#SLAchat: Q & A with Ruth Kneale: Drupal vs. Wordpress

#SLAchat is a discussion series we hope you participate in by talking with your colleagues about topics that interest you. Send me an e-mail if you have a topic-idea for an upcoming SLAchat. We're kicking the first one off with a Q & A with our own Ruth KnealeRuth Kneale

Q: Drupal or Wordpress?

Ruth: Drupal! 

Q: Which one feature, gadget, or plug-in does your preferred tool have that the other does not?

Ruth: The Drupal community is amazing. When I was comparing the two, WordPress definitely won the "easy to install" category, but the support for Drupal users to do more than a simple turnkey site is fantastic, and a large part of why I love it. I also find content addition and editing to be easier in Drupal than in Wordpress – the user interface is cleaner and generates a lot fewer questions by my content managers.

Q: In 2 sentences, a picture, or link, describe your experience with Drupal and/or Wordpress.

Ruth: I chose and implemented Drupal at my place of work, http://atst.nso.edu, and it went so well we're now rolling it out across all the NSO websites. I (of course) use Wordpress for the SLA websites (http://pam.sla.org, for example). They both have pros and cons – it all depends on your end-result needs.

Q: Do you have a crystal ball?

Ruth: I do, actually! (It's purple)

Q: Predict which tool will be around in 5 years, and which one will not? Why?

Ruth: I believe both will still be around and in use in 5 years, although not in the forms they are now.

Consider Ruth weighed-in. Now, what do you think?

note: more discussion questions will be asked next week, and we plan to cover a variety.



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11 responses to “#SLAchat: Q & A with Ruth Kneale: Drupal vs. Wordpress”

  1. Claire E. says:

    For CLRC.org we used WordPress. I don’t have experience with Drupal, but can it get any easier than WordPress? That’s hard to imagine. Between the Codex and community around WordPress, I think we’re set for years and years to come.

  2. Jamal says:

    I have to agree. As a simple CMS tool, WordPress (WP) is in a different league. Since it is a fundamentally a blog application with “bells and whistles”, it is extremely easy to develop. The big thing is that WP offers a is a complete web application, no download is required to start. I always think of Drupal as a more complete CMS tool that provided a more robust and dynamic web space for organizations to develop relational repositories for web content. However, in comparison, having to download fIles is clearly a barrier to start up on Drupal.

  3. I have used both Drupal and Wordpress and actually find Drupal to be overly complicated for what most of us need for our library sites. I keep coming back to Drupal to give it a try again after each of these types of articles, but nothing can top Wordpress for me. It manages every personal site of mine, my SLA chapter’s site, my Law Library association’s site and my employer’s site. It can do everything we need on each of those sites and more.
    I usually tell people to try them both out and see which you like more because to each his/her own 🙂

  4. Kyle says:

    I don’t have any experience with Drupal, but my understanding is that you need a little bit more knowledge of web design and HTML to get the most out of it. With WP, it doesn’t hurt to have that sort of knowledge, but it’s definitely not required. Is that accurate?

  5. Jamal says:

    Kyle, you’re correct for the most part. Thanks for sharing.

  6. John DiGilio says:

    After tinkering with so many of the options out there, I have finally begun migrating all of my own blogs to WordPress. I have seen amazing Drupal sites and have looked on them with more than a twinge of envy. But it was the ease of use that won the day for WordPress when it comes to how I work. With so much going on, I just do not have the time for the learning curve I felt Drupal needed. WordPress does exactly what I need and it can do it with a lot less effort. SOLD!

  7. Ruth says:

    I’m loving all the pro-Wordpress comments, but aren’t there any other Drupal-lovers out there??? Am I all alone in the SLA-iverse?

  8. Daniel Lee says:

    I agree with Nicole. I find Drupal over-engineered and more difficult to get going than WP. Just my personal opinion here. You have to plan more ahead of time with Drupal, so you lose some flexibility there.
    What you might gain with Drupal’s more advanced content management (stress the might), I think you use lose in user adoption. Drupal has its strengths yes, but Wordpress is easy-to-use, scalable, and, well, just prettier too. 🙂

  9. Stacy Wile says:

    I use Drupal frequently for my own sites because it’s so powerful, but if I am going to be turning the site over to others to use, I prefer Wordpress, because it’s so much simpler. It’s also easier to upgrade.

  10. StanfordF says:

    I’ve never used Drupal, but I can say that today I wanted to add an Instagram feed to our Wordpress site. It took all of 5 minutes to find the perfect plugin, program a sidebar widget, and create an image gallery page.

  11. Rex Turgano says:

    Both WordPress and Drupal are equally great CMS platforms but depending on your organization’s information management needs and technical resources, you will see that in the end there are definitely clear distinctions between the two.
    From my experience, WordPress is the best in meeting the majority of an organization’s IM needs, especially when coupled with the vast array of community plugins/add-ons available. I find that it requires less technical knowledge and hands-on development to manage and maintain – it is a very easy-to-use CMS platform.
    On the Drupal, you might have heard Drupal is quite more complex and for good reason. You can get very granular in managing your content and user base. If you have the technical resources (developers and a budget to match), a Drupal-based system can pretty much do anything and integrate nicely with any system. Drupal is a bit more “open” for developers to play around with where as WordPress can pretty much run on it’s own without developer assistance (although you can get creative with it).
    Someone once told me “Drupal was made by developers, and for developers”. Feel free to read into that as you please.
    Large-scale, enterprise web sites tend to go with Drupal. Large-scale content-delivery sites I often see using WordPress.
    Next time someone says they like Drupal or WordPress, ask them why, what and how they are using the platform and for what purpose. You will definitely notice the “trends” in the responses.

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