We have looked at the various options we have for the platforms we can use for our blog. We have also looked at the comparisons for the free hosted blogging tools. Now let us look at the three main self-hosted options. I am leaving out MovableType, because I find it very inconvenient to use and it doesn’t have as much of a following as these three. The folks over at Devious Media have done a good job of contrasting between the three platforms. Please look at the infographic at the end of the post.
Before we go there, let us really look at the three platforms.
First things first: For most part, all three can now achieve similar functionality. Yet, all three have their own strengths.
Drupal is a very popular and flexible CMS. It is very powerful and you can create any type of website with it. Its negative is that good designers for it are hard to find as are the themes. There aren’t as many themes as there are for WordPress. Since designing for Drupal isn’t easy, specifically with new version and frameworks coming every year (5.x > 6.x > 7.x), the themes aren’t compatible across these versions. So aren’t the modules. That is why the effort required to keepup the modules and themes for Drupal is more.
Having said that, I have found enough developers out there to do the work. Designing was always a challenge. Once you find a good designer, then the product is great! Although people find Drupal to be a tough platform to learn, I didn’t think it was that difficult once you get the hang of the main framework.
Here are the popular websites created using Drupal.
- The Onion
- White House
- Fast Company
- The Pulitzer Prizes
- Churchill Downs
- The Kentucky Derby
- Warner Brothers Records
- AOL Corporate
- Popular Science
WordPress is the most popular Self Hosted blogging platform. It is easy to configure and has the largest number of themes and plug ins via the community. Since WP has been traditionally used for blogging, and bloggers have fine tuned it for their best possible use, some really cutting edge blogging plugins are available. Using the WP platform makes it easier for one to create a blog and enhance it for best performance.
I have been using Drupal for most of my sites, but the frustration with the changing versions and the changing of the modules and themes has made it tough to keep up. That is why even for my personal blog, I might move to WordPress very soon.
WP had one shortcoming – the creation of social groups. That was taken care of with the coming of Buddypress. Overall now, I would rate WordPress to be a powerful platform for bloggers. Some of the popular sites created using WordPress are:
- ANT Comic Blog
- Ben & Jerry’s Blog
- CNN Blog
- Digg Blog
- Ebay Ink Blog
- Harvard Law School Blog
- University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Joomla can help you create great looking CMS sites. Looks wise, Joomla is very good since its themes are very aesthetically built and designers can affors to do a good job. The problem has been it is not as flexible as, say a Drupal. Although a lot of things have improved due to workarounds and new plugins, the core of Joomla, which is based on Mambo. COnsequently, things like permissions, User Groups, User roles remain an issue. It also has issues with integrating with other scripts easily, as it would require changes in core back end files.
Althought Joomla has a lot of plugins and themes, a large number of them are not free. At least I have found that compared to Drupal and WP, Joomla has more extensions – plugins and themes – which are premium. Some of the popular sites based on Joonla are:
Which platform are you using and why?