I am taking on a project and I need to decide whether to develop it in Drupal or WordPress. I am slightly familiar with WordPress and not at all with Drupal. I know there will be an initial learning curve but I am most interested in finding the tool that supports my needs in the tightest/built-in way.

My site will have some pages that are public (about page and news page). It will then have a password protected section for kids and teachers to post text,videos etc and comment on each others work. Then we want collaboration between schools in a region and then eventually among different regions as well. There will be some pages that are available only to teachers and not students.

Other notes about functionality: We need the teacher/student pages of posts to be separated by category/subject. We need some organizations to enter information about grants in a specific format and then need to display that information. Need to keep track of contact information of these organizations. Needs to link to Paypal for donations.

Any thoughts about the best tool for the project would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you

Comments

I would do that in Drupal.

Having said that, my personal view is that Drupal sites are way more work to build, maintain, and update, and take far more server resources. When I host a low traffic Drupal site for example, on the basis that it should be really fast, I charge five times what I charge for a low traffic Wordpress site, and consider that a good deal. In building a Drupal site commercially I consider that you can almost ad a nought to the price for Drupal, and similarly with the effort, skill, time, debugging etc that goes into Drupal.

My starting point is that every site I do is Drupal or Wordpress, and the test is as follows. Drupal offers infinite possibilities incuding:
different layout on every page using blocks (with far greater flexibility with some additional modules such as panels)
programmatically assembled collections of content on a custom basis (with Views)
social groups (with Ogrganic Groups)
decent dicusson board
online store
mapping tools
mulit-lingual tools
Infinite customisable user roles (Wordpress has more than one role)
Customisable content types (Wordpress has two)

If you need any of the above I would be tending towards Drupal. If a site does not need any of the above, I advise a client that they can save themselves a lot of cost, time and heartache by going with Wordpress. I tell them they can do the same in Drupal but they should be prepared to expect hosting, maintenance, site building and customisation, and debugging, will cost a LOT more time and / or money in Drupal.

excellent description of the selection process between drupal and wordpress! I don't think I've seen it described more clearly.

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social groups (with Ogrganic Groups)

Wordpress has BuddyPress which is far better out of the box than Organic Groups by leaps and bounds!

decent dicusson board

WordPress has bbPress, which is a very good forums plugin; it integrates seamlessly with WordPress.

online store

How many store plugins does WordPress have compared to Drupal? Drupal has about two or three. WordPress has dozens.

mapping tools

Again, WordPress has plugins for that.

mulit-lingual tools

Again, WordPress has plugins for that.

Infinite customisable user roles (Wordpress has more than one role)

Role Scoper...

Customisable content types (Wordpress has two)

That is flat out false. WordPress calls them custom post types and it is just as easy to build them as content types in Drupal with the plugins Custom Post Type UI and Advanced Fields.

So everything that you said which makes Drupal better than WordPress is totally inaccurate. I want to point out the obvious here. If you say that a Drupal site takes far longer to create and more resources to maintain than WordPress, and WordPress can do everything that you claim only Drupal can do (which I proved isn't true), then why NOT use WordPress instead? Sure, learning Drupal is fun, but I have found that I would rather make money creating and being productive, then just learn something for the sake of it, when there are other, more efficient tools that can do exactly the same thing with less time and actual work.

I'm not trying to hate on Drupal at all here, I happen to like it for it's good qualities, but just want to point people to the truth. WordPress is just as powerful as Drupal in 2012 and it's development is much more sane and fluid.

another truth... if wordpress were truly equivalent to drupal but easier and cheaper to use, then drupal would fade away and everyone would switch to wordpress. This is not happening, at least not yet anyway.

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If you find my assistance useful, please pay it forward to your fellow drupalers.

I am open to be persuaded. Would like to know which of the tools brentini has experience using.

The lack of a Views equivalent in WP is a major problem.

i'm also open to be persuaded... but every time i try out the next 'better than drupal' cms I'm always disappointed. I've yet to find ANYTHING that even approaches the power and flexibility of views/panels/ds/fields in core.

