IL 2011: Drupal vs. WordPress vs. Joomla - CMS SMACKDOWN!!!
11/19/2011 01:09:00 PM | Author: Christa
CMS Smackdown!Monday, October 17, 2011

Blake Carver, LISHost
Kendra K. Levine, Librarian At Large

LISHost – 400 sites. 200 WP, 100 Drupal, 1 Joomla.

What is/Why use CMS? Centralize control, free up people to make content, not techie, non-geeky users can set up own pages.

Empowers other people to create content. Timelier, universal changes easier/quicker. Users end up having a nicer relationship with the website. More user friendly.

Goals of a CMS – what’s important to you? Make life easier? Flexibility? Easier for technophobes? Functionality(calendars, widgets)? Get code out of the way so people can actually do work?

Audience question - Used to get rid of webmasters? “any dummy can do it, so don’t need webmaster”. Wrong, still need someone to maintain it.

“CMS removes impediments of keeping website current.”

CMS Smackdown!
Blake and Kendra
How to choose:

-Complex vs. simple

-How big is website?

-Learning curve- who’s going to be updating website? can they pick it up quickly?

-Who’s going to use it? Designers/users/webmasters?


-Library specific modules/plugins

* Budgets, Personnel, Time

What’s open source?

Get code, modify it, share it back to community.

Free – speech vs. beer vs. kittens

-Stared 2001, kid in dorm created bbs, powers 2-3% of sites on internet now.
-Acquia – company created by inventor.

-2003, company is Automattic
-Support, hosting, services
-14.7% of top websites in world. 22 of every 100 new domains registered.

-“Open source matters” website

All of them-

What makes them great-

Huge developer community, lots of themes, modules, plugins, widgets, scalable, complex yet flexible, regular security updates, tools.

What makes them suck-

Huge developer community – conflicting themes/plugins, PHP versions – servers must be kept up-to-date with current version, modules/plugins/widgets can have issues because of outside changes, security updates.


-Installation- all pretty easy, one click installs for all 3, DRAW.

-Scalability – Drupal – best at managing huge amounts of content.

-Library specific stuff – depending on what you want, probably Drupal.

-Appearance – WP slightly, theme searching interface is very good. Unless you like to code/modify themes, then Drupal.

-User management – Drupal. Seemingly infinite roles/permissions. WP – not bad, started as one person/one blog, but getting better.

-Customization – all equal. Drupal and WP – lots of modules and plugins. Joomla - not as many, but there, can customize with time/patience.

-Ease of use – WP. Nice dashboard. Drupal, has done a lot of usability testing, working on it.

-Configuration and maintenance – WP. One click install, one click update. Batch update all plugins. Drupal – more intensive, have to do some in shell yourself, can configure every little thing and have to configure every little thing. WP – can, but don’t have to to get it to work.

-Upgrade and security – WP – easier for regular user. Drupal - more difficult, FTP, have to touch files on server. WP – seems to be less secure, not bad tho. Drupal a bit better.

Winner = Drupal and WP.

Drupal – big, powerful, good for a lot of pages files, WP - easy to set up, your mom can do it. 

Questions –

Another criteria – what if person who picks and installs the CMS you choose leaves? Is there someone else to support? What about Plone?

Which is easiest to learn when previous person leaves? Depends on complexity of your site, not dependent on platform you choose.

RFP – what limitations shouldthey look out for? How technologically advanced are your staff? Size of lib/staff?

WP – hosted on .com or on own server? Limitations to hosted – can only use their themes, if you want to do lots of customization, have to host your own.

Final thought from Kendra - Not one right answer – it’s what is right for your situation.
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On November 20, 2011 at 8:05:00 AM CST , Chris Wiegman said...

I find it interesting how little love Joomla is getting lately. As a Drupal and WordPress dev myself I agree completely with your assessment, but for as many resources as Joomla seems to be devoting to advancement this year I am surprised I don't see more about it.

On November 21, 2011 at 12:36:00 AM CST , Interface Customization Services said...

WordPress is a mess.You can’t find anything useful and if you find something, it’s probably obsolete. Their site is lacking documentation updates and if you need anything you have to look at the source code to understand it. The only good thing is the community. You might get some help from them.

Drupal is much better at this chapter. Usually you find some article online with some starting tips and you go from there. It’s not perfect but it’s a way.
Joomla is almost as bad as WordPress. You get the impression they explain things, but in the end you realize you got nothing. If you have a question YOU have to find the answer for it. The community will not help with harder questions so you’re alone in the dark.

On December 30, 2013 at 12:05:00 AM CST , Macrosoft said...

I like drupal is big help for big websites.

Drupal Development Company