I haven’t posted for the past week or so on this blog as I’ve been spending more time fighting with Drupal than actually writing. If I’m not mistaken, trying to get software to work for you is not very efficient. I want to use software tools to make my life easier not harder. Especially when there are numerous blog publishing tools out there that work great.
After giving up on Drupal (and yes I have finally given up), I decided to really give some other software a test drive. Specifically, I looked at Movable Type and WordPress. Both are excellent for publishing blogs, but after actually using both for a period of time on other blogs I maintain I found that WordPress is superior for my needs.
The entire experience I have with WordPress is summarized by one word: simplicity. Everything I need is where it should be without my having to think about it. It just works. Like the other tools, modules / plug-ins are available for the missing, non-core functionality so there’s no real difference there. WordPress also has a very active development community that is very helpful and is constantly creating new hacks, plug-ins, and themes. In addition, if you are planning on creating numerous blogs, Movable Type limits you to 3 (personal only) before having to purchase a license. For business use, a 5 user license starts at $199. Granted, the purchase of a license includes support.
WordPress, on the other hand, is open source and free with no limitations. Taking away the cost comparison, I found WordPress to be a superior product. The addition of the cost savings just adds to that evaluation.
Don’t get me wrong. Drupal is an outstanding package for content management. The problem I have with Drupal is that’s it is overkill for blogs. Drupal contains functionality to support not only blogs, but also community sites, portals, intranet, etc. The core system of Drupal can be customized and configured to meet a wide variety of uses. And therein lies the problem. Typically, a multi-function tool is not as useful as one that has been designed for a specific function. Drupal was not designed from day one as a blog publishing tool. These capabilities were added on as the need arose for blogs on users’ Drupal sites.
The best analogy I can give is that Drupal is like a Swiss army knife. Great tool, multiple functionality. You can certainly use a Swiss army knife to open a can of beans, but a standalone, motorized can opener does a better job, much faster. In the case of blogging, Drupal is the Swiss army knife. The motorized can opener from my research is WordPress.
Now with that realization in mind, what do I do next? Despite considerable research, there does not seem to be anyone who has posted about their moving from Drupal to something else. Everything I could find cited people moving from other tools to Drupal. So, unfortunately, this means there is going to be a lot of work involved in this effort. Since the posts are in MySQL, it should be easy enough to pull those out. Comments and trackbacks will be another story.
I don’t have a time frame for this yet, but it will be obvious when the final conversion is complete. The site will look different and you’ll see a heck of a lot more posting to this blog.