Using WordPress vs Drupal… all of these open source CMS‘s (Content Managment Systems) have their ups and downs, their “Awesome Feature!” and a little “WTF Functionality”. I’m focusing on two, leaving out Wiki, Joomla and whatever else you might be thinking. I’m talking about Drupal 7 and Word-press…. possibly the two largest if you don’t count Facebook or Myspace… all those proprietary CMS’s. I have also worked extensivly with a CMS called Vortal 3 with the company Intertech Media… Intertech is used by many Radio Stations around the US for websites, their CMS is similar to what I see in Drupal but they all have their differences. I have to mention the more I hear about Joomla the more I think I’m going to throw an install into a sub-domain and have at it.
I think I’ll tackle WordPress (Wp) first because it is is the CMS i’m the most green with. I’ve managed two installations of Wp and I haven’t installed many plugins. It is.. .by far… the easiest most accessible content management system (CMS) I’ve seen. Page creation and customization is simple, it handles images and contact forms perfectly, pretty amazing, it’s like a video game to can turn on and figure out along the way… or it was for me… I am an administrator for several websites. This blog installation is, of coarse, WordPress. Setting aside the fact that I’m a coder…. I beleive Wp is a snap for anyone… teaching and finding resources for site owners to learn more about it was simple enough for anyone, to find most of the missing peices of functionalty, and I’m talking about facebook like buttons and simple twitter plug-ins) i had so many to choose from I consulted a trusty souce for the best option considering what I wanted… but here is the kicker….
The interface is something people… “normal people”… can approach. It’s easy to forget that even simple HTML is greek to most folks. As I’m typing this… the closest thing to HTML I see in the screen is my perma-link, that’s right… the URL to this article. Word-press is an installation I feel comfortable handing off to a responsible person who may not know much about web coding but can type into a text editor and upload and manage photos. I can give a log-in to someone I can trust. Someone that will give me a call if their looking for something in particular or needs some help with a back-up before they decide to go monkeying around. Oh heaven’s it’s friendly. maybe too friendly…. if you’re looking to build a monster… or start with a Mugai (see Gremlins), and then turn it into a monster…. read on.
Then you want to pull out what I think are the BIG GUNS…. Drupal. I’ve worked with Drupal 6 and now Drupal 7 installation. Drupal 7 is leaps and bounds beyond it’s predicessor in my opintion but still out of reach for most people who are not used to dealing with relational databasing or really arn’t interested in getting into it. Drupal will provide any Joe with a core framework that can be expanded to become… well… whatever you can think of, depending on how much time you have and how good you are (at web coding).
Yes, I suppose you could say the same for wordpress… but again… WP is freindly… and easy… just throw things up and link them… it’s almost a website out of the box. as soon as you want to do anything but fill your page with glorious text in Drupal… or place an image offset… you have to dig into the interface. yes it has some out of the box “Basic Pages” and “Articles” but these are far cries from WP’s simple post… the simple post is much easier to handle not to mention look at… did I mention WP has an FCK editor out of the box… and nowhere in the Wp interface do I recall being asked if I want to allow Filtered, Full HTML or just Plain Text.
Now… if you know what that mean… and think it sounds great to configure a full myriad of options for each one and define user access rolls for them… hold on to your hat… you’re going to love Drupal… because that’s a footnote in the options panel, or should I say “panels” everything has about 3 different ones but it makes sense. I can tell you it’s unbelievably powerful and I don’t even know now to use it that well just yet.