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  1. #1
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    Drupal vs WordPress vs Modx Rev vs Umbraco vs dotCMS

    I am searching for a development platform my all upcoming projects. Till now I've using CodeIgniter, but it is very limited. Also a CMS feature is desired for all projects.

    What I need:
    -Custom development at the speed of bullet- I need a tool to let me build a custom complex application very quickly. Easy file upload, image manipulation, validation. Rapid Development- my no.1 preference.

    -Flexible- In terms of functionality, design limits are not a big issue for me. I tried Joomla for one project, client asked me to use email as username, I asked Joomla community but no answer. I did my best but failed. I don't want such limits.

    -Ajax and Javascript features/module

    -Secure and Stable

    - Lots of video learning resource

    I'm not a geek, however based on my research WP, Joomla failed- custom functionality is rather difficult.

    I like Drupal, but came across Umbraco and dotCMS, which claims to be better than any PHP CMS.
    I need you review for my requirements, please.

    Learning a new language is not big trouble for me.

    Thanks,
    Aryan

  2. #2
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    Since you are familiar with CodeIgniter, you are in the perfect position to use ExpressionEngine, which has all you listed above and more.

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    Joomla

    Hey there Aryan

    Just like to point out that you can customise and change the user profile and registration methods in Joomla. There is a huge lack of documentation in regards to that sort of information at the moment as there are new versions out and constantly updating til it reaches its next stable release 2.5 in Jan 2012.

    When is your project due for release as the Joomla Platform project should be released at the end of this year and is a nice framework to develop on.

    Can't help you on the learning resources at the moment though for Joomla. :s

    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Since you are familiar with CodeIgniter, you are in the perfect position to use ExpressionEngine, which has all you listed above and more.
    But it is not free. Is there any freeware like it?


    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by astroboysoup View Post
    Hey there Aryan

    Just like to point out that you can customise and change the user profile and registration methods in Joomla. There is a huge lack of documentation in regards to that sort of information at the moment as there are new versions out and constantly updating til it reaches its next stable release 2.5 in Jan 2012.

    When is your project due for release as the Joomla Platform project should be released at the end of this year and is a nice framework to develop on.

    Can't help you on the learning resources at the moment though for Joomla. :s

    Peter
    Yes! Thant's why I have listed lots of learning resources. Without it I won't be able to use it's all features and customization.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aryandelhi View Post
    But it is not free. Is there any freeware like it?
    If you are working for clients, it's a trivial cost for a better system. It's the only one I know well, so I'll leave it to others to suggest alternatives.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by aryandelhi View Post
    I am searching for a development platform my all upcoming projects. Till now I've using CodeIgniter, but it is very limited. Also a CMS feature is desired for all projects.

    What I need:
    -Custom development at the speed of bullet- I need a tool to let me build a custom complex application very quickly. Easy file upload, image manipulation, validation. Rapid Development- my no.1 preference.

    -Flexible- In terms of functionality, design limits are not a big issue for me. I tried Joomla for one project, client asked me to use email as username, I asked Joomla community but no answer. I did my best but failed. I don't want such limits.
    That issue with the login with username shouldn't have been a problem. On Drupal there is a module called "login toboggan" that allows you to login with your username or your email address.

    Quote Originally Posted by aryandelhi View Post
    -Ajax and Javascript features/module

    -Secure and Stable

    - Lots of video learning resource

    I'm not a geek, however based on my research WP, Joomla failed- custom functionality is rather difficult.

    I like Drupal, but came across Umbraco and dotCMS, which claims to be better than any PHP CMS.
    I need you review for my requirements, please.

    Learning a new language is not big trouble for me.

    Thanks,
    Aryan
    I use Drupal for rapid application, prototyping and full development if it is the right fit... It has a powerful API that abstracts a lot of PHP coding constructs so that you can do a great deal with a very small amount of code when you get into writing custom code.

    You can create a Drupal installation profile so that you can install the core with all the modules you use on a regular basis. Then whenever you do an install with your custom installation profile, you're ready to go right away.

