6

Which platform - at the present day (but also with an eye for the future) - is recommended to use for a new organization that is setting up a completely new website and want to use CiviCRM?

I'm volunteering for this org. and am helping them decide what platform to use

My thinking so far:

  • For Drupal, i understand that at the present day integrates better with CiviCRM, with fewer bugs and with slightly more extensions.
  • Drupal has better security (and the org. will be accepting donations and memberships)
  • Also the fact that CiviCRM uses Drupals "permissions" and "roles" could be a plus maybe?
  • For WordPress, i'm thinking that the growth and size is a long-term advantage, for example if the organization needs to find more developers.
  • Also, future development of CiviCRM could maybe be geared towards prioritizing WordPress because of it's popularity?

Grateful for any help on how to think about all of this!

Respectfully and with kind regards, Tord

Reference: How is CiviCRM different in Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress?

12

I'd originally started my Civi 'journey' by bolting it onto our existing Wordpress site, and that was fine for holding contact details and sending out bulk emails/SMS.

As we started to use Civi more though, it became quickly apparent that we couldn't do many of the things in Wordpress that we'd like to. The lack of an equivalent to the Drupal webform module was by far the biggest stumbling block for us (with the views module coming close behind). The ability to receive webform input directly into CiviCRM was key for us - we wanted volunteers and our clients to be able to input data in a way that Civi's profiles just wouldn't allow if we had stuck with Wordpress.

It was a fair bit of work (and a steep learning curve for me!) for us to transition across to Drupal, but the ecosystem around it and the sheer number of available modules has made it more than worth it. If I was in your position, as a new organisation setting up a new site, I'd go with Drupal in a heartbeat.

  • Thank you for this answer, we will probably be going with Drupal. I'm a bit worried though that there is not support for Drupal 8 yet, but there is support for the latest WordPress version, can this be interpreted as there being made a shift away from Drupal and towards WordPress? (Maybe because of the popularity of WP) Kind Regards, Tord – sunyata Sep 23 '16 at 9:14
  • My take on it is that Wordpress generally lives on the bleeding edge, whereas Drupal is a more mature system with a longer version life cycle. I wouldn't dream of running an older version of Wordpress due to security issues, but there's plenty of sites out there still running Drupal 6 happily. – termdark Sep 23 '16 at 11:10
6

CMS wars are never-ending! I have two answers:

Drupal

I've worked with plenty sites using each CMS. @termdark is correct; Drupal/CiviCRM is definitely the more powerful of the two platforms. And CMS community size is unimportant if you need CiviCRM developers - most CiviCRM developers can use both, and most CMS developers don't know CiviCRM. CiviCRM development has lots of strong WordPress folks, but most CiviCRM development is done by shops that prefer Drupal.

Either one!

There are factors that could tip it either way.

  • Is the staff already experienced with one or the other?
  • Are there non-CiviCRM capabilities you need that only exist on one platform?
  • Do you have a volunteer or favored vendor who can help with the CMS side of things?
  • Are vendors able to offer what you need more cheaply on one platform vs. another?
4

Use both WordPress and Drupal?

Another option is to use both.

When I arrived at my current job, about four years ago, we already had a long-established WordPress site as our main website. We also had a CiviCRM instance running on Drupal :) . We have the same setup to this day. We use both.

So, for example, we create Event registration pages in Civi with Drupal and link to them from our main WordPress site. We have the same theme for pages in both WP and Drupal.

Even starting a new org website, you might consider this option - the relative learning curve for WP compared to Drupal is much less steep.

  • Agree this can be a good option. We have done this for many clients who are already well established on WP. We build CiviCRM on Drupal, mimic the theme with a simple Drupal theme with navigation etc to ensure folks can get back to the WP site in an instance. – petednz - fuzion Sep 27 '16 at 18:30
  • Yup and thanks Peter for all the help with our Civi stuff over the last years. – Joe McLaughlin Sep 27 '16 at 21:29
  • Do you do this by putting the Drupal site in a subdomain of the main WP site? – Stuart Parker Sep 28 '16 at 5:47
  • In most cases we are not even doing this on the same server. I.e. client comes to us with an existing WP site they are happy with, hosted heaven knows where. We spin up a Drupal+CiviCRM install on a server we manage. Rest is just done with navigation links from WP to Drupal and back again. – petednz - fuzion Sep 28 '16 at 18:49
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Civi was originally written for Drupal, and it certainly shows in terms of webform/views. That said, it's not as if WP is problematic. I'm able to do everything I want, and that's with profiles, memberships, cases, donations, and events.

Everyone will have different opinions about CMSs, and I don't want to wade much into that! The only thing I'll say is that I personally find WP more user-friendly for non-techie users specifically.

  • In terms of the comment re webforms/views. Civi was built to be agnostic and available for both Drupal and Joomla. The Drupal community have since then added the capabilities of Views, Webforms, Entities (and hence Rules) etc – petednz - fuzion Sep 27 '16 at 18:28
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Having seen the OP's reference to Drupal 8, I wanted to quickly throw in my hat. Leave Drupal 8 to the hobbyists for now. That may change, and it may change soon, but if you want to use Drupal, then use Drupal 7 for the moment.

2

The platform while important is just one aspect of the implementation. If you do decide on Drupal (which is what I would recommend given any NPO/NGO with 5 to 10+ FTE) please don't bid the project out to the lowest bidder and then get a WordPress consultant doing a Drupal implementation with CiviCRM (and vice versa, though that's rare). This type of mismatch can cost your organization lots of time and valuable resources in having to re-implement large chunks of the implementation (we've had several rescue projects like these and they are not fun!)

We've also had good experiences for using both simultaneously (i.e. WordPress for the CMS front-end and Drupal+CiviCRM for the CRM back-end), but the overhead is higher in terms of managing themes or changes to the look and feel since now you have to update both the WordPress theme AND the Drupal Theme. Another downside is that the systems are defacto decoupled so it's harder to create more complex workflows.

0

Depending on your needs you can get a lot of the features offered by Webforms in the Gravity Forms integration for CiviCRM over at civivip.com.

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