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General Discussion

Your opinions on Drupal?

I'm new to the whole web design/development industry. Through browsing Craigslist out of curiosity for what kind of jobs are out there, I noticed some jobs require knowledge of Drupal. What are your thoughts about Drupal and when would you use it vs. other things?

1 Answer

Andrew Shook
Andrew Shook
31,709 Points

I've built websites using both Drupal and Wordpress, and I personally prefer Drupal. The biggest difference between Drupal and Wordpress is the initial goals that were set out for each when they were designed. Wordpress was designed to be a personal blogging platform, and while its has come a long way from there, it still limited by that initial design scope. Drupal on the other hand was designed with no assumptions about what its end users goal would be other than managing a bunch of content. For that reason, Drupal comes with modules(plugins for those familiar with WP) to create different content types and to create custom input fields for those content types. With enough knowledge there is literally nothing you can't do with Drupal. That being said, the learning curve to Drupal can be extremely steep, and as a result, many website developers favor the user friendly Wordpress.

I think the best use case for Drupal, and the one I personally use, is for complex website that will need to be expandable in the future. For example, a client needs a simple business website at the moment, but knows that in the future they want to add a shopping cart, registered users, and a forum in the next 6 months. I personally tend to use WP sites for simpler projects that only require a few different content type and don't require massive expandability. So usually for small businesses that only have a dozen or so pages of content.

One of the up sides to knowing Drupal is that there aren't enough developers to fulfill the demand. A lot of big companies are switching to Drupal. I know that Sony has several site, Highlights kid magazine want to change their site to Drupal, and a lot of government websites(whitehouse, fema, and dhs) have either or are trying to transition their sites to Drupal. I've worked on 15 Drupal sites in just the past year. So while learning drupal is difficult, having that knowledge could help in your marketability in the future.

Edit:Here is a no nonsense comparison of Joomla, Wordpress and Drupal