A few weeks ago I published a survey entitled “Is Joomla! Dying?”, and today I’d like to share the results. You’ll also find out about Intellispire’s CMS strategy going forward, and I’ll describe why we build our new Mobile Website Builder plugin that will be available later this week.

Some people took exception to the fact that I implied Joomla! is dying – not dead yet, but there is a downward trend. The information I have so far is that while most people are not anbandoning Joomla! completely, there is a market-driven trend toward WordPress and other alternative platforms.

This survey idea was based on two pieces of information. First, Google Trend is clearly showing a downward trend in search queries since 2009, Joomla!’s heyday.

Click to See the Google Trend!

Second, the Open Source CMS Market Share report (available here) describes Joomla! as losing market share.

What are people moving to? WordPress is kicking.

Now I’d like to share an interpretation of the actual results.

To get started, let’s discuss demographics and survey bias. The survey was sent to Intellispire customers and also shared through social networking. The majority of respondents have purchased a Joomla! based product from us within the last 3 years. Approximately 2/3 of those that responded make money from building websites for clients. Everyone who responded worked on multiple websites. I was surprised by the number of people who manage 100’s of websites.

I first tried to gauge what platforms people are using / intend to use. Drupal and “other” barely hit the radar, each having less than 10% of respondents increasing their use, with over 80% either not using or decreasing. What is interesting, however, is that the people who build Drupal websites usually have many of them – in some cases, 100’s. It is a platform to watch.

WordPress, of course, is coming on strong. Over 60% of respondents are increasing the number of WordPress sites, and looking at the individual responses, many of those are coming at the expense of Joomla! sites. Only 1 in 3 respondants are not using WordPress at this time. Reading the open ended responses tells us that our constituents mostly prefer Joomla! (with a few vocal, notable, exceptions) over WordPress, however clients are demanding WordPress sites. There’s also much frustration with the recent upgrade path to newer versions and some confusion on where Joomla! is going.

A quick count of open ended responses shows about 8% of people representing ~26% of the actual sites, have said they are dropping Joomla! for WordPress. That’s probably a question I should have asked, explicitly.

Now, for the crux – Joomla!. The trend with Joomla! 1.5 is as expected. A few people are staying with 1.5, a few people are increasing their 1.5 build outs, the majority (80%)are decreasing their reliance on Joomla! 1.5.

Approximately 70% of respondents are increasing their Joomla! 2.5 build outs, while ~15% of people say they are decreasing the number of sites they are building with 2.5, with the remainder having left Joomla entirely.

I think that’s an important number, as there is a trend for people who are using Joomla! to stay within the Joomla! family, though people are using alternatives – nearly as many people are increasing their WordPress build outs, too – though some people are leaving Joomla!, entirely, and those people are vocal in the open ended questions.

Open ended comments give a similar story. Some people say “no change”, others are clearly stating that they have migrated or are currently migrating their sites to WordPress. For those that use both, customer demand for WordPress is cited as the #1 reason. People also say that Joomla! is overkill for smaller sites, and WordPress is a better fit for those. Migration, people say, is hard (whether that’s form J!1.5 to 2.5 or J! to WordPress). People do love Joomla!’s components.

As we sell auto-responder products, I asked which systems people prefer. MailChimp took the lead at 50%, with AWeber, iContacnt and Constant Contact following at a much lower percentage rates. There is quite a bit of overlap because some people use more than one auto-responder system for their clients. The rest of the systems have less than a 10% following, each.

The fact that there is so much overlap makes me think that Intellispire needs a strategy change. First, we need to increase the functionality of our MailChimp integration (which we are doing). Secondly, I’m thinking a developer pack that gives our developers access and support for the top email products makes sense. What do you think?

Our final survey question asked where we should focus in the future: The #1 response is that people want Mobile tools, at 65%; social was second at 43%; followed by SEO and migration assistance. A significant number of people need webmastering help, so hooking those customers up with our customers that are already webmasters seems like a great idea.

And – of course – people are asking for WordPress Plugins. A few other surprises were here, especially in the open ended answers. I need some more time to fully grok those implications.

Nearly 20% of respondents did think that ongoing support for Joomla! 1.5 would be a good idea. I tend to agree, however there are some significant challenges to make that happen. If the gentleman with 100’s of sites that wants 1.5 support is reading this, please contact me directly through the support desk (link at the top of the site)so we can discuss, I have some ideas.

So that’s the general overview, and I think this post is long enough. Over the next few days, I’ll be talking about how this information changes Intellispire. Some things are obvious – we need to better support our webmasters and developers, expand into WordPress, and help people with Mobile / Social SEO. We also have some great, talented and knowledgeable people within our community we need to connect.

So, is Joomla! really dead? Not quite. But you can’t ignore that WordPress is the new Alpha and is dominating the industry as a whole.

Please let me know what you think in the comments below.

2 Responses to “Joomla! Survey Results”

  • Andrew Crossan says:

    June 26, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    First question is What was your sample size?

    Second thoughts and feelings: My general feeling is that WordPress is fine for the DoItYourself business owner who wants to build his own site; but, if a site is developed professionally and then handed over to a client, adding or editing content is pretty easy regardless of what platform the site is built on. As businesses grow and as their website functionality grows can their platform handle it? As WordPress’s core does not adhere to MVC architecture, I would argue that it is not the best choice for a site with any advanced functionality.

    I frequently make the analogy that WordPress is like the Honda Civic of website content management systems. The Honda Civic is a a great car; It runs well, it’s affordable and small modifications are easy to do. However once it starts getting heavily customized (al la. Fast and the Furious) its starts to become ridiculous and no matter what you’re never going to be able to tow anything or carry more than 4 passengers comfortable (assuming backseat passengers are less 5 feet tall.)

    A successful web construction shop is selling solutions not software. Joomla is a robust platform that scales well and is easy for clients to maintain once it’s built. I see no reason to leave the Joomla! community.