This is a quick tip that I gave to a friend a few days ago.
A close pal of mine does web consulting for nonprofits and small local businesses in Boston. Being the fanatic that she is, she’s been loading Drupal sites on hair salons and local shops with no or low-tech staff and limited resources. Here’s a snippet from a recent conversation of ours:
Me: So you’ve been creating Drupal sites for all these places?
Her: Yeah. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s highly customizable. It’s perfect.
Me: What does Laquisha down at the hair salon know about Drupal? She’s too busy doing braids to configure a module! You would have done better giving her a WordPress or a Tumblr.
For some tech folks, there is a true disconnect between what’s easy for us and what’s a burden for the customer. I don’t even think that it’s something that web consultants do intentionally (at least, I hope they don’t). I see it every day – a company or consultant sells “better” tech to a customer because they are convinced that the ROI is greater than the learning curve involved with learning the new interface.
I gave my gal pal a tidbit rule about when it’s OK to sell someone Drupal, and when to just give them a simple Tumblr page.
If your client has a dedicated tech team/web developer AND wants a fully customizable page layout AND needs to be able to have multiple user types with different permissions à Drupal
If your client has a dedicated tech team/web developer AND wants a fully customizable page layout AND will only have one or a few users with the same permissions adding content –> Self-hosted WordPress
If your client knows a bit about the Internet and has a basic grasp on HTML AND is ok with using a simple web template AND will only have one or a few users with the same permissions adding content –> Free version of WordPress
If your client’s knowledge of the Internet ends at Facebook/simple Myspace AND is ok with using a simple web template AND will be using their site to post photos, videos and small text entries –> Posterous or Tumblr
If your only needs a simple site to use for advertising that won’t be updated often but needs to have photos and text –> about.me
Hope this helps.