There are just too many content management systems out there for one person to do their own comparisons, but over the years I have done as much as I could to do some testing to make my own personal kick the tires comparisons.
My technology websites were first done in the phpWebSite content management system and later XOOPS, before I eventually built the sites using Drupal.
After many years of website building, and using numerous tools, I have chosen Drupal as my primary website building tool.
Drupal Emerged as the Winner
I have personally tested and used phpWebSite, PostNuke, Xoops, WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, as well as a few less popular content management systems over the years.
Many of the content management systems has features that I wish the other would have. Some were much easier "out of the box" to customize, some had more intuitive administration.
I got to the point where I had to make a commitment to one, as trying to stay on top of changes on many different systems, and always trying to compare features, was too time consuming.
I focused my effort to select a content management system on the answer to the following two questions.
1) Does the product look like it has been steadily growing and being developed and does it look like it has a clear direction moving forward?
2) Does the product have a professional and helpful support community where I can find help quickly and easily online?
When I focused the stability of the developer and the quality of available support it became clear that Drupal would emerge as the content management system for the Guru 42 family of sites.
Installing Drupal yourself
Drupal is fairly easy to install, and most LAMP based web hosting companies offer an automated installation. Drupal 7 does offer support for Microsoft IIS but I use it on LAMP servers. LAMP is an acronym for Linix Apache MySQL PHP. Drupal uses the MySQL database to hold the data contained in the website and the site is based on PHP.
Look around the Drupal community to get an understanding of what you can do to expand your Drupal install beyond the basic package.
Modules are the blocks of code that allow Drupal to perform its tasks. Basic modules can be activated to use Drupal as an online forum or blog.
Scalable feature sets are implemented through plug-ins or modules that are developed independently of the Content Management System. Additional features can be easily installed to extend functionality of the site without having to do a major rebuild.
Thousands of modules can be downloaded for free from the Drupal website to allow Drupal to do just about anything possible with a website.
Themes are the blocks of code that give Drupal its look and feel. The basic software comes with a few themes that can be changed to various color schemes. There are hundreds of themes that can be downloaded for free from the Drupal website.
Drupal Website Building Notes
I began using Drupal with version 6. The administrative interface was often criticized as not being user friendly, to learn it you need to invest some time.
Drupal version 7 was released in 2011. All new sites developed after 2011 are using version 7. Older sites will eventually be moved from Drupal version 6 to version 7.
Drupal version 7 made site management much easier than version 6 with a much cleaner administrative interface and a much improved update process.
Version 8 is in development, and I am anxious to see what new tools will be available. If Drupal keeps going as it is now it will separate itself from the pack of content management systems.
If you have questions on site building and Drupal from the perspective of a business owner or manager looking for a content management or web building solution, check out this information on Content Management Systems at SmartTechnology.info.
The website Philosophyguru's Drupal Playground at philosophyguru.org where is my online sandbox to test ideas and make notes on Drupal issues. The notes on this site are not a complete outline of issues, but represent a live notebook of sorts for recording ideas and issues.