The Cheeky Monkey Media Blog

A few words from the apes, monkeys, and various primates that make up the Cheeky Monkey Super Squad.

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Drupal has been around since January 2001, and now powers 2.1% of the websites in the world (source: Wikipedia) yet it still surprises me when I get asked simple questions like:

Client: “Can you blog on Drupal?”
Me: “Excuse me? Uh ya, you can blog on a Drupal site!”
Client: “But can you really blog, like WordPress does?”
Me: “Yes, you can publish your online journal just the same way WordPress does.”
Client: “Ok, I just wanted to make sure I was clear. Is that something new?”


Why does WordPress get so much love?

WordPress was launched in 2003 and powers a whopping 16.7% of the web (source:Wikipedia). That is a crazy number of sites. But, it still makes me wonder why. I mean it certainly can be argued that WordPress has a way nicer Admin User Experience, especially out of the box.

WordPress Dashboard


Drupal Dashboard


But, unlike in the early days of Drupal, we developers can do something about it now. With a little foresight and some elbow grease, we can make the backend of Drupal a User Experience playground. But, don’t fret too much the Drupal community has already done most of the heavy lifting for you. Here are a few possible solutions:

Admin themes


We still use Rubik/Tao but there are lots of great ones out there like RootCandy.



I am very excited about the workbench modules. They allow you to really fine-tune the administration based on user types.

Custom Administration


Admin menu and Admin menu source could be used to build custom admin menus per editor.

Rolling your own


Views and Views Bulk Operations– with these two we could pretty much create whatever type of administration pages we need.


I personally believe that Drupal is a better CMS than WordPress. But, people tend to have a preconceived notion that Drupal is hard. I think this comes directly from the Administration panel, which can be really overwhelming for the nontechnical, maybe it is time for Drupal development shops to spend as much time on the backend theme as we do on the front end.