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General questions about getting started with SilverStripe that don't fit in any of the categories above.

Moderators: martimiz, Sean, Ed, biapar, Willr, Ingo, swaiba

SilverStripe v Drupal v Joomla

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9 Posts   6491 Views


Community Member, 3 Posts

2 November 2009 at 10:40am


Sorry if this has cropped up countless times before. Most of the work I have been doing recently has really translated to being data-driven content management so, why not use a canned CMS?

Unfortunately, I haven't the time to invest in three CMS systems so, if any users of SIlverstripe can give me a heads-up as to why it is a better choice than the rest if indeed that is the case, I would appreciate your comments/views. I heard about Silverstripe in a round about way from the Ajaxian site due to a recent post about a new jQuery-based selector approach.


Dave L

Community Member, 60 Posts

2 November 2009 at 12:22pm

I've never really delved far into Joomla/Drupal but from what I have done I've found them pretty convoluted and confusing, where everything is handled via a GUI. But I may be way wrong there.

I researched CMS's and chose to work with SilverStripe because it's what I wanted - a basic MVC framework with CMS capabilities. I.e. I can call on CMS features as a developer, rather then trying to modify/customize a CMS if you know what I mean.

I suggest quickly running through the first couple of tutorials to get a good overview.


Community Member, 541 Posts

3 November 2009 at 12:08pm

Edited: 03/11/2009 12:09pm

Dave is pretty much spot on in my opinion. If you like wasting half your development time messing around with settings files, or clicking buttons in an admin interface, Joomla or Drupal are probably best, if you prefer to spend development time actually developing Silverstripe is way more flexible.

Edit: Sorry, 'wasting' sounds quite confrontational, I mean 'spending', that's a lot more diplomatic :)

Drupal and Joomla are great if all you want to do is throw together a basic theme and then add some off the shelf modules. You can probably get a content managed site up in about a day or so. But if you want to make something that has a maintainable code base and doesn't require a load of wierd hacks to get what you want, or you want functionality or appearance that is quite different from the plugins that are available (and it does happen, quite often), then putting stuff together in Silverstripe is a lot nicer, cleaner and more efficient :).

If you decide not to use it though, please use Drupal, its a bit odd, but I am fairly certain Joomla violates at least one human rights law :s.



Community Member, 3 Posts

4 November 2009 at 10:46am

Thanks Dave, I appreciate the heads-up


Community Member, 3 Posts

4 November 2009 at 10:49am

Hi Mo

Thanks for replying. That was the kind of first-hand experience I was hoping to find. Is the Sapphire framework just for manipulating the Silverstripe or is it full-featured in its own right? I guess by that, I mean does it "do" Ajax, leverage on any other T/P JS libraries, or is it basically all PHP?

Thanks again.


Community Member, 6 Posts

5 November 2009 at 2:12am


I've used Joomla and Drupal for previous projects. The advantage of Joomla is that it has many modules available, those whuch are free as well as purchasable. However the CMS as a whole is clunky and complicated, even though you could further customize the control panel.
Drupal is relatively easier to customize however it lacks the flexibility of Silverstripe.

My best bet: Go with Silverstripe.


Community Member, 541 Posts

6 November 2009 at 12:56pm

Sapphire is pretty full featured, and its quite simple to add new third party classes, if you find one that does something that is not available out of the box. I woudn't say it has as many features as some other PHP frameworks (I am avoiding saying 'Zend', because I know at some point Banal will pop up and point it out :) ).

There are quite a few 'Ajaxy' features available, but to be honest, I haven't explored them in that much depth (yet). I guess it depends what you want to do, but you may find you have to do a bit of coding to get what you want.



Community Member, 203 Posts

10 November 2009 at 11:46pm

Edited: 10/11/2009 11:50pm

I have not worked with Joomla, but I suspec there are similarities between Drupal and Joomla.

I was drawn to Drupal because of the Content construction Kit: I wanted to have more possibilities than just one title field and a content field with tinymce and leave it to the user how the content is styled (as is the case with a lot of CMS's out there). But what I realized is that Drupal is very complicated. It is not so that I am afraid to learn something that is complicated, but I was simply asking myself if all those complications are worth it/ are really necessary.

- Drupal can be used for BIG websites, with a large editor staff and a professional workflow. Think websites for IBM or Sony, think websites running on their own iron inside the corporate headquarter.
- The backend is complicated - although you can dumb down the backend by controling what user can view what items. And if the normal install does not give you enough tools for that, you can download various modules that will give you more options. But the backend will remain complicated nonetheless
- Drupal is complicated to theme, but because it is complicated it gives you all sorts of control of various minute details- you have to know how to work with those details inside the Drupal universe. But in many cases you are trying to find tricks to change the output of other functions with your own functions in order to get the result you need. I am not sure what this does to the overhead of the site, but it does not feel good.
- There are zillions of modules out there that help you change various aspects of a site. But the thing is that it looks like a lot of those themes change output from other functions with their own functions. Again the overhead question.
- One of the ideas behind drupal is that a coder/themer can develop a theme in such a way that even someone without coding/theming knowledge can change the look and feel of the site from the backend (not just the colors of a site but also modules like 'Views'). This gives additional complications in the back-end and extra overhead.

In the end I realized that I did not need nor want that kind of complications, not for me and not for my users. My websites are not that big, and I thought it is more important to have a system that:
- offers me freedom to style a website easily and quickly (development speed)
- at the same time offering me various options to expand functionality + add extra fields that offer me extra control over the design (I am the designer, so I am payed to control all aspects of a design, when I am offering the user a CMS to edit the content of a website)
- offers my users a backend that is easy to work with (again: I am the designer, I also have to pay attention to the way my users can work with the content for their own website)
- and if you need that professional workflow, my guess is you can develop it

And for me that would be silverstripe, but I must confess that I am not working that long with it...

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