I was looking through some old posts imported from my old site, and realized that it has been a long time since I’ve explained my choice of technologies to run the site. My first dynamic site was run by b2evolution. Both b2evo and WordPress were forks of an older system. And, over time, I tried both systems, eventually WordPress won out.
I got very good at working with WordPress, deploying quite a few sites (including Sarah Stockwell’s and Brokensea’s sites). I also got good at levereging WordPress as a Search Engine Optimization tool. The only limitation was that WordPress is in fact, a Blogging Engine. And, works best for sites that lend themselves to that organization. Yes, it is possible to bend WordPress into a more generic Content Management System, but that level of hacking can cause quite a few problems when a site needs to be upgraded for one reason or another.
Then, with life getting a bit busier than I was used to, I moved my site over to Google Sites. It was much easier to manage, since Google was doing all the back end work. The hosting was free, ad-free, and reliable (a rare combination).
While my site was hosted there, I began to realize just how limited I was feeling within the structure of a blog. My site started to become a more free-form portfolio of my work. Pages were added where needed. Some things were linear, some things weren’t. All in all, a much more enjoyable experience.
Then, I needed to start hosting my own audio and video files. This was something that I just could not do on Google Sites. So, before going back to WordPress, I decided to check out Drupal. The paradigm was very different from WordPress. It handled all of my content. It could do much more than I needed, and do it all well. And, I had been asked to learn Drupal by both my current and my previous employer, so noodling around with a new system could be justified as research 🙂
The Drupal community is as active (if not more so) than the WordPress community. I like the code and the sites it produces. It really seems the best fit for my current needs.
And so, the question comes up, would I redeply the old sites in Drupal too?
Not neccessarily… Sarah’s site makes a lot of sense as a WordPress blog. All of the content should be organized by date. It’s a one person site, so the workflow is easy. And, she is happy with the design. While, given a second chance, I would build BrokenSea in Drupal and not WordPressMU. All of the sites there are run off the one instance of WordPress, they create new sites all the time. They sometimes complain about the date-oriented nature of the postings (Drupal Books would make more sense for them). They would like to encourage more users to make posts, but they don’t have fine enough control over user permissions.
Will I migrate them to Drupal?
Not unless they ask. Some of their users are not very sophisticated and would be resistant to the change in workflow. So, though Drupal is definitely the better tool, inertia wins out — this time.