Drupal vs Wordpress

Tech Notes

Skip to the meat in the sandwich In preplanning a project now underway I'd flipflopped every couple of days about the web framework that I thought I'd use for it. Discussing it in house on various occassions I'd managed to convince Cossioski one way and then another railing on avantages of one over another. On the day the build commenced I thought I'd finally decided on Wordpress and so, picking up my new Wordpress 3.0 pick, proceeded to break ground. Which went surprisingly well. The new menu builder is a boon and would have saved a lot of fracking about that we've done in the past. Quickly I had framed up the information architecture of the site and was uploading content. Theming began and things took on shape. Doubt set in. Was this going to be Too Easy? All the things I got for free with Wordpress and our own wp-plugins I'd have to create from scratch in Drupal. But would I - once again - get eleven tenth's the way through before realising the folly of my decision? Be staring from the Comfy Chair of Wordpress into a performance abyss fuelled by a Scotch / SQL-distored haze? What could be done? Split test. Good old A-B. Tools went down. Drupal came down and with the old `drush en cck` I was off. Up came the frame. Up came the types. On goes the theming. One day each and both sites are in the same state. So which one to pursue ? Firstly there was the inital reason that I didn't try Drupal first. With our inhouse Attachments plugin for Wordpress we get video's with associated poster frames for free. With Wordpress we get attachment sorting for free. How do I do that in Drupal? A middle of the night revelation solved that and sent me into the split test. In Wordpress video's are attachments of gallery items. Posters are children of videos. To replicate that in Drupal I realised that I could make separate content types for videos and use node references to tie them to gallery items. And interestingly (news to me) if you use autocomplete for node references instead of select lists or checkboxes (for multiple references) you get sorting for free. Nice! Ok. So now some lists.

FeatureDrupalWordpress2 custom menusPrimary/secondary linksMenu builderPosters per videocontent typeattachments pluginMedia per gallery itemnode referenceattachmentsMetadata per gallery itemcckcustom fields pluginGallery item per gallerynode referenceparent pagesBackgrounds per pagenode referencecustom fields pluginPage sortingbuiltinsorting pluginVideo sortingbuiltinbuiltinNews itemsblog modulebuiltinUps and downs.

Theming. Wordpress easy. Drupal hard. Admin interface. Wordpress overburdened. Drupal tidy. Content reuse. Wordpress hard. Drupal straightforward.

The Gap

My knowledge of Drupal's ajax methods is currently zero. Gap. If we need tags - Wordpress can't tag pages. Wordpress can tag posts but can't parent posts. It gets messy quickly and goes around in circles. Gap.

The Decision

Drupal. More stuff builtin. More content reuse (node references). Fiddlier to content fill (node references). But a tidier editor view (no cruft). Harder to control HTML. Better caching. Faster page building. More unified user interfaces for content editors (drag and drop sorting looks the same everywhere). Admin themes. But Wordpress was a pretty close second.