In this post, we’ll compare Drupal vs WordPress side by side and discuss the pros and cons of each platform. And that's a pretty small slice of the market. I mention Drupal to my clients and they shudder now. That solution may be a static website, a solution with Contentful, a Craft site, a custom-built CMS, or something we haven’t thought of yet. Here's my question: why would an Enterprise use D8 if the vast majority of companies using it will require a programmer? These things being involved in the bigger maintenance equation should be trivial point-and-click operations, or better yet, be completely transparent to the entire set of processes involving how Drupal is used or maintained, and yet, despite being in a technologically advanced society where we can make cars drive themselves, allow refrigerators to access the internet, or make little speakers order us pizza from our favorite restaurants by speaking to it, we're consigning to this idea that the only way to use something like Drupal Commerce (or other Drupal modules) is only by issuing commands at a command line!? Because it was designed with structured data in mind, it works will with data-rich websites where you need to reference data in different ways and on different pages. I had to dig through custom module code. The ability to control the HTML generated by a Drupal site is one of the huge pain points. The deliberation process takes forever, and often doesn't produce any particularly great solution anyway. I'm exposing the dark side of a major open source project's decision to radically re-architect it's core software on an entirely new foundation. But I'm not alone in facing this problem. Before joining Viget I built websites on Drupal for Congressmen and Fortune 500 companies. If 7 is stable, what is the issue? Nobody likes popups, so we waited until now to recommend our newsletter, a curated periodical featuring thoughts, opinions, and tools for building a better digital world. And I always try to manage that by adding separate Behat tests which test the frontend functionality in as generic a way as possible (that way I can at least upgrade against a set of critical feature tests). For people that create project for a living, this is actually rather a good thing. Here's the rub: Multisite architecture is kind of in conflict with some of the core ways Composer works. Drupal’s unofficial tag line is “Come for the software, stay for the community.” Maybe you’ve heard this at a meet-up, at DrupalCon, or at one of the many Drupal camps, and it’s true. Drupal is a hard sell if you have a team of non-PHP developers (whether they do Node, Ruby, Python, Go, or whatever) and are looking into decoupled or otherwise buzzwordy architectures. - Have a hosting service that allows you to connect in ssh for git transactions. Fun for hobbyists and completists, but if you want to get things done, I dont' have time to look at that. Enough complaining about the uncertainties I, like others, feel. And the relative lack of Drupal 8 websites may hide the positive fact that it's a small but more committed user-base. Right now however, I'm being forced to use the abomination that is Wordpress to build my latest project, and I hate it. It's 2019 as I write this...I don't see the deployment complexity being significantly resolved for at least another three years. In addition, Drupal's system code is open, which means users can rebuild it according to their precise needs. Drupal 8 fosters this mentality towards contribs so the contribs end up being these lackluster gui hacks for the non-devs because "there has to be a gui but the real power is in the code". The following will cover how strong Drupal is from a design perspective and how to improve design if you are using Drupal. Interesting post and I agree with many of your points. My sites I always build with Joomla. If it has a future, please provide me links as to how.. We’ve written about this before. When I was following Drupal during the times of developmentseed. However, the site you're reading right now (assuming I haven't yet upgraded it to something else) is actually a multisite—I run six different Drupal 7 sites off one codebase, and there's no way I could've justified building each of these sites in Drupal at all if I wasn't able to build one build pipeline, one production server, and one development workflow that literally does all six sites. Five (5) years ago, back in 2014: https://mikeschinkel.com/2014/the-decline-of-drupal-or-how-to-fix-drupa…. You can't resolve two decades worth of architectural assumptions and dependency cruft in one major release. I'm using one currently for a project and there is no way I would have the budget to put in the customization the profile gives me. For example, Drupal is free to download and anyone can modify and extend the platform. I think WP is headed for a reckoning because of it's antiquated code base, so if we could find a way to fit Drupal back into the small-but-ambitious market, it would be a win for all of us. Decoupled keeps Drupal's job cleaner while still letting us leverage things it does much better than something like Wordpress (roles & permissions, elegant caching, integrations, etc). We're doing decoupled work now precisely because the deeply nested cross-wiring between data management and front-end consumption is often a tangled mess and you often have to sacrifice what you want on the front-end to get what you need out of the back, or vice-versa. Drupal