Recommendations – Open Source CMS Drupal vs WordPress

Recommendations – WordPress or Drupal as a Total Website Solution

Drupal is the best solution, of the two compared here, for selling products online. WordPress is an alternative, but is for blogging and lacks the professionalism of Drupal projects.

 

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) based on OSS Watch’s Top Tips and BRR justifies this recommendation. NOSI (2004) and Wheeler (2010) say TCO is all costs relating to implementation and maintenance of the solution.

 

The last stable release of Drupal (2010) is 6.17 and Drupal 7 is underway.

Additionally, online documentation available with Drupal (2010) is vast and comprehensive. Alternatives to this could be books from respected publishers like O’Reilly. These could also help improve the skill set of your programming team. Also, Drupal is a stable working product with a professional reputation with a large community of users and supporting programmers.

 

Drupal’s functionality is fit-for-purpose. Many companies use it to sell products online (Drupal 2010). WordPress is easier to install and update, but training staff solves this small issue. Drupal is usable and once installed will remain useable as a total website solution.

 

Drupal (2010) is also interoperable with PHP, MySQL and many other databases. WC3 XHTML and CSS validation is not gauranteed, but it is constantly being worked on as a goal (Drupal 2010).  Drupal, PHP (which Drupal (2010) projects are developed using) and MySQL use open standards. They are available for anyone to see online. 

 

Noting figures can be misleading, Drupal has 40% market share, making it the most widely used CMS according to independent figures (http://trends.builtwith.com/cms/Drupal 2010). Also, Drupal (2010) figures say 300000+ websites are using it. WordPress does not appear as a CMS but has a larger share of the blog market (http://trends.builtwith.com/blog/WordPress 2010).

 

Drupal (2010) patches security problems fast, as anyone in the community can see the source code and patch at will. Your team of novice programmers may have difficulty coping with CVS to start with. Yuill (2010) says its commands are arcane, but using GUIs overcomes this. Nonetheless, Drupal’s (2010) reputation-based hierarchy of programmers clearly structures project development through issue and project prioritisation.

 

Additionally, although your team’s CVS contributions will be limited to start with, this will improve as they gain experience and reputation from the community. Staff retention could become more difficult with skilled staff. Nevertheless, Drupal’s CVS use means your team and the community can patch identified problems quickly.

 

I recommend training your staff to use CVS and Drupal. BIS (2004) tell us, training your team is beneficial, but training staff to use PHP competently may be time consuming. Nonetheless, it will allow you to consider expansion into the IT market with your team. Training staff or hiring a firm in can acquire the skills needed to install and then maintain Drupal. Also, Drupal’s (2010) community supports the installation stage.

 

However, relying on community support has issues. The community must grow for it to continue to exist permanently. Thus, I recommend going to and experiencing DrupalCon to prove there is an ongoing tangible effort. An alternative is hiring private expertise for support. RedHat’s (2010) software support contracts are similar to the latter.

 

Also, using Drupal licensed under the GPL (1991) legally assures you the product can continue to exist. Even if the community disappears overnight, you still have the legal right to continue using and developing the package with your own team. This is not the case with proprietary licensed software. Additionally, the GPL gives you freedoms to develop the software fully to your needs without having to rely on another firm who may or may not take on your suggestions for improvement, as happens with proprietary software.

 

Additionally Drupal is scalable. Choosing a scalable product by definition will be good for the business in the long term.

 

 © Kevin Ireson

 

References:

Asay, M. (2002) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Market: Linux, the General Public License, and a New Model for Software Innovation [Online] Available from http://www.linuxfordevices.com/files/misc/asay-paper.pdf(Accessed 04 May 2010) 

Builtwith (2010) Drupal Usage Statistics [online] Available from http://trends.builtwith.com/cms/Drupal (Accessed 18 June 2010)

 

Builtwith (2010) WordPress Usage Statistics [online] Builtwith, Available from http://trends.builtwith.com/blog/WordPress (Accessed 18 June 2010)

 

Byron, A., Berry A., Haug, N., Eaton, J., Walker, J. & Robbing, J. (2009) Using Drupal O’Reily Media Inc. 1005 Gravenstien Highway North, Sebastopol, CA, USA.

