There has been and there will always be a debate about which CMS (content management system) is the best. Most times the argument has been centered on these two CMS “Juggernauts”: Drupal (2001) and WordPress(2003). Before you go ahead and tell your mind WordPress is the better choice, you should know that Drupal is indeed a beast of its own (That is of course, if you can handle it.)
While WordPress may be popular with more than 60 million websites and chucking up 23.3% of top 10 million websites (as at January, 2015), Drupal is more versatile; and multi faceted. The basic differentiator is the community surrounding each, which WordPress smashes to bits with over 160 million downloads.
This article wasn’t written to be bias but rather for you, the readers, to decide on which CMS is best for you. It all boils down to your business needs. So read on, the key differentiators between these two amazing rival CMSs and decide which would suit the requirements of your website/blog.
WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a CMS released on May 27, 2003; 11 years ago. Since that time, WordPress has gathered a staggering 140 million plus downloads and more than 60 million websites built on its platform. Its popularity is based mostly on the fact that it is very easy to use. (Even an 8th grader can use WordPress effectively due to its small learning curve). WordPress first started as a blog building platform but has now expanded to building websites that contain lots of content.
Some big sites using WordPress are:
- New York Times.
- And lots more… (Many big names here though)
- Easy to install and use.
- Easy to update and manage (Its ease of use cannot be over-stressed.)
- Large community.
- Thousands and thousands of Plug-ins, (many are free.)
- Thousands of graphics templates.
- Allows for multi-user and multi-blogging.
- SEO-friendly (search engines love WordPress sites due to its clean design.)
- Mobile ready, etc…
Here are a few:
- Poor security
- Modification of websites requires technical know-how of coding.
- Making big e-commerce projects on WordPress might be a problem.
- WordPress multisite configuration process is also technical.
- Too much updates on plug-ins and software.
- WordPress is not as easy as it seems. (Knowledge of HTML, CSS code later comes into play.)
Drupal is an open source content management system released on 19 November, 2001 (13 years ago). From that time, there are more than 1 million websites built on its platform (Definitely not as popular as WordPress). Although Drupal can be used to develop a wide variety of sites, ranging from personal blogs to corporate, political and government websites, it isn’t as popular as WordPress in the sense that Drupal is seen as difficult and not easy to learn. Drupal is so powerful that you can build any website that comes to mind but that sort of customization work is tailored to advanced users and experienced developers. Due to its effective security, Drupal was preferred in making government sites like WhiteHouse.gov.
Other Top sites using Drupal are:
- Popular Science
- Warner Brothers Records
- The Economy
- And Many More…
- Good security
- Page content management
- Web design flexibility.
- Extensive API support.
- SEO friendly.
- Mobile ready.
- Variety of content type. Etc
- Hard to install and modify
- Not user – friendly.
- Drupal is complex and heavy, i.e it takes some time to learn and takes up plenty of memory.
Head to Head
This is the biggest tiebreaker between WordPress and Drupal. Drupal takes security seriously. Many government and political websites are built with Drupal; this without a doubt underlines its security. WordPress on the other hand is less secure and is vulnerable to hacker activity. So therefore, in the case of security, Drupal wins.
Plug-ins and Themes
WordPress wins in this case because it offers more than 30,000 plug-ins while Drupal (plug-ins are called modules) offers considerably less. Also in terms of themes, WordPress offers more than Drupal does; both free and paid combined. You might ask if numbers matter. It does because it gives you more choices to select from. So, in the case of more plug-ins and themes, WordPress wins.
Website Customization and Design capabilities
While with wordpress, you can easily customize your website and make it look more appealing, Drupal stands on the winning side. Unlike WordPress where design options are limited, Drupal offers much more in design and website customization. Drupal has so many impressive tools which allow developers the ability to develop creative and unique designs for websites. WordPress isn’t that worse off, it comes with thousands of many themes. Also, the ease of wordpress cannot be exaggerated because you can change layout, colours, add images and all sorts of custimisation with ease. In the end, Drupal wins because it gives you plenty of customization.
In this case, both WordPress and Drupal can hardly be separated. Both were made to develop sites for SEO purpose. Although, it might be important to note that SEO tactics are evolving and it is becoming more content-focused. Due to this change, Drupal which can allow for large volumes of content is a better choice. But we can’t deny the fact that the clean design of WordPress sites are adored by search engines like Google. Point is, you can never go wrong with any choice you make.
Large content capacity
For sites that offer a lot of content due to their industry, e.g Amazon Drupal is the preferred choice. Sites built with wordpress are mainly blogs or small websites and do not offer too much content. But then, if your business goals require large content then Drupal is the right choice. If not, anyone goes.
Multiple Author Participation
WordPress was built to be able to accommodate several authors or guest bloggers. For businesses that have this as a priority, WordPress is the best CMS for this. Drupal also offers such features but in the end, WordPress does it better.
Community and tech- support
WordPress has a wider community than Drupal does. In case of difficulties arising from developing a website, developers can easily inquire about certain problems they face from the large community and get instant and helpful feedback. Also, WordPress has tutorials in form of videos and such which help facilitate your learning of the system. Drupal on the other hand has low community support and it may be difficult to get the help you need. WordPress wins because of its large community support.
Number of features
WordPress constantly update stuffs so it definitely has to have a higher number of features than Drupal. Compared to Drupal, these features are easy to learn and use. The winner here is, WordPress.
Drupal is more flexible than WordPress. While wordpress can create varieties of simple designs, e.g blogs or a commerce store, it still cannot match the Drupal’s flexibility. Drupal may be widely known for its use in developing powerful websites that can handle immense amounts of contents, pages and users; it can also be used to develop simple sites. As well as developing powerful website goes, Drupal can be used to make blogs and small personal websites as well. Not to take anything away from WordPress which can also be used to develop big sites but difficulties may occur if one tries to. Drupal is certainly more flexible.
In summary, both CMS are amazing but with their slight differences and differing strengths. Right now, both WordPress and Drupal look set for the future regardless of the debates about them. After reading all that, you can ask yourself:
Why should I choose WordPress? If you have little or no knowledge about HTML/CSS/JS etc codes, then you can use WordPress because of its ease of use.
Why should I choose Drupal? If you’re an advanced user, you should choose Drupal.
In the end, your business needs decides the CMS you need. Truth be told, with better SEO, more features, large community and an easier platform, WordPress is the CMS to use. There are sometimes though when you realize Drupal should be used.