Drupal vs WordPress – which content management system is really better?
Establishing an online presence as an entrepreneur is not easy, and you may need to set aside a significant initial investment. Even if you decide to use an in-house developed system rather than hire a professional programmer, you still need a reliable content management system (CMS).
WordPress and Drupal are the most widely used CMS platform in the world. But what sets one apart from the other? Which is the superior option? Is it simpler? Is it more practical? Is it efficient? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Drupal versus WordPress?
Although both systems allow users to create and manage content across one or more websites, they have significant differences. Your specific website requirements will determine which CMS is best for you. Understanding how these platforms work, what their strong points are, and what benefits they offer will help you feel confident in your decision.
Drupal in 2023
Drupal is commemorating its 20th anniversary, as well as its evolution into a more relevant and easy-to-use open-source software. It is nearly impossible to lead an evolution without taking strategic initiatives. Drupal has impacted millions of people since its inception 20 years ago. Drupal is used by one out of every 30 websites on the internet, which means that most web users have come across Drupal—even if they are unaware of it.
It was a forerunner in the evolution of multi-channel content delivery. Drupal’s sophisticated architecture and platform are ready for the future of digital content, whether they’re powering conversational user interfaces (CUI) for smart devices, pushing content to digital signage for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), or serving as the core content store for augmented reality experiences.
Drupal is still evolving, serving needs all over the world and breaking into new markets. A continued positive impact on the Open Web, the cultivation of a diverse and inclusive open-source community, and a greater focus on editorial experience and usability—all to make the Drupal digital experience platform even more accessible—are among the company’s long-term goals.
Drupal’s most recent release is the most powerful and accessible version to date. With Drupal’s built-in accessibility and multilingual capabilities, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to reach the audience you want to reach with your message.
WordPress in 2023
When WordPress was first made available to the general public, the blogging industry was going through a period of transition. Since its initial release in 2003, the WordPress user interface has steadily improved. WordPress began as a simple blogging platform that provides a secure, stable, mature, and flexible platform, similar to its competitors, and has since evolved into a full-fledged content management system (CMS).
WordPress released a version this year. This update, on the other hand, came with the plugin architecture. Until now, the release of this feature has been regarded as a huge success. Several WordPress users and developers have now been able to extend the functionality of the platform by writing plugins. As a result, several plugins were created and made available to the rest of the world.
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In the beginning, only a small percentage of large businesses use WordPress as their content management system, but that is rapidly changing. Because of its extensive feature set and strict security policies, WordPress has become a popular choice for businesses of all sizes in recent years.
Drupal vs WordPress
Despite the fact that WordPress powers more than 43.2% in 2023 of all websites on the internet, it is not the only open-source content management system (CMS) available. There are also popular software options such as Drupal.
Drupal and WordPress are both open source solutions, which means you can use and develop them for free. This makes them both cost-effective and adaptable to your specific requirements. Unlike proprietary CMSs, which limit access to, and modification of their source code.
Knowing which CMS platform is right for your business depends on your short and long-term goals. Some site builders and content managers prefer WordPress to Drupal because they believe WordPress is more user-friendly. However, in order to make an accurate assessment of them, the comparison must be apples to apples between sites of comparable size, functionality, and complexity. In this article, we will determine together which CMS to choose between Drupal and WordPress according to your needs.
Drupal enables you to create more complex and customized data relationships between different types of content. While WordPress comes with two content types out of the box (posts and pages), Drupal also comes with two content types out of the box (article and basic page). Additionally, Drupal is better equipped to handle your needs if you require multiple page templates or content types. This allows you to have fine-grained control over what they can do. Drupal is able to support multiple site stakeholders in this way.
Drupal also has more advanced user permissions than WordPress. Site administrators, content editors, individualized access to private content, and more are all possible with Drupal. You can also create and define your own user roles and permissions for each role in Drupal core. Unlike WordPress, Drupal allows you to give your users multiple roles.
All of this is to say that Drupal was built by developers for developers, which is both a strength and a weakness. For one thing, content editing in Drupal is not as intuitive as it is in WordPress, and the Drupal community has had to prioritize content management in recent years. If you aren’t comfortable developing in Drupal, you’ll end up overlooking the features that make Drupal so powerful.
The WordPress CMS allows a simple and intuitive configuration of a website. An unqualified person will easily manage to build a responsive and ergonomic site. By default, WordPress is a blogging platform and therefore suitable in the first place for this type of website. On the other hand, it is possible to make more technical and personalized sites by installing some extensions.
When the site becomes more complex and personalized, with a large number of functionalities to manage, the well-known CMS begins to show its limitations.
Drupal has won this category. It’s better suited to large-scale sites because it has more customization options, allowing for the creation of a one-of-a-kind website tailored to the initial requirement. However, mastering at least the PHP language and having knowledge of web development is required for a successful website configuration.
It’s now up to you to decide whether you want to go with WordPress because it’s easy but limited, or go with Drupal and build a truly suitable website, but you’ll need a minimum of skills in this case.
Ease of Use
The majority of people who create websites are not web designers, programmers, or web developers. They are ordinary people who simply want to create a website. For the majority of users, ease of use is the most important factor.
WordPress has a well-known five-minute installation. The majority of WordPress hosting providers also provide one-click WordPress installation. This makes it relatively simple for a new user to create a WordPress blog or website in minutes rather than hours.
WordPress’s post-installation user experience is far superior to Drupal’s. The user is greeted by a straightforward user interface with menus for creating posts, pages, and customizing appearance and themes.
