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Choosing Between Blog Platforms: Drupal vs WordPress

by Saul Fleischman on August 13, 2011

Drupal has much to offer, such as the ability to define content types, their structure, required fields, and assignment of accessing and editing content as defined by user roles is nearly as simple as it is in WordPress (now). Consistent content input removes inconsistencies associated with multi users sites. The resultant is web pages that look neater. Drupal Filters can strip off any undesired formatting – but without loosing the authors intent as this is retained in the database for future reference. This is cumbersome in WordPress. Drupal also opens up opportunities to write mySql reports using the Drupal friendly Views Add in component and extract this content and place anywhere on a page or peripheral area such a left side bar.

Drupal Japan

Let me share with you the Japanese Drupal Logo

The new version Drupal 7 does provides easier access in the backend. (It used to be more annoying to access.) You can slap up a Drupal site in about the same time as a WordPress site, but often choice comes down to which has the most amazing free templates for new users.

 

 

 

 

 

From Dries Buytaert, Founder and Project Lead of Drupal

WordPress looks better on the outside (administration UI); Drupal looks better on the inside (architecture, API design).

WordPress is better than Drupal at blogging, but Drupal excels when you have more sophisticated needs. Non-technical people tend to like WordPress better because it is easier to use. People with a formal background in engineering seem to like Drupal better because it is better to develop on/for. There is a gray area in the middle that I would describe as follows:

  • Designers that developed some PHP coding skills tend to like WordPress because they can quickly ‘hack’ WordPress and get their job done.
  • Developers that developed some CSS/PS skills tend to like Drupal because they don’t want to hack Drupal — they want clean code that is maintainable and upgradeable. (I know it is dangerous to generalize and I recognize that there are many exceptions.)
  • For the past 3 years, the number one stated objective for Drupal is improving usability. The result of that collective effort is a completely new administration backend, improved information architecture, and more. It will soon be available as Drupal 7. I expect Drupal 7 to have a positive impact on Drupal’s adoption, both with a non-technical and a technical audience.
  • If you don’t want to deal with installing, upgrading or scaling your Drupal 7 site, take a look at http://drupalgardens.com — it is free, and allows you to build a Drupal 7 site similar like you would on WordPress.com or SquareSpace. It is designed to take additional complexity out of Drupal.
  • I think Drupal Gardens could be a game changer for Drupal as it eliminates many barriers to adoption for Drupal. If you previously discarded Drupal because it was too hard to use, I recommend looking at Drupal Gardens. It is early (we’re still in beta) but keep an eye on it (we have 25,000 sites already)

From Stanton Champion, Marketing Manager at uTest

WordPress is a terrific blogging tool, and we use it for our blog sites. It works very smoothly for rapid content creation, and it’s easy enough that I can allow get in the company to write without having to spend time training them. Creating original content is a big part of our strategy, and having a platform that makes that easy is a plus for us.

Drupal, on the other hand, is a powerful but difficult tool. It requires more training for even basic content creation, and it takes a lot of time to get it up and working correctly. For big sites with lots of moving parts, Drupal is a great system. But for blogs, it’s overkill. In the time it would take me to properly train everyone to use Drupal, they could already be publishing from a WordPress.

WordPress:

  • fast easy content creation platform
  • low training overhead
  • easy to setup and get going
  • simple to add new sites and blogs as our content needs expand

Drupal:

  • sophisticated CMS that can do anything
  • high training overhead
  • difficult to setup and get going
  • great for complex sites that need to do a lot of different things

About Saul Fleischman

Founder of emerging social media tool sites. Bootstrapping innovation with lean startup development teams. I do project management, user experience, PR, marketing and community development.

su.pr size it! http://su.pr/2u4IEb

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  • Knikkolette Church

    You covered a lot in this post comparing Drupal to WordPress. I don’t know if you were aware of the problems Drupal had this past summer where many Drupal sites were inaccessible because their serve was hacked? I only know this because I know someone who had a Drupal blog and was unable to access it for quite some time. Could this just as easily have happened to WordPress? Perhaps – I’m no hacker or programmer so I don’t know. I know I prefer WordPress because of all the plug-ins, widgets & themes… AND as you stated, it’s relatively easy to teach someone with little technical knowledge.

