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Site builder shootout: Drupal vs. Joomla vs. WordPress

By Brian Proffitt
September 14, 2011 06:00 AM ET

Traffic promotion

Every site should include features to promote content on the site. Each CMS needed add-ons to implement social media promotion, but unfortunately the results were mixed.

Drupal

For the social media tools, I needed to download a Drupal module.

Drupal
AddToAny adds social linking to any type of article you want.
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I settled on AddToAny, and I have to say it worked perfectly right from the start. It offers links to a wide variety of services, including Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit and StumpleUpon, to name a few. AddToAny adds the sharing tool at the end of all individual blog entries and articles if you specify the "blog" and "article" category types.

Installing add-ons in Drupal is very easy, and this module in particular only needed one click to be activated. Configuring AddToAny was also simple, once I found the settings in the Configuration menu of the Drupal control panel.

Joomla

Social Bookmarking Genius, I was told in repeated reviews, was the best free social media add-on for Joomla, so I dutifully went out to get it.

I installed the component, activated it, and... nothing.

Joomla
Some Joomla components were hard to configure.
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Once again, the Module Manager settings for the module required that I set a position, and it was not clear what that position would be, since the articles I wanted to have social linking were located all over the site in various locations on the pages. This was a universal problem with any module I tried; it would require a position setting, but no position I attempted would work. Nor could I skip this setting.

In the end, I was not able to determine a solution for this problem.

One area where Joomla did excel here: The capability to turn on SEO-friendly URLs is a highly visible option, which should make Joomla websites easier for search engines to index.

WordPress

Given my success with the AddToAny module in Drupal, I was pleased to note that AddToAny had a popular module for WordPress. But after installing it, I found that it works differently in WordPress -- it added the sharing tool to all pages in the site, based on where I placed the AddToAny widget in the template.

WordPress
There are plenty of WordPress plug-ins to handle traffic management.
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However, the WordPress version does not include Twitter or other social tools, just RSS feed information. To compensate, I located the Tweet This plug-in, which uses the Oauth API to plug straight into Twitter. Tweet This was instantly ready to go and attached to articles as needed.

WordPress doesn't really have any out-of-the-box traffic management tools, but a quick search through the WordPress ecosystem can harvest a large supply of tools that can enable you to manage your site.

Bottom line

I could not determine the solution to implanting Social Networking Genius in Joomla, so it failed this particular test for me. In Drupal and WordPress, adding social tools was easy: activate the module or plug-in and it worked. In Joomla, this was a much less intuitive prospect.



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