This is part of an on-going article about my Drupal v. Joomla toe to toe knock-down drag-out fight called Drupal v. Joomla
Initial Drupal Setup
For both Drupal and Joomla, I used CPANEL to install the CMS. Drupal was a quick installation. Once you have it installed, you can see a nice, clean layout with 4 steps to getting started. Each step is easy to understand and includes links to documentation. Joomla was a little different.
First of all, I forgot that there was Joomla and Joomla 1.5. I installed Joomla and told it to enter test data. The initial page was inundated with data (something I did not expect). I regretted starting out with initial test data. I then saw I could have installed Joomla 1.5, so I installed that as well; however, this time, I chose not to give it test data. Guess what, there was no data or content at all. In fact, there wasn’t even a log-in or admin section, it was that sparse. There was nothing I could do but start over with test data.
Initial Joomla 1.5 Setup (with data)
Joomla 1.5 installation with test data looks almost identical to Joomla 1.0; you’re presented with 3 menu boxes on the left, a list of latest news, an online poll, and a few articles from the Joomla developers, etc. The first thing I wanted to do was get logged in and start administrating (for lack of a better term) the page.
Score 5 points to Drupal for an easy installation and 10 points for a welcoming screen.
Score 5 points to Joomla for easy installation and -10 points for the no-test data install and 0 points for cluttered test data install
I wanted to see how quickly I could set up a new theme, modules, and users. In Joomla it wasn’t clear where to go after logging in. I logged out and back in to see if anything changed, and I noticed there was a User Menu on the left. I clicked the first link, User Details, and checked it out.
I got excited when I saw a back-end and front-end language, thinking it had something to do with choosing between PHP and Python or something, until I realized it was what language the documentation was written in, and the only option was UK English. I guess I’ll have to deal with colours, torches & bobbies.
On a better note, I had the option to include a WYSIWYG editor (TinyMCE) or not. Drupal does not come with a WYSIWYG out of the box like Joomla does, but you can install a variety of WYSIWYGs if you want (I’ll try that later).
Drupal was completely intuitive in getting to the admin panel. On the first installation, you’re welcomed with a list of steps to get started, and you get the login up front and visible. The best part is there is no other noise from random articles, etc.
Drupal scores -5 points for no WYSIWYG editor out of the box and -5 points considering they are already on version 6 with no editor
Score 10 points to Joomla for WYSIWYG editor right out of the box
Drupal had a well-organized administration panel, but there are so many options, it could overwhelm a new admin. The panel has 2 views (by task & by module), and there are 5 sections of links to administer with 4 to 12 specific links each. I’m not saying that it’s bad, but you immediately realize that you may have some work to do, especially when you see the word, “taxonomy” for the first time. Anyone starting with drupal will do themselves a service if they at least skim the various topics related to administering a site before clicking and entering. I recommend you browse the Drupal Cookbook.
Once I did the initial setup of Joomla, I had to dig around to get to the administration section. It turns out that to get there, you have to click on the “Administrator” link at the bottom of the resources box. I had to log in one more time. Once I got to the administration section, I felt like I was finally getting somewhere. Finally, I was given some power. I could add an article, manage articles, manage the front page (clean it up would be the first order of business), manage sections, categories, media, the menu, the language, users, and configure the global settings.
Drupal gets 5 points for immediately presenting the admin panel and organization.
Joomla gets -5 points for having to dig and log in 2 separate times to get to the admin.
5 bonus points go to Joomla for the SEO Settings box at the global configuration section, especially the Search Engine Friendly URLs option. Not only that, but you can easily set up ftp settings and set up a mailer. Drupal does have a search engine friendly URL, but you could easily miss that.
Final Score After Round 1:
Drupal is currently in the lead for initial set up and admin screen, but Joomla 1.5 gets kudos for their out of box wysiwyg and SEO settings.