For any dynamic, interactive or frequently updated website, the underlying structure has to be a content management system (CMS). Whether you’re building a website for yourself or for a client, a CMS will allow the end user to quickly integrate new pages, blog posts and designs with ease. Two of the top platforms for building functional, user-friendly websites are Wordpress and Drupal. Over the years, these two platforms have evolved from their humble beginnings. Wordpress began as a dead simple blogging platform, but today, it’s powerful enough for most commercial and personal websites. Drupal, on the other hand, began as and still is a developer’s paradise, with each module and node extensible and customizable to the extreme. But Drupal has made leaps and bounds in the user-friendliness department and is now nearly accessible enough for the masses. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of these two popular web development platforms.
Wordpress Advantages and Disadvantages
Wordpress is easy. Wordpress is fast. Wordpress is even a little bit fun. And those are its main strengths. Non-coders can get up and running with Wordpress and create unique, fully functional blogs and websites in just a few minutes. Even inexperienced web developers can create beautiful looking blogs and websites thanks to the wide range of Wordpress themes and Wordpres plugins.
Recently, Wordpress has been moving beyond a mere blogging platform. There are initiatives and projects that allow you to transform your Wordpress blog into eCommerce sites, multi-user blogs and even social networking sites. But at the end of the day, Wordpress is optimized for blogging. While it can achieve some of these advanced functionalities, it often feels more like a blog acting like a storefront, rather than a through and through online shopping portal or social networking site.
Drupal Advantages and Disadvantages
Drupal can do anything. It all rests upon the chops of the web developer behind the administration panel. Touted as one of the most developer-friendly platforms available, Drupal is heavy on the hand coding, but also offers a few user-friendly features as well. With some effort, you can get Drupal up and running with a WYSIWYG editor and a foolproof contributor area. But if you’re not accustomed to a developer atmosphere, you may get lost in Drupal’s sea of possibilities.
That’s not to say that an intermediate Wordpress user couldn’t easily transition to Drupal. But it’ll be difficult to hit your stride if you don’t have a strong grasp of PHP, HTML and CSS. The major downside of Drupal: its designer community is lacking. Whereas web designers have flocked to Wordpress, creating a vast rainbow of custom themes to make your website beautiful, Drupal remains the ugly duckling of the CMS world. Creating a functional Drupal website is simple. Creating a beautiful Drupal site is a bit more involved.
Bottom-line: If you’re looking to get up and running fast with minimal hassle, go with Wordpress. But if you’re an ambitious developer, try Drupal.