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Drupal. PITA. Avoid.

March 2nd, 2009 · 9 Comments

Manan writes the first Guest Post on my blog.  Manan is an engineering student who enjoys blogging. Spends majority of his time on the internet following tech blogs & tweeting. A fan of Microsoft & someone who hates Linux. 😀 He blogs at

Many blogs, many feeds. It becomes difficult to filter & follow. So was the idea behind me setting up website dedicated to Microsoft, the idea was simple – an aggregator & self posted content. Searched on the net for plugins for WordPress failing to find anything that would suit me I came across Drupal which had the “module” for feed aggregation. Having heard about Drupal in the past I decided to set it up & the rest is a painful history.

The pinch was felt quick, the admin mode is a maze. It requires a good amount of time to be spent in order to remember what is where. The jargon doesn’t make sense. For example tags, the world knows what they mean & their function but in Drupal they have “taxonomy” that’s used for categorization & tags. Upon realizing what “taxonomy” actually is begins the next challenge, that being of setting it up. Good luck with that. Make sure to do it right ‘coz you will have to push the limits of ease-of-use to edit them.

In between of setting up my site, figuring my way through taxonomy & pulling my hair off, Drupal released an update. Now being a WordPress user I thought there would be an easy way to do it considering this is a CMS where the amount of information can be enormous. But, to my surprise updating Drupal is something that will make you take the risk on not updating it at all! There is no easy way of upgrading Drupal it’s the highway or the highway. Yes, you got that right.

Let’s talk about the community around Drupal. One word, unhelpful. The plugin community of Drupal does not respond to queries, they don’t release updates to plugins. The plugins will be alpha for months with the final release no where in sight. Updating plugins too is again like updating Drupal. Avoid as long as possible.

Let’s talk about adding content. Initially when I saw that Drupal has classifications like Book, Page, Blog etc. I liked it only to realize that when I go into actually writing an article there is no Rich Text Editor! It’s all HTML. How friggin’ stupid is that?! Insult to injury none of the plugins to add RTE work properly. None. Zero. Nil.

The amazing Windows Live Writer also can’t be used post to Drupal. A module that exists only allows you to create blog posts & not any other type of content that Drupa supports.

Lack of a RTE, weird Taxonomy, adding content requires me to go to the site every time & the fact that updating it is a complete PITA Drupal makes for a horrible choice. Simply put the problem with Drupal is that it’s too rigid for pro-web-devs & too un-usable for enthusiasts/casual users.

If you have a grudge against someone or want to see someone suffer hire them to manage your Drupal site. Personally, I’d say please forgive them. They are human too.

Tags: How To's · Tech · Website

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jeff // Mar 2, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Sorry to hear about your issues. There is a solid solution though, get a subscription with Acquia. They’ll support your drupal site, answer your questions, and help through upgrading. Something you cannot get with WordPress.

  • 2 Peter // Mar 3, 2009 at 12:15 am

    It sounds like you have used WordPress a lot, and are new to Drupal? Well, I’m sure I’d be frustrated with WordPress trying to configure it to do what Drupal does.

    As someone in the Drupal community, we all know there are usability issues around administration and upgrades. And Drupal is a as much a framework as a CMS, so out of the box it’s not really well-configured for blogging. But in return you get a ton of power and a great ability to customize.

    To one point, but using local blogging software – the Drupal blog API can be used to post different content types – but this has to be enabled on the Drupal side.

  • 3 ankita // Mar 3, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    i m neutral
    find both of them complicated 🙂

  • 4 Rod G // Mar 4, 2009 at 12:50 am

    I know what you mean about it being a tough idiom to adjust to. However, the comment on unhelpful community surprises me– I’ve found just the opposite and have received help from basic installs to advanced configuration and also on graphic design (themeing) and how to price services.

    Here in NYC (not known as a friendly town, eh?) we have an awesome Drupal community that meets monthly at Mansueto Ventures (

    Why Drupal and not WordPress though? For me it’s because Drupal does more than just blogging. This may be an unfair characterization, I switched in 2005 and WP has surely advanced since then. But personally, I see really creative stuff happening in Drupal, and being two good examples.

  • 5 Sathya // Mar 6, 2009 at 3:04 am

    Nice detailed post by Manan

  • 6 Vimal George // Mar 9, 2009 at 10:15 am

    the author seems to think CMS=wordpress. (this is not an ad-hominem attack. Just a nagging sensation of bad taste.)

    Drupal is the King of hackability as far as CMSes go. You can integrate it with anything including the Kitchen sink. And the community is rock-solid. I can hardly agree with any of the points listed above in the post other than the arcane terminology in the admin page that seems like something a druid would use; the first few times you work with it. 😉

    And why bitch about a particular blogging tool’s integration? XMLrpc works the same everywhere.
    DISCLAIMER: I run multiple Drupal installations on production for a living. So God help me… 😀

  • 7 shyam // Mar 18, 2009 at 9:29 am

    I can understand Drupal being difficult for you. It has a very very steep learning curve and the admin interface is something only geeks can love. Dries & the community will get that fixed by the time Drupal 7 is out as the stable release, but as far as the current state of affairs go, it is a hard beast to master.

    WYSIWYG is also a major drawback, it should not be that difficult to work, but you can use the TinyTinyMce module, which works pretty much out of the box. Though you have to keep in mind, the future for the feature is through the WYSIWYG API. But this works currently and does not require any jumping around hoops.

    Drupal has its own way of doing things, including the messy way of upgrading it and the modules. But there is a reason why it works that way, because it is a framework and not a CMS. You can use it to build a CMS, but it is not a CMS out of the box. Once you are comfortable with it (wait till you start hacking page.tpl.php), it can do a lot of things that other products really struggle to do. But it is crucial that you spend time learning and understanding it, else it will lead to experiences like this.

  • 8 Chris // Mar 18, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Sorry to hear you were to lazy to read the documentation properly. Also Drupal isn’t a CMS it’s a framework.

  • 9 Juzar // Aug 20, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Any one worked (or trying to work) with “Drupal E-commerce ” ?

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