Dear Drupal: Season’s Greetings. Love, Smashing WordPress.

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Every day I work with WordPress in one way or another. My Twitter feed is full of WordPress types, and I’m a regular at my local WordPress meetup. I’m a WordPress fan.

The developer across the hall from me works with Joomla. His Twitter feed is full of Joomla types, and he uses the CMS every day. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that he attends the local Joomla user group. He’s a Joomla fan.

dear-drupal1

The White House hosts a number of Web developers who use Drupal every day. Their Twitter feeds are probably full of Drupal types, and some may well attend the Washington DC Drupal meetup2. They are Drupal fans.

All three of these tools produce the same thing, HTML. Throw in some CSS and JavaScript, and you have yourself a website. This is what I love about Web development: so many tools are available, each with its strengths and weaknesses.

We Have A Problem

In the WordPress community, I often see snide remarks directed at the Drupal and Joomla communities. I see the occasional remark directed at WordPress, too, but because I hang around mostly with WordPress types, I see more outbound comments.

This bickering ranges from overt expressions of contempt to, more subtly, gleeful sharing of accounts of internal disputes on “the other side.”

I am more effective at working with WordPress than with Joomla or Drupal, both of which baffle me to some extent. It’s not that the other CMS’ are inferior, but that my knowledge of them is.

Drupal Is Better Than WordPress

Without a doubt, Drupal is better than WordPress. Out of the box, it can handle higher traffic, its database management is better, and complex data maps are easier to handle. Out of the box, assigning permissions and preventing certain users from accessing data are easier to do. If you were creating a public-facing intranet website – for example, to allow salespeople to access internal documents on the road – this would be comforting.

WordPress Is Better Than Drupal

Without a doubt, WordPress is better than Drupal. Out of the box, content submission is easier for someone who is untrained in HTML, the default rewrite URLs are much nicer than Drupal’s, and customizing the default settings is easier.

The core developers focused on backwards compatibility, so a theme written today for version 3.2.1 will likely work in four years’ time.

The Gift Of Inspiration

Despite the trash talk, Drupal and WordPress have one thing in common: a frequent crossover of features. In some cases, it’s a core feature (a recent example being menus in Drupal being brought over to WordPress).

In other cases, a developer will port a popular module or plugin to their platform of choice. The new functionality may be optional, but it is still cross-platform pollination.

All Software Has Its Weaknesses

Every piece of software I have ever used has at some point made me get up from my desk, walk calmly across the room and kick the crap out of the garbage can. (Try it. It’s cheaper than throwing the computer.)

The big three open-source CMS’ are no different from any other software. There are idiosyncrasies to work around, and there are edge-case and intermittent bugs that will hit you and one other person3.

Share Your Weaknesses

Instead of trash-talking the “the other” CMS’ and dwelling on their weaknesses, let’s come together and recognize that we are all part of the same community: the open-source community.

In open-source circles, hearing of the desire to give back to the community is relatively common. Expanding your definition of “community” from the one around your platform to encompass the open-source community will increase your opportunity to give back.

Giving back doesn’t have to mean offering a tangible product, such as a theme, plugin or module repository. It could be as simple as sharing how you solved a particular problem.

Send Christmas Cards

Instead of sending broadsides in each other’s direction, let’s send Christmas cards to each other. If you start sharing with the opposition, it’ll soon reciprocate.

I’m not advocating that all open-source CMS communities strive for the same goals, sitting around a campfire singing Kumbaya and having conversations along the lines of:

“You’re the best.”

“No, you’re the best.”

I am advocating that we respect the strengths of each other’s non-preferred CMS and help improve its weaknesses. Sitting around a campfire is strictly optional.

(al)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/12/21/dear-drupal-seasons-greetings-love-smashing-wordpress/
  2. 2 http://groups.drupal.org/washington-dc-drupalers
  3. 3 http://xkcd.com/979/

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  1. 1

    Drupal is more to framewrok than CMS, although more complete WordPress key API but Drupal is still the best

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  2. 2

    Personally, I recommend WP…and if I need something more robust I use Modx. I’m not a big fan of Drupal or Joomla…. #justsayin

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  3. 3

    I tend to agree with this view of web technology. The huge Drupal fan that I am, I often see other CMS’ implementation of a feature, design, etc and try to see if this fits into my current scheme of design. WordPress does have the advantage that its development was laymen-user-centric form the get-go. There are many discussions on the drupal forums about various implementations that could/would/should be implemented in Drupal. Having worked with both CMS’ I find the same holds true on WordPress forums. A skilled designer/developer can use either system and produce quality work, but we developers tend to lean to one system more than any other for whatever reason we have. Now back to developing …

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  4. 4

    Its refreshing to have someone come out and take a stand for co-operation and community, particularly around the topic of “The Big Three” CMS’s. I personally have used all three on various projects and agree that they all have the Pros and Cons. But there is no point (and a waste of time and energy) sitting around deriding the CMS you do not prefer.

