Drupal vs Wordpress: This Is Not My Beautiful House

Timeslot: 
Saturday, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Room: 
30
Track: 
Drupal Means Business
Experience Level: 
Beginner

Drupal vs Wordpress: This Is Not My Beautiful House

One of our long-term clients recently hired a new communications director just as our team was set to embark on a major refresh of their aging Drupal 7 website. Her first question was this:
 

"Why can’t we use Wordpress instead?
It's so much easier to use..."

 
This simple question led our team on an unexpected journey. For many years, it was an easy question to answer. Today it is much harder. The truth is that Wordpress can now do virtually everything Drupal can do, including some surprising features that were once considered critical competitive advantages for Drupal.

Wordpress in 2016:

  • Custom content types and fields
  • Views
  • Panels
  • Entity References
  • Field Collections
  • Custom modules and hooks
  • Taxonomies
  • Granular permissions and workflow
  • Name anything great about Drupal, and add it to this list!

So where does this leave Drupal, when Wordpress also:

  • enjoys a vastly larger market share than Drupal
  • is often cheaper to build, sometimes by a significant factor
  • sets the standard for ease-of-use
  • continues to run large, high-profile, high-traffic websites
  • offers a wider variety of themers and out-of-box templates
  • offers a bigger pool of freelancers and developers
  • offers the same level (or more) of contributed modules?

You may ask yourself: My God!. . .what have we done?!

By this point in our journey we were in existential crisis mode, questioning the very foundation of our work. Were we doing the right thing by continuing to propose Drupal as the "best" solution for this particular client, or maybe even for ANY client? Maybe it was time to develop our first significant Wordpress site in many years.

Into the blue again . . . same as it ever was

Our job as web professionals is to make sure clients end up with the best solution based on their actual needs, their budget, and their future expectations for their web platform. The answer is not always Drupal (but sometimes it is). This session will take you on our Drupal vs. Wordpress journey, and answer questions like:

  • how do Drupal and Wordpress truly compare in 2016?
  • where does Drupal fit in today's vast web ecosystem?
  • what is so great about it, anyway?
  • is it really better than Wordpress?
  • what are Drupal's weaknesses?
  • why is it so hard to use? (or is it?)
  • is Drupal right for your organization?
  • when is it simply NOT a good fit?
  • does Drupal 8 still have relevance for smaller clients and projects?
  • Is there an even better option? What about Squarespace or...?

Join us if you are:

  • an organization who wants to learn more about whether Drupal is the right path forward or if there are better options
  • a developer or designer who wonders if Drupal is the right place to be
  • somebody who wants a good, high-level overview of Drupal vs. Wordpress
  • simply curious to learn more about Drupal's place in today's complicated landscape

Tim Broeker is a co-founder of Electric Citizen and has been building websites and content management systems since 1994. He has helped launch large, high-profile sites on more than 16 distinct content management systems (including Wordpress!) but has worked almost exclusively in Drupal since the launch of Drupal 5 in 2007.

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