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Don't be a Help Vampire - read and abide the forum guidelines.
If you find my assistance useful, please pay it forward to your fellow drupalers.

I don't think my argument is about the "next better than Drupal." All I said was that what someone else described as making Drupal better than WordPress doesn't hold up since all of those things can be done in WordPress too. As far as Views, it is my preference that display queries be stored in the theme itself, not in the database as Views does. All of those fields are already in the database, so why bloat the database just to display fields? Furthermore, from a developers standpoint, I don't see how it is possible to include a Drupal "view" in a theme which makes it somewhat difficult to sell my theme with the full presentation intact. There actually is a 'views' plugin for WordPress which generates portable php and xml and this can be included in themes. I'm not sure Drupal views can do that. As far as panels, there is a plugin called Visual Editor which is similar, except really better since it is per page and separate nodes are not required to be created first. But if you need to include php, shortcodes do the trick quite nicely, and once again, can be included in themes, thereby making them portable. In other words, I can sell all of this to my clients. To each his own but I will say that in 2012, there is nothing that I have not been able to do in WordPress that I can do in Drupal. It is flexible in every way, and in a lot of cases, I don't have to rely upon the status of a contributed module to fill in a gap. Vanilla Drupal isn't so powerful. By the way, WordPress 3x has fields in core too. I merely mentioned some UI's to make it easier to use. But what is awesome about WordPress is that custom fields and taxonomies are portable and can be included directly in themes (not the data of course, but who would want that?). WordPress calls custom content types, custom post types and these, along with all of their fields and taxonomies can be included in themes themselves. I have yet to see Drupal have this capability, although maybe I am missing something. So why are most theme developers developing for WordPress? I just told you some of the reasons why.

Can you be specific about the 'views' and 'visual editor' wordpress plugins you mention? i'm looking for such things but there are many with that name.

My experience is that WordPress is easier to use and develop for. That's been enough for me to be happy with my choice to use it for 98% of the small business sites that I build. I have not found a good answer to the question of what Drupal can do that WordPress can't but i do love Drupal views so i miss that feature. I don't really miss anything else about Drupal.

brentini: As far as Views, it is my preference that display queries be stored in the theme itself, not in the database as Views does. All of those fields are already in the database, so why bloat the database just to display fields?

Hmm... In case you are not aware, you can export the view and store it in a flat file. And that will be picked up as defaults by views, see advanced_forum.module for an example on how to do that. This should be the end of your development cycle. Otherwise whenever you override it, views will start to put it into database. But again you can always re-export and update your flat files, and do a revert at views UI to make it read the flat files instead.

love, light n laughter

How many store plugins does WordPress have compared to Drupal? Drupal has about two or three. WordPress has dozens.

You say that like it's a good thing.

I've found bbPress and BuddyPress on Wordpress a bit, well, flakey...

There's definitely a wider user base on Wordpress, and a great deal of plugins of varying quality. Wordpress is great for knocking out sites quickly (which a lot of people do to create low quality websites), but Drupal seems more refined to me. Quality over quantity perhaps? There are downsides of CMSs such as WP from having such a wide hacky user base.

Thank you both for your detailed and confirming response. Helps to solidify my decision.

I'd like to suggest that even though WP can tackle about the same needs as Drupal as both use the same tecnology ([L]AMP), their difference is in their architecture. Drupal is essentially a CMS and WP a blogging platform. I see that even though WP can be molded to whatever needs you have, you need a lot more of plugins and stuff to do the job while Drupal needs just a bunch and these modules are actively maintained to keep them running smooth with Drupal. I see a WP site can tackle the same needs you can tackle with a D-site, but with a different scope. When you think of large projects you need to see beyond the plugins or who can do this and that, you need to know that the project architecture supports the project requirements and that you can deploy it in a secure, fast enough and up-to-date environment.

