Joomla vs BurgundySky vs WordPress Review

How do you pick the ‘right’ platform to build your website? I’ve been using 3 main platforms, or Content Management Systems (CMS), to build websites and they all have strengths and weakness.

  1. BurgundySky – I use this for simple websites. There is no set up or installation because the CMS is integrated into the hosting. Just create an account and everything is installed. You also don’t have to worry about version upgrades, back up, any tech stuff on the server side.
  2. Joomla- I’ve used Joomla to build the Golden Chain Motels Group website. This is a powerful open source CMS that has a huge community of people developing free and paid extensions that give the base package more features. The Golden Chain has over 330 Member Motels across Australia – so this is a big website with hundreds of pages.
  3. WordPress- I’m using WordPress on this blog. So far, I like it, but I also find there are so many options that it gets confusing.  Like Blogger from Google, you have the option to build a free website/blog with free hosting by WordPress, which is great because it’s free, but also limited so that you’ll want to upgrade if you get serious. Like Joomla, there are some set up issues when you set up a WordPress website, but some hosts specialize in WordPress Hosting and they’ll do installation for you. I used and they were fantastically helpful. I’m also based in Australia – so I like to use an Aussie Host because it helps with defining my locality.

So, it often comes down to Ease of Use vs Lots of Features.  I guess this is true for almost anything. The more stuff something can do, the harder it is to learn and maintain. If you’re not good at setting up servers and hosting accounts, try to find a hosting service that will help.  Yes, you often hear people bragging about how cheap their hosting, but it comes at a cost usually tied to your ability. For a few bucks more you’ll get service that is worth the small extra cost.

Here’s my review:


Again, the easiest option is BurgundySky (IMHO). It has features, but they are limited. For an accommodation website I think you get all you’ll need. There are unlimited pages, image galleries, Google Maps, Contact Forms that block spam, in built stats packages as well as easy set up of Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, and full mail capability. There are a lot of templates and most can be customized with your own images and colours to that they look professional and uniquely your own. They’ve proven to be search engine friendly so that within a few days after going live you’ll often find them ranking highly – assuming you’ve written good keywords rich text and page titles.

If you’re wanting to take online bookings, you’ll probably use a service like Web Reservations or one of the others. These specialist systems use booking links that take guests from your website to another website where they can make safe and secure bookings with advance payments. That makes your life easier because they manage security and they provide tools to manage room allocations. Adding secure pages to websites cost extra and requires some attention to how your server is managed. Outsourcing that headache to someone else is a nice feeling.


I’ve also had great luck with Joomla. When we made the Golden Chain website it required a complex structure to navigate and present the features of each Member Property. We needed to be able to organize all these businesses so that you could easily find what you need by location, topic, maps and basic searches. We wanted Member pages to have a consistent layout where contact details, image galleries, booking links, videos, etc.  We also wanted to be able to make changes as the site evolves, which means we can change a stylesheet to move something like a Toll Free number to the top, and then all Member Pages on the website are changed.  Believe me, when you have over 300 pages; thse global change features are very welcome.

Basic Joomla could not do what we needed. We hired Andrew Eddie and used his JXtended add-ons to enable the features we use to add Member pages and keep them in interlinked categories. It has been very good. We’ve used Joomla and JXtended for 2 years and they have been great. Both are free open source tools, but you’ll find that nothing is really free. Where you don’t have to pay for the software, you will most likely have to pay someone to set it up for you. On the bright side, most people in the Open Source community seem to have a good attitude toward helping people and making the community grow successfully. Working with Andrew was really easy.


So far, so good. I’ve only been using WordPress for a few days.  As you can see, I’ve been able to make a lot of posts and somehow you’ve found them. Search Engines and getting found are always the main point of any website.  WordPress is opening a new world for me with a different style of connectivity. Where our normal websites rely on Google, we are finding RSS, TechnoRati and other mediums with Pings and Trackbacks important.  Yes, basic SEO with good page titles and content and basic efforts to build inbound links remain a constant. 

Is it easy?  Well, I have mixed opinions there. Finding and installing the right plug ins is not easy.  Getting Templates is sort of easy, but they often need to be modified, which is not ‘easy’. I would say that unless you have a fair amount of skill plus a good deal of time, you would probably want to hire someone to set up WordPress.

And the Winning CMS is…..

For me, BurgundySky is the easiest website for accommodation providers. Try the free BurgundySky trial and save yourself the hassles.

About Mark

Founder of Web Reservation Systems, focused on helping businesses in the Australian Accommodation travel sector get more value from Internet Marketing. Originally, we opened up in 2001 as a supplier of Front Office Software linked to Online Booking facilities. That allowed motels and hotels to add booking buttons to their websites as well as sell through Global Distribution Systems. You could say this was an early 'Channel Manager' because it allowed the property manager to simply control price and availability for a diverse array of wholesale and retails websites. Next, we started building websites to profile our customers (Australian Holiday Guide). That lead to building websites for customers as a favour. Now do about 80 websites a year using BurgundySky and Joomla. For small businesses I recommend using BurgundySky as it is very easy to start and manage. Joomla is also great, but harder to install and maintain for a small business. Our web design business is based in Byron Bay, NSW. Byron Bay is a great place to live and work. I have 2 kids (15 and 17) who are both born here and my wife, Shobhan Oliver) is a successful artist.
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7 Responses to Joomla vs BurgundySky vs WordPress Review

  1. joomla template has been tested already for making a high quality templates its very affordable too thats why its been using now all over the world…. Next time i would try Burgundy sky…..

  2. Mark says:

    My point is that Joomla is great, but it is also more complex. Everytime you set up a new website for Joomla, you must install it, import templates, decide on extensions and perhaps modify layout. If that is your job, sure it becomes an easily managed routine. If you’re just a guy who wants to have a website – that could be a steep learning curve.

    Joomla is really meant to be maintained. You need to update your basic stuff like php and you should update Joomla and the extensions as they are fixed and improved. Being Open Source, everyone is looking at ways to plug security holes as well as fix bugs. But, again if you are the website owner with demands to run the business – you don’t want to be looking at these issues.

    If you’re a web developer supporting a bunch of websites, who’s going to pay to maintain version updates? As you make 30, 80, 200 websites – how do you go back through them all and remember what was done?

    BurgundySky has the advantage, and disadvantage, that all the websites share basic libraries that are maintained by the host. If php is upgraded to patch a securoty issue, it is done for you. If a new feature is added, everyone has access to it, but it doesn’t break existing websites.

    As a developer, I like the fact that there is nothing to install. I can focus entirely on content and presentation. I can knock out a high quality website in a few hours for a fraction of the cost it would take to do the same work in Joomla. The costs are pretty much the same because hosting is the same cost as hosting Joomla – which means BurgundySky is like a free CMS. Only problem is that you must host with BurgundySky.

    But, I agree for some jobs Joomla is really fantastic. You have such a huge scope of things that can be done. The number of extensions is huge and this makes it possible to do more. BurgundySky is just better for simple websites simply due to it’s ease of installation and maintenance.

  3. It’s a very interesting subject I was looking around about more information but you got really what i was looking for in your article so thanks and keep it up you have a great blog .
    I’m very interested in CMS and all its related subjects.

  4. How do free movie streaming websites make cash ???? I would guess that it would be hard to make income from legal movie streaming websites .

  5. Mark says:

    Lavonia, Video is just another way to communicate. It’s not about getting money precisely – it’s about getting the message across to your visitor.

    Your website has another objective, which is unclear to me. Are you hosting video, selling video or pirating video – if so how do you make money because the videos are not informationaly related to a marketing message.

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