When it came to choosing which CMS I would invest my time and effort in, I took the advice of one of the most talented network engineers I have ever come across. He told me that I should use Drupal, though he warned me, "there's a very steep learning curve".

Not one to be put off by a challenge I started to work with Drupal and can confirm that my advisor was correct - there was a very steep learning curve. I made innumerable mistakes and managed to resolutely destroy countless sites that I built to teach myself Drupal!

Having said that I have been using Drupal for six years now so the curve has flattened considerably and those disasters are a thing of the past. Of course, there's always something new to learn in web design, responsive web design for instance, and Drupal takes this and other innovations all in its stride.

So what about the other systems? Wordpress was initially set up as a blogging tool, over the years it has grown to offer more than just simple blogging but it still lacks the extensibility of Drupal. It's considered to be the easiest to get grips with and has somewhere in the region of 24,000 free and commercial plug-ins available.

I have tried out Wordpress and found it too limiting and like I said, I like a challenge. If you just want a blog and a few pages then I guess Wordpress is for you - but if you think you might expand the functionality on your site it might be worth looking at Joomla or Drupal.

Joomla is the middle player in terms of complexity and ease of use - it has around 6,000 free and commercial extensions available. I have a lot of experience using Joomla having built a series of sites for King's College Wimbledon and its associated organisations. Again it's easier than Drupal to set up but that ease comes at a cost - it simply isn't as customisable as I would like.

So back to Drupal, the most sophisticated and most difficult of the three. It has in excess of 20,000 plug-ins available - the most useful of which are free under the GNU General Public License. As Wikipedia observes it use ranges " personal blogs to corporate, political, and government sites including whitehouse.gov and data.gov.uk".

It can also be used for knowledge management and business collaboration. In fact, at the time of writing this I am in the process of building a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for Green Lane Primary school (more news of this in due course).

So to conclude, if you want a future-proof site built on a highly dependable core which you can be sure will be able to respond to any changes in what you wish to offer, I suggest Drupal.

If you would like to know about Drupal sites built by me, call me on 07971 505 767 or drop me an email.

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