WordPress vs Drupal

I’ve been using these two PHP applications for a long time now. I didn’t want to call them CMS’s because WordPress isn’t really a CMS. And I didn’t want to call them Blogs because Drupal isn’t really a blog. Although they both can probably do everything you need them to do, there are huge differences as to which one you should use.

I’m going to keep this short, because there are many other comparisons online about these two pieces of software, but I’m hopefully going to cover them from a first person perspective, rather than a completely objective perspective.

WordPress

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgbWho should use it: People who need a blog. Sure, there are tons of plugins to add functionality for CMS like features, but natively, it doesn’t support it.

Who shouldn’t use it: People who need to organize a lot of different types of data.

Pros: Great Text Editing. Great media organization. Great Plugins and themes. Looks beautiful out of the box.

Cons: Not necessarily good for data, file, and general content management. Database tables must be created manually with PHP (this could be a pro for some people).

Summary: It feels like the Apple of PHP software. The software has beautiful design and it encourages its developers (for plugins and themes) to make their software with beautiful designs as well. It works right out of the box if all you need is a blog with great media and text editing.

Drupal

drupal_branding_2012Who should use it: People who need to organize dataand content quickly and easily. Between its built in support for fields and views (with a module), you can organize your data quickly and easily. Programming experience a plus.

Who shouldn’t use it: Newbies to PHP software.

Pros: Fast development for different types of content. Tons of customization options. Create databases with point and click.

Cons: Looks ugly out of the box. Steep learning curve. Can be a headache to get it to work exactly how you want it.

Summary: It feels like the Linux of PHP software. It doesn’t really do much out of the box, but you can (and have to) configure it to do what you want and need it to do. It is great software for rapid development of database systems and can do everything you need it to, but it will take a lot of tweaking to get there.

Conclusion

I use both and will continue to do so. Drupal can be a real headache sometimes, but if I need to organize a lot of different types of content, it makes it a breeze. WordPress is such a pleasure to use, but if I want to organize different types of content, it can take much longer than a Drupal website could.

I think Drupal could become my #1 choice if the Text Editing and Media organization could reach the wonderful usability level that WordPress has. Until then, I will continue to use both.