Should you use WordPress or Drupal? WordPress 3 vs Drupal 7

I have written an article on this subject before (Should you use WordPress or Drupal?), that was in January of 2010, now as you know a year and a half in web technologies is an eternity, back then no one (ok almost no one…), would dare to say that WordPress is a functional CMS, and very few would use Drupal for a basic blog. Since then, both systems evolved and released major version upgrade releases, to say the least, some things have changed! And that i believe warrants a rewrite on this subject, that every web developer faces from time to time, should i choose the simplicity of WordPress or extendability and ease of development of Drupal (albeit a steeper learning curve)?

Let’s start by looking what major changes were introduced in WordPress:
WordPress 3 moved away from being a blogging system, where the only types of content you could add were posts and pages to Content Management (CMS), where all of a sudden you could create Custom Post Types and Custom Taxonomies. They have claimed that they became a “full content management system” years ago, but until the 3.0 release it was more through the custom plugins and themes, and none of it in the core…
They also made the dashboard more sleek, added more hooks for developers added new default theme called Twenty Ten (Twenty Eleven was released since), new media drag and drop image uploader and made many improvements in the appearance area: custom menu’s, header and background are some visible ones…

what major changes were introduced in Drupal:

  • Improved administrative user interface
  • Flexible content and custom fields (CCK is now part of core)
  • Better theming with Render API
  • Basic Image support is now in the core
  • and many more small improvements here and there…

To summarize all of the above WordPress UI became even sleeker, but made some major steps as well to be more of a competitor to Drupal as a CMS, but they didn’t go far enough, if you want to add custom content types and fields you need a plugin (kind of CCK in Drupal 6). Where they totally are missing out though is having a free plugin (yes there is a paid views plugin) to generate the output of those custom posts, fields and taxonomies. Just imagine Drupal not having Views module!

Looking at the steps that Drupal took, while don’t bring it close to the sleekness of UI of WordPress, but they did finally realize that if they want to attract anyone without engineering degree in computer science they will need to focus on administrative interface UI, to make it simpler to use. A major aspect that Drupal is still missing is a well integrated WYSIWYG Editor with integrated Media Upload like WordPress. And yes i know it could be done through custom modules, but that would be the biggest step forward in this area that Drupal could make.

So, taking into account all of the above my answer is not so much different from what it was a year and a half ago, Drupal UI is where WordPress was 5 Years ago, but at the same time WordPress CMS functionality is where Drupal was 5 years ago…

If you are a designer looking to create a blog or a corporate brochure-ware type of website pick WordPress i doubt you will regret it. If you are a Developer who needs a multifunctional site with e-commerce components, community components and / or forum and a blog etc. or just a lot of business logic that needs to process data behind the scenes you should pick Drupal. Anything in between – flip a coin! (suggested by Elie Kochman here ).

What is your process for deciding to use WordPress or Drupal?

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