That being said, I see WP being overreaching to look like a CMS, but its architecture is not one of this kind. You're basically converting a blogging site into a robust site, which I don't know how can it handle as a whole as steady as a D-site and how well is information quality handled for creating better views than with a D-site having multiple requirements. I see D-site modules (at least major modules) to be tightly linked into Drupal's core and the power of its API to easily adapt Drupal to your needs without messing with the core. Again I don't know how well does much of this holds true in a WP environment.

Damián

You are saying essentially, that Drupal is better than WordPress because WordPress requires plugins to function in the same way that Drupal can perform with modules. But that is not an argument. WordPress does not require hacking core any more than Drupal does. In fact, the two are quite comparable these days. My argument is not that one or the other is better. That is your argument. I am saying that WordPress can do everything that Drupal can in 2012, and most theme developers agree that WordPress is not only easier and more enjoyable to work with, but also more user friendly and more portable as far as including specific usable functions directly in a theme, as compared to Drupal. To say that WordPress is not a CMS at this point is untrue and exposes the fact that you have not realized the scope of WordPress 3x. WordPress 3 introduced custom post types which allows any type of post type in the system, along with custom taxonomies and custom fields. This is in core WordPress. And this is highly flexible as it allows developers to include this in themes directly. So it is not at all necessary to use a plugin for this functionality in WordPress at all. Prior to Drupal 7x, a module was necessary for this same functionality. Since 7, it is included in core, along with a UI. WordPress does have UI's as plugins for CPTs, but they are hardly necessary and coding them is very easy. Again, they can be included in themes and child themes, hence, no core hacking involved.

So these anti-WordPress arguments are simply untrue. I like Drupal but find that WordPress is a delight to work with and can do everything that Drupal can do in a fraction of the time for development. To each his own. By the way, not all contrib modules are well maintained at all.

Drupal is essentially a CMS and WP a blogging platform.

Not true. WordPress 3x can be whatever you want it to be. And Drupal can be a blogging platform if that is what you want it to be.

The argument that Druapl is a cms because of a few included modules while WordPress requires a few plugins for essentially the exact same functionality holds no water, sorry. When those modules are not enabled what good is Drupal? That is your argument, that WordPress is simple without plugins. WordPress actually requires zero plugins if you want to have a very robust system. All php includes can be included from within the theme, making the cms portable and here's the clincher...sellable. That's right, I can add all of the functionality I need without any plugins and make a nice profit. And this is why most theme developers are developing on the WordPress platform, not Drupal.

This worries me. I agree it is tough to make a profit building Drupal sites. Easier to make a profit building Wordpress site. I need to experiment with using Wordpress on more complex sites.

And yet for larger more complex sites Drupal is still finding plenty of users. Is this really only because Drupal people have too shallow a knowledge of Wordpress? Maybe....

I've been reviewing what Wordpress has to offer and I really like some features in the version 3. I see WP has evolved nicely and I found in an interesting blog post that whereas Drupal is aiming to be as user friendly as WP, WP is aiming to have the horsepower of Drupal. And now I'm believing it. I develop sites in Spanish and it's a hassle to deal with translation issues, especially with plugins/modules. I see Wordpress has many multilanguage plugins which is a nice addendum from its developers but I have one question... is the learning curve to develop/mantain both modules/addons and themes using both core's apis + extra apis from plugins/modules in both systems similar or which one is harder to master?

Damián

Ever heard of WordPress Multisite/BuddyPress/bbPress for building community sites? Again, I really see nothing that Drupal can do that WordPress cannot. And there is one GIANT thing to keep in mind with WordPress vs. Drupal: backwards compatibility. Drupal upgrades can be very painful. Typically not so with WordPress.

