I talked to a few friends that say Drupal is amazing and that it is way better than Joomla. What are the major differences/advantages.

+5  A: 

The API. Every form and pretty much every bit of functionality can be modified via a module that hooks into the API, without having touch core code. This makes upgrades much easier, as your customisations aren't overwritten.

The code it outputs by default is much nicer, as well.

+16  A: 

The general consensus is that programmers prefer Drupal whereas mere mortals prefer Joomla. Joomla is praised for having a simpler user interface. (I personally don't agree with that; I think Joomla's UI is pretty painful to use. But then again, I'm looking at it with a programmer's eye.) Drupal, on the other hand, is praised for its high level of extensibility, along with its large library of high-quality (more or less) plug-ins that add features ("modules" in Drupal lingo) and many of which are extensible themselves.

Start using Joomla today, and you'll probably end up with a decent but not quite perfect web site tonight. Start using Drupal today, and you'll be able to build exactly the web site you're wishing for - once you've put the time in.

If you're considering parlaying your skills into a paid job one day, you should definitely side with Drupal.

Garrett Albright
+1  A: 

Drupal shines with these two mudules :

  • CCK : add custom fields to nodes

  • Views : control how lists of content are presented. This tool is essentially a smart query builder.

Pierre-Jean Coudert
+5  A: 

The community around drupal - theres a module to do just about everything. Sometimes, theres more than one way to do something too.

If you want to change almost anything, from presentation (themes) to function (hooks), its possible. However, its not MVC and it does take a lot of getting used to.

With Views + CCK + Panels Module, you rarely need to touch code to create a wide variety of pages.

Finally, Drupal's User and Roles system is much more flexible.

+2  A: 

Starting off, Joomla is fun and easy, from both an administrative and user view, but once the site needs to be customised (naturally), it becomes a pain.

In my opinion, Drupal is opposite. It has a steep learning curve (the pain part), but becomes easier not harder over time. This is from both the admin and user part.

+4  A: 

Under the hood, Joomla runs on mostly an OO architecture, whereas Drupal is almost entirely procedural with OO paradigms. Joomla has no form builder (that I am aware of), so you are forced to hand-code entire blocks of html for the form, whereas, with Drupal, you create forms as structured arrays. In Joomla, creating administrative features and front end featured requires that you place files in both administrative directories and in front end directories or create an install file to correctly partition things for you. In Drupal, everything pertaining to a particular module is contained in 1 directory, and you control access and url structure.

In general, Joomla's admin GUI is considered prettier and more user-friendly than Drupal's, but Joomla is, in my opinion, a less intuitive system at the programming level and makes certain tasks more difficult than necessary. 2 areas where Drupal truly outshines Joomla in my opinion is in the ability to create various content types - with various fields - on the fly to easily segment data, and the ability to create pretty seo-friendly urls with path or, even better, with pathauto.

Bottom Line: Joomla tends to look pretty from an administration perspective, but Drupal tends to outperform Joomla and be a more easily customizable system to achieve many of the things you really want out of a CMS.

William OConnor - csevb10

What I like about Drupal is the plugin model: you have your core of drupal, and you can customize it however you want it by creating your own seperate template directory and modules (the plugins).

For a complete technical overview you can also tick Drupal and Joomla in http://www.cmsmatrix.org/matrix/cms-matrix

Dr. Hfuhruhurr
Exactly the same is true for Joomla.
It's still a point worth mentioning.
+1  A: 

For what it's worth Joomla before 1.5 was pretty ugly, and the API included a lot of very specific calls related to older Mambo code. The most recent version, and all future versions are built ontop of a very powerful OO framework, so if you haven't looked at it recently, do now.