    With Drupal 7 the modules can be checked for updates and updated within a couple of keystrokes (Drupal 6 will also do this with the Plugin Manager module). This saves a bunch of time uploading and then running the update script. Drupal 7 will allow you to install modules remotely either via the admin UI or if you really want to get geeky through the terminal screen using "drush". Again, this speeds up development and configuration.

    Keys to getting started with Drupal (IMO):
    1. Learning to create a theme from scratch and extending it programmatically with a custom template.php file, custom page templates, or custom modules.
    2. Learning how to use the Views module to create custom pages and blocks.
    3. Learning Blocks... Blocks can be static or dynamic chunks of code or content that can be placed within regions of the page layout and can be made visible depending on many varied criteria. Well worth knowing.
    4. Learning how to create custom content types and adding fields as necessary.

    I think that covers a small bit of info about Drupal. You will have to get a good book to really start moving in Drupal though. I would look at this list for some decent titles and then get going with Drupal 7... It is the way forward as far as Drupal goes. Link to books: http://drupal.org/books
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

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    Drupal is probably the best open-source content management system. I recently had pretty shocking luck with it. I had a deadline and I did not know Drupal so well, so I ended up going to WordPress.

    I will probably give Drupal a second shot. I will just have to sit and bare it. I've found that the people who use Drupal would end up using them on huge sites, and therefore development costs for a Drupal site would be more expensive. I recently got quoted 3K for converting a static website to a Drupal CMS. Glad WordPress came to the rescue.

    WordPress is an amazing CMS. It's incredibly easy to use and setup. I had a pleasant experience with WP, so I can't fault it. The only downside I've notice is that WordPress updates often, and so do it's plug-ins. I installed a series of optimization plug-ins to get the site running lightning fast.

    I would have loved to stick it out with Drupal, the support was quite lacking. I know how it works, it's just I did not know how the users would go to edit their site. Content was arranged differently to what I was used to. WordPress was the closest thing to the commercial CMS I previously worked with, so WordPress it was.
    follow me on ayyelo, Easy WordPress; specializing in setting up themes!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    I would have loved to stick it out with Drupal, the support was quite lacking. I know how it works, it's just I did not know how the users would go to edit their site. Content was arranged differently to what I was used to. WordPress was the closest thing to the commercial CMS I previously worked with, so WordPress it was.
    Yes, support is/was difficult to come by especially when I got pushed into the Drupal world. It was sink or tread water for me but now it is better. I would seriously get a book to learn the system, it is vast.

    As far as how a user would edit a site, it couldn't be easier... Login, go to the page you want to edit and click the edit tab. I set up all Drupal sites with the WYSIWYG module, TinyMCE (editor), IMCE and IMCE bridge (like a file manager for uploading and managing images and files). What more do you need? You want to create a page click the "add content" button and choose whatever type of page you want to add.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

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    I got 2 books, went through the Lullabot training series, at one point I signed up to Drupalize.me. I really can't explain the my journey within the Drupal world. The IRC channels weren't particularly resourceful.

    In the end I kind of said to myself "Well if I can't understand it, how on earth is a client going to?", which pretty much hit the nail for me. I really did not want the head-ache of trying to explain things I did not fully understand. Overall I believe Drupal is a better CMS because of it's flexibility. For example, everything you do is stored in sites/all or sites/default, keeping the core separate. This just isn't the case with WordPress. When I first heard the phrase "Keep-it-Simple-Stupid" I never quite understood it, WordPress is an example of this, and for this reason it won for me, particularly as a short-term solution.

    As far as how a user would edit a site, it couldn't be easier... Login, go to the page you want to edit and click the edit tab. I set up all Drupal sites with the WYSIWYG module, TinyMCE (editor), IMCE and IMCE bridge (like a file manager for uploading and managing images and files). What more do you need? You want to create a page click the "add content" button and choose whatever type of page you want to add.
    There is no front end editor? What about editing the page without going to the front-end for a redirect? What then?

    I really want to give Drupal another try, and I probably will in-time, I don't like failing in anything. In this case being stubborn will pay off.

