WordPress or Drupal: Which Is the Right One for You?

 

Key Takeaways

  • Customer Management Systems (CMS) refer to platforms used to make a website. Popular choices are WordPress and Drupal. 
  • WordPress and Drupal are both customizable but each has its own pros and cons.
  • Web development is easier for both platforms if you have a template to follow.

In the content management system arena, one rivalry stands out and seems to have no end: WordPress vs. Drupal. Each has tons of features and functionality, its loyal followings and support bases, and an extensive list of popular websites that it powers. However, despite both being reputable content management systems, the debate on whether one is better than the other rages on. 

For that reason, we explored five main features web developers usually consider when choosing a CMS platform.  

Ease of Use

Since WordPress is simple to use, requiring no programming skills, and packed with a wide range of free themes, it has become the first choice for millions of individuals and businesses across the planet. It may be straightforward in terms of usability, but WordPress has a lot more depth than what you can see on its surface. Despite having a massive bank of themes, the platform still allows users to get custom coded themes with the help of a developer.

Drupal, by comparison, is more technical and has a steep learning curve. With advanced customization options, it is most often used by seasoned developers in creating complex sites. Skilled developers can also customize Drupal’s backend to make it as intuitive as WordPress. 

If you don’t have the time to learn Drupal, or lack sufficient HTML or CSS skills, consider hiring a professional. However, keep in mind that Drupal developers might be more expensive and difficult to find than WordPress developers. 

Search Engine Optimization

WordPress and Drupal are adequately armed with plugins and modules for enhanced search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure your site will do well in terms of ranking and search results.

The almighty Google is neutral when it comes to what CMS you use. When evaluating for SEO, the world’s most popular search engine will only consider your site’s content, authority, mobile-friendliness, and adherence to SEO norms.  If you’re using a theme provided by either platform, make sure it’s fully functional on mobile devices.

While WordPress users have a wide range of amazing plugins that can help boost your site’s ranking, Drupal has Yoast SEO, a real-time page analysis that ensures your content pleases both search engines and users. Moreover, often unknown to non-users of Drupal, the software offers SEO-friendly features that WordPress lacks if external plugins are not available. For example, Drupal Out of the Box supports native caching, while WordPress requires additional plugins for caching.

Page caching is important because it leads to ultra-fast load time, which is a very useful metric to increase a site’s ranking. 

Security

While security is vital for anything on the internet, it can never be absolutely achieved. Although we continuously try to improve security, nothing on the internet can ever be 100% safe or secure. The same applies to WordPress and Drupal.   

One downside of WordPress is its popularity. Being the most used CMS in the world makes it an easy target for hackers. This doesn’t mean WordPress lacks security practices, it’s just a consequence of its global popularity and ease of use.   

Since WordPress can easily be set up by non-developers, millions of sites that use the platform are not configured securely. But the security capabilities are there. They just need to be handled by seasoned developers.

Drupal sites, on the other hand, are usually configured by seasoned developers who know how to implement web security measures. This helps allow the platform to fare well in terms of combating hackers and other security threats. Over the years, Drupal, although it has its own share of issues, has earned a reputation for its robust and secure performance. 

You will less likely experience security issues with Drupal than WordPress simply because the latter, apart from being poorly coded, provides a ridiculously huge number of readily available plugins and themes. Once a plugin becomes obsolete, it can potentially comprise a website. Since Drupal has a smaller number of plugins and themes, the window for error is smaller.  

Design and Customization

Customization options in Drupal and WordPress are endless. Both offer a wide selection of free and premium themes and plugins, or, if you want to stand out, you can ask a web developer for a customized theme. With the right combination of WordPress plugins and themes, you can create a job board, blog, business website, and a whole lot more. WordPress’ simplicity is highly appealing. It is still the way to go for non-developers. 

The extensions and modules of Drupal are comparatively smaller compared to WordPress, but that doesn’t mean the platform is not customizable. A lot can be achieved with Drupal, but the learning curve is steeper, and it demands more effort for complex projects. The creative freedom Drupal gives to developers is probably the reason a lot of Drupal sites are unique.

While both platforms offer certain flexibility, Drupal is more preferred for supporting extensive customization.

Costs

Although both WordPress and Drupal are free, open-source platforms, you will still need to spend on web hosting and operations. Consider also the costs of learning and training when comparing the two platforms. Budget more time with Drupal. If you decide to hire experts, keep in mind that you might pay more for Drupal developers, which are in greater demand.

Both WordPress and Drupal provide tons of free plugins and templates. But down the road, you might decide to go for the paid options and spend some money to enhance your site. So before choosing a CMS, think it through.    

Get the skills to excel in the field of web development by taking up the Accelerated WordPress Open Source Development or the Drupal Open Source Development and eCommerce Diploma Program at Q College.

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