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My friend Daniel Gibbons is shopping for a CMS for his new project. He’s posted interesting and in my view fairly accurate comments regarding Drupal and WordPress. I’m quite the fan of WordPress, have spent a little bit of time with Matt and the Automattic crew and think quite highly of them.. and of course I use it for a bunch of sites, both corporate and personal.

Still, a couple of years ago I recommended that we deploy a Drupal site for EQO, where I was the VP Marketing. As seems to be common with a lot of Drupal projects, there was much forking of code and a great deal of customization required to make the thing feel like a true web interface. As a result it’s been a challenge for EQO to keep their site up-to-date with the latest versions and to reconverge with the growing Drupal codebase.

Daniel’s most salient point is this:

The belief in the Drupal community is clearly that it’s all about the… community. That is, the power of a disparate community will be harnessed to deliver the features and usability desired by end users. But the fatal flaw in the Drupal community model seems to be that its community consists entirely of developers and not publishers. Or worse still development shops who make money by customizing Drupal.

… whereas WordPress is guided by the steady hand of Matt Mullenweg and supported by a company which just raised $29M to further the cause. Not to mention a vast community of artists, designers, publishers, and software geeks who contribute widgets and extra features via a powerful API and a stable code tree.

I think that there will always be a place for Drupal and for the customization shops that support and enhance the platform (a number of whom are Vancouver-based). But it must be assumed to be true that while WordPress is more of a mass-market, easily-accessible platform, Drupal is its antithesis: a platform created by geeks for use by other geeks, and not something indulged in lightly.

In much the same way that The 250 are very good at promoting themselves within, well, the 250 the Drupal community has done a good job of promoting itself within the the Drupal community. Meanwhile, WordPress has even managed to reach out to and impress My Dad (definitely not one of the 250). While there is much possibility for grift in the Drupal market, selling a lot of stuff to a few people, I’m a guy who tends to bet long on selling a little bit to a lot of people.

Talk to a Drupal user (who is likely also a Drupal developer) and you’ll get a lot of detail about why Drupal is more powerful. Talk to a WordPress user (which is just as likely to be your mom) and you’ll get a lot of detail about how easy it is to use, extend, and modify.

While Gersham and I are playing with his Rails-based blogging engine, Orangutan, I still find myself constantly comparing it to WordPress.

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