    Have a Merry Xmas Peter and everyone in the Open Source Community

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  5. 5

    Well said. I think we can go a step further and try using or developing in ‘the other CMS’, at least once. I recently spent time developing a Drupal site and I actually liked it and I can finally see why people favor it over WordPress or Joomla. But, I can still say that I will forever be a WordPress fan.

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  6. 6

    in my opinion, wordpress is for everyone and drupal is just for someone with higher programming knowledge. so i’m not wonder that wp has more user than drupal.

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    • 7

      I think people don’t give Drupal or any other CMS that is not the one they’re comfortable with a chance. I do realize the learning curve is high (for Drupal at least) but it just annoys me when people criticize any CMS without testing it out themselves. I can’t count the many times I’ve heard people say bad things about a CMS and when I ask what they were using it for or when, they say they’ve never really used it but that’s what everyone is saying. I think its foolish.

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  7. 8

    And yet, most of the commentators didn’t get it…

    Merry Christmas WordPress, you are the best!

    (From a fellow Drupal fan)

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  8. 10

    Drupal = KING… but we definitely don’t mind the occasional WP every now & then ;)

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  9. 11

    Merry Christmas Drupal and WP! I love and miss you both. <3

    - Forced to Learn ASP.NET

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  10. 12

    We should all take a walk outside our comfort zones … we can benefit from those experiences quite a lot. I understand why we play favorites, at the moment I develop and deploy custom CMS built on the SilverStripe framework. Each time I have had to work with WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc I have taken something back to my development process for the better.
    So Merry Christmas to all CMS big and small,
    you all shine in the right light.

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  11. 13

    Whatever happened to using the right tool for the job!

    For me, as a programmer with some 10 years experience, Joomla is powerful and very scalable, Drupal is also powerful, but fragmented in its design, and WordPress is just a very weak system.

    With all that said though, if I’m building a small posted content site – I might use wordpress; if the site will need a lot of customised features – I might use Joomla or Drupal; if the site is a complete custom development – a framework is definitely better suited, and I’ll choose the most appropriate framework for the job.

    So stop arguing about what’s better, they are all bad and good for different reasons, just choose the best tool for the job.

    George

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  12. 14

    There’s one problem with the Content Management Systems listed here. They are all Open Source. It’s plain economics. All of them are slow to become what they truly could be, and because there’s no money in it, there’s nobody looking to profit from these systems, or at least nobody who’s able to make it worth their while.

    These CMS are just applications, web applications, underdeveloped, unfocused and lacking direction (that sounds harsh but I’m speaking relative to what they would be if somebody was being paid to make it something more).

    I personally am a fan of both Drupal and WordPress. WordPress’ UI and admin interface is far more advanced and developed. Drupal’s system infrastructure and massive module selection is ages beyond Wordpess plugins. I won’t even talk about Joomla. I don’t hold it in the same respect as Drupal and WordPress.

    What I want is an App for web development. Combining WordPress style and admin functionality with Drupal’s modularity, speed, and other good qualities. An interface like Coda built in. Give me the funding and a team of the right people and I could outstrip Drupal and WordPress within 2 years. I could have an app as valuable as Photoshop, selling for more, and just as popular.

    I know the people are out there. I see them developing modules for Drupal, plugins for wordpress, making themes for both. If they were being paid to develop these things what do you think would happen to these CMS? There would be a giant leap forward. No more waiting, no more headaches. Everything you need would come out of the box.

    That’s what the web needs.
    - investment
    - direction
    - leadership
    - the right coders and designers
    - App UX
    - CMS for sale!

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    • 15

      The biggest advantage of open source applications is that most of the people developing it are doing so because it is their passion. As a result the quality can often be much higher, however I will concede that many have relatively poor interfaces because they are often designed by developers not UI/X experts.

      Also paid for application often follow current trends in order to be more marketable, whereas opensource application drive innovation.

      I completely disagree with you statement that opensource CMSs are “underdeveloped, unfocused and lacking direction”, in fact in some cases I would even say the reverse is true. Te be honest that’s not even worth a response, it’s just a pointless statement based on you clear lack on knowledge and experience.

      George

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    • 16

      All of them are slow to become what they truly could be, and because there’s no money in it, there’s nobody looking to profit from these systems, or at least nobody who’s able to make it worth their while.

      Ever hear of Acquia for Drupal and Automattic for WordPress? Those two would automatically cancel out your argument that there is no one looking to profit from these systems.

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    • 17

      Congratulations, you just perfectly described why a lot of commercial products are f*ked up and useless. Because they have interest in profit and “leadership”.

      In modern world, leadership tends to become the sole factor to inhibit a project. People who make the decisions because they have the authority or money, but aren’t able to fully understand what decisions they are making.