    I never really looked at Joomla, I heard some bad press about it a while back concerning security issues. I believe Joomla is the most popular out of the three, but I did not want to learn it, so I did not explore that route
    follow me on ayyelo, Easy WordPress; specializing in setting up themes!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    I got 2 books, went through the Lullabot training series, at one point I signed up to Drupalize.me. I really can't explain the my journey within the Drupal world. The IRC channels weren't particularly resourceful.
    I thought the book "Using Drupal" was a great way to introduce the newbie to the way Drupal was designed to be used by the administrator or developer without delving into the Drupal API and deep code. It discusses how to install, set up some common "Swiss army knife" type modules, create content, upload/download files, etc... It's a really good read and includes a useful project in each chapter so you can set up an eCommerce site, or a photo gallery, a job application section and even just a simple blog with commenting. It's available for D7 from O'Reilly - Link

    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    In the end I kind of said to myself "Well if I can't understand it, how on earth is a client going to?", which pretty much hit the nail for me. I really did not want the head-ache of trying to explain things I did not fully understand. Overall I believe Drupal is a better CMS because of it's flexibility. For example, everything you do is stored in sites/all or sites/default, keeping the core separate. This just isn't the case with WordPress. When I first heard the phrase "Keep-it-Simple-Stupid" I never quite understood it, WordPress is an example of this, and for this reason it won for me, particularly as a short-term solution.
    The power of Drupal and a system like Drupal is that it is completely open ended. It's up to you the developer to decide how much editorial control your end user will get. You create an admin profile for editors, authors, staff, etc... and then you decide how much of the system they get to get their hands on. A "Staff" member may only have the ability to view and edit pages without the ability to create new ones and delete others. An "Editor" may have the same ability as "Staff" but with the ability to add and remove pages too. If they don't need to see the other stuff, you don't let them. As soon as you grasp that concept as the developer, the site becomes much less complicated to the end user because there is much less to overwhelm them. I've lost count of the number of Drupal sites we've built in the past 4 - 5 years but it must be hovering around 40 and there hasn't been a case yet where the client hasn't been able to handle the site (and some of them are really complicated too).

    * We also make it a habit to provide a couple of basic training sessions with our clients and then a follow up a couple of months after launch so that we know they are in good shape.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    There is no front end editor? What about editing the page without going to the front-end for a redirect? What then?
    I don't know what you mean... You can go to the content search page and then pull up a list of content based on any number of filters from subject (title), to content type, to date, etc... Then you can edit from there but most people find it easier to just go to the page (logged in) and click the edit tab which is available if you are logged in.

    * If for some reason you want to have a special administration page for editing (and it happens sometimes), you can use the views module and create your very own custom administration editing page with edit/view links and whatever else you need. That's a bit more advanced so it's probably not something that you would need or tackle in 99% of websites though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    I really want to give Drupal another try, and I probably will in-time, I don't like failing in anything. In this case being stubborn will pay off.
    Yes it will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    I never really looked at Joomla, I heard some bad press about it a while back concerning security issues. I believe Joomla is the most popular out of the three, but I did not want to learn it, so I did not explore that route
    Wordpress is the more popular by a long shot. Drupal keeps winning a best Open Source CMS of the year or something... I don't recall. The last time I checked it had the most efficient codebase when head to head with Joomla. I haven't tried Joomla for ages... The admin annoyed me at the time.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  12. #12
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    @awasson

    What a helpful person you are. Never really had such a response from somebody in the Drupal community Always thought of it like a dark CMS reserved for the elites. Feel guilty now that I've found somebody ready to explain the concepts, and I've already jumped to easy-peesy WordPress.

    The books which I had with the PACKT books, "Drupal 6 Themes", and "Building Powerful and Robust Websites with Drupal 6". Informative as they were they did not explain how you would set your site up for clients, this is what I needed.

    The power of Drupal and a system like Drupal is that it is completely open ended. It's up to you the developer to decide how much editorial control your end user will get.
    I gathered that very early on. WordPress needed plug-ins to do what Drupal does out-of-the-box. Particularly with user permissions. On the whole WordPress handled that quite badly. Some plug-ins don't work in-line with others, not ideal. This is an argument of using rapid-prototyping frameworks, but you would have to know a lot more, particularly in the language you are coding in.