is a PHP based CMS. For example many payment gateways in Drupal Commerce are outdated. Because of … Drupal 8 is way better structured. Sure, there are use cases where someone would consider either Drupal or a hip trendy decoupled web framework backend. Drupal has always been a developer centered system, however it's even more so with D8. Since you can't disable a module anymore, and it was so bad that it hosed the uninstall, I ended up having to resort to deleting tables in the DB just to get the site working again. © 1999 – 2020 Viget Labs, LLC. It's sort of miraculous that it all works at all, all those modules interacting. Warning messages from php is just an everyday part of life and you have to simply hide them and they keep filling up your logs. It's baffling that something like this keeps being ignored but says everything about why Drupal is in the dire straights it's in. Let's get an improvement in place NOW, and THEN argue about whether it could be still better... jeez. If you remove all of that stuff, you get CMS which will use masses for small sites, easy install, make few pages and that is that? I left Drupal behind to build better sites, using the best tools. That is, you have one codebase, maybe even on one server, and you can run many Drupal websites (each with its own database, set of modules, unique files directory, theme, etc.). Anyone saying to use the command line or get out of the admin interface and into an IDE is going down the wrong path (unless, perhaps, it an entirely decoupled theming layer). Drupal 8 should have become a new project with a new name and Drupal per se should have stayed it's course. Feature was new hip thing, and I thought to myself dude this will take some time, will get back to it later when I have time. Not worthy an experienced programmer, I'm sorry. I don't buy that argument, because otherwise we'd see similar attrition in pretty much all the other PHP CMS communities... and we don't. Hopefully someday. That's why every aspiring Drupal developer is shown this: The creator of Drupal (Dries Buytaert) has in more than one occasion mentioned how the admin experience could be improved (see the “Driesnote” at the NOLA Drupalcon). I don’t want to dismiss Drupal outright. Drupal is filled with drupalisms, the quirks of the system that don’t translate to other platforms. I've spilled enough ink on these pages over the years over Composer and Drupal 8 (2019, 2018, 2018-2, 2017, 2017-2, 2017-3, etc. Oh yeah, Drupal 8 sure is great, unless you want to have some obscure features like *checks notes* adding a menu link in just one language, then you have to patch entire core, cause every contrib module that fixes that breaks everything else. Drupal should work without all of them, right out of the box, no fuss, no muss. .. From a financial perspective.. Drupal is absolutely dead.. And, honestly, at this point, if you get to choose, as a new project, d8 or Symfony, why in the world are you not going to just choose symfony? Decouple Drupal usage from those encroaching things I mentioned above (i.e. Oh, actually, I did predict it. I don't find October compelling at all. All content copyright Jeff Geerling. Drupal is a perfect choice. These modifications introduce possible problems to the update flow. So far, everyone has commented, and indeed what this article is about - is the struggle technologically between D<=7 and D8. Here are a few examples that also explain some of my own reasons for frustration, some issues just don't get fixed. In reply to I could have predicted these by Mike Schinkel. #1349080 node_access filters out accessible nodes when node is left joined Especially if you are not a Composer whiz. Drupal is focusing on Decoupled approach however, honestly this looks more coupled and complicated monolithic then it ever had been. It may be noted that many of the more 'ambitious' Drupal 6 sites also needed a full migration to Drupal 7 and couldn't be directly upgraded—but for the long tail of smaller sites which usually used core modules and a smattering of contrib modules, and had little if any custom code, the upgrade.php process worked quite well, and resulted in hundreds of thousands of site upgrades that I don't believe we will see with Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. Try to think a bit more out of the box. It goes about websites with a sophisticated organization of data, like corporate resources and online shops. Yeah, it's a very nice tool to manage dependencies. Point is, Drupal has always lagged behind because the platform literally lags behind. No complaints there? Loved the structured way the CMS was build. ), at least at first glance. This. I started out as a complete newbie on Drupal. Many multisite detractors are quick to point out that this is kind of an abomination and is architecturally impure. Most of the comments say much of what I want to say, so I'll keep mine brief. In addition to the revamped architecture, new required build processes, and upgrade difficulties, almost every Drupal site has to completely rewrite its theme. D7 should have been HTML5 ready the day of it's release. It's the power of what you can do with the admin interface. But as you start to add modules, you start using more and more memory. Speaking of which, a solid understanding of OOP-style programming is basically required in Drupal 8, whereas weekend hackers could kind of cobble together things in Drupal <= 7 using some hooks and copied-and-pasted