None of these evaluations are exhaustive. This is just documentation from what was discussed at our meetup.
We had several meetup attendees who had extensive Wordpress experience and who were quite enthusiastic about using Wordpress and talking about its many features. Special thanks go out to Nate Flint for the presentation and the demonstration.
- Learning curve. Possibly more intuitive than Drupal? The user interface elements provided for Wordpress users are very nice, and one could come to the conclusion that Drupal 8 has taken some queues from this. Wordpress is relatively easy to learn to navigate and work with, especially for non-developers and tinkerers.
- Content types and fields. In Wordpress, you use post types and custom fields to customize the organization of your main content. Possible plugins you might use would be advanced Custom Fields, Custom Post Type UI, WPMU (short for Wordpress MultiUser) and perhaps others.
- Permissions and access control. Built-in Users module with roles and permissions management. Additional plugins can be added to provide easy permission, role editing and additions (User Role Editor is a sample plugin for these kinds of things).
- Community. There is extensive documentation (Wordpress Codex), support forums, and third-party or community knowledgebases like Wordpress Stack Exchange, Stack Overflow, and plugin-specific support forums, etc.
- Theming. Theming in Wordpress has always been considered to be easy.
- Contributed ecosystem. Modules are (obviously) called plugins in Wordpress. The plugin marketplace for Wordpress is quite large, but doesn't seem to be curated quite as much as it is for Drupal. Some are free and some must be paid for, there appears to be a much bigger space where people charge money for plugins for Wordpress. This can lead to the situation where there are often many plugins that do the same thing, making selecting and potentially buying a plugin a very measured decision.
- Plugin/module development. The Wordpress developers in attendance described the platform as being quite extensible with multiple ways to incorporate code, from custom plugins to simple scripts attached to the theme.
- E-commerce. Wordpress seems well-suited for small to medium-sized online stores. You could get bogged down if you try to get too crazy with catalogs, sizing, or features. Possible plugins to utilize are Woocommerce, WP e-commerce, Shopp.
- SEO. Wordpress has lots of built in SEO features, with the opportunity to add plugins for additional functionalities.
- System requirements. PHP >5.6, MySQL >5.5
- Scaling. List of large websites operating on Wordpress.
- Other categories. Wordpress' take on its own features. During the Q&A, we learned that Wordpress does not seem to have an equivalent to the Views module for Drupal. Drupal developers are accustomed to a more centralized security update system for the entire ecosystem. That kind of framework does not appear to exist in Wordpress.
It's hard to argue with the popularity and ease of use of Wordpress. It's marketshare has stayed strong over the years, and the highly active plugin marketplace can provide an attractive source of revenue in an other conflicted open-source industry. However many still don't perceive Wordpress as viable for large enterprise or corporate level projects as Drupal, especially with Drupal 8's further development towards large scale and highly sophisticated sollutions.
Another area of contention is the perception of security vulnerabilities inherent to the platform. Personally, we just talked to a client who had his Wordpress site hacked more than four times. Drupal has had its share of security issues recently as well, that is true, but the centralized update process and community security team may provide that extra layer of support that help to reduce the impact of the inevitable vulnerabilites that will crop up.
if you found this analysis helpful, be sure to check out the other CMS comparisons in this blog series.