      I don’t think WordPress being a commercial product in the price range of photoshop, for example, would have done it any good:
      A) No one would care to pay that much for a cms, be it sooo good.
      B) Chances are with a financial background WordPress wouldn’t have come even so far as it is now. Because where people invest, people want to see profit. By the end of the year/month/week. And as long as something is aimed at making profit, quality will be secondary as long as it can be sold.

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  13. 18

    I´ve already worked with both and the best experience was with WordPress. Easier to work, to customize, It does more than promisse. Drupal was made to be the “CMS” and try to do all the things to run without you have to enter in the code, but this “philosophy” doesn´t run. A easy thing to do in WordPress is a nightmare in Drupal. So after I use both I prefer the who does more than promisse. I can´t live without WordPress today.

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  14. 20

    Prashant Shrestha

    December 21, 2011 5:26 pm

    I am a long time drupal user and I love its flexibility and robustness, but I also used wordpress a few times and really love the UI and easy to use interface. I believe that there a lot of things that the two CMS can learn from each other. I will continue using them both.

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  15. 21

    *Laughs*

    • I love the comments from people who didn’t get the spirit of Peter’s article.
    • I love the comments saying they would like to make money from open source CMS
    • I love the comment from Aubrey Knight – spot on! (nothing to do with me being in love with your name)

    The best CMS is; the one you are comfortable using, that can serve the job you are doing and will make the end users happy … YaY!

    There a many different wheels out there, just find the right one, don’t reinvent it :o)

    Seasons Greetings to all the CMS developers around the world who make our lives easier, teach us some new tricks and at times … make our lives really interesting!

    Cheers,
    Paul

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  16. 22

    If you’re a web developer there’s nothing like Drupal and its modular approach. With tons of modules available for download the sky’s the limit. And if there’s no module that covers your needs, simply write your own or use the hook system to alter existing functionality. The API documentation is also great.

    Not to mention the powerful stuff you can do with multi-site installations and inheritance (save time by creating a base website once and inherit from it for all future websites).

    What’s missing is more out-of-the-box features and end-user friendliness. It can take quite some time to make a Drupal website user-friendly for non tech-savvy content editors.

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  17. 23

    Drupal is great! I developed with it amazing things. -BUT- it’s learning curve is very big and the updating step when a new version is out is not so easy as in wordpress

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  18. 24

    I can’t help trying new toys all the time. I probably use WordPress the most, followed closely by Drupal. But, have also worked with Silverstripe, Modx and Concrete5 (not even mentioning the plethora of ecommerce packages). Back in the day I started with Joomla, but, I think it must have gone off and started to smell bad, so, I threw it out.

    Bits about them all make me chirp with delight, and other bits about them all make me wanna set an angry Rhino loose on their faces.

    Happy Hols!!!

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  19. 25

    Every tool has its strong and weak points. So what? Be happy and enjoy the freedom to choose what suits you the best.

    Merry X-Mas and have a Happy New Year!

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  20. 26

    Great attitude in this article! It takes time and dedication to really know different systems. Most people — out of necessity — focus on one CMS, deepen their knowledge in it, and can’t really get to know another system.

    I’ve focused deeply on Joomla. I have medium experience with WordPress, and I’ve dabbled in MODx and ExpressionEngine.

    My biggest problem with all CMSs is how difficult it is to do custom work. For example, in Joomla it is nearly impossible to create custom fields and do essential CRUD operations.

    Lately, I’m turning towards a PHP framework (I’ve chosen CodeIgniter). Of course, there’s a whole debate within the framework world about which one of those is best!

    I’d be very interested in hearing from others who have found CMSs generally too limiting and who are transitioning — or have transitioned — to a framework.

    Thanks,
    Matthew

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    • 27

      This isn’t really in the spirit of this article, but it’s worth noting that one of Drupal’s major features is the ability to create custom fields/content types and manipulate queries for them using a UI. This is on example of why people consider Drupal to be in that middle ground between a CMS and a framework; it has always been geared toward developers. In the current version (7) and in the next versions, the focus has been shifted more toward ease of use with major UI improvements (many of which inspired by WordPress, no doubt – and that is in the spirit of the article).

      Of course, something like Code Ignitor will be even more flexible, but putting together a full-featured site quickly is going to be more challenging. CMSes fulfill a lot of common requirements very quickly. I personally wouldn’t use Drupal to build a “web app”, although someone technically could do that.

      I’m a little disappointed that we haven’t seen a serious open source CMS competitor build on top of an existing web framework. CMSes exist in Rails/Django/CodeIgnitor/Symfony/Pyramid/CakePHP, but they aren’t as established as the big three: WP/Drupal/Joomla. I wonder if the best open source CMS in the future will end up coming from a framework. Ultimate flexibility + ease of use + tons of contributed modules, simultaneously aimed at developers, designers and end-users. One can dream.