code from Stack Exchange. With all of the above, they need to be able to innovate, prototype, and iterate QUICKLY. Beyond that, the Drupal interface is incomprehensible for most casual users (and many developers! It powers several thousand applications and websites. Does D8 server my clients better and give better value than D7? As it is, Drupal 8 down as is "too" good for most existing Drupal users, and not good enough for more advanced developers because the Drupal name drags its does for those who would never consider using Drupal. They are people that just want an easy way to structurate and publish data. And to get good performance, more and more people are turning to static builds like Tome Static, which is sort of a way of decoupling anyway (in that the resulting HTML gets exported and served from somewhere else). The reality scares me...just thinking about abandoning Drupal >8 gives me knots in my stomach. Well I do feel sorry for people trying to use Drupal together with PostgreSQL. As a former Drupal developer, I’ve learned that justifications like a large community, ready-made modules, and an easy transition to a different support team are largely overstated. Many developers made their careers through the Drupal 6 and 7 development lifecycle, and were sideswiped by what happened when Drupal 8 was released. I didn’t need to be part of a Craft community to become productive in a Craft project, I just had to read their documentation, and since the system is more intuitive everything was easier. While I've gotten more comfortable with it, I still hate it. In any case, the new architecture has more complexity than the old; and because of this, it's almost a necessity to adopt the following: Along with all the other changes, Drupal's theme system was completely swapped out—it went from using the unholy monster that was PHPTemplate to a clean, new, standard system from Symfony, Twig. Drupal is a good framework for building sites accessible to people with disabilities, because many of the best practices have been incorporated into Drupal Core. Between GIT, Composer, Drupal Console, and Drush; all these things should be optional. Features and context gone, symphony is in and You cant upgrade drupal6 or 7 easily to drupal8. It's all there and heavily documented. I summarize it all in couple of words: DRUPAL 8 IS BULLSHIT. Drupal has some nice elements in its CMS, but overall, WordPress is the easiest tool to use. In fact, I still have not had time to work on writing a module migration for Honeypot for Drupal 8, even though I had a fully working and tested upgrade path using the old update.php method years ago. ), but there is enough that I will have to schedule a substantial chunk of time—which I could devote to features, bugfixes, or improving the platform in other ways—to upgrade to Drupal 8 (or 9) when the time comes. 3) It's all about the programmer. Drupal is enterprise-ready for the world’s busiest websites like GRAMMY.com and The Olympics where failure is not an option. It depends on the project. Try as we might (as a general web development community), the number of sites using a strict frontend design system where the design is decoupled from the theme itself, and can evolve and be migrated from one system to another, is vanishingly small. Things like that seem to be much more focused on programmers self-pleasuring by automating all teh things because they can and because they think it's fun to do than actually solving any real problems of building a website. If you just want to let us know what you think, find us on twitter @viget, leave us a comment, or tweet at me directly @poettersbetter. 3. Why Drupal is Good for Blogging. Reported in August 2012, first patch was submitted in November 2012, still not fixed, #1329742 Autocomplete with tagging silently discards invalid input It is doing some good and plenty harm. Good Drupal developers will be able to pick up any web project that use similar technologies, but the reverse isn’t necessarily true. Drupal (as an organization) never respected the fact how their decisions would affect the budgets of those who had heavily adopted in them before.. ... for a while, my organization tried HARD to stay with Drupal.. For backenders, there is no way back. - Took me over 100 commits until I had managed to set-up and get e2e-tests to pass on my (not so huge/complex) Drupal 8 project on CircleCI. And even if they do make it work, is it EVER HTML they are proud of? I won't answer all the questions above—there are a lot of nuances to each that I could not possibly answer in a blog post—but I do want to jot down a number of areas where I have seen pain (and usually experienced on my own) and which are still holding back widespread adoption of Drupal 8 by those who used to default to Drupal for 'all the things'. Drush Since our clients mostly fit in the small business category, we have struggled to push our project budgets high enough to be profitable on Drupal 8 projects, as we were on Drupal 7 projects. The big tent of Drupal developers have internalized these quirks, but the much bigger tent of web developers is usually baffled by them. The number of site builders Drupal is going to lose far, far outweighs the number of Symfony developers they might gain (especially as the latter number is likely to be zero. Drupal 8 has all of this, and could with some imagination be packaged in a way that would let me continue using it for the kind of sites I regularly