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Drupal vs WordPress

August, 31, 2012 | Articles,The Curve

This is from the perspective of a frontend developer. My goal is to remain completely objective, and simply state the facts.

The very first thing I feel a strong need to clarify is the clients’ perspective on what and how a website runs. Most of them really don’t care one way or another. What I have been seeing more of are hungry developers bashing the most popular platform in an attempt to promote their own agenda and raise their market value in the process. I for one, am also guilty of this; I refuse to use Joomla, simply because I witnessed it firsthand being hacked to death because it was the most popular CMS back in 2008. In all actuality, Joomla’s success made it a target, not the other way around. People tend to twist these facts and pollute the minds of clients, when they really don’t care to begin with.

What compelled me to write this post was an obscured comment at a local Drupal Meetup. Apparently some people have reservations about WordPress and Windows. People are funny like that, they have to hate on something just because.  My first system was a G3 Mac over a decade ago and it had a whopping 10GB harddrive.  A year or so later, Windows XP was released and I put that G3 back in the box. I’m not sure what happened to it, but one thing I can assure you is that I had no use for it.  I am not all that new to Drupal.  I am well aware of the multitude of features this application provides.  I am also aware of the fact that for a long time  all Drupal sites shared the same look and feel. Most frontend people don’t want to be bothered with the headache theming for this platform can present.  Feeling good about your preferred CMS is not a bad thing, hating on another CMS while your platform is far from perfect is SO WRONG FOR SO MANY REASONS

Drupal is a full featured CMS that you can use to launch a fully functional website right out of the box. It has all of the standard features that most websites implement, like breadcrumb, contact form, user accounts and so much more. The one issue I tend to gripe about is the sheer number of modules you might have to install if you want to customize your project. Some of these modules are security risks if you forget to disable or remove them completely. The biggest issue with this application is the learning curve. Drupal is not easy to learn and use for a beginner.  You will have to roll up your sleeves and dig in. Is the sacrifice of investing the time to learn this system worth the reward? The answer will always be subjective, no matter who gives a response, but I say HELL YEAH! it’s worth it.

The power of WordPress speaks for its self. At the present it is the most used platform on the planet. Unfortunately, there is usually a down side to the popularity. The down side does not outweigh the good; it simply cheapens the brand somewhat and makes it a bigger target for hackers – oops I mean haters. Anyone can launch a WP site in under five minutes. It will only take them another 30 to 40 minutes to add content and be on their merry way, along with all the plugins required to have a functional website. That obscured “Anyone” may not know how to secure that site they just launch, and just like that – their system can be comprised. My primary issues are garbage plugins and the lack of standard features like custom post types. You can customize pages, but not posts. That has to be addressed and not with a stinking plugin.

Both of these systems excel in particular categories which makes them unique;  in my opinion Drupal has a learning curve that most geeks embrace. WordPress has a flexibility that creative types embrace just the same. The one thing I have not noticed in several WordPress circles is the absence of hype.  I cannot say the same for Drupal, but what I did discover really put me in an odd place. I found a wiki article on the Plone CMS that claimed WordPress has less security issues than Drupal. As of this year, Drupal has had 86 security issues, while WordPress experienced 52. The credibility of this information is in question based on the source (Wikipedia). Furthermore, it does not change a thing for me, every CMS platform that you come across will have some issues, how you respond is your business.