About a year ago I wrote an article (only in German) why I preferred Drupal to WordPress. A year late I bitterly regretted my decision and switched ruefully to WordPress after manually converting the content from Drupal. The alienation from Drupal was a slow process, here are the reasons:
1. Idiosyncrasies and bugs
From the beginning I noticed some oddities in Drupal which I was partly able to get around – or had to accept:
- The image handling is, well, very odd indeed – especially if you want Drupal to create small, clickable preview versions of the original photo. The easiest way to do so (or at least, the easiest way I found) was utilizing an image filter: I had to insert the original image (unscaled) into the article via WYSIWYG, change the style-property (width/height – oh, and calculate the ratio manually, of course) and presto – a preview image of the given width/height will be created automagically. It’s as cumbersome as it sounds and has got two major drawbacks:
- You haven’t got a WYSIWYG view how the scaled image will look in the article – only after saving you can preview the whole article. Which takes me to point 2:
- Drupal does not bookkeeping at all which (scaled) images are used in which article. So if you finally are content with the result (width/height), all the other „experimental“ versions of the preview images are still around, cluttering the directories. Since there’s no easy way to find out which preview image can be discarded, deleting them may result to broken images display in the articles.
- The taxonomy menu combined with the internationalizatiuon module was very buggy – categories/tags in one language (German) were display in the other one (English) and vice versa, making it nearly useless. This bug was eventually fixed.
Which each installed module, Drupal seemed to grow slower and slower – sometimes it took quite some time (up to a minute(!) to switch to the admin overlay and back. To mitigate this (known) problem, I tried using APC (which was recommended), which lead to unpredictable results: the site worked for a couple of hours and just stalled then – after restarting apache, it worked again. After deactivating APC, my site worked again (albeit slow)
3. Updates and Modules
This was the straw which broke the camel’s back. To my experiences, updates and/or the installation of modules are a very chancy affair – sometimes it wasn’t enough to install a module via the admin interface, no, you had to manually install files/libraries into drupal directories. But the really whopper – which after all the pain with Drupal finally drove me away from it – was the attempt to update OpenLayers:
In the new version there was suddenly a dependency to a new module (Proj4JS), which wasn’t installed automatically. Since the dependency was not met, OpenLayers was deactivated. Fair enough, so I also installed Proj4JS. After reactivating OpenLayers, my site was unavailable – Error 500!
What was the cause? OpenJS needed a new version of another module/library (2.1 instead of the installed 1) – otherwise the aforementioned error occured. And not only on the pages which utilized the module, no, on every page! 😡 Updating the Library module wasn’t easy at all, because the admin pages were also throwing 500 errors 👿 After manually installting the files (using tar & friends on the shell) the site worked (partially!) again.
Now I was completely fed up – I’ve overwritten the „tainted“ files using a backup and so restored the status before the update – and elected to change to WordPress.
Oh, by the way – it was really a very major version update: 2.0-beta3 (installed, working) to 2.0-beta5 , silly me, expecting a seemless update at some major version change 😈
Afer installing WordPress (including the modules resembling the ones I used in Drupal) I come to the conclusion that Drupal is much mor fragile, user- and admin unfriendly and eats up more ressources than WP. Another thing to contemplate: I’m running a private, small site, not exactly important. But if I encountered that much problems which Drupal, how can commercial enterprises – that depend on the website – reliable depend on such software?