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      • 28

        ExpressionEngine, built on CodeIgniter, is not open source but of the same quality (and sometimes better) than the other listed CMS (and the price is not high).

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      • 29

        One can dream, or live it. I’m living the dream with MODX 2.2. I can emulate Drupal, WordPress but at the end it’s all about displaying content.

        The only people who care about how that content gets to be displayed are developers.

        So instead of Merry Christmas [insert your favorite CMS]
        I propose Happy New Year’s to everybody’s favorite CMS AND to all of you developers and programmer’s who make their favorite CMS behave the way it does.

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    • 30

      Santiago Escobar

      January 3, 2012 9:18 pm

      Hi, I am a junior web development, but i am agree with your comment I have figured that is better to make something you develop, instead of making fit-something.

      Currently I am developing in C#, I’ve made some CMS with it, and i found more optimal to write something that will work as you want it to than searching for plugins or modules that will make the work.

      Regards.

      Santiago

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  21. 31

    Kristiaan Van den Eynde

    December 22, 2011 4:27 am

    I love both Drupal and WordPress.

    If I need to develop a website with a high level of customization, I go with Drupal. If I need to build a simple website for a company that needs nothing more than a face on the web I choose WordPress.

    Although I must admit building a module for Drupal is a lot more sexy (in terms of coding) than writing a WordPress plugin is.

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    • 32

      Exactly. I have both Wordpess and Drupal in my weapons of choice and base the decision on the requirements of the job and expected requirements of the future.

      And, with the final release of Views 3.0 for Drupal 7 it should again be getting more lovin’ from the general community.

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  22. 33

    …and Expression Engine is better than both

    you missed that bit.

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  23. 34

    I don’t get all this fanboism. There is no “best”. It all depends on the situation and requirements. And in extreme situations, use a framework.

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  24. 35

    Please don’t call yourselves developers. That’s like someone saying they can program because they made a VCR stop blinking 12:00. You take a system that’s already set up and customize it. You’re designers who can dabble in PHP.

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    • 36

      That’s awfully presumptuous of you.

      I have written and maintain several Drupal modules, as well as written several very complex non-contributed modules.

      But, maybe you’re right.. maybe someone who is really a designer at heart and just “dabbles in PHP” can do that.

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    • 37

      There is such a thing as a front-end developer. Get down off your high horse. You’re gonna hurt yourself.

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    • 38

      I’m a developer.

      Using a more accurate metaphor, if you are a home builder do you log your own trees, cut them down to boards and weather treat them yourself? Do you mine your own metal to mold your own screws and door handles? Do you build your hammer from scratch and create your own glass window panels from sand? After all that (and finishing one home every 10 years) – do you knock and criticize these ‘faux’ home builders who use other people’s tools, pre made screws, pre processed wood as frauds?

      This is about using the right tool for the job, not about reinventing the wheel for every project. And if you have ever tried running your own business or been in an executive level position, you would see the value of efficiency.

      P.S. I don’t have a VCR.

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  25. 39

    I’ve used both WP and Drupal too, WP is better to get a site up and running really fast… in my experience with Drupal (which is not that impressive, just a couple of sites, BTW), you have to download a bunch of modules to get it to do some pretty basic stuff like WYSIWYG, Fields, Date, IMCE…and Views… Views is great if you can’t write a line of code and need to create your custom pages pulling content based on tags, content-type or whatever… but I’d much rather just write a template and call WP_Query for that… at least I do it 10x quicker that way… there’s probably a similar way to do that in Drupal, but I don’t know it… so, it’s like you say… if you’re used to one, you can’t criticizes the competing software just because you haven’t spent enough time playing with it.

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  26. 40

    Yes, let’s never criticize any software ever again, and all their bugs and usability flaws will magically fix themselves!

    Criticism is GOOD. It helps the developers see what most people dislike about the software and take steps towards improving it.

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    • 41

      I think you’ve missed the point he was making. Criticism is fine, and even useful, but fanboyism is not good. Picking one team and hating the other teams is not useful for anyone. All major CMSes have learned things from the others. I know Drupal has improved its UI with some inspiration from WordPress and other CMSes. Apparently, WordPress picked up some ideas from Drupal’s menu system. There should be more of this.

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  27. 42

    I’m grateful that the world embraces three technologies. If the browser world taught us anything, it’s that innovation stopped when IE got dominant market share. Once there were viable competitors, innovation started up again. I’ve used all three CMS (as well as Plone), and I agree they would all benefit from more cross pollination of ideas. Sounds like a great idea for an Unconference.

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  28. 43

    I always love reading your articles on here Peter and not just cause you’re a WordPress ninja! :)

    I am very much willing to admit that I flame Joomla users on Twitter a lot. I can definitely say that the main reasons I didn’t like Joomla was because of a) the extra time it takes to develop modules and components vs WordPress plugins, b) the usability when you hand it over to clients, c) the difficult upgrade process for clients and above all d) the community.

