Out With Drupal, In With WordPress
January 28, 2012 | ~4 mins read time.

As I mentioned previously, I had the intent of switching blogging software from Drupal to WordPress. Several people informed me that Drupal is so much better than WordPress and, honestly, I would have stuck with it if I didn't need any extra features that weren't included with the base build. When I was researching blog software, I should have paid attention to the people who had issues migrating from other software to Drupal.

Why? Because then I would have had a better idea just how much of a royal pain in the rear end switching FROM Drupal would be in the future, should I decide to do so. But, at the time, it wasn't a big deal- I was fully intending on keeping Drupal as my blogging BFF. Yeah, BFFs are rarely forever, and I should have remained slightly cynical. However, I did not. In my infinite wisdom [infinite stupidity], I decided that Drupal was perfect. It is open source, it has tons of available themes, crazy amounts of plugins, and it looked relatively easy to install.

Drupal does not have a built in installer like WordPress does for add-ons. In WordPress, one searches for the plugin, theme, or whatever extra bell or whistle one wants and one proceeds to let WordPress install them, and then WordPress lets you know if all has gone well or if there were issues. In Drupal one searches for whatever bell or whistle one wants, downloads it locally, uploads it to the server, runs the update script, and then hopes to all that is holy and unholy (just to give a fair representation) that nothing breaks.

When something breaks in Drupal, it is spectacular. The binary spews in intricate fireworks patterns while the odd one or zero is hurtled toward the wrong piece of code like shrapnel and then your install is BROKEN. There are no warnings. Drupal breakages are annoying to fix. One learns really quickly to make sure to back up databases locally just in case one needs to do an emergency re-install- of EVERYTHING.

The thing that finally made me say screw it and decide to jump on the WordPress bandwagon were the plugins. WordPress has a built in ability to publish articles "later". This means, I could tell this one to publish in the morning (it's 20:17 EST right now) at 08:00, and it would do so. Drupal requires an add-on for this, which would have been fine... if said add-on didn't require fifty other add-ons, each with their own fifty dependencies in order to work. I enjoy messing around server-side, but not to the point I'm running in circles to do something that should, really, take two seconds to accomplish.

One would have thought that trying to utilize social media tools (such as Facebook Like and Twitter sharing) with Drupal would have cinched the decision to migrate, but no. I could live without those buttons. I could, really. But I could not live without being able to write posts in advance to be published later at a set date and time which would then be automatically updated to the ping services and I could not live without the ability to easily add subscribers and keep RSS up to date without jumping through hoops of fire.

So, migrate I did. I tracked down this semi-complicated SQL script to help me move my Drupal posts to WordPress so I didn't have to manually re-post everything. And I used it. Unfortunately, It only imported my first 5 posts and my last 5 posts. I had to manually re-post the rest of them. Drupal is one of the only blogging software solutions that WordPress doesn't have an import plugin for. Obviously this is because Drupal is, unfortunately, a pain in the tush of epic proportions if you need anymore functionality than just simple posts.

Anyone who's running their own blog from their own server (rather than using wordpress.org or some other such service) would do well to consider all I've said when searching for blog software. If you have infinite patience, knowledge of SQL, PHP, (etc) functions on a near-expert level, and all the time in the world to play around with it, Drupal is awesome. Unfortunately, I have only intermediate knowledge of the databases and code involved, very little patience, and very little time to play until my heart's content.