View Full Version : Wordpress has a learning curve

07-20-2011, 01:52 AM
Wordpress does have a learning curve, but once you get over the hurdle, it is one powerful platform with tons of bells and whistles. But you have to endure the learning, and then it gets really fun.

07-20-2011, 02:29 AM
It does have a learning curve like most everything new. One of the things I like about WordPress is the learning curve is much shallower than for similar content management systems. Since the beginning their focus was on the user interface and keeping things as simple and easy as possible.

Most of the learning curve is in developing themes and plugins, but most people will never need to enter that curve.

07-20-2011, 04:10 PM
Wordpress is a great service. I used it on my first website. I have since moved to Drupal. It is similar to WordPress, but much more customizable and has way more options. I do think anything new will have a learning curve involved tho and something like web design will always have new things to learn.

07-20-2011, 05:07 PM
Tyler what do you find Drupal can do that WordPress can't? I hear people saying that, but I've not seen anything it can do that can't be done with WordPress. Just because I haven't seen it though doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

I've dabbled with Drupal a few times for clients, but in all cases my clients weren't willing to get past it's learning curve so we moved to another system and my dabbling ended.

From what I can tell it looked pretty good. The learning curve was a little steeper than for WordPress, but it didn't take me long to be working with it. I never got into it enough to know advanced usage and I only began to explore customizing the template. From what I understand Drupal is now working to make the system more usable and easier to learn, while WordPress is moving toward adding more features. Both are moving toward each other in a sense.

07-22-2011, 10:51 AM
I get around the learning curve by having Vangogh do all the technical stuff for me. ;)

Actually, I'm only somewhat tech savvy and I've found I can figure out most things I've wanted to do with Wordpress fairly easily. The also keep revising the program so things get easier, like the automatic update feature they've added. I don't think you should be intimidated by Wordpress, even if you're not tech savvy. If you find the right theme, you may not have to do much work on it at all.

07-22-2011, 04:37 PM
Most small businesses will do very well with Wordpress and in most cases I wouldn't really recommend they go to Drupal - especially if they are already Wordpress users.

Drupal is often a mid to large company solution with a relatively high up front cost, but is great for managing numerous user roles and content types - applications where there are many levels of access and control.

07-22-2011, 08:36 PM
So are user roles and content types the main selling points of Drupal over WordPress? I'd seen people mention the content types before.

With one of the recent versions of WP they added support for content types. There's a default set of common types and you can create new ones to suit your needs. Or rather your developer can create them since they have to be coded via theme or plugin. WordPress doesn't have a robust set of user roles, but there are a few plugins that expand user roles greatly. Those you can get without a developer since the plugin already exists.

07-22-2011, 09:40 PM
Surprisingly I found WP quite easy to use and I am thrilled with the results. I love all the plug ins that make my life easier. I think everyone agrees that anything that makes it easier to do something and saves a few minutes of our valuable time, is worth it!

07-24-2011, 12:32 PM
I'm not sure it should be surprising. Ease of set up and use has always been one of WordPress' main selling points. They built the platform from the beginning with the idea of making it as easy as possible to use. More recently they've been making it more powerful by adding features that were present in other CMS' The easy part though has been there since the beginning.

07-24-2011, 05:37 PM
So are user roles and content types the main selling points of Drupal over WordPress? I'd seen people mention the content types before.

User roles and content types are certainly a major part of it - but it's really a lot more than that. The way it handles taxonomies and the tools for building unlimited page styles and blocks that can be pulled in contextually. Drupal comes with an entire presentation layer that allows you to display data in virtually unlimited ways and yet never touch the core code - everything is done with modules (whether one of the 6,000 available, or custom built). It really is a powerful system for highly complex web requirements.

The difference between Wordpress, Drupal and other open source web solutions reminds me a bit of smart phones. Some people never use their phone to check email or watch videos so it's a waste of money for them to get the latest iphone with the most gadgets. Drupal has a lot of gadgets and takes a bit of time to configure so it is important to ensure up front what the real requirements are before investing in it.

07-25-2011, 11:34 AM
Thanks Dave. It sounds like WordPress is adding most of the things you mentioned. Some still require a developer working in the code to set up, but most of the things you mention are now there. How easy is it for the average user to take advantage of all those features?

07-25-2011, 01:23 PM
Good question! Drupal 7 has certainly simplified a lot of the configuration side but Drupal is still basically a programmer's tool.

It is interesting to note that Wordpress started as a blog engine and yet is moving toward a more robust CMS. While Drupal started as a CMS and is moving toward a more "user-friendly" GUI.

There are tons of beautiful themes out there for Wordpress because the theme rules tend to be more rigid. Highly customized views require significant code modification. Drupal theming is highly configurable using "regions" and "blocks" to arrange page components pretty much wherever you want. A site we are currently working on has 6 different menus, 18 page styles and 48 different blocks used throughout the site - in some cases contextually based on taxonomy. This is before we define the various content types (in this case a number of product types and categories). All up it's about 200 hours of coding/graphics and QA. In addition there are numerous levels of access for individual users from the basic content adder, news editor, blogger, product catalog editors through to approvals for each + SEO. The client also wants future e-commerce capability to name but a few of the bells and whistles.

Once we have all the content types and views built it becomes very easy for the user to add/edit content according to their access permissions. Basically we do the hard part and make the user's life as easy so adding/changing any particular piece of content is easy via an intuitive interface.

Although all the above is possible in Wordpress it really comes down to efficiency for us. There is a tipping point where Drupal becomes the best tool for the job due to it's powerful customization features. Exactly where that tipping point is? That's a tough one.

Edit: found a video about Drupal here (http://drupal.org/node/432668)

07-25-2011, 04:01 PM
I've noticed that both systems are now trying to move closer to each other. WordPress is looking to add features to make it more powerful and Drupal is looking to create a better interface and make things simpler for people.

Basically we do the hard part and make the user's life as easy so adding/changing any particular piece of content is easy via an intuitive interface.

That's what's happening in WordPress now. For example different content types. A develop can create a new post-type for say a recipe and add a menu item to the interface to create a new recipe. The developer would set things up so the end user has clear places to add an image, a list of ingredients, directions, and whatever else they determine they need. The hard work setting it up is done by the developer, but once done it should be very easy for the end user.

Sounds like things are similar in Drupal.

07-25-2011, 04:30 PM
Exactly. Unique interfaces for each content type. Big help for those who don't want to become web experts.

07-25-2011, 05:09 PM
Yep. That makes both platforms true CMS'

Usually when I see people talking about Drupal being able to do things that WordPress can't they seem to be talking about content types. WordPress has it now, which is why I asked originally what you saw Drupal being able to do better. I guess at this point Drupal has the advantage here since custom post types are new to WordPress and not used as commonly. The functionality is there though.

07-25-2011, 05:14 PM
Yes - both can be used to build almost anything - it just comes down to which tool works best for a given application.

07-25-2011, 08:29 PM
And how well you know how to work with the tool. For me it would be easier to build something with WordPress and for you it would be easier with Drupal. I'm sure either could handle most sites we would build, but we'll naturally choose the one we can work best with.