    I’ve learnt so much over the last 3 years thanks to the WordPress community. Everyone is so open and willing to help teach other people new things. I never had that in the Joomla community. Joomla people seemed to hide a lot of their knowledge and the module/component authors seemed to all be ninja’s who wouldn’t share enough info as well.

    I’m not sure where I’d be now without the WordPress community! I wouldn’t be running WordPress meetups and WordCamps for fun and loving every second of my WordPress based life :)

    WordPress, Drupal and Joomla certainly wouldn’t be anywhere near as awesome as they all are today without each others existence! Open source software and all it’s contributors have really shot the net light years ahead!

    Merry WordPress!!!

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  29. 44

    I suppose I’m bilingual, with one foot in WordPress and another in Drupal. Different tools that fit different goals. In fact, two days ago, I just launched another new site in WordPress at chrispadgett.com – but Drupal can actually make the end user experience more satisfying without the need for the user to learn/use shortcodes or custom fields… if the developer sets up the site correctly. Drupal can be more work, but it can also be more flexible and user-centric if the developer knows what he/she is doing.

    Merry Christ-Mass!

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  30. 47

    I personally don’t really see a place for Drupal in my workflow. If I’m making a quick little website, I use WordPress or my own CMS. If it’s something more complicated (like a IS, custom app,….), that would have me tweaking a lot of things and developing extra modules, I use Zend framework and use a lot of my already existing code (I found this to be much faster than “bending” Drupal or Joomla). Therefore, WordPress is the clear winner for me… still, respect to good Drupal and Joomla developers :).

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  31. 48

    I use WordPress and Drupal. In general, I develop larger, high traffic sites on Drupal and smaller sites (e.g. blogs, portfolios, basic info sites) on WordPress. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, although Drupal is working hard to become more user-friendly. While I use this platforms almost exclusively, I still build custom apps/sites with PHP and Coldfusion (yes, Coldfusion is still around) and on many occasions miss the flexibility of not having to work within the confines of a CMS and all of its dependencies.

    Perhaps one day some crackerjack open source developers will build a next-gen CMS that features the best of WordPress and Drupal…

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  32. 49

    I work with Drupal at work, and with WordPress at home.
    I can see why we use Drupal at work, and I can see why I stick to wordpress at home.
    Thats all.

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  33. 50

    Spicing up the discussion: why not use a real CMS right away? Choose TYPO3!

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  34. 51

    I’m going to echo some words of some commenters – I really appreciate this type of post. It’s much easier to trash talk or brag talk about one platform or the other… Or the language. Thank goodness for the openness in the community, and the spirit of cross-platform inspiration sharing.

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  35. 52

    Too frequently decisions on CMS’s are made without considering who the CMS is actually going to be used by. Having worked with WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, I’ve noticed none of them are particularly easy for clients to use, even after giving them lengthy walk throughs. WordPress certainly is the best of these three.

    But for me, ExpressionEngine is where it’s at. It’s a CMS that doesn’t get in your way of development, you can choose to make it heavily programming oriented or you can opt to make simple. You build it to fit the needs of the site.

    And as for client ease, since you create the fields for the specific channel you’re posting to, there aren’t confusing moments where they don’t know how to format the content, it tells you, guides you, and makes the content consistant across the entire site.

    I feel that most CMS choices are made due to developer preference, and developers work fast when they know a system incredibly well. But the missing part is who the site is actually for, the client.

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    • 53

      Expression is the most confusing CMS I’ve used. It’s one thing to learn to use it and it’s a new ball game if you are wanting to develop in it. Let me put it this way, Expression Engine requires you to dump everything you knew about developing in WP and Drupal, and start from scratch. Most developers and designers, just don’t have the time to learn a new system, users who are used to WP way of things, will also find EE confusing. Most people don’t undrestand channels.

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    • 54

      But the missing part is who the site is actually for, the client.

      Ultimately the site is for the end client’s current and potential future clients, not themselves. ;)

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  36. 55

    Merry Christmas WordPress :)

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  37. 56

    I think this is great post as I believe every CMS has different strengths. I am familiar more with WordPress as being more of an html/css design person and not php developer. The Drupal learning curve seemed too high for me 3 years ago when I looked at both.

    However, to me is what is the best way to choose the correct CMS for your project or clients?
    When is it best to use Drupal, WordPress OR Joomla? or even a paid or custom solution..

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  38. 57

    Even with custom content types in the latest WP, I still feel that Drupal is all around better. A lot of the things that have made WordPress 3+ a real CMS almost seem like direct clones of features Drupal has always had. The sheer number of things it can do out-of-box is mind blowing, and it extends by light years just with the modules that already exist. The learning curve is just steeper, and making themes for Drupal that are as good looking as most WP themes is just much harder.

