And WordPress Moves Into the Lead!

February 18, 2009

There has been some competition in the open source CMS area in the last couple of years, specifically between Drupal and WordPress. As each grows and matures, they each gain loyal followers who claim that their system can do everything the other can do, and more! While I am not here to speak on which you should be using, I will say that the recent release of WordPress 2.7 has potentially changed the game. Users of both systems know that the biggest headache for either is trying to keep it up to date, not only the standard install, but also with plugins/modules for each. WordPress 2.7 introduced the ability to update from within the browser and with this, makes it my recommendation until Drupal does the same. If you have not used one or both of these systems, I can show you what I mean.

Updating the Core System

Below are two series of screenshots, one for Drupal and one for WordPress on updating the core system.


drupal1 drupal2


wp1 wp2 wp3

As you can see, after the WordPress update was completed in 3 steps, while after two steps with Drupal, I am just getting to downloading the core and then have to FTP it to my site and hope nothing is overwritten.

Updating Plugins/Modules

Here are the respective upgrade paths for add-ons for each system


drupal1a drupal2a


wp4 wp5 wp6

Same thing here, WordPress is updated through the browser, Drupal I have to download and FTP. An added step for Drupal is making sure there are no dependancies on other modules which also need updates. This means that you might have to run your system with the big red banner on it for awhile until the supporting modules are also available.

Admin Interface

Taking WordPress really over the top is the new admin interface. When Drupal came out with a new default design in version 6, it was a big step up from the previous theme. The problem is that they didn’t go far enough because they didn’t address the structure and organization of the admin panel. Below are two views of the Drupal admin panel, one with what shows up above the fold, the second a full list of a typical install.

drupal3 drupal4

Now compare that admin navigation to the sidebar in WordPress 2.7, both standard and fully expanded

wp8 wp9

In preparing to write for this, I gave myself the minor task of trying to figure out how I would change the sidebar of my site in both systems. I won’t go into the detailed process on how to do this for either system, but I will just show you two options below and let you decide which is easier to figure out how to change.

drupal5 wp10