Drupal: Is Flexibility Mistaken for Better?
When a new article gets posted online and shared on Twitter, explaining how WordPress is a simpler content management system to use, Drupal users generally tend to come out of the closet to defend their CMS of choice and try to justify some way to bash WordPress back. I just wanted to clear a few things up. I like facts, lets use some of those.
Drupal is a CMS.
Yes. Drupal is a CMS, as well as a framework. Although I wouldn’t really even consider it much of a framework because the API changes dramatically every 6 months.
Drupal is flexible
Yeah, sure, Drupal is very flexible. I’m not denying the fact that Drupal is a great platform to do a lot of cool stuff on – such as Open Atrium. But the fact is, that people are more concerned with being able to get a website up and start publishing their content instead of having worry about taking 4 hours to figure out how to put “the box on the left”.
Most new websites are made with WordPress
Why? It’s not hard to figure out. It’s pretty easy to figure out actually. WordPress is easier than Drupal. In the original post that I made, I never said that Drupal was impossible to figure out, I just said that the complexity of WordPress was a lot more simpler than Drupal.
Drupal claims “without a line of code”
My main focus on the article regarding WordPress vs. Drupal was to state that WordPress was simpler for the common user. (You know, those who typically have a life outside of learning how to write code for complex API’s and just want a website to get some content online). The purpose was to prove the whole “build a website without typing a line of code” theory wrong. I’m sure open atrium wasn’t built in a WYSIWYG editor, wouldn’t you agree?
Flexibility can be achieved with WordPress, just as it can with Drupal.
As stated above, Drupal has great flexibility – but denying the fact that WordPress has the ability to be as flexible wouldn’t be accurate. As stated in the previous article, Drupal has 6,000 modules. Of those 6,000, how many are kept maintained? Of those that are kept maintained, how long will they be maintained and will they continue to be developed when the next version of Drupal comes out?
Also, eventhough WordPress and Drupal are both CMS’s, it’s kinda like comparing apples to oranges. I, personally, would not use Drupal for a blog – because I would choose WordPress. I would not use Drupal for eCommerce – because I would choose Magento. I would not use Drupal for a forum – because I would use vBulletin. So no, Drupal and WordPress technically aren’t the same things.
A lot of people compare Drupal to Lego building blocks. You start with the foundation and build on top of it. I have an analogy (at least for a large part of newer people to Drupal) of my own. Drupal is like a Rubik cube. Sure, some people know how to solve it, but for those who have never messed with it are clueless – at least for development anyways. Contrib means having to rely on other people to keep their stuff up to date in order to keep your website up to date as well. If I’m building a $10,000+ project for a client, I’d rather have more than “We can fix that problem whenever the module developer updates their module” to tell my customer.
Anyways, I’m rambling. Bottom line… The flexibility can be arguable between Drupal and WordPress – that’s not my argument, I don’t care to argue about it, I don’t have time to argue about it. To each their own. As far as simplicity goes, it’s WordPress by far. Don’t get me wrong, Drupal is a great project. I would love to see Drupal grow as a community and a product, but the complexity of the API is only going to discourage new users from using it – I’ve seen it happen on countless occasions.