Drupal isn’t difficult to use, although it is more difficult to learn than WordPress. You can easily find answers to your questions thanks to the large community of WordPress users, whereas Drupal lacks the same user base or resources. Drupal is designed for advanced users, whereas WordPress provides a wealth of easy-to-use options for both beginners and advanced users.
Drupal and WordPress both have active user communities that are willing to help with documentation and questions. Drupal 8 continues to make the platform more user-friendly for non-developers, such as site builders and content authors.
For anything on the internet, security is a concept that is really vital but can never be absolutely achieved. Nothing on the internet is 100 percent safe or secure, nor can it ever be. We can only try to achieve a great level of security, and the same applies to both WordPress and Drupal, as well as any other similar piece of software.
No one wants a system that isn’t safe. You wouldn’t settle for a house without a lock on the doors, and you shouldn’t use a web development platform that isn’t secure. Fortunately, whether you choose WordPress or Drupal, you will have fortified systems that will keep intruders at bay in the vast majority of cases.
Drupal has developed a reputation for being secure and reliable over time. While it has had its share of problems, such as numerous SQL injection flaws, the Drupal community has been quick to respond and, for the most part, Drupal has fared well in terms of security threats.
WordPress, on the other hand, is not lacking in terms of security. While it is true that WordPress receives far more security threats and malware attacks than any other software, this has less to do with any potential lack of security practices and more to do with WP’s popularity.
However, when comparing Drupal to WordPress, there is less room for error in terms of security, simply because with over 75 million WordPress sites online today, it’s no surprise that websites built on the platform, as well as third-party plug-ins, have become common targets for hackers. Although the WordPress community is quick to respond to such problems, there is still room for error, as an outdated plugin can compromise a website. Because the number of such plugins and themes for Drupal is smaller, the margin for error is also smaller. WordPress is constantly working to improve the core platform’s security and sharing best practices with plug-in and theme developers.
When deciding between Drupal and WordPress, the project cost is frequently a major consideration. While WordPress may appear to be less expensive at first, Drupal is the most cost-effective solution for enterprise deployments in the long run.
WordPress is completely free. This is true if you’re talking about using the most basic functionality and themes, such as for creating a blog. However, by the time you buy hosting and a few commercial plugins or themes, you could easily be spending $40 or more per month.
Drupal does not conceal the true cost of website development behind a slew of low-cost plugins that overpromise and underdeliver. Drupal’s contributed modules are mostly free, but proper configuration and deployment will necessitate professional development services.
With increasing complexity, WordPress websites become exponentially more expensive. This is due to the fact that they are rarely deployed with a robust development environment to back them up.
Drupal projects have a higher initial cost to properly set up the development environment, but only minor cost increases to handle new feature requests during the project’s customizing phase. Many WordPress web designers neglect to prepare the environment in this way.
Support and Community
For new users, the availability of help and support options is critical. When you’re trying out new software, there will undoubtedly be some challenges. That’s fine as long as you can get assistance.
You’re already familiar with WordPress’s large user and developer community. There are also official support forums, handbooks, documentations, Codex, Slack channels, Stack Exchange, and almost every web design and development blog on the internet. There are a plethora of ways to request WordPress assistance and receive it right away.
You can even hire WordPress experts to fix the issues with your website. Because of its widespread use as a content management system, finding WordPress support is simple and inexpensive, especially for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Drupal also has a thriving user and fan community. Just like WordPress, you’ll find all of the community support options for Drupal. You can get advice and help from documentation, a support forum, mailing lists, user groups, and chat rooms.
For any given use case, the Drupal community tends to work with a single module, which either makes it into Drupal Core or becomes “canonized” to the point where it’s almost ubiquitous. WordPress, on the other hand, promotes commercial competition among plugins that perform similar functions. The monetary incentive can make them more user-friendly than Drupal counterparts, but it prevents the WordPress community from settling on a single best, free solution that is built-in or de facto official.
Drupal Best When
- You want to have more complex websites and other web projects that WordPress can’t handle. But, in order to take advantage of all that power, you’ll need to know HTML, CSS, and PHP just to keep the site running smoothly.
- You want a platform that supports several eCommerce platforms, including Ubercart, Drupal Commerce, Amazon Store, and eCommerce Invoice.
WordPress Best When
- You want to create content, make timely updates, and continuously engage with your visitors without having much technical knowledge, WordPress is a good option for you. WordPress makes it simple to create new pages and posts, display the most recent content at the top of the page, and update pages quickly and easily. WordPress makes it simple to keep your site updated with new content at all times.
- You’re looking for more options of tools, plugins, and themes.
- You want Automated upgrades with a single click.
- You are looking for an initial investment at a low cost.
Wrapping It Up
I know you were looking for a clear winner, but the question of which is better between Drupal vs WordPress can only be answered by framing the question differently. The real question: “Which is the better option for the specific needs of your website?” You’ll only be able to figure out which CMS is best for you if you ask this question.
Drupal may be the better option if you’re an advanced user, but WordPress offers far more options and a larger community. Beginners should definitely use WordPress, and advanced users will prefer WordPress customization over Drupal’s.
When evaluating the foundation of your website, consider all of the features, capabilities, and ease of use. If you intend to manage the site yourself, it’s critical to pick a CMS that matches your skills. WordPress is best for those who don’t have a lot of technical knowledge. Drupal has its benefits, but it is more difficult to learn and requires some technical knowledge.
Both Drupal and WordPress are excellent content management systems, but they have flaws. As a result, the choice of CMS is entirely dependent on the type of website you’re creating. Which option did you choose?