Trends: WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla

The battle’s been going on since 2004-2005, the three open platforms (WordPress, Drupal and Joomla) have been competing for ages. Which is the most popular? Of course you could search for reviews, votes, researches. I even came across a commercial research document about content management systems, their pros, cons and popularity. It still is difficult to convince clients (especially the bigger ones) to use open platforms for their websites. Tonnes of questions are asked about security, performance, etc.

This article will not review any of the platforms mentioned above, nor will it give pros and cons to certain properties of such platforms. We’ve seen enough reviews, tests, benchmarks and even competitions to figure out which the best platform is. In my opinion, there’s no best platform, each is good, and which ever to use is a decision the developer should make.

Anyways, I had my coffee this morning and decided to check out what Google is up to, so I browsed to the Labs. The list is quite big but suddenly I spotted Google Trends, which has been around since 2006. Haven’t used that for a while ;) Sticking in “wordpress, drupal, joomla” into the trend search, I came up with the following results:

Trends: WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla

Quite interesting isn’t it? Joomla (orange) was in a leading position from 2006 to late 2008, and in late 2009 WordPress (blue) took the lead. Drupal (red) heh, wha? There’s also a ranks by regions, cities and languages which give even more interesting results. For instance, Joomla still leads in Russian, Italian and German languages, and Drupal is very popular in India.

These stats are good when comparing the open platforms, they also show that open platforms are growing overall. But does this convince our clients to pick an open source platform for their website? I recall or three latest clients who calimed that they’d love .NET websites and an ASP (seriously) website. Let’s see:

WordPress vs .NET vs ASP

So Microsoft’s technologies are not as popular as they were in 2004, at least based on Google searches. There’s much more fun stuff you can do with Google Trends, but the question remains. Is this information useful when speaking with clients? Does the global trend mean that pictures in regions will change over time? And why is .NET losing popularity? Just thinking out loud ;) Cheers, and don’t forget to tweet this post if you like it.

About the author

Konstantin Kovshenin

WordPress Core Contributor, ex-Automattician, public speaker and consultant, enjoying life in Moscow. I blog about tech, WordPress and DevOps.


  • To be fair, the last graph is graphing a CMS versus two languages. Perhaps PHP should replace WordPress in that graph. I think the results are still the same though.

  • Hi,

    Very informative post. yes, its really works for SEO purpose and site traffic. based on this google trend i’m developing a tool/site to deliver the blog post automated based on the current top google trend. Its using Post By Email feature. check my site Fill Trend. Its free for beta testing.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  • I am a senior php developer with 15 years experience. My company develop site using joomla and drupal base on our client want. To me, Drupal is 100 times complicate than Jommla, so the learning curve is countless high. Joomla on the other hand, it is a lot easier to learn, with 50x more extentsions than drupal. In long run, it is no doubt, dupal project will be closed and nobody will use it. Joomla now also has its MVC model to catch the trend. Look at drupal, OMG, its API is terrible and huge! We are not born to learn your API, drupal. Why make everything such complicated!!!
    Check google trend and see Joomla has 100 more users than Drupal. There are billion reasons for it.

  • You cannot deny that is powered by Drupal. So, to Mr. Jack Smith, who can't even spell write, Drupal is not going to close shop. I'm putting my money on WordPress.

  • @Jack Smith, obviously you are new to the CMS concept and technology.
    Professional websites need full control over the API and Drupal is the only one that provides it.
    Joomla? are you kidding me? it's for people who don't know what they are doing, here are some facts:
    > Drupal modules are completely free, while you can't even find a decent module in Joomla, even if you pay for it.
    > Drupal has 7000+ free modules, while Joomlas has 1000+ paid ones!
    > Same for themes
    > Drupal is 100% based on GPL open souce license, while Joomla is mixed (that's why you need to pay for themes and modules)
    > Drupal is much more secure than Joomla; more than a dozen government websites use Drupal, including the White House, meanwhile there are none using Joomla…

    All my numbers are based on facts, while you keep saying "100 times more", "billion reasons", "50x more"….which are all fictitious numbers, shows your ignorance of Drupal.

    I have used many CMS solutions, including Joomla, Mambo, Drupal, WordPress, TYPO and I would say the nicest one to work with is WordPress but the most robust and flexible is Drupal.