When to use Drupal vs WordPress vs plain HTML

There are so many options on what platform to use to get your website up and running. I'm only going to scratch the surface by listing reasons why you would choose Drupal, WordPress or Plain HTML.  My reasoning comes from who will be maintaining and updating the site, how big the site will be and whether a developer will be involved throughout the life of the site.

 Plain HTML

  • A smaller site with no more than 6 pages.
  • No blogs or articles.
  • Content that is rarely updated, except for maybe a phone number or an address.
  • No extra pages will be added in the future.
  • A site that's going to be updated by a developer that knows html.

The site will be completely light weight as far as storage since there will be very few files holding it together. This is a site that the owner is going to want built, and after that, they're going to almost forget they had a site. It is brochure kind of site, the site just has info about someone or something. There are many small businesses that have sites that never get touched.  They often don't know how to edit the site and can't afford someone to edit the site for them. From a developing stand point, the menus might be a hassle to put together and a contact form might be extra work, but it's doable. It might just be a little more complicated than getting a plugin or a module.

WordPress

  • A site that will consist of a blog or portfolio.
  • Managed by a non-developer.
  • Frequent theme changes.
  • Frequent content updates.
  • Frequent feature additions.
  • A site that the Developer/Designer will only work on during the initial life of the site.

WordPress has a plugin for just about anything that you can think of and, most of the time, the user doesn't have to be a developer to get the plugin working. There are endless amounts of themes being created, which can easily be swapped out for the existing theme.  WordPress has an advantage in that it can be set up really quickly. Most hosting environments come with a click and install to have your site is ready in minutes.  WordPress would typically be used if the owner of the site is not a developer and is going to manage the site themselves without a developer.

Drupal

  • A site that will consist of a blog or portfolio.
  • Managed by a non-developer.
  • Frequent theme changes.
  • Frequent Content Updates.
  • Frequent feature additions.
  • A site that the Developer/Designer will mainly work on during the initial life of the site, but can also work on for the life of the site.
  • Complex filters for your content types.
  • Includes ECommerce.
  • A site that will need a forum.
  • More Secure.

With Drupal the possibilities are endless, you can build anything. It has its complexities, but is easy enough for a non-developer to update content and there are many modules that make working with Drupal a simple task. The harder aspects include setting up Drupal,being familiar enough with it to have the site functioning as one would like, and adding features. Drupal can handle any site, no site is too small.  It can even make more complex sites run smoothly.

In the end, it's really all about your preference.