admin.

Exporting to the Live Setup 

wordpress migration

Once you complete the WordPress installation process, you can now begin effectively working on your website locally and then go about exporting it to the live setup once you are all finished.

To export to the live setup, you can use what is known as the All-in-One WordPress Migration plugin. As soon as it is activated, go to your WordPress Dashboard then to All-in-One Migration and then finally to Export.

Once there (and this is a nice added feature), you can search and replace specific texts in the database. For instance, you can find every single example of your local IP and switch it with your live domain. Pretty cool, right?

The last step of exporting to the live setup is choosing where exactly you want the site to be exported, whether it be through File, FTP, Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive (most people just choose File). Then, you simply take the export file and go to the import part of the plugin after you install the All-in-One Migration plugin on your live site.

And that pretty much concludes the process of installing WordPress locally.

The Benefits of Installing WordPress Locally

data security

So, now that you know how to install WordPress locally, you are probably asking yourself, “Why do I need to do this to begin with?” Well, there are a whole host of benefits that come with downloading WordPress locally, particularly as they relate to the blog or website development process.

For one, you do not need to upload files by any other means, since they are all on your computer. Also, if any mistakes happen during the development process, you can simply restart the database and the server and start over again.

It also does not hurt to immediately see the end product of your work as well as to be able to construct your site so that all changes are completely hidden from the outside world.

Finally, before ultimately rolling out the live site, you will be able to make the necessary checks to ensure that everything is working properly.

As a blog or website designer, you want to create the best product that you possibly can. But that process can take time and the right amount of trial and error. By installing WordPress locally, you can ensure that, once you are finally ready to present your blog or website to the world, everyone sees that finished product in all its glory.

Simply put, to avoid database data corruption, severe server errors, and any other problems that can get you banned from the platform, as well as to simply save time and avoid any added hassle, you should absolutely install WordPress locally.