    * We also make it a habit to provide a couple of basic training sessions with our clients and then a follow up a couple of months after launch so that we know they are in good shape.
    me too. Wondering, do you give a training manual of any sort? Clients always seem to miss vital information on the training, and they always call me asking for help. There is a fine line between teaching clients your CMS and teaching clients to be web professionals. They treat me like as a teacher, rather than a trainer.

    * If for some reason you want to have a special administration page for editing (and it happens sometimes), you can use the views module and create your very own custom administration editing page with edit/view links and whatever else you need. That's a bit more advanced so it's probably not something that you would need or tackle in 99% of websites though.
    Okay, the process I basically used was the following:

    1. Download Drupal
    2. Install Drupal
    3. Create all the pages within the Admin
    4. Install the theme, create your theme with all it's PHP tags, I preferred to do this from scratch.
    5. Assign different blocks of content to regions.


    The problem I had was the I ended up with a gazillion blocks. I remember at some point I research a module called blocks as nodes. I did not find a way to edit those blocks from the front end, and simply pressing the edit button on the top would only allow me to edit the page. Same went for the views. I ended up with a real complex view.

    Tell you wish guy helped me understand the basics of Drupal, http://mustardseedmedia.com/podcast, really put things into perspective. The Lullabot series didn't help much as the examples they used were impractical for what I needed.

    Wordpress is the more popular by a long shot.
    ....maybe it's because it's easier.
    follow me on ayyelo, Easy WordPress; specializing in setting up themes!

  13. #13
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    Well I have to say. I was recently having to go through a similar decision as the OP.

    Coming from a intermediate standard of HMTL CSS, I found ModX to be a good basic CMS. As soon as you understand the basic naming conventions for the different entities it came as second nature to use.

    The problem is that as my I increase my experience in CMS I may out grow ModX. Then I would need to reinvest time into learning one of the more customisable CMSs such as Drupal as awasson recommended to me.

    I guess if I had a week or so free I would try to get to grips with Drupal, as it seems to have the best reputation.

    Good Luck.

    John.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    @awasson

    What a helpful person you are. Never really had such a response from somebody in the Drupal community Always thought of it like a dark CMS reserved for the elites. Feel guilty now that I've found somebody ready to explain the concepts, and I've already jumped to easy-peesy WordPress.

    The books which I had with the PACKT books, "Drupal 6 Themes", and "Building Powerful and Robust Websites with Drupal 6". Informative as they were they did not explain how you would set your site up for clients, this is what I needed.
    No worries, I had a heck of a time trying to figure out Drupal myself but once I sort of got the hang of it, it started to make sense and the stuff I found at Drupal.org and elsewhere on the internet started to make more sense too. Every now and again I run into responses to my questions or bug reports on Drupal.org that sound elitist but I figure, oh well... That dude must be having a really bad day The last time was around when Drupal 7 was released and I think it was pretty tough on anyone who was maintaining modules and code because a lot was changing and quickly. If you haven't tried Drupal 7, you should give it a shot... It's easier than ever to set up and maintain.

    Oh and get the Using Drupal book or thumb through it at a book shop to see if it;s something you might like. It might be the right book to go before the ones you already have.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    Okay, the process I basically used was the following:

    1. Download Drupal
    2. Install Drupal
    3. Create all the pages within the Admin
    4. Install the theme, create your theme with all it's PHP tags, I preferred to do this from scratch.
    5. Assign different blocks of content to regions.


    The problem I had was the I ended up with a gazillion blocks. I remember at some point I research a module called blocks as nodes. I did not find a way to edit those blocks from the front end, and simply pressing the edit button on the top would only allow me to edit the page. Same went for the views. I ended up with a real complex view.

    Tell you wish guy helped me understand the basics of Drupal, http://mustardseedmedia.com/podcast, really put things into perspective. The Lullabot series didn't help much as the examples they used were impractical for what I needed.
    That's pretty much the same process I follow but I also use the Views module... Love the views module! I also use the "menu block" module, Pathauto with taxonomy so I can put pages into sections (via a taxonomy term) and then I use blocks and make them visible based on their path. There is so much to it I could really write a book about how I go about using Drupal to make real world websites.