To answer your question specifically, I think it is just a matter of loyalty with some people. They have loyally declared that X is better than Y based upon what Y performed like 2 or 3 years ago when they switched to X. That really is not allowing for very good perspective 2 or 3 years later though is it?

lol, i have seen these type of comments from wordpress lovers on joomla forums too.
they are annoying most of the time. wordpress is good (i dont like it personally. never compatible with large and complex websites even 3.x ) for those who wanted to built small website but drupal is better.
i am not sure you if you will come with new arguements. but 1 most important question is why wordpress needs to claim to be best if it is?(trust it is not :P) and i have heard most of wp lovers saying it can be converted to a robust website. it is true in the case of small websites. but you have to accept wordpress is basically a bloging oriented Application.but not in the caseof drupal/joomla. and arguement never works

I am not an expert but I think.

Drupal = PHP 's flexibility + Thousands of talented programmers power.

Let me explain my idea.

PHP's flexibility means you can still use PHP, populate anything on the databese with Drupal's api functions. Even that you don't need to write a piece of PHP code most times, or you can keep a balance between the two approach.

The power of talented programmers You don't have to care creating database tables, new php functions for example for updating, inserting, deleting the records. Just focus on the problem that is it. You don't need to code error prone functions that actually re inventing the wheel, let Drupal core and module programmers do the most of the job and enjoy.

For Wordpress I know little about WP. If WP is some kind of equavalent what I have experienced with Drupal and has some plus benefits of course use WordPress.

I love Drupal :)

I certainly feel that Wordpress is the better site to start with on a simple site. But this one sounds like Drupal would still have edge. Sure, I can imagine BuddyPress would do much of this, but the Drupal user permission system is still superior.

I wrote up a more detailed comparison of Drupal and Wordpress here: http://techczech.net/2012/07/28/drupal-wordpress-choice

____________________________
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As a side-note. I hope I'm not coming across as a wordpress hater. It's not that at all. I believe that each system is suited for specific needs and it's important to study a sites requirement to decide what to use to build it in. I think the drupal and wordpress should coexist happily together. Unfortunately, there's fanboys on both sides that will fight to the death over what to use at the detriment to the client.

In case anyone turns up the thread again I share my current view: if you need to ask this question get WP. If you need more advanced stuff or just find Drupal more fun you will not need to ask. Written from Drupalcon Munich.

drupal has no limitation... drupal rock \m/

Both WordPress and Drupal are built in PHP, so from a developer's standpoint neither is capable of anything that the other is not. The key difference is that WordPress is designed to allow non-technical users to easily create and maintain a website. It works right out of the box as a blogging platform, and can easily be re-purposed as a CMS. Drupal is a CMS with no purpose, so it can be anything to anyone...but it is not designed with non-technical users in mind.

In short, the difference between the two can best be explained like this:

http://mynewsitepreview.com/images/wordpress-vs-drupal.jpg

Cheers,

Shaun Scovil
Web Developer & Marketing Consultant

I first came across drupal in 2001 but had no clue how to use it and although was terribly curious just
couldn't seem to understand so went back to flash based websites.
Now over 10 years later I've returned to drupal and am really thoroughly enjoying learning it and feel
quite privileged to be surrounded by a community of very clever minds. I guess I think if I stick
around long enough a small part of it might somehow rub off on me.

LOL to sscovil. That picture is just way too much exaggerating. You didn't sound to try a Standard drupal install, nor any other installation profile, like commerce_kickstart, openenterprise, etc. You sounded like you always install Minimal :)

love, light n laughter

Haha, the image really describes the difference between Drupal and WP, but it will also scare away many newbies who want to try Drupal.

Drupal is very powerful, no websites it can't be build in the expert hands, perhaps the sky is the limit. We can use it to build a very simple blog too. But using a hi-tech robot for cleaning your house floor is too overkill. Drupal is powerful, to able to use the 'real' power users need to have good technical skills. For simple websites and blogs, using WordPress is enough and it can be developed faster and easier to maintain.

From a designer's perspective, I find it far far far easier to design for Wordpress because out of the box, if one chooses a responsive theme, the markup that is generated is going to be pretty clean and easy to target for css. In contrast, out of the box, Drupal generates excessive numbers of generic sitewide non-specific classes and divs nested as much as 17 levels deep. It makes doing best-practices modern css, especially css3, extremely difficult.

