Drupal vs. WordPress
Choosing a Content Management System (CMS) is neither an easy nor fast process. Every CMS has its own set of unique features. On balance, it is often hard to say if one is better or more suitable than another. While some content management systems quickly prove themselves inadequate or flawed for a particular application, others may only reveal their quirks after a lot of experimentation.
This article looks very quickly at both. I consider them both excellent choices, but they are not interchangeable. By the end of this article, I hope to give you an understanding on the strengths and weaknesses of each (in broad strokes), and the circumstances under which one or the other might prove to be a better choice
Both Drupal and WordPress are open source (i.e. free).
Drupal is an extremely flexible content management system. The basic install includes blog, story, book (multi-level chapters) and polls. It has a flexible menu system giving you excellent control over navigation. Even better, it has a system of “blocks” in which you can insert content, menus, almost anything. You have excellent control over the placement of them.
With so much functionality, why choose anything else? Good question, for which I have a good answer.
Drupal is fairly involved to set up. It isn’t so much that it is complicated or anti-intuitive. Actually, it is not that hard to navigate the features. The problem is two-fold - the number of features (not all of which are listed here) makes the job of navigating them more complicated.
For all the features, you will find that it still does not do what you want. For example, there is no built-in text editor. Either learn HTML, or install a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor module. Now you can start to see the second reason why setting up Drupal is involved. Once the decision to use Drupal as been taken, and the CMS installed, your job is not over; far from it! You must then work out how to get the additional functionality you will probably need by searching through the available modules, installing them, trying them out, and evaluating them.
Drupal is very popular and has an active support and development community.
If, having read about Drupal, you have already decided that it sounds like too much trouble, you might prefer WordPress.
WordPress is a blog. At its core, it is nothing more nor less than a blog (more about that later), making it extremely easy to understand, set up and use. Rather than spending hours on deciding how to set it up, and what type of node you should place your content in (as with Drupal), you can concentrate on producing content.
Having said that, WordPress does have a wide variety of modules with which you can extend the CMS functionality. Although WordPress hosts an excellent blog out of the box, you will probably want to tweak it, even push it beyond its blog core capability.
Like Drupal, WordPress is very popular and has an active support and development community.
Both Drupal and WordPress make excellent choices. I have worked with both, and tried a number of other content management systems.
WordPress will get you up and running quickly, and I love its simplicity. The blog you are reading now is powered by WordPress. Although WordPress does have categories, it is primary mode of organization is chronological. Perfect for a blog.
For more flexibility and features, Drupal makes a better choice. It is easer to organize extensive content when chronology is not your preferred organizational choice. It is also easier to administer if you require more sophisticated functions like access control, or a wide variety of content types and formats.
If you know what you want (quick or flexible, easy or extensive) you may already have enough information to make your choice.
You can read my comparison of Drupal and Typo3.
Your comments are welcome. Share your experiences with one, the other or both CMS.