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Difference Between Blogging Platforms

Upon starting a blog, one of the first things you must decide is what blogging system (or platform) you’ll want to use.  This is totally dependent on which direction you’ll want to take your blog, and what kind of experience you want your reader’s to have.  Different blogs have different features and server requirements, but the good news is that most good and universally used platforms are free.  So let’s take a closer look at some of the more popular ones:


WordPressProbably the most obvious of choices.  WordPress has been the center of attention in the blogging world for years.  Mostly it’s because of it’s simple installation process, almost unlimited amount of add-on’s and free themes, and the ease to maintain it.  WordPress now even comes with an anti-spam tool already built in.  More than 3 out of 4 blogs that are independently run (verses run on a site like are on WordPress.  This is great because of all the support you get.

The only downfall to WordPress is caused directly from it’s success.  Spam tools that were designed to create advertising comments are mostly written to target WordPress blogs, due to the vast amount of sites out there.  This can sometimes result in a rush of comment spam, and you may even find your site posted on a blackhat network that says “Hey everyone, you can spam here”.  The good news is that there have been a lot of anti-spam developments to help combat this in the past few years.  If you do your  research and configure plugins, one can eliminate the possibility of getting spammed to death.

In order to install WordPress, one must have the following enabled on their web host:

  • PHP version 4.3+
  • MySQL version 4.2.1+
  • Access to the mod_rewrite module (optional, for permalinks)
  • Ability to use XML


DrupalDrupal was developed to take the blogging experience to the next level.  To compare, think of WordPress as a simple word processor.  It’s purpose is strictly to do all kinds of different things with text.  Drupal takes this same concept, but adds a few more things.  First of all, it allows you to develop a full-blown social network around your blog.  The developers understood that most readers love to comment & participate in their favorite blogs.  Using social networking techniques allows them to communicate better with the other readers, share opinions, and give a better overall site experience.  Blog creators who spend a lot of time developing good content notice that the visitors they get tend to stay around longer and have a better chance to return to the site.

In addition to the extended user experience, Drupal still has a decent enough support community for the average blog owner.  There are multiple places (mostly forums) where users can ask questions and receive help from the Drupal gurus.  Owners also have a long list of add-ons to choose from.  Developers that create Drupal add-ons usually consist of more skilled programmers, which means less glitches when your blog is loaded up with 20+ extensions.

Drupal has a similar server requirement list in comparison with WordPress, but it’s slightly more demanding:

  • PHP 5.2+
  • MySQL 5.0.15+ (Apache) or PostgreSQL 7.4+ (Microsoft Servers)
  • Access to the mod_rewrite module (optional, for permalinks)
  • Ability to use XML


joomlaThe best way to think about Joomla is basically Drupal with training wheels.  While it’s not quite a halfway point between WordPress and Drupal, it’s about the closest you’d get to one.  Looking at the program from the webmaster’s point of view, the program looks as if it was meant to have the advanced options and scripting that Drupal does, but also meant so bloggers can simply plug & play.  While the idea is a good one, the follow-through isn’t perfect.  Since the creators were obviously trying to get the best of both worlds, they didn’t fully devote their time to either one and therefore Joomla really doesn’t have a strong suit.  WordPress beats Joomla in ease of use, and Drupal beats Joomla in terms of the usability of advanced features.

Joomla does win some small battles over it’s main competition though.  For the inexperienced webmaster, Joomla can be an easy way to install something like an e-commerce website, while keeping the ease-of-use WordPress gives.  It’s a great way for a webmaster that doesn’t know much about advanced scripting languages and doesn’t want to pay a fortune for a script that isn’t as customizable to start an online store .  As for Drupal, Joomla is said to have it beat in terms of template themes.  Since Drupal developers are more geared towards writing code than designing pretty themes, Drupal doesn’t have much to offer in that category.

Joomla’s requirements to run:

  • PHP 4.2+
  • MySQL 3.23+
  • Access to the mod_rewrite module (optional, for permalinks)
  • Ability to use XML

If you have Fantastico in your cPanel all three of the the platforms discussed can easily be installed on your website with a few clicks/steps.

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