Having read a book on Prototyping in Drupal, I know that if your developer does not install at least one special module, you are going to end up with spaghetti html to work with.

CRaymond

..at least one special module

fences comes to my mind. Currently it does a great job to trim down markups at field level in line to HTML5 markups. Or mothership theme if you want to start clean from theme level.

love, light n laughter

From another designer's perspective, if you make your own theme probably you don't have that problem with spaghetti html. If you make a theme based on another theme it will happens mostly times, because Drupal themes are prepared to be adaptable for more than one content type in mind, in Wordpress most themes are prepared only to blog post, in Drupal you can create a lot of different post, with different fields. Maybe that is the reason of the spaghetti.

So if you don't want to have that problem just wrote your theme from scratch or based on a minimal starter kit theme. Personally I've found a great tool in Drupal because I don't have to touch php (I'm designer not a programmer, I'm not a php expert) if I don't touch the code probably it will reduce the chance of error or security issue. And that is a big problem in Wordpress, because all tutorials say touch here and there the php code.

Diseñador UX/UI | Diplomado en Comunicación Visual

Although you can do this site on either platform, I think Drupal will be your best bet here. My rule of thumb is simple sites get Wordpress, and everything else Drupal. Here's a link to a Views plugin for wordpress http://wp-types.com/ in case you're interested

I tend to agree. Having developed sites using both platforms, I think it comes down to how much time you have available before rolling out the new site. One earlier contributor mentioned the additional complexity that comes from developing sites in Drupal. I would add to this by saying that when I have created Drupal sites, I have always provided the client with a very detailed user manual and I still find the need to go over basic usage steps further down the track. But when it comes to developing sites for my own use, I am happy to work with either platform.

Why? Because I've been using BOTH Drupal and Wordpress long enough to know them both really well.

I have a very very complicated site on Wordpress, which is crashing my server every few hours. The plugins I use for it are in Drupal CORE. That being said, look at what you need, then look at WordPress core, and Drupal core, and figure out which suits your needs. If you want lots of content, a social network, some complicated user dashboard, a forum, a shop, etc etc on ONE website, save yourself the stress and do it in Drupal. It's hard to learn, but it pays off. And all those pages you'll need to create in conjunction with a plugin on WordPress to show posts on a topic/tag? Yeah Drupal views FTW. No pages, just create a display and add in a path, and BOOM. You're done.

I know this reply is late, but someone else might be reading it for the answers. Hopefully, what I have to say will make an impact.

I have used WordPress and Drupal both. I am not an expert in either. However, Drupal has pushed me to learn. It has truly opened doors and forced me to dig in and start learning things that I never would have before. With WordPress, it seems like I was just installing plug-ins and trying to find a theme that fit and customizing a little CSS. It almost felt like I was getting lazy. Lazy with HTML and continuing to learn PHP. I feel that Drupal is by far superior, but maybe that is because I have become more intimate with it. A Drupal site feels like something you create. A WP site feels like something slap together in a hurry.

I agree with this. It makes Wordpress quite suitable if you are working for clients who have a small budget. This is even more true if you care about the client's long-term costs because in my experience the cost of supporting Drupal is a lot higher. This is not all Drupal's fault: once clients get such a flexible system, they want more complexity on their site. It is partly due to Drupal's overall much greater complexity, and partly to do with the way clients react to Drupal by wanting more and more features, which in the days of static sites, they would not have thought of. For a range of reasons, I get enquiries along the lines of 'please fix my broken site' with Drupal but rarely with Wordpress, which I decided to use for low-budget jobs to save clients money.

Your project sounds like it would go good with Drupal and also with WordPress. But if it was my project, I would have opted for Drupal where I get lot more options and modules.

At the same time, this one can be done with Wordpress too, but using Drupal makes it simpler with additional functionality's.

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