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  39. 58

    To get to the point of Peter’s post:
    I’m a Joomla UI/UX guy and one of the biggest weaknesses in Joomla has been the UI/UX and usability. We’re working hard to fix that now.

    Rather than focus on just the “big 3″ it’s healthy to look over the fence sometimes. I’m personality inspired by the incredible usability of other CMS’s like Light CMS and Squarespace.

    Kumbaya!

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  40. 59

    Merry Christmass Drupal ! ;)

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  41. 60

    Yes. More of this. More cross-project polination. We all have a long way to go to make the interwebs actually awesome.

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  42. 61

    WordPress and Drupal deserve their good reputations, and Joomla’s mixed reputation is likewise deserved. But all 3 are built on 10+ year old foundations. They are the “big 3″ because they’ve been around a long time, not because they are the best 3. The word “best” is a relative term to the project. People are using these products in instances where they are far from the best choice. So while lots of respect and Christmas cards go out to the big 3, folks should make a new years resolution to move on when the opportunity is there.

    Maybe WordPress is the best for blogs, and Drupal is the best when some module does exactly what you need. But go beyond that and things change. Once you spend some real development time with a modern open source platform like ProcessWire, Symphony, Silverstripe or even ModX Revo, you’ll find a lot fewer places where you’d want to put WP/Drupal/Joomla/EE to work.

    The big 3 platforms may be popular and even have some new code behind them, but they are still built around decade-old ideas, methodologies and conventions. I still like WP, Drupal and occasionally EE when the need calls for it, but they are becoming increasingly painful for this lazy developer to keep enduring. So while I’ll keep sending them Christmas cards and sharing old memories, I hope the web development world grows beyond them in 2012.

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  43. 62

    Without a doubt, you’re right on both counts. I work with sites in both (actually, all three) worlds on a regular basis and am glad to have the option to match CMS with mission. I wouldn’t build a website for a small site or family member in Drupal, but there are clients it’s definitely the right pick for. And some in the middle for which Joomla works quite well too. For me, the Open Source component is a prime consideration, and after that it becomes a mater of fit.

    So, Merry Christmas SharePoint and whole .net family!

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  44. 63

    Merry Christmas, Open Source Community! :D

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  45. 64

    WordPress all the way ;-)

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  46. 65

    Season Greetings to Open Source!

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  47. 66

    It is good that both are different in nature (UI, functionality, code etc), that’s why we have a choice.

    Choose CMS which you are most comfortable with. It could be WP for someone, Drupal for the other and Joomla for another.

    I have used all of big three and I like each one.

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  48. 67

    The thing to remember from this article: “All three of these tools produce the same thing, HTML”.

    If only they were better suited to bring that job to a good end ;)

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  49. 68

    I agree with @mUhAmAr.

    Both CMS are great !, I love drupal & I like wordpress :)

    Merry X-mas Everybody !!

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  50. 69

    Actually the experience of building sites in Drupal 7 is unpleasant, with more flakey modules and incomplete integrations than you can shake a stick at.

    It would be great if it did everything it promised to do.

    For developers who don’t object to the Java stack and can learn a few Velocity tags, one of the most scalable, rapid development platforms around has to be Content Control.

    It’s a bit more like developing in MODX but with a prettier user interface and a few enterprise features.

    A lot of the comments are correct – you need to choose the right tool for the job. I think it’s the case that Drupal’s role is somewhat more niche than some folk would have us believe.

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    • 70

      And in the spirit of Christmas, I should say:

      “Happy Christmas Drupal, thanks for all the good times of Drupal 6x”

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    • 71

      Drupal 7 is relatively new and thus the community hasn’t caught up with the new version just yet in terms of flushing out ideas and bugs. I still use D6, for now.

      The learning curve with Drupal is a reality. I’m more designer than programmer and with lots and lots of trial and error on thousands of modules I’ve found a large set that can work together and allow me to develop without coding for the most part. Developing in Drupal does take a good bit of time but it does allow you to create most anything you need.

      May 2012 bring you great fortune in happiness!

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  51. 72

    WordPress – You don’t really have to learn it. Skim through a couple of readmes and you’re ready to go.

    Drupal – You have to put some real effort into learning the system and PHP in general but it is WORTH IT. No other open-source community that I know of has the “community plumbing” aspect down as well as Drupal. The contributed modules, the documentation, the forums – all hands down the best. Once you get over the hump with Drupal you can do ANYTHING and do it in a way that is robust and scalable. I hope you all get D& with Views 3.0 for Christmas this year.

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  52. 73

    I regard WordPress more useful to novices, Drupal is poorly documented and supported and Joomla! wins hands down. I can produce any type of website I wish without any programming knowledge. Why is smashing magazine so pro WordPress??

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  53. 74

    exactly: taste is not discussed full stop.

    i can’t believe there are still people out there just bashing one CMS just because they don’t like it.
    it’s plain simple: why you like that over this? why this car and not another? why this color over another? Why this pizza and not that pizza?

