When you're in the planning stages of a new website or you're thinking of incorporating a corporate blog, the first thing you're likely to do is a quick Google search in the hopes of finding the platform that will suit your needs. Google will display a long list of articles discussing the best CMS or the best all-in-one WYSIWYG editor, usually sponsored by a party with well-defined allegiances. So where should you begin?

Let's say you've narrowed it down between WordPress and Drupal. Another Google search will render you speechless at the near-infinite stream of forum threads containing emotionally-saturated discussions, none of which are likely to prove too useful without significant sifting time and an hour or two of therapy.

Comparing WordPress and Drupal isn't entirely unlike comparing apples and oranges--but if you're in the picnic-planning market and you need a straightforward fruit, I mean answer, this will help set you on the path to choosing the right one for you.

Round 1. Simple Appearance Changes

If ensuring that your content looks the way you want it is a priority, and you haven't much time or the knowledge to do the from-scratch HTML yourself, WordPress is the way to go. Theming is incredibly easy and straightforward to implement and change as desired, and you'll still have full control over the HTML if the time comes for tweaks later on.

With Drupal, you'll have less control over the HTML--and less need to directly edit HTML--and less ability to start from the beginning without using a predesigned base theme. With a little know-how this isn't an issue, but Drupal will definitely require more time and energy to manipulate precisely how you'll want it.

Round 2. Strength of Development

This round is a little trickier. WordPress is more agile in that it's generally a very fast platform to set up and start using. It's fairly simple to add new sites or blogs as your content demands, and there's a significantly larger amount of open-source resources to help you along the way.

But if you're looking for a sophisticated CMS for tiered logins, Drupal is more likely to be your best option. Although it requires more time, it's excellent for more complex sites designed to do different tasks--unique requirements is its forte.

Round 3. Maintenance Ease

Both WordPress and Drupal can be implemented to provide the maximum ease of maintenance possible, especially if the site content may be change environments during its lifespan. For those who will be concerned with taxonomy, WordPress excels whereas Drupal leaves much to be desired. For those whose priorities are asset management, WordPress will again bode in your favour. Likewise, as long-term maintenance usually incurs occassional front-end development work, such as appearance and content changes, WordPress will impose less of a learning curve to manage.

Again, both WordPress and Drupal both have their benefits--it all depends on your needs as the user. Small WordPress sites tend to be quicker to deploy than equally small Drupal sites, but Drupal may better suit your requirements for specific or complex tasks.

Have you worked with WordPress or Drupal? If so, what has your experience been?