Beating Drupal and Joomla in a head-to-head competition, WordPress has just won the Open Source CMS Hall of Fame award this year. CMSes which have won the best CMS award once in the past get to contend in the hall of fame cateogry for the open source awards, that aim to recognize and encourage open source projects and are decided on the basis of public voting and ratings from a panel of judges. There was a tie between WordPress and Drupal and an extra independent judge was brought in for a decisive vote. Drupal came the runner-up and Joomla claimed the third spot.
Drupal is known for its solid architecture and being more developer-centric. WordPress on the other hand is all about ease of use where users get an ‘out of the box’ experience. Developers who like to get their hands dirty with coding would rather build on their own rather and no wonder they ridicule WordPress as a mere ‘blogging platform’!
Years ago when I first tinkered with Drupal what struck me first was its unappealing UI whereas the UI has always been WP’s forte. As against the ‘famous 5-minute’ install WordPress is known for, it took me a long time to get the hang of Drupal. Getting things done in Drupal can be quite complicated, I found out, and required a good deal of messing with code, something I yearned to do but never had the time actually and I grew up fiddling with WordPress.
WordPress can boast about dwarfing Drupal in terms of popularity: version 3 was downloaded 23,586,240 times! Add to that 15 million blogs hosted on WordPress.com. Despite not being as popular, Drupal runs the biggest websites – White House, Economist, Firefox are all powered by Drupal. Among noted WordPress adopters are Los Angeles Times blogs, Adobe Blog, TED blog, New York Times Blogs to name a few! Even the D7UX project blog runs on WordPress 😉 If you are wondering all these are blogs and not full blown websites, hold your breath and see this university portal running on WordPress – http://www.queens.unimelb.edu.au/– to get an example of what WP is capable of.
Over the years one has witnessed WP trying to become and behave more like a CMS; the support for custom content types is a major step in that direction. Drupal doesn’t want to sit idle either. Drupal 7, which is in the pipeline, seeks to improve their user interface and make Drupal a much more user friendly experience. Needless to say, both are moving towards the ultimate CMS nirvana but as of now, riding high on its popularity WordPress is the numero uno CMS out there!