Why I Moved from Wordpress to Drupal -Top Ten List
Followers of this blog will know that I have an affinity to Drupal. I have been developing almost exclusively in that platform for about a year now. Prior to that, I did almost all of my work in WordPress.
Last week, I finally converted my blog (this masterpiece that you are reading from now) to Drupal. I thought that I would share some reasons why I made the switch.
First, let me share why I originally chose Wordpress.
It was easy.
That’s it. That is the only reason why I chose Wordpress when I started blogging. It was easy to use. It was easy to set up. For a blogging platform that you want to set up in a couple of minutes, there is no easier way to go.
I don’t, however, think that Wordpress is the best solution for bloggers who want power, and I especially don’t think that Wordpress is really the best way to go for people who want fully featured websites.
If you only want a simple blog AND never want more AND want to do it yourself, then stick with Wordpress. If you are going to hire someone to build it for you, you might as well have it done in Drupal because it is so much better.
Here are my top ten reasons why I think Drupal is a better choice than Wordpress for Websites as well as blogs.
- Social Platform
Drupal was designed from the ground up as a social networking platform. Wordpress was designed from the ground up as a blogging platform. Because of the design of Drupal, components like customizable user roles, discussion forums and blogs are standard elements of the system.
- Content Types
In Wordpress, you only have two content types. You can create a page or you can create a blog. Each has a function. A page is for general content and a blog aggregates to the blog. With Drupal, we can have virtually limitless content types. We can have news content aggregate to the news page, case study content aggregate to the case study page and so forth. When you choose a content type, the page knows where to go.
- Custom Content Forms
If you have data that needs to be loaded and formatted into a page, you can create a form for data input and the have Drupal create the pages from that data automatically. That means that if you have key data that needs to be formatted the same way, you just enter the data and Drupal takes it from there.
- Multiple User Blogs
Sure, Wordpress MU can do this. Honestly, I don’t know how they work there because I didn’t take the time to learn. However, Wordpress wasn’t designed for multiple users to have their own blog. Each user that wants to blog simply blogs as a part of the “greater good.” With Drual, each user, by default (assuming he has the rights) is allowed to create his own blog. He has his own aggregate and his own RSS feed for his own blog. Then, his posts are aggregated to the main blog aggregate.
- URL Paths
With Drupal, in association with the content type, each content type can have it’s own URL alias. You can make it as custom as you want. Every news content can be in the news/[title] path and the blogs can be at blog/[username]/[title] path. The options for changing the path of a type of content are limitless… and then you can also override it all with the click of the mouse and customize one particular post.
Admin pages are themed the same as the site. Now, this may seem like a minor thing and not every Drupal user sets it up this way, but I think it is very valuable. Let me give you an example. If I have multiple contributors to a site or multiple members that have various admin access rights, I want to show them various sidebar content on their various pages that are themed appropriately.
Not only can every blogger have his own RSS feed, but each site can have custom RSS feeds. You can have a feed for your various content types. You can have one for a combination of your content types. You can have one just for your site map. You can indicate how many items you want in the various feeds. Some can have 10 while others have 50. You can choose if you want just the title to appear, the title and teaser or the whole post. Drupal makes this a very powerful option. You can also give your feeds different paths depending on the use of the feed.
With Wordpress, you can have your sidebar the same from page to page. With Drupal, you can make your sidebars different from page to page and can be different from user role to user role. If I have one set of sidebars I want for anonymous visitors and another set of sidebars for everyone that is logged in, no problem. In Drupal, you simply are not limited to a one size fits all approach.
- Customizable Layouts
Depending on the theme used, each theme has a variety of locations that can be customized with information. In Drupal, these are called blocks. These blocks can be on sidebars, in the header, in the footer or above / below the content area. What this means for you is that you can create the layout you want with minimal effort. The basic theme that I use can allow for literally hundreds of layout options. With some knowledge in HTML and CSS, you can customize it anyway you want beyond that. (or I can do it for you… really, it’s not that expensive)
- No Blog Option
Wordpress, because it is designed as a blogging platform from the ground up, it doesn’t lend itself to people who want to build a website without a blog. Drupal’s various features can be turned on or off depending on what is desired for the website. So, if someone wants a fully featured website with no blog then no problem. That person will never see that as an option but can still benefit from the power of the various content types.
Wordpress has the “famous five minute install.” Well, the base system of Drupal can be installed just as quickly. Knowing a couple of modules that should be added and with a little help, Drupal can have all the core functionality of Wordpress and offer so much more. In a coming post, I’ll tell you all the modules you should install to have all the functionality you could ever want.
For the Drupal people that read this, what are the features you like best? For you Wordpress people that read this, where am I wrong?
Corey Smith is the president of Tribute Media a web development firm providing high performing, industry specific websites. He is a businessman, writer, technology fanatic, graphic designer and web developer. His greatest passion is teaching, consulting and speaking.
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