    How futile are these comments: “WP is better, Drupal is BF” or ” Drupal is the best, Joomla! is bad”. No wonder this entire world is going down the drain, with so narrow and closed minded people.

    The bottom line is that they all have their strength and weakness according to YOUR skill and what you want it to be or do.

    And to those developers who likes to put themselves on a pedestal and complain about newbies. You quickly and easily forget that once you were a newbie as well. As far i as know you were not writing lines of code when you were still in your dad’s testicules, right?

    What i found interesting in these comments, not many people are coming from the Joomla! sphere. You can say what you want, but it has been downloaded millions of times, it must be for a reason.

    And another important point not to forget, Joomla! is very young compared to Drupal and WP. Joomla! is only really 3-4 years old. The first release version was just the residues of Mambo that went commercial. You should only count the real starting point as of Joomla! 1.5.
    And look where it is now.

    Give it another 5 years or more of development, and i’m pretty sure you’ll have a CMS that can be better compared to Drupal and WP in a very different manner.

    At the end of the day, you need to find the most suitable CMS for your client’s need. And make sure the client will be able to use it easily since they are the ones paying your bills and putting food on your plate.

    Back to you.

    bob

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  54. 75

    the one I like the best is the one I can use to make money….which means if a customer is already using something and just needs me to step in an do a redesign, I’m not going to fight with what they already know. use droomla for all i care, so long as the money is green i’m happy.

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  55. 76

    Why? Why do you compare the content framework and content management system? This is very stupid! Because the first is made for developers! And personally I would not want that would spawn Drupal sites like WordPress sites. I have nothing more to say …

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  56. 77

    imho, it all comes down what the client/website’s specifications are, using the right tool for the right job. I’d go for wordpress for small-medium sized websites and drupal for big-large and ecommerce websites.

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  57. 78

    Whole-number version upgrades seem way easier in WP. You don’t have to look too far to find large Drupal-based projects still deployed in Drupal 6 because the effort to get to D7 compatibility isn’t economically justifiable. Case in point: openpublishapp.com.

    For the Drupal organization & devs, supporting two active (if somewhat incompatible) versions of the same software seems a bit wasteful and must surely slow down Drupal’s evolution.

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  58. 79

    Since 95, I’ve used CMS systems for development on client sites. Most back then being Mambo. Then Joomla. Both great systems. On personal projects, I tried Typo3, Drupal after it’s first few releases but the learning curve and my desire to learn it just wasn’t there.

    WordPress, which i’ve now used since 2003, is a nice all around system. It’s easy to make it do what you want for almost any project. But while there are alot of plugins and other addons, I have noticed that those who are more experienced in hard code dev seem to choose Drupal. The guys at Four Kitchens have one of the better core changes for Drupal,

    I just find it odd that out of the popularity of WordPress, that I have yet to come across any releases where someone decided to make the WordPress core even faster, better performance and scalabilty. There are tons of tricks for building a screaming wordpress hosting environment, I point people to the articles on Lowendbox.com all the time. (Lower right on page lists articles).. WordPress has popularity, But it’s core is also the biggest problem. Its need to be rewritten for speed, less resource consumption and a more modular design allow us to turn off stuff that isn’t needed on a per site basis.

    Honestly, I highly doubt that with the prices listed here,that those sites are running on the Latest release of WP 3.3.. I’m sure they already have a scalable, high traffic version to power such massive traffic getting sites like those listed..

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  59. 80

    It would be great if SmashingMag would start a Drupal section on it’s site like it did with WP. I just started working with Drupal and it’s great but I can’t seem to find a website like SM for Drupal.

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  60. 81

    Hmm. Christmas love and all. I can’t work out why my original comment was removed.

    Sigh.

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  61. 82

    I love WordPress and it has never let me down on any project I’ve worked on, so why even try another platform ;-)

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  62. 83

    As a PHP/MySQL & HTML/CSS developer, I’ve worked on a couple of Drupal websites and struggled with them. The interface is ugly and non-user-friendly, and the code behind is so messy. I never really was a Drupal fan.

    Then I moved to WordPress, which I understood from day one. Everything from theming to updating plugins to creating pages/articles was a breeze. I quickly became a fan of WordPress.

    I agree that Drupal is very powerful, but WordPress is not far behind, and I lost much less time working with WP than with Drupal.

    However, there’s another CMS that’s not mentioned in the post but only in comments, is MODx. With their latest version called “Revolution”, everything is straightforward and easy to understand. The way I look at it, MODx is WordPress and Drupal merged into one giant CMS that has the ease of use and understanding of WordPress, while being as powerful as Drupal. I learned how to use it in 4 hours and I’m now converted to a MODx fan.

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  63. 84

    Happy Holidays, Joomla, you’re the best!

    From a WordPress lover who has been working with Drupal for the last 7 months.

