WordPress or Drupal for Small Project?

I have a client who wants to update an old static site to one with a CMS. Since I know WordPress better (made blog themes), I am thinking of pitching it over something more robust. I don’t want to ramp up a learning curve for me and my client while developing it.

Here are the features the client wants:

  • Calendar of events
  • Spanish language content
  • Photo gallery
  • Social Media Integration
  • Blog
  • Newsletter opt-in
  • Online forms & registration

Client also wants to make content updates without me.

Can WordPress handle all this, or should I think of something more robust?

WordPress is a very robust cms and can easily handle all of that. WordPress actually powers some very large websites with many features.

Drupal is maybe over-doing it for a smaller site like this, and the learning curve is much steeper. I think your client will have more problems learning how to manage his site if it is based on Drupal.

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My decision making process for WordPress vs. Drupal for client sites usually boils down to how specific the client needs are.

Let’s use your calendar requirement as an example.

If the client just wants a calendar system, one which they can manage, have it be responsive, and they just have a general idea or concept of their needs, WordPress tends to be the better fit.

Drupal comes in when their needs are very specific and I can foresee having to write a lot of code in WP. Drupal gives you very fine control over functionality as it’s more of a build-it-yourself platform than WP.

Using the calendar example: when the client comes with a very specific calendar box design with particular information architecture within a day item, has lots of filters or sorting in the calendar, has other types of content that need to auto populate the calendar or external sources: it’s time for Drupal.

They’re both great tools but they are different.

Why limit yourself to Wordpress? It’s worth looking at modern CMS’s like Craft or Statamic which are less complex for end clients to use and you can easily built functionality like calendars without having to resort to plugins.

I would use Drupal because I’m familiar with it and think Wordpress is a steaming pile of sh*t. Depending on how picky the client was I could probably build all that with very little programming relying on community modules, inherit flexibility of Drupal, and my deep knowledge of the system. However, that is not he case for you. Therefore, you are probably better with what you know and leaving the Drupal work to those who know Drupal.

Thanks to all who posted for your valuable input. I have pitched WordPress to the client. I have found all the necessary plugins and will develop my own custom theme. Now all I gotta do is hear back from the client…

Thanks again (very much!)

I always recommend if you’re going to start a small project, because it has biggest support and many plugins for free to your website development


I’m familiar with it and I KNOW Wordpress is a steaming pile of sh*t. I spent years developing with WordPress, the most depressing time of my life, Drupal well highly complicated i use processwire but Craft is not open source so i don’t know much about it. look at other cms WordPress during Development would give you headache.

Agreed! WP is one of the most common cms if you study once you’ll understand, but drupal and joomla are very complicated and you’ll find less developers

WordPress in terms of it’s code for a dev is not the best (a gross understatement) but it does have an excellent Codex which helps make up for that.

What might be a more important consideration is - can the client work with its UI?

I recently had a friend that wanted a better CMS but felt that WordPress was too confusing and opted to stay with her limited features but easy to use drag-drop builder.

I don’t get it, but then again I do.

Can I suggest that you (and your client) look at the live demo on http://www.b2evolution.net? It’s due for an imminent upgrade to v6.4.x which is based on Bootstrap at both front and back-office, generates HTML5 output, and has many of the features you need to add into WP, using plug-ins, as part of its core.

I’ve been running beta versions of it for evaluation for a few weeks now, and I’m looking forward to seeing the stable release go out, something that’s expected this weekend, at which point my older live version of b2e is definitely getting the upgrade.

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