WordPress challenges Drupal in media sites

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Oct 31, 2013

WordPress has a variety of different use cases, but it’s notable that many larger and smaller media sites have switched to WordPress during the last couple years. Even though Drupal was once the rising star, Wordpress shines when pushing streams of content and showcasing the best articles visually. This recent development has especially affected the Drupal community, because just a few years ago Drupal was the rockstar child that every media company wanted to use. This doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

North Patrol is a consulting firm specialized in the design of digital services and information systems. We shape ideas into a vision and service concept, find the best architectural and technological solutions, design a functional user experience, and compete to find the ideal partner for implementation work. We do not sell implementation projects, nor do we sell licenses; we are genuinely on the side of the customer.

31 October 2013

Perttu Tolvanen

Right now Drupal is going after bigger and more complex sites, but at the same time media sites are trying to make their sites less complicated and easier to use.

WordPress isn’t a bad choice. The platform has proven that it can be used as a CMS for high-traffic sites. Additionally, WordPress’ authoring experience is very familiar to editors and is very much in line with the increasing multichannel requirements that media sites require.

All that being said, media companies are certainly not instantly switching their Drupal sites to WordPress, and a fair amount of media companies will keep on investing to Drupal. But WordPress is quickly becoming a strong competitor for Drupal in media sites.

The company behind WordPress.com, Automattic, is also supporting this movement with their VIP offerings which seem to be targeted especially for large media companies. Many high-profile media companies have started using WordPress more and more lately, for example, New York Observer, BBC America and TechCrunch. Many others are also using WordPress to run their popular subsites, eg. CNN and Time.com.

In Finland, Drupal is still the top dog when it comes to media sites. The largest media sites are using Drupal heavily and also investing large sums into the development of their own modules and templates. Due to these investments, most likely they will continue to run on Drupal for some time. But for many smaller media companies this actually makes Drupal an even less interesting choice since all the large media sites are doing in-house Drupal development and are buying Drupal developers instead of projects. The price of skilled Drupal developers remains relatively high and agencies do not gain project or business expertise when only selling individual developers or teams.

At the moment many media companies are desperately looking for more cost-effective ways to run their business, and WordPress is offering an interesting option for them. It might require media companies to sometimes adapt their concepts to WordPress and simplify their concept designs, but it delivers a smaller price tag and less-complicated editor user experience.

Many media companies might find their new rockstar child to be WordPress instead of Drupal.

Perttu Tolvanen

Perttu Tolvanen is a web concept design and content management system expert.

Perttu consults with clients on project planning and defining requirements, and supports customers in selecting content management systems and implementation partners. His areas of specialisation include facilitating concept design workshops and selecting content management systems.

Perttu has ten years of experience with web and intranet projects, including serving as a project manager and consultant. Earlier in his career Perttu has worked in procurement and as a project manager at a large media company, a content management system consultant at a large IT company and an independent, neutral consultant at his own firm. He is also a well-known seminar speaker and blogger. Perttu is also the editor of Vierityspalkki.fi, a Finnish blog about the Finnish internet and its creators.

About North Patrol

We are a team of ten consultants, all of whom are experienced designers and technology experts. Every year we design and prepare over 50 different online services and information systems. Our customer satisfaction is very high (9.5 out of 10), and we have helped many customers transform their digital services.

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How we differ from our competitors?

  • We specialize in digital service design

    We specialize in high-quality design and requirements specification of digital services. Our mission is to help customers succeed in their software project by creating the best possible foundation for implementation – whether it is an agile implementation done inhouse, a project done with a partner, or a publicly tendered project.

  • We don't sell coding or licenses

    Many software companies recommend software solutions that they also implement themselves. We don’t do that. We don’t do software implementation projects or have partnerships with technology providers. Our perspective on the software market is broad, as it should be for our customers. Our goal is always to find the best possible software solution for our customer, whether it’s a custom-built solution, a SaaS service, an open-source platform, or a combination of these.

  • We are realistic and forward-thinking

    We design digital service concepts, implementation methods and architectures that are sustainable and can be further developed. We place great importance on the feasibility of software solutions, the availability of good partners and the predictability of costs.

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