build. ", Just last night (At the DrupalCon agency leaders dinner) this came up and specifically how do we move the 800k websites when the theming costs have risen so much on D8 v D7. Drupal 8 adoption has tanked because those pushing the things we're seeing have forced everyone to do things their way without making their ways, optional. We have come up with reasons to go off-the-shelf or to go custom-built. (Please RT.). This boiled down to a cost benefit / cost of ownership issue. (I remember pointing out how immature D8's media handling was about five years ago, and getting pushback... but then seeing people several years later admitting how immature D8's media handling still was...). In reply to PS Look, this is not a by Anonymous. Is this a symphony thing? In Drupal 8, you kind of have to rebuild your theme or build an entirely new theme. And I don't blame them. In the past many of these things were kind of papered over by Drupal's simple-but-good-enough menu system, but now you have to be more formal about everything. What used to take 1.5 seconds to install or update with Drush, takes 30 to 120 seconds with composer. There were 4 core updates in the past month. They want to upgrade to D8. “Look at all these modules, so many modules!”. There still need to be a lot of improvements in media handling too. My approach is to embrace the change and have fun learning all the new things there are to learn. If you remove Git, Composer, Drupal console, Drush, what you get then? Not for developers, but for anyone who is doing something on the web. I have a few D7 clients left. No. Twitter. Simple things as how to publish my content on social media, the update process (love Joomla) and a few more. And if you run medium-to-large size website or want to create web apps, Drupal really excels in those areas. Our product is HTML, why the hell can't we easily control the HTML that's being generated??? The last instance was handed over to another company, it's still alive, and it caused me so much grey hair that I don't want to think about it. Just adding CSS or a font to a theme and expecting it to be loaded, or trying to figure out which template file might override some html output, has become a nightmare. Definitely not. Simple print() statements or dsm() don't always cut it anymore. For what it's worth, my biggest hindrance to Drupal 8 adoption has been the "C" word (composer). #Front-end Engineering, I keep reading how Composer is the future this, how GIT is the future that, etc., etc. However, right now the increase in knowledge required to make a modern Drupal 8 site is huge. I came to Viget because our standards are higher than any place I’ve ever worked. Can Drupal be made easier? The theme system was dangerous, messy, and difficult to work with on the best days. Drupal 8 saw many improvements from the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0 guidelines which support both an accessible authoring environment as well as support for authors to produce more accessible content. Who do you think wins? This is annotation, and it's a Drupal thing. This should worry people in the Drupal community a lot. Even if the module has the exact same features and functionality. I left Drupal 5 or 6 years ago, Drupal 8 was very new, I was deep in Laravel, Vue and Angular. I worked for a renowned company for years. We have compared off-the-shelf CMS’s and we wrote The Viget Book of CMS. Hosted Apache Solr and Server Check.in are both currently running on Drupal 7 (well, the frontend parts at least), and I have tens of thousands of lines of custom code which integrates with backend APIs (using things like Drupal's Entity API, Form API, Block API, Queue API, etc.). I've been having a rough time getting used to debugging Drupal 8. I just keep running into showstoppers like RULES, and THEMING. But at the other end of the scale it's increasingly having to compete with the likes of Wix and Squarespace. It's what would bring designers and developers and web builders flocking to the platform, because it has so much else going for it. Instead we should be worried about attracting new developers and site-builders, and not confusing the shit out of them. Privacy : We are pretty late here btw. Theming in Drupal has always been poor, and it's gotten worse over the years, not better. It's not easy to say what all the reasons are, but Composer is finicky..security updates are more hassle because of more changes..’ Every day, site-builders keep downloading these broken modules with the same problems (often fatal) that just never get fixed, and every day they have to deal with the same problems and search out the same solutions and try to apply the same patches (if they even know how) that have been sitting in some issue queue for the last four years, and it's frustrating as hell and wasting all kinds of time. :). Bugs. There are a couple of resources that are excellent for this purpose, most notably Drupalize.me . I'm building my own site on Grav because it's sort of like a mini Drupal. For example, if you need to display and organize tens or hundreds of thousands of disparate content items, that could be a situation where Drupal … But I think the usage pattern and value proposition for Drupal has changed. I hate Wordpress. This is a most helpful article that should be widely shared by the Drupal Community. Those 2 things alone will usher in the buy-in we enjoyed back in Drupal 7. No one pretends that Drupal is perfect or all-wise. The promise of modules is oversold. Chapter 1 of the Drupal 8 User Guide will give you a good overview of the main features that Drupal provides and the basic terminology you will need to know as you wade into Drupal, including modules, themes, distributions, types of data, and Drupal… Even adding a module to the composer.json file and running `composer update` isn't enough in some cases because a build process is often required for some front end theming technologies. Don't forget that bigger companies support Drupal with people and contribution in core and contrib modules/themes which would not exist if Drupal is made on way as you suggest while then non of this companies would use Drupal. 