So you are planning to start your own website, but can’t decide which CMS to build it on?
Two common rivals in this field are WordPress and Drupal. Their competition has been on about ever since they were made – Drupal being the older child “born” in 2001, and WordPress the younger one “born” in 2003.
The truth is that they are both seen as brilliant tools for making websites, but they also have various strengths and weaknesses.
WordPress has definitely gathered a lot of popularity during the years, but Drupal is still more versatile.
The fact is that there are a number of pros and cons for both of them, when it comes to:
- Updates and
- Skill necessity
But in the end, the choice depends on which one better serves the purpose you are after.
So, how do you choose the right CMS for your website “WordPress or Drupal”?
In this article, we are going to discuss what’s good and what’s bad about both WordPress and Drupal, and help you decide.
Factor #1: Security
When it comes to WordPress, security issues come along with the territory of being popular. Third-party plugins are simply a necessity for you to do your best to keep your website safe and sound from hackers.
Drupal has had breaches within its extension modules, but is still generally a safer solution, and covers more security vulnerabilities.
Therefore it is no wonder that it’s used by banks and huge businesses that have to protect a lot of personal information. A lot of big websites use Drupal, including The Economist.
Another issue with WordPress is that it isn’t compatible with older plugins. What this means is that with every new WordPress release, you have to update all your plugins as well, or they will be vulnerable to attackers. Therefore, updating everything in time is of an essence.
Factor #2: User-Friendliness
WordPress takes the lead in this case, being very easy and quick to install and having an intuitive backend. Implementing plugins is easy, and making WordPress into a fully developed Content Management System is no big deal.
If you are new to web design, WordPress makes the job simple enough for you. This makes WordPress extremely popular among semi-professional webmasters.
However, when it comes to administrating a multi-domain system and content that works for various languages, things get a little more complicated. Even though there are plugins that can help you manage this, the process becomes a little less intuitive.
On the other hand, Drupal comes with a streamlined basic installation. It consists out of modules that make it possible for you to create versatile and complex projects.
Due to the fact that these modules have to be implemented manually after the original installation, Drupal is generally made to be much more extensive than its younger sibling.
Installing these extensions is made more complicated by the fact that it has to be done via FTP instead of from an administrative panel.
Many of the modules depend on one another, and some aren’t backwards compatible, which makes updating them a complicated task. Designing a Drupal website is most often left to professionals.
Factor #3: Customization
Almost every webmaster wants their website to offer a unique experience, which makes customization an important factor. Modules and plugins are what implements new functionalities to the website, but what truly affects the site’s design are themes.
Expert web developers Sydney state that if you are experienced enough, you can even build a theme of your own for both Drupal and WordPress.
However, beginners are after premade themes that they can download and install. This is where WordPress takes the lead, because it offers a lot more design options and extensions.
This is due to a large community of developers that stand behind it and create new content frequently. WordPress may win the race when it comes to how much themes it offers, but Drupal isn’t that far behind.
Factor #4: SEO
Generally, Google doesn’t prefer one CMS over the other. However, both of them have certain extensions that improve search engine optimization.
Drupal is made to work with a huge amount of content, and comes with its own database caching, which makes the websites that run on it load fast by default.
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WordPress may not come with this, but there is a variety of caching plugins that you can install.
The part where WordPress beats Drupal is native creation of URLs that are search engine friendly. With Drupal, you can do this only by installing a module for that purpose.
Factor #5: Flexibility
WordPress provides you with the ability to create a great number of simplistic designs, such as blogs, e-commerce stores, and business portfolios.
However, Drupal offers you with much more capabilities. While it is generally known as a CMS that is used for making huge, powerful websites that deal with a lot of users and pages, you can also use it to create simple websites just like WordPress, such as articles, product listings, and event listings.
Furthermore, you can make your own type of content. This means that Drupal is more flexible than WordPress, and enables you to start from basic functionalities to create a blog, and work your way to building a full-blown, powerful website.
The main difference between the two siblings is that WordPress is made primarily for bloggers and private users, while Drupal is a versatile and flexible CMS used by public establishments and companies.
Drupal does have a steep learning curve, but it provides you with the capability to create pages with complex structures, and powerful websites that can host a huge amount of content and provide for a large number of users.
WordPress takes the lead when it comes to the variety of design capabilities, focusing on website aesthetics and the ease of use when it comes to making your own themes.
Basically, WordPress is more intuitive and easier to use, while Drupal offers more versatile options.
In the end the choice is up to you, based on what kind of website you want to make and what you want to accomplish with it.