Is Joomla CMS trying to catch up to WordPress CMS features? The Joomla Development Roadmap tells the story.

The next major version of Joomla CMS (Joomla 4) is finally getting to a point where the possibility of a stable release version is finally within our reach. After many years of development, the Joomla 4 version is in a feature freeze stage at the moment. Joomla 4 comes with many new features and enhancements over Joomla 3’s platform. However, is it enough to stay competitive with the likes of WordPress CMS?

According to a CMS market share survey monitored by W3Techs, WordPress CMS is the most widely used content management system in the world powering 38.2% of all the websites in the world. That is a CMS market share of 63.6%. Joomla used to be the second most used CMS in the world, however, Joomla has been edged out by Shopify and this bumps Joomla into a very distant 3rd place powering 2.3% of all websites in the world. This gives Joomla a CMS market share of only 3.8%.

top 5 cms market share

Given the fact that Joomla has been losing CMS market share for many years, the new Joomla 4 has a lot of hope for Joomla users and web design agencies. Joomla 4 will come with many improvements when it is finally released.

Joomla 4 Notable Features

Joomla 4 has many new features that have been added that the community has been requesting for many years. Here are a few of the most notable features that will come with Joomla 4.

1. Bootstrap 4 Integration

Twitter’s Bootstrap is the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing websites and applications.

2. New Templates For The Front-end and Administrator

Joomla 4 includes a new front-end template named Cassiopeia and a new administrator template named Atum. Both templates are developed with Bootstrap 4 and are mobile-friendly.

3. New Media Manager

The media manager of Joomla has always been one of its biggest shortfalls. For many years the Joomla community has been requesting and working on a new media manager for Joomla 4. The new media manager is a definite improvement over the old Joomla media manager, but there is still room for lots of improvement.

4. Improved SEO Features

Joomla 4 will have improvements to the URL router system and improvements to existing SEO features.

5. Administrator User Interface Redesign

The admin screens have been redesigned to have improved navigation and organization of the most used features of Joomla 4.

6. Framework Code Improvements

Joomla 4 comes with many code upgrades including; MVC layer improvements, Orthogonal Component Structure, UI components using modern technologies, W3C standard: custom elements, well-optimized javascript, and HTML markup.

7. Faster Loading Times

Using more modern technologies allows Joomla 4 to load content faster and with the many underlying code enhancements, Joomla 4 will naturally be much faster than previous Joomla versions.

8. Simplified installation process.

The installation process has been streamlined so you can install Joomla 4 slightly more quickly than you could in prior versions of Joomla.

Joomla 4 Planned Feature Improvements

The Joomla project released its plans for future versions of Joomla 4 feature development, and it is an obvious attempt to catch up to some of the features in WordPress. Let’s look at some of these features in more detail.

1. Media Manager Improvements

Wait! Didn’t Joomla 4 have a new media manager? Yes, but even though it is new, it is still very generic. The media manager is primarily used for uploading images, but the Joomla 4 development team wants to extend it to a true media managing facility. This will consist of image management with different sizes and metadata, video and audio handling and playback, and support for documents. WordPress already does all these things very well. This is definitely an attempt for Joomla to get on equal footing with WordPress.

2. Built-In Cron

This is a feature that I had asked to be added many years ago. And I was dismissed very quickly by the Joomla dev team when I proposed it. Both WordPress and Magento, just to name examples, have this feature as part of the core. The Joomla 4 team has dubbed this feature a “Poor Man’s Cron” which is a way to run scheduled “quick” tasks in approximately regular intervals.

3. Accessibility Features

ADA Compiance is a major feature requirement for many organizations in many different regions of the world. Having the administrator side of Joomla 4 be fully accessible would be a great step towards more adoption of the Joomla 4 CMS. WordPress has been working on admin accessibility for many years, and area that Joomla has not been too keen on getting done until now (or maybe in the future).

4. Multi-Domain Functionality

This is to add multi-Domain/Site functionality into Joomla 4. Not much has been said about this feature as the Joomla Project is just forming a team to work on this feature. I imagine that this would be a copy of the WordPress Multi-Site feature.

5. Content Drafting

This Joomla 4 feature would allow a user to edit/change content without publishing yet, leaving it in draft status for publishing later. WordPress has had this feature for ages. It would be nice if the Joomla 4 team would also add an autosave feature so people don’t lose all their content if the session times out. I absolutely love that feature in WordPress.

6. Health Checks

Someday Joomla 4 might have a page to check the integrity of your Joomla website files and database structure (and possibly for 3rd party extensions). This is a relatively new feature for WordPress that works fairly well and Joomla 4 would be smart to model a feature like this after the WordPress health check feature.

Conclusion

Although Joomla 4 is a great improvement over Joomla 3, it is obvious that there are still many improvements to be added to make Joomla 4 into a powerful publishing platform. I do love that Joomla has more features in the core CMS than WordPress when it comes to organizing your site. But when it comes to publishing features, WordPress has a huge edge over Joomla in that area.

Does that mean Joomla is not a good WordPress alternative? Hell no! Joomla is a great CMS. As a web design agency that uses both platforms, we have to use the right tool for the job. Joomla is better at a lot of things than WordPress is, for example, user access control really sucks in WordPress, but Joomla has that figured out. So if that feature is a deciding factor in which CMS to use in a project, then Joomla would be the best choice.

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