Drupal v WordPress. Both can win. part I: Who’s Winning Now?

Posted on Posted in Editorial

I used to get asked constantly ‘which Content Management System is the best?’. “Which CMS should I be in?”. “Can you update my Joomla site?” (no). The basic decision seemed an easy one last year. Drupal for websites, WordPress for blogs.

No one really asks that anymore. They just ask “do you know WordPress?”. How does that happen so quickly? Two years ago Drupal was the darling of the CMS world, loved by developers and designers alike. For Drupal a seemingly infinite scalability or at least the vision of one, was implied by the amount of development going on at the time. Even version 7.0 had impressive new features that made the nasty, cold, scary world of installing ‘modules’ into a revolutionary easy upload of a tar ball. I personally liked the new version very much, despite some of Drupal’s lingering framework challenges.

It happens so fast, that no one person could be an authority on the phenomenon of what we call ‘bubbling’. MySpace, Napster, Facebook type also-rans, MapQuest, Cold Fusion, Joomla to name a few ‘bubblers’. Balloons leak. Yahoo! is a balloon. Facebook will be a balloon. Bubble’s pop. Right now Drupal feels like a Bubble.

The killer moment for me  after working exclusively in WordPress for several months, was when I was asked to update a Drupal site that I had developed and designed almost a year ago. There are still a lot to like about the system such as the ‘blocks’ and the url specific configurations that allow more granular control of your blocks plus the ease of placing blocks in the areas other than the ubiquitous sidebar of WP.

So I went to add a few features to make some of the content and photo content management more user friendly for our client. Photo galleries and sliders have been the bane of many a qualified developer so most, like myself, decide to hand code the galleries with jquery over spending hours debugging Drupal modules. We decided to add a module to handle that feature and several other modules.

All the installs failed. None of the ‘top-rated’ plugins of any kind, that we tried, actually worked. Approximately 80% were not updated for version 7.

Drupal Dev is at a virtual standstill. At least from what I could surmise. Even the Drupal.org website felt frozen in time, as if some forgotten lab in a sci-fi movie. Where has everyone gone? Why have they vanished?

They aren’t gone, but everyone loves a winner. WordPress is the current champ, and it’s php based so it uses the same skill-set as Drupal. Sure some diehards will rave about staying with Drupal as the superior CMS. Some people stayed on MySpace.

Now if WordPress is such a winner, what can Drupal do to get it’s mojo back? see Part II tomoro.