Writer and Programmer

22:13 02/07/2012
Last week I decided to start a techie blog on www.itaryan.com.  It’s a Joomla! website.  I researched blogging on Joomla!  The most versatile solution seems to be a plugin that basically ports WordPress into Joomla!

I was actually seriously considering using it.  Then today I read an article that mentions that plugins that leverage another program can have a major impact on load time.  Makes sense.

I haven’t put many resources into the Joomla! version of the site yet.  I spent an hour or two converting it from twentieth-century HTML+CSS a few weeks ago. So the question is, should I change to WordPress before I do any serious work?

Most of us have had this experience: you decide to do something a different way that you have just concluded is better. You do it – time and effort result – then you discover that your original approach was best after all.

Wary of this possibility, I thought some more about what I want from the site. Essentially it’s simple brochureware – an online CV with a LinkedIn button.

I’m putting a technical blog on it because I occasionally wrestle with a knotty problem for which I can’t find an answer via Google.  I want people who have the same issue to solve it in five minutes after they find my post.  This is my thankyou to all the strangers who have solved so many problems for me in five minutes.

So what would be a showstopper? What would send me scuttling back from WordPress to Joomla?

WordPress is the world’s premier blogging software so it’s bound to have the simple features I want.  I’ve spent an hour or two using it before so I know the interface is simple.  In the end, all I can come up with is load speed.  If WordPress is significantly slower than Joomla! I will go running back to Joomla!

So today I went looking for an article comparing Joomla! performance to WordPress. I can’t find anything. There are a few one-off remarks on one forum or another. The poster immediately gets flamed.

Many variables affect load speed, but it occurs to me that a simple site like mine – three static pages, the most exciting feature being a LinkedIn button – could offer an interesting comparison.  I created the Joomla! template in Artisteer so can easily re-export it as a WordPress theme.  I can copy and paste the text in minutes.

I can put the WordPress version on a second URL with the same hosting package. This should eliminate server-side speed differences, especially if I run the tests multiple times.

I plan to create the WordPress site tomorrow and then run both sites through a couple of different speed-testing tools. Note that I will test only completely unoptimised sites.  Even gzip will not be turned on.  The results should tell me which is quicker – Joomla! or WordPress – but, of course, only out-of-the-box.

When I have decided which lucky technology gets to host my blog, this will be my first blog post.

 

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