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Drupal vs. WordPress
Which one should you use?

Deciding which Content Management System (CMS) to use can always be a difficult task. Drupal and WordPress, both being PHP coded systems, are two platforms which are frequently compared against each other. Both are great CMS’s and suited to many different types of websites however, they differ in many ways. We have outlined below the pros and cons of each system, understanding these will help determine which of these systems will best suit your needs and help get the most out of your website.

Ease of Use

For someone with limited web knowledge WordPress is easier to understand and very user friendly. If editing on the go, WordPress offers a great mobile app which allows you to write, edit and post articles easily. In comparison Drupal’s back-end is much more complicated, requires more technical experience but is capable of producing much more technically advanced websites.

WordPress has a large community of users happy to share their own experiences and to help with queries. This comes in very useful to answer queries and when looking for ways to improve your site. Drupal also has a community, but it is nowhere near as large as the WordPress community.

Functionality

Drupal provides a greater level of functionality to WordPress, meaning it is capable of handling multiple page templates, content types and multi-lingual sites. Furthermore, Drupal allows multiple permission levels to provide individual user access and support numerous stakeholders. You can provide basic access to some content editors and full access to technical support. However, if you don’t know how to use this enhanced functionality it is of little benefit. 

Customising options

WordPress provides a large library of themes and plugins to customise your website which offers a very quick, easy way to design and build your website. Similar to plugins Drupal offers modules but the variety is not as large. The majority of Drupal is designed for custom development allowing a website to be build specific to your brands requirements.

Flexibility

WordPress is a great starting platform to build your website, originally designed as a blogging platform it features outside of this are somewhat limited. In comparison Drupal has the capability to handle very large volumes of content and is best set-up to handle complex projects.

Responsive design

Drupal and WordPress both offer mobile responsive themes.  The difference between the platforms is how they handle mobile content whereby, Drupal allows you to have extra content fields that display only on mobile. WordPress doesn’t offer this feature.

Security

Security is one area which greatly separates WordPress and Drupal. Drupal has enterprise level security, which is why many governmental departments use Drupal. WordPress has many plugins available to provide security features, however, these are considered not as advanced and can have vulnerabilities.  Given WordPress’ popularity it is a target for hackers. It is the responsibility of the website administrator to continually update to the latest version of the WordPress plugin.

 

SEO

SEO per se isn’t better on one platform versus the other. Both WordPress and Drupal have SEO best practices built in. WordPress also offers plugins to enhance SEO, however, there are features offered by Drupal that make it more SEO friendly. This includes default caching features which increase page load speed and content delivery networks to serve assets closest to local distribution point. Search engines gives preference to website which load faster. Drupal is also better equipped to handle large volumes of content, and content is great for SEO. 

Conclusion

Drupal and WordPress both offer great tools and are suited to different types of websites.

Drupal can support anything from a simple one page site to large multi-national websites. It is the CMS of choice for Enterprise level websites and web applications. If you have a website that is complex, requires customised design unique to your brand, multiple page templates, different user permissions or enterprise level security this is a good option.

WordPress is perfect for smaller general marketing websites with minimal content types and page templates. It is quick and easy to set-up and offers some great themes and plugins without the need for intensive development.

Your individual website needs will play a role in which CMS makes the most sense for you. 

Monique Oosterbaan

Author: Monique Oosterbaan
Published: 24/08/2017