Wordpress or Drupal: Which is the better CMS
These are only 2 of many competitors for content management systems (CMS). What is a CMS? Anytime there is content on a website that is editable, 99% of the time the website is driven by a database. When a website has a database, there needs to be a way to easily access and edit the database without knowing any web code. That is what a content management system does, it provides a user interface that can easily control website content with minimal knowledge.
What are the benefits of a CMS driven website?
One of the best examples of CMS driven websites is Facebook; it allows users to easily interact, update, post, load photos, manage videos, and connect with friends. Have you ever noticed websites saying "Currently upgrading to better servers, we'll be back shortly"? Those are all CMS driven websites. It is very rare that a static website will have to upgrade servers and have downtime.
A common question is, What is the difference between Wordpress and Drupal? It does not matter if you are a novice or expert, if you deal with a website or many websites this information is made for you.
Comparison between Wordpress and Drupal
Round 1: Usability - Tied
Wordpress was built specifically catering Bloggers & News type websites. It has a pre-built user interface that is very recognizable. Since every wordpress admin screen look the same, once you get used to it life is great. One of the downsides for a website owner is lack of functionality that requires installation of 3rd party plugins.
** Update 9/28/2012 - Wordpress has added many new and dynamic features to it's dashboard that provided a great additional from a developer standpoint, however this made the interface bit more complicated for the standard user to understand.
Drupal was built with security and flexibility in mind. It has some basic themes / modules that come with the installation to help users get started and very good documentation. Drupal is more of a developer ready platform that allows you to create custom website functionality.
** Update 9/28/2012 - Drupal 7 provides a significant difference to the user experience with simplified features that allow for standard users to easily grasp how to manage their content. We feel that this update has really made Drupal a significant competitor for usability for the standard user. Our customers that are using Drupal 7 are learning how to manage their content much faster and have fewer questions. +1 for Drupal.
Round 2: Community - Drupal Wins
Wordpress development community is made up of many plugins that are not correctly coded or tested to guarantee they do not interfere with functions of the website. The platform is a stable setup IF only wordpress approved plugins are used. Problems occur when web coders duplicate a successful plugin with alterior motives that could potentially be malicious. Some of the more common cases are the white screen of death reported by many Wordpress blog owners.
Drupal development community is made up of modules that are thoroughly tested against Drupal's standards to minimize potential errors. One of the major drawbacks, also a reason many "web designers" do not choose Drupal, is the learning curve in understanding how to properly build website themes on the platform. This CMS platform has amazing flexibility for a web developer to start on a strong foundation.
Round 3: Customization - Drupal Wins
Wordpress has a long list of plugins, to which 5 / 10 will work exactly as one would expect. This not only creates incredible frustration for website owners, but can cripple efficency of developing a website. Wordpress is a wonderful tool for blogging, but it takes skill to build a large scale website with dynamic functionality using it.
Drupal has a long list of modules, to which 9 / 10 will work exactly as one would expect. As a web designer, going through the learning curve of Drupal is difficult but will pay off in the end by cutting down production time. Due to it's scalability, a website owner can start out a small website project of 15-30 pages and building up to 100+ page website without the stress of "rebuilding" the website.
Why we use Drupal over any other platform
Our business model is based on providing the best quality solution for our clients on every level. We feel that choosing a platform that has continued to exceed our expectations on quality was an easy choice. When it comes to website development, there is no need to re-invent the wheel. Many websites use the same functions, tools, and features.