Open Source content management systems (CMS), such as Drupal, Joomla
How important is Open Source to website development? According to W3Techs, WordPress alone accounts for 64% of the market share of Web content management systems, and together with Joomla and Drupal, these top three projects account for almost 70% of the CMS market. Proprietary, Software as a Service (SAAS) providers, such as Wix, Squarespace, Shopify
WordPress is a good choice for many websites. Out of the
The case for starting with Drupal becomes more apparent as the requirements for a website increase and become more nuanced. This is because Drupal has evolved to be extremely flexible with how content types are created and extended by additional fields, taxonomies
WordPress uses an add-on software, called “plugins” to extend the software beyond
The WordPress plugin ecosystem has also evolved into a subscription-based business model where “pro” versions of various plugins are offered in place of under-powered free versions. Often these charges are
This can all lead to some frustration when building a site on WordPress because it can lead to a lot of time wasted trying to find the right set of plugins to deliver the combination of functionality one needs. Too often, one finds a promising plugin only to later find out that one small capability required is only offered in the “pro” version, which not only
With projects of greater complexity, or where the difficulty of integrating different aspects of site functionality is high, Inforest Communications will make the recommendation to use Drupal as a starting point. While many of the basic functions of Drupal and WordPress overlap, Drupal is more flexible in terms of defining fields and content types and has an overall architecture which
Starting with version 8, Drupal is based on the Symfony PHP framework, which provides a whole additional set of tools for Web development. This, in turn, makes programing in Drupal a lot easier because we have a whole additional code we can harness for basic (and not so basic) tasks. By moving to an object-oriented design pattern and providing tools such as Dependency Injection, Events, and Routing, we can more easily customize and extend Drupal’s capabilities without being limited to how current software is designed. It also ensures our code is interoperable with what might be added in the future.
WordPress and Drupal are excellent content management systems, each with its own set of advantages when considering a new website development project. Both, however, share the key advantage of being Open Source software. In addition to being free, these projects have developed their own communities of developers who support and extend each software to serve a wide range of tasks. However, each tool has its own set of advantages which Inforest carefully weighs before making a recommendation for a particular website project.
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About Dana Hutchins
Dana is founder of Inforest Communications and has over fifteen years of Web design and development experience. Dana is involved in all aspects of business development and marketing of the firm, including serving as primary consultant on Internet and Web strategy to Inforest clients. His Web development responsibilities are primarily focused on writing custom modules,themes and plugins to make Drupal and WordPress sites run and look better. He also writes custom Web applications that have been used in online calendaring, e-commerce and surveys.
Dana’s favorite programming acronyms are PHP, MySQL, CSS3, HTML5 and jQuery. However, what really gets him excited is the opportunity to use these tools to build Web sites that solve business needs and create new opportunities for his clients.