Still recovering from Drupal: one year later

2-17-2013 14-39-17It’s time to build and write another website — something I do about once a year, it seems.

After my last (self-inflicted) debacle with Drupal (here and here), there was no question that I’d use WordPress for the new website I am developing for Zixi.

And when I decided today to write (yet another) love post to WordPress that would also slam Drupal, I wondered why I still feel so strongly about Drupal. After all, it’s been over a year since I was very badly burned by Drupal. Shouldn’t I have recovered by now?

Well, no. The Drupal site I created for Kenesto was late, overpriced, devoid of function, unmanageable and impossible to work with. Plus, by the time I got done, it was ugly. The first thing I did? Rip out the Drupal “blog” functionality (what a mess) and replace it with WordPress. Drupal’s blogging capabilities are so laughable, I am still amazed anyone actually uses it. (And what do you think the first thing my successor at Kenesto did? Rip out the whole site in favor of…wait for it…a WordPress site.)

Time — a whole year! — hasn’t healed my Drupal wounds one bit. I still wince when I remember that every time you enter HTML in the Drupal “editor” it completely removes all white space, making it impossible to read or alter. Simply positioning a graphic in a page necessitated a trip to CSS University.  And the Drupal developers we used (yes, plural, as one was unable to actually deliver what they promised and the “rescue” developer took us to the bank) loved Drupal, I think, because it was the king of billable-hour content-management systems.

Contrast that the experience I am having now with WordPress. I am working with an extremely talented designer who has been able to accommodate not just the basics but every single tweak I can think of — including new page templates, quickly, easily and in-budget. WordPress’s menu system means I can re-arrange the site in hours instead of weeks. WordPress’s editor produces something that approximates the look of the final page or post, instead of the Drupal “preview” which looks nothing like the final page. Media handling in WordPress is so simple, flexible and fast that every time I insert an image, I relive the agony of using a set of Drupal modules that were so stupid and slow that I’m embarrassed for the Drupal developers who wrote them.

I could go on and on (yes, I know, I already have). But the contrast between WordPress and Drupal is so stark, so wide — and so important to for newbies to understand — that I gave into the urge, one more time, to write about my intense dislike of Drupal.

It’s crap tech. Not bad tech, not complex tech, not even immature tech. Just plain old crap. What about the millions of sites and hordes of developers, the famous “Drupal community” that sustains the CMS? All I can say is they have either drunk too much Drupal Kool-Aid or they have become inured to the punishment Drupal inflicts on users. Either way, a Jonestown-like devotion to such a flawed CMS only has one outcome.

I recently heard from a pal that he’s taken a new role at Acquia. I am quite certain he will be a success there — that company is going to rake it in supporting the unsupportable. Good luck to him — and adieu Drupal, the content management system that’s like a free trip to Guantanamo for two weeks of water-boarding.


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4 responses to “Still recovering from Drupal: one year later”

  1. […] railed against Drupal on this blog repeatedly here, here and here; and gushed about WordPress over five years ago. At least I am […]

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