When I started blogging about 3 years ago I tested out Blogger, WordPress and Drupal. I didn’t like the fact that Blogger is hosted by Google and you’ll always have that annoying top bar on a page so ruled that out quickly. WordPress seemed a whole lot better and so did Drupal. In the end I opted for Drupal, mainly because I have a friend who is a Drupal developer.
My Drupal experience
It took me a while to set up my first blog (The Undercover Recruiter) as I insisted on not spending a penny on getting any help. This is the best way to learn I suppose and within a few weeks I had a good understanding of how Drupal works, what it can and can’t do and what plugins (modules) I should be using. I then set up 2 other blogs (you’re reading this on one) with Drupal; once you know to set a blog up it’s easy to replicate the process. The question here is how much time I dedicated to learning Drupal – probably too much.
If only I had started with WordPress
Fast forward about a year and a half and we decided to set up a new company page on WordPress, as very few people are familiar with Drupal I thought it better to go WordPress. That’s when I realised that blogging is actually really simple when you have the right tools, WordPress happens to be intended for blogging so makes perfect sense.
Why should you drop Drupal?
I started thinking about my other 3 blogs and how I’m stuck with Drupal for those. Then one day I had a flash of inspiration and thought about migrating from Drupal to WordPress. Reasons I had to move away from Drupal:
- Drupal is very clunky for blogging, it might be a powerful content management system (CMS) for big sites but unnecessarily so for your average blogger.
- There are much fewer themes available for Drupal than WordPress, if you want a decent looking site you might have to get it done by a designer and web developer – if you have a big budget of course.
- You don’t get the cool WordPress plugins on Drupal, you’re lucky if they ‘convert’ some of them over to Drupal after a few month’s wait. An example of this would be the Google Plus buttons which took ages to find their way to Drupal.
- As Drupal is more niche, you’ll find fewer peers out there that can help you with problems. Whenever I would google an issue, most solutions would be for WordPress.
- WordPress is intuitive (well as intuitive as a CMS can get), whereas Drupal almost requires you to be a developer to work it properly.
How to do the migration
So I did a quick google search and found a company that specialises in Drupal to WordPress migrations. As I have 3 sites, I started with the smallest one to see how it would work out. The process is to first back up everything on Drupal, then everything gets somehow turned into WordPress content and the URLs get redirection routes. You shut down the Drupal site; the best way I found was to do a new WordPress install on the same location to wipe Drupal – this may not be the safest way though. Then you import the content into the new site and the pages and structure will appear.
A few hiccups along the way
It won’t always be perfect, for instance all my images that used to be centered were now left aligned. Some code vanished on blog posts and some text got very muddled – I believe this was an issue with unclean HTML on Drupal though. And I for one don’t like taking sites down and re-installing, there were a few times when I thought everything had completely crashed beyond the point of recovery. But fear not, this blog and the other 2 are working fine today. In fact, they are working much better than when they were running on Drupal.
Where do you go from here?
If you’re stuck with Drupal and need a safe passage to WordPress, I would suggest you get in touch with the migration master Jordi Cabot, his company WPMigrations have migrated over 500,000 post already at a reasonable cost. This is not an affiliate link or anything by the way, I am very happy to recommend these guys. Good luck to you and see you on the WordPress side!