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Drupal vs WordPress

Drupal or WordPress: which one’s right for you?

Picking the right open-source CMS platform for your website can feel like a daunting process. Will the site meet our needs? Will it be easy to update? Will it be accessible? Will it perform well and help us meet our goals? Can the site be enhanced with different modules? What budget is required? How does it integrate with our backend systems?

Whatever your considerations, the choice commonly boils down to either WordPress or Drupal.

We’ve had plenty of conversations with our clients about which is the “right” choice and the answer is… it’s complicated. So, in this article, we give you a simplified comparison of the key WordPress and Drupal features, pros and cons, as well as some starting questions to help you figure out which one is the best option for you.


What to consider before choosing your CMS

Before we dig into the ‘which’ and ‘why’, some initial questions you’ll need to ask yourself to help identify the right CMS for your needs include:


1. Do I want to build a website or an application? 

A website is considered the digital ‘shop window’ of your business.

In its simplest explanation, a website is a collection of connected web pages containing images, text, audio, video, etc. Websites can have a single page or have several. Examples include Wikipedia and Amazon.

You need a website if you want to:

  • Showcase your products
  • Tell people about your brand
  • Have an online presence so your customers can find you
  • Publish content such as blogs or articles
  • Run promotional campaigns for your services or products

In contrast, a web app is a piece of software that can be accessed via a browser, offering high-level functionality and interactive elements. Typically, they are more complex to build and need highly experienced developers to create. Examples include Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail.

Advantages of a web app are:

  • They can be accessed on any platform
  • They are easier to maintain since they rely on the same code throughout


When it comes to building complex web apps, Drupal is usually the favourite platform. Whereas WordPress is considered more suitable for websites due to its ease of use and out of the box solutions.


2. Will my website require different levels of access?

When building a website or an application, you need to consider the different types of users/access levels needed. Generally, there are two types of website or app users:

  • your customers (the frontend user)
  • your teams  (the backend user)


For example, a backend user can have different access levels such as the ‘Super Admin’, ‘Admin’ or ‘Editor’ depending on their roles and responsibilities within the business.

A frontend user might have access levels such as ‘logged in user’ , ‘everyone’, ‘not logged in user’ or ‘logged in user with roles.’

If your website needs to cater to different audiences, you may want to consider the permissions extended to each one and the areas they are allowed to access.

Drupal boasts more advanced permissions and user roles  that offer controlled access to content, whereas WordPress is renowned for its user-friendliness and easy management for less technical people.


3. Do I want to integrate third party tools into the website or application?

Every business has unique sales or marketing needs. You might want to integrate a few elements of your Sales CRM like Salesforce within your customer-facing site to track sales, leads and other conversion goals.

Alternatively, your marketing team may want to track the success of their marketing efforts by integrating a Marketing CRM such as HubSpot or Mailchimp.

Requirements can range from being as simple as integrating a Plugin or as complex as integrating an entire Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP).


4. How will my visitors and customers engage with my website or application? 

Customer journeys vary from one business to the next. Achieving the best user experience for your particular audience is the key to a successful website or app.


5. What are the growth prospects of the website or app? 

Most businesses will want to rebrand or revamp their website or application at least once every few years. Reasons for this include:

  • Responding to current trends
  • Improving overall user experience and usability
  • Meeting the business’s growing expectations and capacity


Therefore, it is important to think about how your business will grow and develop over the next 3-5 years, the changes you may need to make to your website along the way, and how the CMS you choose may affect any future improvements you want to make.


Drupal vs. WordPress

After you’ve answered these initial questions, it’s time to look at the pros and cons of Drupal and WordPress to get a sense of which might be best suited to your business needs and goals.


Top 5 Drupal advantages

  • Flexible custom content types and views
  • In-built Access Control system that allows you to create new roles with individual permissions
  • Core support for multi-language websites unlike WordPress which requires third-party plugins
  • Enhanced security since it meets PCI Compliance requirements and supports database encryption
  • Taxonomy system that supports huge data volumes

Top 5 WordPress advantages

  • Easy to use interface, especially for non-developers
  • Ease of access to customer support due to WP’s large global community
  • Highly extensible due to easily available third-party plugins
  • Cost effective development costs due to the relative affordability of WordPress
  • Easy to update


Which CMS is the best for you and why?

Chances are you skipped everything and came straight to this section hoping for the answer! But the reality is, there is no definitive answer as to whether WordPress, Drupal, or any other CMS is “better” for your website. It all comes down to your needs as a business.


In summary:

  • Drupal is the more advanced of these two open-source CMSs since it is highly extensible, with an enhanced level of security
  • WordPress is the most affordable, easy-to-use platform of the two with more out-of-the-box solutions, but this comes at the expense of extensibility and ability to manage more nuanced business cases


Therefore, it is always advisable to start with identifying your unique business needs using the questions above, then choose the CMS that will help you best achieve your goals and suit the day-to-day needs of your teams and customers.

Still confused? That’s why we’re here. Drop us a line, and let’s have a conversation.

Get in touch with the team to discuss your idea, project or business.