    • EclipseGc

      Knikkolette, I’m not entirely sure to what you are referring. Drupal doesn’t have a centralized location of “drupal sites” like wordpress does. The article mentioned Drupal Gardens which is our closest thing. As for security, not to say that WP doesn’t take security seriously, but given the nature of WP development, and site deployment, it seems you are expected to hack to system yourself to a certain degree in order to customize it (something drupal does not encourage or support) and any time this has happened you’re more likely to open yourself up to some vulnerability.
      Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that your reasons for preferring WP (“plug-ins, widgets & themes”) is something virtually every major open source content management tool provides to some degree. Drupal has thousands of “plug-ins” (what we refer to as modules) and many themes (admittedly WP’s themes are generally better). That being said, we have some amazing tools and I’d encourage you to not dismiss Drupal out of hand. There’s a reason that it’s being deployed for some of the most powerful important sites on the web.Saul, seeing that this is indeed a WP site, I just want to commend you on how fairly you’ve treated these two products in your post. I’m on the Drupal side of things and essentially agree with your statements 100% and it’s almost identical to how I present the differences. WP is great for what it does, and if that fits your use case, then you should be using WP, no doubt. But if you need something else… you should really be looking at Drupal. Also, I might point out that “content types” “fields” etc were in Drupal years before they showed up in WP (or Joomla for that matter). ;-)

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  • Vitaly Tennant

    Thanks for this breakdown Saul. I’m sure in the time to come Drupal is gonna get better, but for the time being, lots of plugins are still made specifically for WordPress … which gives it more leverage.

    • Keri J

      Vitaly,

      Agree! :)

      ~Keri

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  • Fransgaard

    The two aren’t immediately comparable in my experience. It simply breaks down to WordPress being a content management system whereas Drupal is a content management framework.

    As pointed out WordPress is easier to deploy and get in to for a wider audience but drupal is a lot more scalable and as such used for organisations like NATO, NASA, the White house and playboy.

    Historically from a UX point of view Drupals admin interface is a disaster for majority of users and one of the main reason why it is somewhat inaccessible for regular people. I don’t know if it still holds true as it’s been more than a year since Ive worked on. Drupal site.

    But WordPress admin UX seems to improve with every release.

    • Keri J

      Thanks for your words, Fransgaard.

      I’m not a web developer, per say, but I do run my website and blog on my own, and have become somewhat savvy in navigating around websites and some of the code/langugage.

      I had been working with a client – their web developer set their site up in Drupal. The client needs easy, but wants a good, sound site.

      I suggested WordPress, as there is a need for blogging – content management. But they opted for Drupal.

      When we went in recently to make some minor adjustments and check on the blog, the interface was not user-friendly at all.

      Not having a ton of experience with Drupal, I appreciate this insight and feedback. I’ll stick with WordPress for now. :)

      ~Keri

      • Saul Fleischman

        Oh, since taking your advice and learning ll I can about WP, I love it @fransgaard @connectyou @knikkolette Only, I run into Drupal fans in Triberr, you see.

        • Keri at Idea Girl Media

          @osakasaul:disqus ,

          I’m curious about who in Triberr is using Drupal. Am I familiar with them?

          Everyone I know is using WordPress.

          Please advise. :)

          ~Keri

          • Saul Fleischman

            Actually, @connectyou:twitter several bloggers in Triberr use Tumblr, Drupal, other platforms. But I’d better not mention names. The egos in Triberr are mind-blowing :-)

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  • Brandon Clapp

    I agree, drupal can be more flexible and expandable than wordpress, but it does have more of a learning curve. I’ve still yet to figure out the API.

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  • Editor

    Thanks for this article. We prefer Drupal, even for websites that are blog sites only.

  • Www.HortonGroup.Com

    Drupal is the best choice for businesses to optimize their individuality and who want to position their online presence for growth.

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