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I'm a non-programmer and run a food website (plain - jane Dreamweaver) along with a simple Wordpress powered blog.

I envisioned creating a food website that is both user powered (one can submit recipes, tips articles, photos etc) and also act as a mini social network (people can blog) - create profiles, make friends etc.

I stumbled on Drupal nearly 2 years ago and was impressed by its flexibility in creating content - through modules such as CCK (custom content types), Views - to display content from various queries and Panels (displaying content without manual theming). It also offered a host of modules that could do things like - classifieds, greetings, newsletters, events etc.

However I got so mired by what Drupal could do, I ignored site development and it's been sitting in the backburner all this while. Recently I met a designer / developer (More Wordpress & Less Drupal) who agreed to customize a theme that I finally chose for the website.

I'm scared that despite Drupal's scaling abilities as a business owner I will be left with fire-fighting stuff if anything goes wrong with if i get the site developed on Drupal.

I have explored and searched previously whether Wordpress can be used more as a CMS platform but came away disappointed.

With Wordpress 3.1, Multisite and BuddyPress, I'm excited whether I can ditch Drupal and choose Wordpress instead.

Plus I'm more inclined to use Wordpress after I read this post about Why Drupal isn't a good choice for a CMS - http://mikeschinkel.com/blog/17-reasons-wordpress-is-a-better-cms-than-drupal/

Here's what I'm looking for:

1.Food / Recipes Websites that will have 4-6 types of content - recipes, food guides, photos, menus, videos etc

2.The site should be high on usability - tech 'unsavvy' should be able to submit content recipes, photos, videos etc) to the site - this is an important need. Can I make this really simple?

  1. Social networking capabilities - profiles, adding friends, member search, rewarding members. I want to build a strong community that goes beyond just creating profiles. I want them to be able to contribute to the site's growth.

  2. A decent / elegant theme (Wordpress had zillions of themes, I know)

  3. Displaying content - Can I display say, in a page, a thumbnail and excerpt, of content that is being posted to the site? and perhaps in another page - only a set of links of content that is being posted. - Do plugins exist for these? Drupal hs Views, CCK and Panels that achieve these quite easily.

  4. Like I mentioned before, as a non-tech business owner, can I scale the website without worrying too much into maintaining the technical aspects of the site?


Please help me.

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3 Answers 3

First: (Really!) get someone who understands a lot about code & wordpress. As you've already read Mike Schinkels site: He's a good one.

can I scale the website without worrying too much into maintaining the technical aspects of the site?

If you, as i stated above, got some who makes you a solid foundation, then it should not be a problem.

Displaying content - Can I display say, in a page, a thumbnail and excerpt, of content that is being posted to the site? and perhaps in another page - only a set of links of content that is being posted. - Do plugins exist for these? Drupal hs Views, CCK and Panels that achieve these quite easily.

Wordpress uses "Templates" for pages. You can make a eg. site where you list all galleries or receipes, etc. With Multisite you can give every of your users the possibility to run their own blogs/receipe article lists on their own.

Without going more into detail: If you're not tech savy, then you'd need a long time to get around this, so my best advice is getting someone who understands how all the custom stuff for cms purpose like post types, taxonomies, meta boxes, etc. work.

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WordPress with BuddyPress is a very viable option.

A very successful and large scale user driven Food / Recipe site. Is running WordPress with BuddyPress

Social networking capabilities - profiles, adding friends, member search, rewarding members. I want to build a strong community that goes beyond just creating profiles. I want them to be able to contribute to the site's growth.

The Tasty Kitchen offers all of the above along with allowing users to submit and rate recipes.

The "Gotcha"

The BuddyPress project has been in a constant state of change and is finally just now starting to get stabilized and will be able to support more of the features you need "out of the box" when 1.3 gets released.

Currently the learning curve and technical aspects to make major modifications are very difficult but can be done. You would most likely have to hire someone to help create the custom BuddyPress components required to make it work.

Hopefully when 1.3 + gets released it will support more of the built in WordPress API.

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Drupal is great for scaling user driven community sites, they have a lot more development work in this areas since it has always been a central part of it's core functionality ( for instance Drupal Commons). It is an area WordPress still needs some work with ;)

I don't agree with all of Mike's post, it seems like both these CMS's do a great job and have a converging feature set. It would be better to compare them both vs other CMS's, especially non php ones.

Making WordPress Network/Buddypress friendly is a very viable option, but it can be equally as daunting.

If you're just doing this for fun and have no business plan, then by all means use WordPress, once you get used to it, it's quite easy to work with. With the features you listed it will suit the bill fine.

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