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Calvin Hendryx-Parker and Doug Vann

Over the course of 3 months, long-date PHP consultant and trainer Doug Vann met with Six Feet Up CTO and Python expert Calvin Hendryx-Parker to explore and compare their experiences working with the enterprise-grade content management systems Drupal 8 and Plone 5.

Doug and Calvin both have 10+ years of working experience in the area of content management development, and both have assisted large corporations, customize, deploy, maintain and support Drupal or Plone-powered websites and intranets.

Together, they reviewed and discussed how their CMS of choice fared in the following areas:

Installation and Deployment

  • How long does it take to find and download a distribution?

  • How easy is it to configure your computer to run the distribution?

  • How simple is the installation/deployment process?

  • Is there easy-to-find and easy-to-follow documentation to guide inexperienced users?

Out of the Box Experience

  • Is the U.I. intuitive, how long to get used to it?

  • What features come with the out-of-the-box distribution? what is badly missing?

  • How "fast" does the site respond with no content?

Adding Products/Modules

  • How long for non-technical people to be ready to enter content?

  • How "fast" does the site respond with thousands, millions of items?

  • Is it easy for an administrator to manage users, permissions, workflows, and notifications?

Adding/Editing Content

  • Given a feature that requires an add-on, is the product easy to find?

  • How long does it take to install a new add-on? How many new add-ons?

  • If an add-on is out of date, what to do?

  • Are the add-ons easy to use, documented, and tested?


  • What is the rate for 1h of development?

  • How easy is it to find developers?

  • What level of expertise does source customization require?

  • Is there good and easy to find documentation about it?

  • How does framework extension work?

Multisite Management

  • How is it achieved?

  • How easy is it to add a subsite?

  • How are vanity URLs managed?

  • How is content syndication working?

  • What is the search story like?

Marketing Automation Tools

  • Integration with social media

  • Integration with 3rd party systems like Hubspot

  • Tracking

  • Lead generation

  • Marketing Automation tools


  • GUI localization

  • Content localization


  • How many pre-made themes can I download, and how easy are they to install?

  • Is theme customization though the U.I. available and easy?

  • How to build a theme from scratch?

Upgrades and Migrations

  • How long does it take to migrate customized code vs. create it?

  • How is data migrated?


  • What are the minimum hardware requirements for each CMS?

  • How much does it typically cost per month per instance for professional on-site hosting

  • How many companies have expertise and proficiency in hosting this CMS?

  • What are my "cloud" options? How hard is it to deploy and how cheap does it get?

  • What are the solution stack requirements? How is the documentation about it?


  • What are my caching and proxy caching options?

  • How much of it can be made through the U.I.?

  • How easy is it to implement clusters for high-availability and load balancing?


  • What is the history in terms of security cracks and how critical were they?

  • How much maintenance time has to be spent to keep the security up to date?

IP and Community

  • Who owns the trademark?

  • How many contributors out there? Who are the top ones?

  • How long has the platform been around?


  • Pros and cons of each system
  • Plone 5 or Drupal 8: which to choose?

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