WordPress, Joomla and Drupal - Which one is more Search Engine Friendly ?

WordPress, Joomla and Drupal - Which one is more Search Engine Friendly ?

Search engine friendliness is a term that is mostly confused with Search Engine optimisation. To settle the dust, search engine friendliness has more to do with components of Content Management systems. On the other hand, search engine optimisation digs further into the applications of these components including images, contents, and layouts.

To have a deeper insight of search engine friendliness, we will review three commonly used open source Content Management Systems; Joomla, WordPress and Drupal. In summary, this comparison focuses on:

  • Creation of search engine friendly URLs using the different CMS's
  • Influencing HTML titles independent of content titles
  • Use of Meta tags and Description content keywords on particular content objects

This compassion is done in line with particular technical hosting specifications like Linux, PHP4 or PHP5 and Apache webserver with Mod Rewrite active. Let us consider individual CM systems.

1. WordPress SEO

With WordPress, rewriting URLs to make them search engine friendly is an easy task. It becomes even easier when you use the permalink option. The easiest way of attaining this is by using the custom option /%postname%/. In this case, the post title is also the URL. Setting .htaccesss option requires a file to be writable. In order to change the URL to be more search engine friendly, simply alter the text lying with the Post Slug option.

For WordPress, making minor changes to templates using SEO title plugin enables users to have a better control of their titles with regards to search engines.

When it comes to use of Meta tags, WordPress does not provide an option for changing the Descriptions or Keywords for every post or page. However, when you use the all in one SEO plugin tool, it is possible to make all these changes and do lots more. This tool allows you to change the title. However, it is best to use the SEO title plugin to make changes to the title. There is also the possibility of suing both plugins at the same time. For this option however, you will be forced to deactivate the title Rewrite option that is available in All-in-one SEO pack.

Hint: You can generate Meta Description by taking advantage of the optional excerpt icon. This option will also present you with enhanced archived pages since templates use most of this data in creation of archive pages.

2. Drupal SEO

With regards to Drupal, when rewriting the URLs to make them more search engine friendly, one requires to use the 'Clean the URLs option.' This option also has the capability of changing writable .htaccess files. Using this option only enable you to change the URL to /node/1/ at the expense of the desirable q=1 format. To attain the ultimate goal of changing the URL to q=1, you will need an additional feature; the pathauto. Upon installation of this module, you will need to activate both path auto and path modules. This way, you will be able to rewrite the URL making it more user friendly.

Dealing with title bears great resemblance to rewriting of URLs. However, the page control modules enable you to take charge of the title though with notable limitations.

Just like in WordPress, Drupal Standard Installation does not provide the feature of changing Keywords and Descriptions. With the help of Meta TGAS Nodeword Modules however, it is possible to explore this option.

Hint: The Path auto module can be set using the General Settings. Go to Update Action icon and click Do Nothing. This way, it will be possible for you to alter the tile without necessarily making changes on the URL.

3. Joomla SEO

For Joomla, we will consider two versions; Joomla 1.0 and Joomla 1.5

Joomla 1.0

In rewriting URL with this Joomla version, you will need to sue the SEO option featured in the main configuration screen. Rename .htaccess.txt provide in the standard package to .htaccess. Installation of SEF feature like sh404SEF enables one to rewrite URLs the easier way. In addition, you will have a more enhanced 404-error page and order.

Influencing title in Joomla 1.o is possible using sh404SEF. This allows you to use the normal article title for your results. For better optimisation, you can use SEF Patch of Joomlatwork. For further access of other features including abilities to view separate HTML title options, you can opt for the paid version of the same.

Joomla 1.0 comes with fully optimised Descriptions and Keyword option so you will not need to make any alterations. However, it is worth noting that menu items alterations require SEF Patch of Joomlatwork.

Joomla 1.5

You have three options when it comes to rewriting URLs in Joomla 1.5. These include:

  • Using SEF and .htaccess which gives you URL and title
  • Using SEF directly which gives you URL and title with additional index.php within the URL
  • Using suffix which sets .HTML towards the end of provided URL

Joomla 1.0 uses the standard article title. In order to have better controls of your tile, you can use Joomla 1.5 SEF Patch. This provides advanced options of altering the title to make them more search engine friendly.

Metatags alterations are similar to Joomla 1.0. It also requires the use of SEF Patch of Joomlatwork to influence Menu items.
Tip: Avoid the usage of Global Metatags settings in both versions of Joomla.


Ideally, none of these search engine content management systems meets clear-cut search engine friendly needs. As such, deciding the best option among these three might not be viable. The best one can do is to optimise each one of them for specific use. For instance, WordPress is best suited for smaller websites and larger blog sites. Joomla on the other hand is best used for SMB websites. Drupal is applicable for nearly all the uses. However, it is not the best option when one needs optimum web content editing and maintenance.

In conclusion, the best choice of CMS for a website or blog is that which serves the interest of your customers. Whichever the choice, the customers should be able to maintain the site on their own with maximum flexibility and ease.

Author Bio : Charlie Brown is a software engineer with a passion for SEO topics. He has experience handling professional SEO New Jersey Services. For consultations and further inquiries on SEO services, click here.