Lance Albertson

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Musings of a UNIX SysAdmin, jazz lover, and wine/beer snob
Updated: 4 years 8 weeks ago

Switched to WordPress and here’s why

Thu, 01/29/2009 - 7:49pm

In my first post on my new blog I mentioned that I decided to use Drupal for my main blog site. As you can probably notice by the footers on this page I’m no longer using Drupal and decided to go back to WordPress. I noticed several people at the last Corvallis Beer and Blog asked me about it. That made me think I should write a blog post about my journey, or at least the short version of it.

There were several reasons for this but it basically boiled down to using the right tool for the right job. Drupal is an amazing platform for managing and generating dynamic html content. Its plugin and theming system is one of the best out there. Unfortunately, I’m no Drupal guru (even though we host them at the OSL) and had several issues getting some things working like I wanted.

So why WordPress? Well, it seems like everyone in my region raves about it plus I tried the 2.7 version and saw how simple it was to administrate and setup. The ability to install plugins without ssh’ing into the machine was  a key feature that I just loved. Here’s a few of the things that I really like about WP.

  • Installing/Upgrading plugins easily
  • Categories/Tags are easy to setup
  • TinyMCE is installed and works flawlessly
  • Comment spam is easier to handle
  • The editing flow is less busy
  • Found a theme that is simple, elegant, and easy to customize the header image

While I agree Drupal can essentially do all the things above, it requires more researching, googling, tweaking, and trail and error to get it right. I spent a week or two combing the interwebs trying to find a defining site or blog post that explained everything. I found several sites that had decent information, but it wasn’t explained in a manner that made sense to me. The whole concept of taxonomy is just strange to me and in WP its stupidly simple. To me Drupal is like the Gentoo of blog software. It’s great and awesome if you know how to tweak it and use it properly, but for a blogging n00b like me, its just too much hassle for me to do deal with. I think Drupal has some great documentation, its in no comparison to the simple ones like Gentoo has (which is a large part of why people can install it).

So what does Drupal need to do? A few simple things would have made my life easier:

  • Create a page or site describing in detail how to setup similar features that modern blogs like WordPress have (categories, tags, etc)
  • Implement module installation via Drupal
  • Implement module upgrades via Drupal
  • Create a Blog centric theme similar to K2
  • Make it easier for people to use Drupal but keeping it simple for normal bloggers

I may go back to Drupal someday but I need to understand it more. I really think Drupal is an awesome project and its ability is far superior than any other CMS out there. But for a blog its just a bit too hardcore for the average blogger. Hopefully that will change in a few years.

Categories: Planet OSL