Wordpress, drupal or from the scratch? - please give me an advice

This time I need to build my church website.
For now, the only requirement is that people can download (or play) the sermons. (so it means somebody(admin) needs to uploads the pastor’s sermons)
The site will likely grow having more menu in the future.

I have been working with PHP and MySQL, but mostly back side, not front end.
So I could create admin page with no nice look&feel, letting admin upload files,
and for displaying the uploaded files for downloading, if front end(church public website) is there, I can create the function there. (I’ve done those before)

But the problem is that I understand html and css, but no actual experience creating nice look&feel webpage myself.
Somebody says about WordPress, and I looked into a little bit, but not sure.
Somebody talks about Drupal, but I don’t know anything about it.
Maybe I just start from the scratch by downloading some free template and implement functions there? - but if the website needs more menus or sidebar, then I need to find another template that has sidebar… umm.

Would someone please give me advice?


Starting from scratch on a CMS would be way over your head. It could take you months to make something that allows you to do what you want.

Content Management Systems (CMS) like Drupal and Joomla have a steep learning curve. They aren’t something you can quickly install and be up and running within minutes. However, Wordpress is.

I’ve been using Wordpress for about 3 years now. The latest version 3 came out a couple of weeks ago. I have not tried it, but from what I’ve read and the video I watched, the lines between Wordpress and CMSes are becoming blurred.

A CMS may be more featured than Wordpress, but the time it takes you to learn to use one will be largely wasted given your modest requirements. Wordpress would meet your needs and allow you to be up and running within minutes.

I suggest you download Wordpress and go from there.

Also, where are you hosting the site? A lot of shared servers do not allow video streaming. I assume you are going to upload a video file and let people download it. You could also host your videos on Youtube and embed the videos in the blog posts. That’s quick, simple, and cheap.


Here’s a comparison of Wordpress & Drupal that I happen to agree with (I am not the author nor do I know the author) & believe you would find useful.


I’d suggest using Wordpress, given the brief specification above.

Have fun whichever platform you choose!


Either Drupal or Wordpress should meet your needs. I would not build a custom product.

Sounds like most everything has been covered, and this thread hasn’t had any activity in a couple days, but I just wanted to add a note on the technical limits of uploading content.

If you’re going to upload content via the regular, back-end of WordPress (or any one of several WordPress plugins), you will probably be limited by your hosting platform in the size file you can upload.

If you are going to host the content on your own server, and intend to upload it to the server via the WordPress backend, just make sure you contact your host to see what the uploading limit is (2MB, 4MB, 8MB, etc.).

Of course, if you are hosting elsewhere, such as on YouTube or one of many other video hosting sites, that is irrelevent.

If you want to host it yourself, and are having issues with timeouts and/or file size limits, you can always use FTP to upload the content, and then link to it in your WordPress post (or on a WP page, or however you are doing it).

I’d say stay away from Drupal for now. It’s quite powerful and can handle pretty much anything but you’re still left with theming the front end as you’ve only got limited themes available and I found that only few look decent.

Wordpress has seen continual improvement and you’ve got tons of free themes, which are also easily customisable. In addition, the back end is nice and easy to use. As long as the site functionality is kept simple it’s imho the best option for you.

I’ve never uploaded video to my Wordpress blogs, only images. In the “Add New Post” screen in the admin panel just above the text box there is a line that says “Upload/Insert” and it has buttons for image, video, audio. I assume you would use the video one. I also assume that the video would appear as a link in the blog post and people could right-click on the link to save the file.

You may have to change the maximum file upload size so you can upload larger videos. Mine is limited to 2 MB, but I understand that can be changed.

I don’t see any reason for you to do any coding at all other than to create a custom theme should you so desire. You will need to create accounts for the people you want to be able to have access to the blog like the pastor or whoever. Then they can make posts and upload videos. Look in the “Users” section on the left-hand side navigation panel in the Wordpress admin screen.

As for embedding videos from video hosts like Youtube (and others):

If you look at the page that video is on you will see a button that says <Embed>. Click that button and Youtube will give you the HTML you need to embed the video in your blog post.

In your Wordpress blog in the Add New post screen, click the HTML tab (from the Visual tab) and copy that Youtube Embed HTML into your post. The Youtube video will be embedded in your blog post. I’ve done this many times. It works great.

There are other video hosts out there that allow longer length videos than Youtube.

Sorry, I don’t know of any. Wordpress is pretty simple to use and for making posts and stuff, I’ve never had to rely on a tutorial. But you can check out these Youtube videos. There are tons of Wordpress tutorials on Youtube. Just search for them. :slight_smile:


Look on the right side for other video suggestions.

YouTube limits videos to 10 minutes in length unless you are part of their special Partner Program. Sermons are usually longer than 10 minutes. Maybe “GodTube.com” doesn’t have the limitations of YouTube - nothing seems to come up regarding limitations on that site when I search Google. There are lots of other video hosting sites out there too. Hosting video yourself is also an option you can consider but can be expensive and is the fastest way to run out of bandwidth, you need lots of storage space, and you need serious hardware to do video conversions to a web-ready format in a timely manner. YouTube and others have whole server farms dedicated to converting video. Applying time limits allows for other videos to be processed as well.

Thanks for you guys advice.
I tendatively decide to go for wordpress, so I downloaded Wordpress 3.0 and went to http://localhost/wordpress/wp-admin/ and looked at default Twenty Ten theme.
But honestly say(please forgive my ignorance with wordpress) I don’t know how I can accomplish current requirement there. (Admin(I or someone else in the church) upload a video file and let people download it)
Do I need to have wordpress admin site theme and implement(coding php myself) upload function there, and have public site theme and implement(coding php myself) download functionality there so people can download there? Or do I only have to plug in something?

Would somebody please point me step-by-step wordpress tutorial for my case (even similar case - building website and putting some functionality there)? I know there are tons when googling, but please refer me easy to understand and follow and useful one.

Also, where are you hosting the site? A lot of shared servers do not allow video streaming. I assume you are going to upload a video file and let people download it. You could also host your videos on Youtube and embed the videos in the blog posts. That’s quick, simple, and cheap.

Also please forgive my ignorance about this issue. How can I host my videos on Youtube and embed the videos in the blog posts?


They seem to have enough back end experience so it doesn’t appear to be that big of an issue. If they are truly starting out new, then sure stay away from building it from the ground up as you learn. Their biggest issue is creating a nice looking interface and for that Wordpress has numerous templates.