In Part One we estimated the number of websites that use Drupal as of July 2010. You can read that.
Per capita (so to speak), which of the big three open-source content management systems (Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress) has the most vigorous development community? This isn’t about the biggest community, but the busiest. For reference, here’s the estimated number of sites powered by each of the big three as of July 2010:
I’m going to keep this post shorter than the previous one, mainly because there’s much less estimating to philosophize about this time. Like our first post, there’s no direct way to quantify something like this, so we’ll have to fly at it from various angles.
One way to measure developer industry: the number of extensions each community currently offers. At the moment, here’s how many community-developed CMS extensions are listed by each community’s official repository:
WordPress has almost double the extensions of either Drupal or Joomla. But we’re not evaluating numbers without context; we’re interested in how many extensions each generates relative to its community size.
According to this, we can reasonably conclude the average Drupal developer is somewhat more likely to work on an extension than the average Joomla or WordPress developer. For the value of such an observation, I turn to you, comment section.
Of course, this isn’t a comment on the quality of these extensions. All three have pearls of really stunning work, and all three have duds and abandoned projects. It would take a million monkeys on a million keyboards a million years to learn how to operate a single module, let alone rank 21,742 extensions by quality. It would take a million people much less time, but there’s only one person writing this post, so any rankings based on quality won’t be considered here. Only sheer volume.
Did I take the time to add up the posts found at the official community forums of Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress? Afraid so. Totals:
Totals in the context of community size:
So Drupal and Joomla people like to talk to other Drupal and Joomla people all day long, while WordPress people just blog it out. One could point out that Drupal and Joomla are much more complicated and powerful than WordPress, so of course more message board questions, strategies, theories, taboos, memes, and myths will arise from their respective camps.
All three communities have meetups around the world, whether they’re called WordCamps, Drupalcamps, Joomla! Days, or what have you. All three communities have these things several times a year in cities around the world. Attendance at these deals tends to range in the 100-300 ballpark. We’ll call attendance even for all three. Seriously, Google your mind out if you want, but it’s pretty close across the board.
However, Drupal also holds DrupalCon twice a year (once in North America, once elsewhere). WordPress and Joomla don’t have anything that compares — the most recent DrupalCon, an April weekender in San Francisco, was the tenth such event (we attended #8) and featured around 3,000 attendees, while the inaugural Joomla! World Conference has been postponed. In fact, DrupalCon has been such a success that WordPress is considering following in Drupal’s footsteps:
I’m not going to add up the claimed attendance of the dozens of Temples of Joom! and WordFests and Drupaloozas that have popped up all over the world, but DrupalCon makes it pretty clear Drupal developers are the most likely to gather with each other in large masses to be nerds all day. Until WordStock takes off, at least. And considering Drupal is the smallest community as far as user base goes, that’s pretty impressive.
I feel we’ve made a non-insane case that Drupal’s development community is the busiest of the big three’s. While all three are amazing products and capable of doing just about anything, we’ve chosen to hitch 70% of our wagon to Drupal for a reason. (30% of our wagon remains hitched to WordPress, so here’s hoping they don’t go and call their conference WehatedrupalconCon.)
BONUS SECTION: DESIGNERS
So that’s developers. What about designers? This one’s a blowout.
I Googled X themes (X being WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal) and noted the number of results for each — 775,000 for Drupal, 4 million for Joomla, and almost 54 million for WordPress. Divide those by the number of sites for each, and we have:
Even though wordpress themes is a popular spam thing, surely inflating those Google results, it’s still apparent that WordPress is the most designer-y CMS. Not that we didn’t know this, but here’s a little visualization of the nerdiest possible way to perceive the disparity.