WordPress v. Drupal

There is a newly emerging Website committee at my agency. There is a strong faction that is pushing towards pulling down my stuff at DH and going to Drupal on in house equipment. Mainly because Drupal is all they know. I told them I have tried the several CMS’s on DH. I told them I have a version of my site in WordPress. I liked that I could put together an attractive site in an hour, but didn’t like that there was always 2% of what I wanted to do that turned out to be incredibly hard in any CMS. The Drupal faction was dismissive, calling WordPress “Drupal-Lite”. With so much of the internet running WordPress, I was puzzled by their attitude. Makes me wonder if anyone really knows what they are talking about. Is Drupal so much better?

I wish I could find an easy way in a CMS to help me retrieve records from my MySQL tables and present them in a table or chart instead of my efforts to barely manage it with roll my own PHP and CSS.

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You figured it out.

At least they were dismissive, I find that millennial’s that don’t want something tend to not even hear what being said, since they can’t hear alternative points they don’t have to argue against them.

semi-related: I watched someone that had previously dismissed my help work on something very simple for days. When I finally made the suggestion to add +"/r/n" I was met with resistance, “that can’t do anything, it will look horrible” An hour later the code was submitted for production review, I had to peek, sure enough… +"/r/n".

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I’m with Lakerat on this: if all they know is Drupal, then they solve every problems with Drupal. It’s the nail-hammer problem.

I have managed projects using Drupal, Wordpress and Joomla: all have their faults and advantages. Drupal has some decent components to create web applications (not just simple websites), but you really need to know what you’re doing it, as it’s easy to get down a bad path. Joomla has similar issues, although its community seems more confused and confusing for my taste.

One thing that I tend to highlight during meeting is: how many companies offer drupal or joomla as a service? Now look at wordpress ecosystem instead… what does that tell you? The simple cost of operations of Wordpress must be considerably lower than the other. Even Aquia stopped offering Drupal Gardens. So unless you have very good reasons not to use WP, you save yourself lots of headaches going down that path.

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The expensive consultant was able to retrieve SQL server records and format out put tables like this in Drupal. https://www.dropbox.com/s/lovj78uytpbhhzs/Screenshot%202017-03-08%2015.02.21.png?dl=0 Is this more easily done in Drupal than in php coding? I am searching the WordPress Docs and forums for how this is done in WP. Looks like the retrieval part is done with the WPDB object and custom php programming. I haven’t found any widget or method yet that makes it easy to format the output table and add a little “export to cvs” botton for html in WP.

Is the wpdb object any easier than mysql or mysqli of regular php?

Previously I had to slowly and painfully learn enough php to make tables: http://www.ykfp.org/klickitat/Data_lyleadulttrap.htm
This is how the millennials will miss me when I retire. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBJN0StppnM

WordPress’s many plugins can have vulnerabilities and be easily hacked, particularly if the website owner doesn’t update to the latest version or the plugin gets old. Or simply, hackers target WordPress because it is so popular.
Drupal has enterprise-level security and provides in-depth security reports, hence why you’ll find governments using it.

I have been exploring Drupal over the last couple months in spare moments, trying to figure out what it is and what it can do. Now I am getting busy again, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to exploring Drupal, so I thought I would share what I was able to figure out so far.

I first discovered Drupal sandboxes at Pantheon.io, a hosting company for Drupal and WordPress sites. The sandbox sites allowed me to try out basic features of Drupal http://dev-ykfp-drupal-demo.pantheonsite.io/ and even had tools to import a WordPress version of ykfp.org to a Drupal site http://dev-ykfp-migration-sandbox.pantheonsite.io/ . Hosting here costs $100/mo to $400/mo depending on size, to give an idea what it costs for this full featured hosting. https://pantheon.io/pricing For comparison, at Dreamhost, our hosting for ykfp.org costs $10/mo. plus $5/mo. for a unique IP address. But we are not planning on hosting our Drupal site at a hosting company.

Next I found a series of beginner videos on YouTube that got me started with Aquia Dev Desktop based Drupal 8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DYSucV1_9w&list=PLtaXuX0nEZk9MKY_ClWcPkGtOEGyLTyCO Dev Desktop makes it easy to install Drupal sites on your local PC for testing. This was a good way to have total access to the Drupal file structure. I worked my way through the 63 videos, and learned how to create content types, content, install modules, a bit about views, themes, books, etc.

When I searched through all the available modules, I was surprised that there doesn’t seem to be anything that helps you read data in from a MySQL or SQL table and present it in a nice graph or table. The Drupal community seemed mystified by this approach. https://www.drupal.org/node/2859010 (I post as MajorGeek) I found and installed the one module that I could find that mentioned MySQL, but all it did was connect to my external MySQL database, and report a successful connection. Not very useful.

There are some modules that do attractive charts, like Easychart, https://www.drupal.org/project/easychart but it seems like they all take input from CSV, or other flat file formats. To get from a SQL query to a CSV, you would be stuck with developing a custom module with php.

There seems to be a cultural blind spot in Drupal for this kind of extension to access data from SQL queries. You can easily do this in Joomla https://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/extension/core-enhancements/data-reports/vchart/ . You can do this in WordPress: https://wordpress.org/plugins/sql-chart-builder/ .

