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Drupal vs Wordpress Part 1: Which Should I Use?

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I’ve been asked a few times why I use Drupal instead of Wordpress or another CMS. This is a pretty common question across the internet these days too. A lot of the reason to use any system like these has a lot to do with what you are working on and what your ability level is. It could even come down to which one you think has the cooler logo (Drupal, of course) or the better community (I’m biased, but it has to be Drupal).

Before I get too far, I should note for the uninitiated that a CMS is a content management system. That totally helps clear up any confusion there right? Good. Being sufficiently confused about what these are used for is a large part of why there is such a division in which is the best to use. A CMS is great for sites that plan to have a lot of content, or even a little content that could use some serious organization, and both of the examples in the title do that well enough. You need a CMS if you are going to have multiple content authors, want to have a blog, want to deliver content in a variety of ways (Email, RSS, wearable devices, etc.), or you just want to get some great Google results.

This all sounds well and good, but that isn’t the big question. It is pretty easy to see that both Wordpress and Drupal are robust for managing content. They are also both awesome tools in the right hands and can create some pretty sweet sites. The question is then, is one CMS better than the other? How can you even tell?

Wordpress is often associated with being a blog tool and being the easier CMS for those getting into the web. It offers a quick start at a website and can look pretty fancy if you buy a nice template. The Wordpress community is pretty open and can provide a lot of help for those trying to get deeper into development on the platform. It can quickly become cumbersome when you start to need more advanced functionality and it isn’t known for superior stability.

Drupal is made by developers for developers. It has a steep learning curve and it isn’t afraid to admit it. It is by far the heavier of the two CMS (Read heavy as server requirement heavy) and can be a bit impossible to run on a small shared hosting account. This heaviness is part of what allows it so much flexibility. Drupal is one of the most powerful and extensible CMS available and in the right hands it can pretty much handle anything you ask of it. Drupal is known for being stable and reliable which is good since it is typically used for large and important sites.

Ashday loves Drupal, of course, but I think there is definitely a place for both in the interwebs. Not every site needs a crack team of developers to expertly craft all of the inner workings and sometimes you need a little bit more than a small scale brochure site. Both CMS give something unique to the experience and are marching forward as the internet of things becomes more than a buzzword. I’m sure we’ll talk more on this subject soon, so stay tuned!

Mike OUT.

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Mike Goulding

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