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  64. 85

    I started learning WordPress two years ago and I’m still having daily “ah-ha!” moments. I love those moments because they’re another step towards understanding the platform better.

    In the new year I hope to delve into Drupal and start all over again from the bottom, so I can expect many more “ah-ha!” moments to come, and I cannot wait.

    Happy new year to WordPress, Drupal & Joomla!

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  65. 86

    I bookmarked this article as a “keeper.” Regardless of the applications being discussed, the thoughts surrounding the almost religious fervor of some is priceless.
    I think it was a p0rn star that said, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” As web professionals, we often have to explain the appropriateness of applications or frameworks that may have been pre-selected by money-holders or in-house “experts.”
    Keep to the basics: “Form follows function” and “the right tool for the job.” Oh, and drink more coffee! :)

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  66. 87

    Merry Christmas Joomla, Drupal etc. Love your bestie WordPress. Here is some more WordPress love ; ) browsingideas.com/category/wordpress-ideas/

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  67. 88

    I love this article.

    I’ve been developing in Drupal for almost two years now and can truly say it’s matter of finding the best tool for the job at hand. I just built, what I would consider an extremely simple, drupal site in about 4 hours and I’ve witnessed other people building wordpress sites in the same amount of time. I have another group of 4 sites using share user and roles DB tables close to launching an I couldn’t imagine using wordpress for something like that. But I know from experience that building a blog in drupal is annoying knowing that all those great blog features are waiting for me in wordpess with no extra work.

    I’ve built wordpress sites over several weeks and have built drupal sites of over months. The time difference is not to imply that one is better than the other, but just my own experience of the types of sites i’ve been building. They both have their specific strengths and, if you read the documentation, you’ll see that even the drupal website recommends wordpress because of it’s focuses.

    If there weren’t different CMS’ to use then there wouldn’t be much initiative to improve or add features to any one of them and I think that’s the point.

    I don’t have much to say about about Joomla because I haven’t used it in years and I don’t think it would be fair to make judgements on a CMS that is nothing like I used that long ago.

    I’m thankful that there’s plenty of other options out there.

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  68. 89

    i like wp and drupal is fun

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  69. 90

    Let’s just agree to disagree, all content management systems have their strengths and weaknesses. You don’t have to pick a favorite, just use what suits you best :)

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  70. 91

    Awww, thanks for sharin’ the love! At our main developer conference there’s usually a session on all the great stuff that WordPress has been doing and what lessons we can learn from the WP platform.

    xoxo
    Your friendly neighbourhood Drupal expert

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  71. 92

    I really appreciated this article. Quite informative about the pros and cons of each CMS from a general view. I agree we should be more helpful as a community. Sharing is caring! :)

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  72. 93

    I don’t like to think one is better or worse than the other, but better suited toward a task, or not as well suited toward a specific task.

    The other thing I look at is flaws. WordPress has MANY flaws, as does Drupal, but the flaws in WordPress (that might drive Drupal users crazy) don’t bother me.

    The fact that I have to migrate my database and site every time I change the location of my WordPress folder annoys some developers to DEATH. It doesn’t phase me.

    Likewise, I can see how Drupal is more programmer-friendly, even letting you build custom versions of Drupal with plugins baked right in. I’ve never seen WordPress be that customizable, even as good as the plugins are – most don’t take it that far.

    All in all, picking the right CMS has more to do with your working style and what annoys you, and also picking the right tool for the job. For me that tool ends up being WordPress, but hey, I spent a year of my life writing Joomla themes & sites from scratch too, so it’s not like I haven’t used anything else.

    Religious wars in the tech world are just that: smoke obscuring the REAL facts at hand: designing excellent websites that push culture forward.

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  73. 94

    Well said,

    There’s no need to make one ring to rule them all. It’s not only that some software has weaknesses and advantages. It’s a question of being more suited to a set of tasks. A lorry is not better than a sport car or the other way round: It’s that each one is build with an aim in mind. The wrong approach is to use the sport car to carry weight and to drive the truck in a racing ground.

    I use Drupal, but it’s just because it suits my needs better than WP or Joomla or Typo3 or Zope/Plone. I know that because when I set on searching for “a good CMS” I wrote down my needs and I researched which one of them suited them best. I searched not which one was “the best” because that is void talk.

    Happy whatever, Open Source people. It’s good to have you all fulfilling different needs with different approaches. Thank a lot :)

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  74. 95

    i have used drupal on my dj site for like 2 years now. and wp for other sites. used joomla once upon a time.

    i have no time to maintain and update drupal things manually. and i need so badly to update my dj site’s core items. Makes me want wp for it. i know…and i have no designing skills and can appreciate the new wp themes. ugh!

    been to drupal meetings, etc…. man, sometimes, i just want things easy. it’s tough. as things get more complicated, i’m leaning towards WP.

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