 

Cederberg. P. (2010) Frequently Asked Questions – GPL Licensing, [online] Mibble. Available from http://www.mibble.org/doc/faq/license/index.html (Accessed 17 July 2010)

Drupal (2010), Project usage overview [online] Available from: http://drupal.org/project/usage (Accessed 04 May 2010)

 Drupal (2010), CVS FAQ [online] Available from http://drupal.org/handbook/cvs/faq (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Drupal (2010), Apply for contributions CVS access [online] Available from http://drupal.org/node/59 (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Drupal (2010), Alphabetical list of Modules, by core version [online] Available from http://drupal.org/node/206666 (Accessed 17 July 2010)

  

Drupal (2010), Why Drupal CVS access is on a per-project basis [online] Available from http://drupal.org/node/265127 (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Drupal (2010), Creating patches [online] Available from http://drupal.org/patch/create (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Drupal (2010), Coding standards [online] Available from http://drupal.org/coding-standards (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Drupal (2010), TRACKS [online] Available from http://cph2010.drupal.org/tracks (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Drupal (2010), Licensing FAQ [online] Available from http://drupal.org/licensing/faq (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Drupal (2010), XHTML and CSS not validating [online] Available from http://drupal.org/node/398898 (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Drupal (2010), Tim O’Reilly [online] DrupalCon SF, Available from http://sf2010.drupal.org/community/attendees/tim-oreilly (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Drupal (2010) Database Queries and Procedure for Migrating to Drupal [online] Available from http://drupal.org/node/196344 (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Drupal (2010), Security advisories [online] Available from http://drupal.org/security (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Drupal (2010), No Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict [online] Available from http://drupal.org/node/828100 (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Drupal (2010), Drupal 6.17 released [online] Available from http://drupal.org/taxonomy/term/102 (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Fogal, K. & Moshe, B. (2001), Open Source Development with CVS 2ND EDITION O’Reily Media Inc.

Free Software Foundation Inc. (2007) GNU General Public Licence [Online] Available from: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.html (Accessed 04 May 2010)

GNU (2009) GNU General Public License, version 2 [online] GNU, Available from http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html (Accessed 18 June 2010)

 

GNU (2009) Basic questions about the GNU Project, the Free Software Foundation, and its licenses [online] Available from http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowMoney (Accessed 18 June 2010)

 

Instinct (2010) WP e-commerce [online] available from http://www.instinct.co.nz/e-commerce/ (Accessed 18 June 2010)

 

Nielsen (2003) Usability 101: Introduction to Usability [online] Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox, Available from http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20030825.html (Accessed 18 June 2010)

 

Ottobock (2010), Otto Bock Group [online] Ottobock, Available from http://www.ottobock.com/cps/rde/xchg/ob_com_en/hs.xsl/8358.html (Accessed 18 June 2010)

 

Red Hat (2010) Red Hat Linux 9: Red Hat Linux x86 Installation Guide [online] Red Hat, Available from http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linux/RHL-9-Manual/install-guide/s1-steps-install-cdrom.html (Accessed 18 June 2010)

 

Smith, B. (2007) A Quick Guide to GPL v3, [online] GNU. Available from http://www.gnu.org/licenses/quick-guide-gplv3.html (accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Sycor (2010), History [online] Sycor, Available from  http://www.sycor.de/opencms/en/company/history/ (Accessed 18 June 2010)

 

WordPress (2010) Download WordPress [online] Available from http://WordPress.org/download/ (Accessed 18 June 2010)

 

WordPress (2010), About WordPress [online] Available from http://wordpress.org/about/ (Accessed 18 June 2010)

 

Wheeler. D. (2010) How to Evaluate Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS) Programs, [online]. Available from http://www.dwheeler.com/oss_fs_eval.html  (Accessed 17 July 2010)

 

Young, R. (1999) ‘Giving It Away. How Red Hat Software Stumbled Across a New Economic Model and Helped Improve an Industry’ in DiBona, C. & Ockman, S. (Eds.), Open Sources Voices from the Open Source Revolution, O’Reily Media Inc.

 

No Author (2004), Train to Gain goes from strength to strength [online] Department for Business Innovation and Skills, Available from http://archive.bis.gov.uk/newsarchive/nds/clientmicrosite/content/Detail.aspx-NewsAreaId=2&ReleaseID=404037&SubjectId=2&ClientID=431.html (Accessed 18 June 2010)

 

Bibliography:

 

Searls, D. (1999) ‘Making a New World’ in DiBona, C., Cooper, D. & Stone, M. Open Sources 2: The Continuing Evolution,  O’Reily Media Inc.

 

Laurie, B. (1999) ‘Open Source and Security’ in DiBona, C., Cooper, D. & Stone, M. Open Sources 2: The Continuing Evolution,  O’Reily Media Inc.

 

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