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Joomla Development Insights

Joomla Development Insights

John is the owner and senior developer of Blue Bridge.

Double Trouble - Running Joomla and WP in Tandem

Double Trouble - Running Joomla and WP in Tandem

Have you ever seen a motorcycle with a sidecar?  By attaching a little car to the side of a motorcycle, you get the benefits of the motorcycle's size and open air travel and the benefits of a car's long distance comfort.  Many site owners choose to do something similar by running Joomla and WordPress simultaneously.  They want Joomla's flexibility and power in addition to WordPress's wonderful blogging capability.  However, running these applications in tandem introduces several issues and, for a number of reasons, I recommend against using both systems together.

5 Issues of Running Joomla and WordPress in Tandem

The benefit of using WP and Joomla together is an increase in power, by getting the best aspects of both applications.  However there are some serious drawbacks:

  1. You're doubling the amount of work for your developer to implement both content management systems require set. Understandably, this increases cost.
  2. You're increasing the opportunities for hackers to exploit you. Increasing the codebase size increases the surface that attackers can probe against.  It also increases the difficulty to manage, with two applications to watch for vulnerabilities, making it easier for hackers to slip through the cracks.  (Trivia: a motorcycle's sidecar is sometime's referred to as a hack.)
  3. You're doubling the templating work. WordPress's theme will need to be matched to the design along with Joomla's template and achieving a consistent design takes time and money.
  4. Each system will have numerous updates over the years. Now instead of dealing with just one system, you're dealing with two. Not only will the updates need to be tested separately, but your developer will also have to make sure that they work well together increasing the maintenance cost and the total cost of ownership.
  5. Lastly, you have to invest the time and money to train your employees to use two systems or pay for a webmaster to manage them.

Leverage Joomla's Extensible Design

If you're considering running both applications side-by-side, you have to ask yourself whether the benefits outweigh the costs. The question is: Can you afford to run both systems in tandem? And could that money be better directed somewhere else?

Though I believe that WordPress provides the best blogging solution, Joomla also has several excellent blogging options that work just as well for 98% of cases.  For people who are primarily running blogs or similar content delivery focused solutions, I think WP is a great way to go.  However, if the blog is just a component of the site's goals, I recommend taking advantage of Joomla's extensibility and fully utilizing its capabilities by using a solution like Easy Blog or a CCK.

If you find yourself in the situation of building a site with both, ask your developer about using Joomla or WP exclusively. If you're already running both Joomla and Wordpress and you're running into the above issues, perhaps it's time to look into transferring your content to one system.

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