A recent discussion with a friend was about our individual choice of blogging platform to developers. He has chosen Drupal where I have chosen WordPress.
I teased him by saying he only preferred Drupal as a development platform because he was a Linux user, and his instant reply was that I only enjoyed WordPress because I was an Apple user.
Well, that might very well be true.
Just think about it.
Drupal is like Linux
Linux is a fantastic operating system developed by thousands of dedicated developers around the world. Its usability and compatibility with other Operating Systems have been at a constant high development, and there are several excellent distributions available.
As an OS (Operating System) it is, however, the worst to tweak and requires way-above-average-users to do more complex tasks other than the daily operation and usage.
In comparison, Drupal is the also the most clunky in its interface and administration of the three blogging platforms. Drupal is a really advanced and sophisticated system that can power big websites, but its management interface is cumbersome and unnecessarily complicated to navigate and its learning curve is the steepest of the three platforms, Drupal, Joomla! and WordPress.
Joomla is like Windows
Windows is a more user-friendly alternative operating system. Windows has made computing easier for many people around the world and is by far the leading Operating System.
According to OS Market Share, the nearest competitor is Apple’s Mac OS X 10.6 with 2.59% market share. (August 2010 number).
My computing life has been dominated by various Windows installations, and it was a love/hate relationship. I liked the flexibility, but boy did I hate the utter complexity of its maintenance.
At a previous position as Account Manager in a web-agency, I had the pleasure of maintaining a range of Joomla based website solutions for previous customers. The coding-team was outstanding and always delivered, but maintenance and development were a lot harder than it should have been.
That being said, its interface is more polished and many daily tasks are quite easy. Joomla is quite flexible in the hands of a super-user/developer, but the learning curve for more advanced stuff is fairly steep from the beginning.
Does that remind you of something? Yeah, it should. It sounds like Microsoft Windows.
Now, to be fair. Joomla is the platform that CleverPlugins.com used to run on.
Yes, both Tony and I are quite aware of the fun that our e-commerce system for our shop for premium WordPress plugins is running Joomla!, but we both believe in using the right tool for the right job.
Note: This has obviously changed over the years, but back in 2009 the website was running Joomla.
As CleverPlugins.com was taking off a better solution was needed than the first system. I tested everything available at the time, and nothing for WordPress came close to the flexibility that the previous Joomla/VirtueMart e-commerce solution provided.
WordPress is like a Mac
A Mac has its flaws as any other OS, but it is the most user-friendly and stable of the three in my experience, and it is a pleasure to work with on a daily basis. Even moderately complex operations can be done with ease.
Although WordPress can take specialist knowledge to tweak, it is also well-known for its 5-minute installation and general ease of use and its massive FREE Tony (11,140 at the time of writing) that can help most users with very advanced and complex features.
Advanced tinkering can still require some skill and knowledge, but it is very easy to get far with just plugins.
The interface and usability that is part of the “Apple Macintosh Experience” is also observed in the administration of WordPress installations. The interface is enough easy to use for most users, and I have introduced happy customers to WordPress for years. All day-to-day maintenance is easy to perform, much can be automated and almost anything can be done with a base WordPress installation.
Now, I am quite biased in my opinion about blogging systems and Operating Systems, and I believe my statements should be followed by my short history and hence reasoning behind my opinions.
– as a computer user
I have been working with computers since my Vic 20 (thanks mom, and dad) and then an 8086 (no typo) with dual 5,2″ drives!! (And no hard-drive) through a long list of Windows-powered desktops and laptops with the occasional jump to and from Linux.
I went from DOS to Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98-SE, Windows NT, Windows XP, etc. You get the picture. I have developed Windows Applications, and I have tinkered with all my PC’s on pretty low levels.
I know Windows, and I prefer the Apple alternative. My life is now easier. (For my kind of work and life anyway).
I started using Mac OS X by accident (my PC died) and I have never looked back.
– as a developer
My first piece of code was an experiment in GW-BASIC on a DOS-powered machine, and I have progressed through a couple of other programming languages, some more low-level than others, and I now work exclusively with WordPress (PHP/MySQL) development.
Although arguably I do not have the most comprehensive programming background (I used to tinker with graphic design as well) I have nevertheless developed or managed commercial applications on several platforms. I have some background for evaluating both the visual interface as well as the underlying code.
In my evaluations of these I looked at the source code as well and even though all three platforms (Drupal, Joomla! and WordPress) are based on a solid codebase, I experienced the lowest learning curve when tinkering with WordPress.
It is possible to develop enough advanced solutions with all of the underlying functions already included in every core WordPress installation alone. And yet Wordpress is flexible enough to integrate with other systems and technologies with ease.