TLDR; This is nothing new : WordPress is a great choice for a quick blog or web-site.

We were after an update to our web-site and we did not want to spent too many evenings and weekends.

The outsiders

Textpattern

We used Textpattern for a long time for our old site. It was OK, but I missed a mobile app and did not like textile markup and generally was not greatly impressed by the admin UI.

Joomla

About 5 years ago I used Joomla for a client, but to be honest Martina and I kind of forgot about it and did not check it out. I might have been the best, but we will never know.

Typo3

Typo3 came into consideration because it is popular in German speaking countries. I checked it out in a demo site and downloaded it and never did more with it.

The Finalists

In the end it came down to only Drupal and WordPress even though these two might be the best they become the favourites for these reasons:

  • I used both Drupal and WordPress for clients and in my current job. Martina recently used WordPress for one of her previous clients.
  • For previous clients WordPress seemed to be the easiest choice for the particular users.
  • Usually I like software that challenges me and give me the opportunity to learn more. This time we both wanted to go for quickest and not best implementation
  • Mobile Apps – I want to be able to quickly take a shot and post it. The WordPress app that I tried seemed more mature than the Drupal app that I tried for
  • Markdown – Markdown is another lightweight mark-up language I like it. Not much more or less than all the other ones that I know, but more than textile. And I like to be able to write free-text without a WYSIWYG editor or HTML tags. All these CMS were able to use it in some way.
  • PHP : We are thinking about moving hoster but we are not and PHP is what supported. All non-PHP web apps did not get considered.

I know Drupal from work, but not intimately. For this test I set-up a complete site and allowed multiple users to create their own blogs in both WordPress and Drupal and apart from Martina’s work in the mnm blog and her effort of importing the old entries into the WordPress our test sites in WordPress and Drupal had similar functionality.
I believe that things were done in Drupal were more elegant than the equivalent in WordPress.
Also Drupal is not as annoying about the domain name changes as a multi-site WordPress installation.
During the process of testing I set up a VM and used a local IP then moved to a faked domain (hosts entry) then I wanted to reach it externally and set up a reverse proxy of our test home domain.
Drupal was still happy but for WordPress I had to run something along the lines of this:

export grepFile=$(mktemp)

cat > ${grepFile} <<ENDL
test.domain1:2081
test.domain1
test.domain2
www.mnm.at:2081
www.mnm.at
10.10.10.10:2081
10.10.10.10
ENDL

export sedFile=$(mktemp)
sed -e 's@\(.*\)@s~\1~mnm.at~g@' ${grepFile} > ${sedFile}
for f in $(grep  -l -i -r --file ${grepFile} wordpress  wp.final.dump.sql); do 
    sed -i --file ${sedFile} $f   
done

rm ${grepFile} ${sedFile}

Or I could have searched and used that script. I believe I was quicker with my script.

I did a bit more CSS work in Drupal. I think that it takes a similar effort to set up a multi site WordPress installation as a Drupal installation that provides a similar set-up.

The points that moved the decision to WordPress in the end:

  • The Drupal mobile app for Android that I checked out was not as advanced as the WordPress app.
  • Martina already imported all the posts from our old site and manually fixed

encoding issues that have been a problem in the old site. But that also meant that she was faster in doing a single user blog in WordPress with imported posts than I was with the multi-user Drupal set up and a single themed blog. (Though I was also the one who had to spent the time on the multi-site WordPress set-up)

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