5. All the time I've ever been using Drupal I've had my eye on the exit, hoping I could leave and use something else, anything else. While Drupal is nice, overall, the advantage for ease of use goes to WordPress – and it’s not even close. Cui bono? I'm almost $200 bucks an hour, and I'm no closer helping them achieve their goals to move to D8 than when I started.. (And, I've been developing Drupal solutions since early D5). Truth be told, many of them would be best advised to migrate to Wordpress as it's less expensive to develop and maintain and provides a simpler admin experience out of the box. It is almost closer to web producers, site builders, people who want to point and click more than deal with an IDE. A few years ago frontend developers realized that in order to write CSS in a *professional* way they needed tools with names like Susy, Sass, Less, Compass, Node, Bower, Gulp, Grunt, Gurgle, Swallow and Git (to exaggerate only slightly), proving that themers are real developers too. Well yet another thing that requires some flexibility from the provider. And most modules would, as part of the general upgrade process, write an update path so those using the Drupal 6 version would have all that module's configuration make its way to Drupal 7, as long as they were running the latest and greatest Drupal 6 module version when they upgraded. For me, it was well worth the challenge. It is not intuitive and there has been a lack of focus on the user experience. “Come for the software, stay for the community”. But the obsession with The Enterprise is taking my Drupal away from me. I’d love to continue the discussion further, so hit me up in the comments. Now that may sound like a bad thing but I think it's the right direction for Drupal to go in. Then one leading Drupal frontender had the nerve to stand up and say it might be quicker just to write CSS. Drupal hosting companies will make it easy to get set up, and help you run updates. It's used to make many of the websites and applications you use every day. Test coverage is a theological doctrine imbibed by people who learned C++ or Java at university. Drupal has a way of making things that should be trivially easy into nightmares that waste huge amounts of time, millions and millions of dollars worth of time across the industry, things that are NECESSARY to get a site launched, and hence, unavoidable. It seems complex until you take the time to look at core/lib/Drupal/Core/Annotation. Nate Haug is another who understands both sides but the community lost him too. Things became a bit harder in Drupal 8, because of two things: And these two problems kind of fed into each other—not only did module authors had to often rewrite (or at least radically alter) large swaths of code to support the new Drupal 8 APIs, but they also had to scrap any hook_update() upgrade implementation they may have worked on once that change record was published. It’s arguably the most secure of the big three open source CMSs (Drupal, WordPress & Joomla!) 2) Composer. I'm very curious where it all goes. It will still take time, and maybe even cause a little more strife in the end, as some more old Drupalisms may need to be put to rest. Drupal is open source software released under the GNU Public License. In fact, I would argue that the use of Composer made that even better. You can find plenty of arguments out there about how terrible Drupal is — that’s easy — but it’s not true. Drupal has a reputation for being strong in functionality and having a strong community, but weak when it comes to design. Drupal is one of the open source content management systems (CMS) that is widely used. Jeff, thank you for taking the time to write this blog post! The more custom code, the more difficult the decision. Drupal 8 is a very different framework and platform than Drupal 6 or 7 was. Here are seven heresies which could lead to Drupal nirvana, if anyone dares whisper them: Every software supplier should have the balls to look critically at his/her product and pose the question: shall we keep on adding stuff to solve (design) errors or shall we do a lessons learned approach and start from scratch? Have a CI/build process because a modern Drupal site can't usually be managed and run in one Git codebase and branch, checked out on a production server. But there are many tradeoffs for older Drupal sites; many users (and developers) have been left with a dilemma as they face re-building an entire site, in light of the fact that upgrades are more time-consuming and difficult than they had been in the past. All that makes Drupal best for large sites: if you need a lot of customization, high bandwidth, extensive guaranteed uptime, etc., then Drupal is an excellent choice.
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