I really love the concept/architecture behind Drupal which makes it powerful and flexible BUT it has a massive learning curve and it’s time consuming to set up like you want it. The community around Drupal is loyal and nerdy – I like that, I’m really at home there and I mix with local Drupalists and have a great time. Once you master this sucker, as a developer the sky’s the limit (well that’s as I understand it).
Drupal has an extensive library of modules that have been developed within the community, that extend its functionality; as well as a rich set of API’s that allow developers to customize both the front end and back end of their web sites. If you only look at this as a content management system, Drupal may not be as convenient as the alternatives. When viewed instead as a complete applications development platform, Drupal becomes exciting and indispensable.
WordPress also has an extensive library of plugins that as generally free, but some of the most useful ones have to be purchased. The same goes for themes (skins) of which there are hundreds for free, but there are also plenty at a price and some offer the kind of flexibilty that allows you to generate pages as if theyu were using different themes. There are many plugins and themes out there, some are great, some are good and some are darn right badly written. Anyone can create a theme or plugin for wordpressand thankfully there are many sites that provide a feedback rating for them.
With WordPress the whole process of installing and getting your site up and running is a breeze. You install the software, set the theme, throw a few trusted plugins in to the mix and you have a fully operational, fully functional, great looking website before you can say yippee-yah-yeh. If you pay for (for example) Thesis or OptimizePress you can have an even more powerful website at your fingertips that is fully operational in minutes.
So now I shall be hanging up my Drupal t-shirt for a while and concentrating on WordPress. As well as the reasons above, another big reason for me is that all my clients use WordPress and so it makes sense to be working all the time in WordPress myself, so that I have my finger on the pulse and so that I can more quickly come up with solutions and fixes.
Finally it’s goiung to be easier and less ttime consuming for me to create all my websites using WordPress. When I want to start a new website in a new niche, I want to get it up and running quickly so that I can put my energy in to content creation rather than overcoming technical issue. And that’s another thing – although WordPress supports multiple websites in one installation, I personally find it requires more effort to maintain and manage. I’ll talk more about this in another post.