So I started looking into custom modules. There is a tutorial on installing a simple “Hello World” custom module at https://www.drupal.org/docs/8/creating-custom-modules/a-hello-world-custom-page-module that worked for me on my local Drupal site. Taking what I learned in this tutorial, I thought I would try the same procedure with a short piece of my php code that would just pull a few lines of data from one of my MySQL dam count databases, and write them on the screen. I couldn’t get it to work at all. All I could get was an unhelpful “Access denied”. Suggestions from the Drupal community were not helpful, and, in some cases misleading. https://www.drupal.org/node/2899787 Minh Phan at QW thought my spacing in my routing.yml file might be off. However, I followed the spacing from the Hello Word example carefully. I also tried a couple other spacing standards and still got the same error.

I found that Drupal takes a lot of resources and execution time. It just about wouldn’t run of my local PC running Windows 10 64 bit, 4 GB RAM, and i3-6100 3.7 GHz. I would get a lot of time out errors, especially on startup. I had to increase the processing time limit by editing the php.ini file, but still sometimes hit errors. I hope YN IT has allocated an adequate server for running our Drupal site.

I also found that required updates for Drupal come up often. Updating my local sites manually was a bit complicated (https://www.drupal.org/docs/8/update/update-procedure-in-drupal-8). Even after backing up my databases and site, running manual update, having problems with the update, reverting to my old version of the database and site files, and trying again, eventually I’d get my restores out of sync, and I’d lose the whole site. This has happened to me three times. https://www.drupal.org/node/2907651 I hope YN IT has more experience with Drupal site management than I do, because this is tricky to keep up with the new releases required for site security. Pantheon had some great tools for Drupal site management that made upgrading the Drupal version a one button affair. Acquia also has some tools to back up a whole site and database which I should try before attempting an upgrade.

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I think Drupal was my first LAMP CMS. I got the books, read the sites, and spent a lot of time in the community. Over time I got very frustrated with the in-fighting, abandoned FOSS modules, poor module quality from amateur developers, and extremely poorly implemented drupal.org site. I got tired of the issues and wandered to Concrete5, MODx, Magento, and others, and eventually settled down with WordPress.

Honestly WordPress has all of the same issues. WP plugins are written by the same kind of amateurs who write Drupal modules. It’s the exact same audience so how can anyone argue that one is different from the other? There are as many abandoned plugins for the exact same reasons. There is very little in-fighting though, until recently with all the discussion about Gutenberg. And the wp.org site is another attempt to showcase the platform, with volunteer developers and administrators functioning more like the cathedral than the bazaar.

Out of all that, personally I see WP winning the war. It’s much easier to use in many ways. The wealth of plugins, videos, websites, and third-party offerings instill confidence that we really can do anything we need. And as cited earlier in this thread, the broad hosting options confirms that it’s less resource intensive (hardware, personnnel, support calls, etc).

Numbers alone don’t make a platform better. I’m a very big fish in a couple very small ponds, fighting the good fight for the little guys. But beyond the passion (or the hammer and nails) we need to give good consideration about what the rest of the world is doing and why. People can be dismissive of an individual because it’s easy, but when 59.9% of CMS-based sites use WP and 4.7% of CMS-based sites use Drupal, basic adult thinking suggests that when 10 times as many people do x than y that being dismissive isn’t a reasonable reaction to the challenge.

As history tells us, the BetaMax video recorder was much better technology than VHS, but VHS won out purely through better marketing. One could argue the same for WP vs Drupal. Drupal reviews tend to call it technically better with better security and better performance as the complexity of the site increases. That’s great but I haven’t heard about any mass security issues with any platform in a long time, and performance is always a challenge that can be solved. (I have a number of recent notes in this forum about performance and procwatch with WP with a number of plugins on a number of sites in one shared account. The solution to that problem is the exact same with WP as it is with Drupal - spread out the load.

Frankly, if the company already has a bunch of Drupal people, it makes some business sense to continue with Drupal. But from my experience, and that of the WP community in which I am now quite active, and with a worldwide audience in agreeement by a factor of 10-to-1, WordPress deserves significant consideration beyond basic dismissal.

I was a Drupal dev and community contributor for many years. I attended local Drupal meetups, Drupal Camps, and the national DrupalCon conventions. I wrote lots of Drupal support documentation.

I stopped using Drupal for a few reasons:

  • It is developer-centric, and not friendly for regular content contributors. WordPress is a better user experience.
  • It is much too aggregate. It often takes 3-5 Drupal modules configured together to accomplish what WordPress does with 1 plugin… or even what WP has by default. The time investment between the two is substantial.
  • It does not have reliable upgrade paths between major versions. Prior to Drupal 8, there were no upgrade paths at all, forcing you to completely rebuild a Drupal 6 site in Drupal 7, and so on. Frankly, the Drupal 8 upgrade paths are effective a migrating your content, but porting your configuration is futile. And if your previous site used any sort of Media in its content (even a simple inline image), it breaks during migration.
  • It is spearheaded by a few key people who simply cannot be fully dedicated to Drupal’s development and support. They are too busy re-imagining the next major version to work on critical bugs.
  • When the Drupalgeddon virus destroyed all of my websites, the only solution was to restore from backups or rebuild entirely. Honestly, it was easier to rebuild them in WordPress.

Same experience as you, and now I think that people are wasting their time with any other CMS or ecommerce CMS, Wordpress and Woocommerce are clearly the future.
Only Drupal is somehow useful to dev who like to charge very high prices for (sometimes) complicated websites.
But Drupal being managed by idiots who do not understand that it should be possible to upgrade easily between any major version, I decided to quit. Not being able to buy some better customized plugins is also so stupid.

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