    BTW, I don't think lots of blocks is a problem as long as they aren't redundant. For a typical website I'll have regions for Social Media Links, Header (logo, imagery, etc...), Main Navigation, Left, Content, Right, Footer.

    Usually the content area is free unless I have a views block or two that I want to insert to loop out some links to content. The right side could be for announcements or imagery for specific sections or pages, the left column sometimes gets subnavigation that comes from a "menu block". Main navigation goes in the main nav and sometimes I'll have half a dozen blocks in the header set to different visibility settings so I can have a different header for each section. I have a big manufacturer's site that has about 40 blocks to handle all of the features on their site and I have a bilingual site that has about the same. I usually have about 2 dozen blocks in the average site but only 4 or 5 will be rendered on a given page. The way I look at it is that if I can understand why I put them on and it still makes sense then it's ok
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

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    Every now and again I run into responses to my questions or bug reports on Drupal.org that sound elitist but I figure, oh well... That dude must be having a really bad day
    either that or he's just plain rood.


    Oh and get the Using Drupal book or thumb through it at a book shop to see if it;s something you might like. It might be the right book to go before the ones you already have.
    I'll have to buy to through Amazon EU. Cyprus is hardly the place for specialized bookshops. I will certainly give it another bash. I am happy with WordPress, in either case I feel knowing WordPress is essential for me, particularly for use on blog sites.

    Love the views module!
    When I showed by design to somebody on the IRC channel he told me that much of what I needed to do could be achieved with the views Not sure how one would edit content in the views modules. The views module is a module that views various pieces of information, if I understand correctly. Those pieces of information, when I tried to do something, simply displayed a list of all the pages content and titles. When I tried it again it displayed the titles only. Certainly not an expert at understanding views. In the beginning I thought views was for displaying various pieces of information around the screen, that's certainly the impression I got, I think this that is mainly down to the regions on the page.

    BTW, I don't think lots of blocks is a problem as long as they aren't redundant. For a typical website I'll have regions for Social Media Links, Header (logo, imagery, etc...), Main Navigation, Left, Content, Right, Footer.
    If the client has to go within backend he/she would probably much so baffled they would call me. Content blocks did not really bother me either. Understandably you can go in each content blocks settings and state "display on x,y,z pages", so that wasn't much of a problem.

    The file structure of Drupal is a lot more sophisticated, especially since the core files are separated. It's very extendable, but in my opinion this extendibility complicates the learning process. If I remember correctly you can overide certain files from the core by simply doublicating those files in your site folder. When I was at a stage of converting the design to a development I ended up putting in all the HTML in the main page.tpl.php. Somebody from the IRC channel informed me that I setup the site wrongly, and much of the HTML had to be in separate files within certain files, e.g. node and block-name files. Somebody actually quoted my 3K for the website to be put onto a CMS, shocking considering I did not even quote the client that for the entire site. One person even recommended I only convert a static site to a Drupal site if is had at least 100 pages.
    follow me on ayyelo, Easy WordPress; specializing in setting up themes!

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    I believe wordpress is the best content management system out there. It's fairly SEO friendly and very easy to use and maintain

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    Hi there

    My 2 cents worth - Umbraco...

    My take on things is that a CMS should provide intuitive tools that a non technical user can use on a semi / non regular basis and not always need a manual beside them to guide them.

    Keeping the above in mind, I have had limited exposure to Joomla and was totally put off that. I today have had my first exposure to Wordpress and need to give it more time to get to grips with it. Umbraco I have been using for 2 years now and I love the simplicity and intuitive layout from the administration perspective.

    I guess the major downside is that Umbraco requires a reasonable level of web knowledge to implement a site where other CMS systems are more of a plug and play (no disrespect intended).

    Another issue relates to code bloat - too often the source code of a page is completely bloated and very un-SEO friendly. A subjective comment and relates to the author of the plugin, etc.

    Umbraco has a fantastic community (http://our.umbraco.org) and it has a growing list of free plug-ins for sites, including themes.

    Time for me to now get to know Wordpress and maybe balance my bias, but again from an admin perspective Umbraco is THE most intuitive and user friendly system I have come across in 11 years of web development.

    Cheers

    Nigel


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