You need a small business website, and maybe you would like to blog. You want to connect with your customers via social media easily. You ARE NOT an HTML junky! You know enough to navigate the web, install programs, post images, upload videos, etc.
CMS (Content Management Systems) like WordPress and Drupal allow you to build websites or blogs without having to deal with the html code directly. As their name suggests, they allow one to manage content: pages, images, videos, pdfs, menus, articles, and portfolio items. Today we’ll look at the 2 largest platforms on Open Source CMS’s.
Making comparisons like this is a bit like asking if a Honda Fit is as good as a Mercedes Benz CLS550. Both are cars, but they have different target markets. Similarly, the small business owner needs to define his/her goals for the site including:
Knowing which system is better is not the goal. The goal is to be able to pick the one that best fits the needs of the business!
Let’s compare the two CMS’s:
|User Base||Used by close to 60% of the top 10,000 sites.||Used by about 20% of the top 10,000 sites.|
|Intuitiveness||Very intuitive. Initial install is 5 minutes. WP appeals to people with little or no previous knowledge.||Less intuitive and has a steeper learning curve.|
|Community and Support||Open Source (FREE). Wide community support. The Codex installation site is well done and very helpful.||Open Source (FREE). Wide community support. The Drupal documentation is tedious and difficult to comprehend.|
|Themes (Appearances)||Thousands and thousands of themes, both FREE and paid. Themes available for hundreds of industries.||A good base of themes available, but WP simply overwhelms Drupal. Estimated themes ~50% of WP.|
|SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Strength||Very strong with the WP SEO plug-in. Search engines love WP content properly optimized.||Less strong than WP, but still good. Popular SEO plug-in is Pathauto|
|Customization Capability for very high end sites.||Serves the capabilities of 90-95% web based applications. Has some high end enterprise limitations.||Can be customized to almost anything. Considered the “Enterprise” platform; the solution for complex sites.|
|Cost of Customization||Many developers who know WP. Cost of customization lower.||More complex development needed with fewer developers and higher development costs.|
|Security||Open source so, in time, anyone can learn how to defeat the system. Plug-ins needed.||Also open source. Drupal has been considered as having an edge in robustness.|
|CRM Plug-ins||Version 3.x supported by Salesforce.com, Sugar, and others. Degree of customization unknown.||Also supported by CRM vendors. Degree of customization unknown.|
|E-commerce Integration||Many plug-ins from the simplicity of PayPal and up.||Best known for Ubercart shopping system.|
|Facebook “Likes” on 5/17/12||392,650||31,730|
|Alexa Traffic Data as of 5/17/12||Alexa Traffic Rank: 80
US Traffic Rank: 73
Sites linking to: 3,622,245
|Alexa Traffic Rank: 425
US Traffic Rank: 643
Sites linking to: 99,680
|Sites That Use Are:||The NY Times
The Wallstreet Journal
The White House
Nat’l Business Review
Wordpress offers the ease of installation, the intuitiveness, and the capability to provide almost any business with a powerful Internet solution. Development is widely supported, and technical assistance can be readily found. If you are in the 90-95% of businesses that need a strong web presence, and want to keep things simple, WordPress could be your best choice.
On the other hand, if your business is demanding of an Enterprise solution, you might wish to look carefully at Drupal.