Kanopi Dev Team Jumping
November 2, 2020

Drupal vs. WordPress: Which One is Right For You?

More than half of all websites now use a content management system (CMS) to provide structure, allow for advanced functionality, and manage the content that drives the user experience.

Maybe you’re happy with the CMS you’re using, or you’re considering switching. This guide will explain the advantages of two of the most popular CMS platforms on the market: Drupal and WordPress

Drupal and WordPress are often compared to each other since they are both “open-source,” meaning they’re freely available for anyone to download and can be expanded with additional or modified code. Because of their scalability and flexibility, Drupal and WordPress are both viable options for organizations of any size. Great websites can be built on either one.

WordPress is not only a ‘fancy-blogging’ platform and Drupal isn’t just a CMS for ‘super-proficient-coders.’

cms2cms.com

Table of Contents

Finding the right CMS is something that we at Kanopi can help you with. Get in touch with us now!

Drupal vs. WordPress: Why They’re Both Great

At Kanopi, we build great websites for our clients on both platforms. Here are some of the reasons why both CMS solutions are a great option:

Strong community support

Both platforms give you access to a strong community of developers and users who can help you with solutions and troubleshooting.

They’re both open source 

Drupal and WordPress are both open source solutions, so they’re free to use and highly customizable.

Easy to use

While they may vary in ease, both platforms are generally considered easy to use and maintain. 

So which one is best for your organization? What are the pros and cons of each? All of these questions and more will be answered in this guide.

Choosing the right CMS for your needs is something that we at Kanopi can help you with. Get in touch with us now!

Drupal Overview

Currently, Drupal powers 1.5% of all websites and has a 2.5% share of the content management system market. Drupal also powers 10% of the top 10,000 websites. Drupal’s core provides base functionality and features that can be extended with community-contributed code. From there, you can build on your platform with additional capabilities made by Drupal or others in the community.

Drupal 9, the latest version, was launched in June 2020. Understanding Drupal’s versions and how they relate to your functionality can help when figuring out which version is best for you. We have a dedicated article on Drupal planning and development if you want to take a deeper dive into the versions of Drupal and future planning for a Drupal site. 

Drupal is an expandable framework that has both out of the box functionality that can create an amazing digital experience and the ability to expand upon that platform with advanced features. 

Here are some of the benefits of using Drupal:

  • Customized content modeling Drupal offers the ability to customize content types, fields, and content presentation to meet any content strategy. 
  • Easy control access/user permissions — Drupal has a built-in access control system where you can create new visitor and administrator groups with granular permissions, for anywhere from a few users to hundreds of thousands.
  • Multilingual functionality — Starting with Drupal 8, different versions of the same content can be presented in multiple languages out of the box.
  • Data management — Drupal’s taxonomy system is flexible and ideal for handling lots of content metadata.
  • Security — Drupal has a dedicated security team that evaluates widely used modules for any vulnerabilities.
  • Accessibility — Drupal is committed to aligning the back-end editing experience with WCAG 2.0 guidelines as much as possible, making it a great choice for users who need assistive technologies when creating content and maintaining sites.
  • Inline editing — For simple layouts, Drupal provides the ability to edit content while “looking at” your site. Keep in mind that as content gets more customized and complex, this is more difficult to use.
  • Customizable layouts — The built-in Drupal system for managing “blocks” of content for sidebars, footers, and other areas allows for detailed control over which pages and contexts in which the content appears. Additionally, it makes it easier to show the same, editable piece of content site-wide.
  • SEO optimizations —- Free community modules extend Drupal’s core offering human-readable URLs, XML sitemaps, advanced meta tag, and schema.org vocabularies.
  • Media management —- Drupal ships with a robust Media Library for managing images, videos, documents, and audio files.
  • Integrations — Drupal integrates with a wide range of third party applications including Salesforce, Marketo, Hubspot, SugarCRM, Xoom, PayPal, SAP, PHP Cart, social media platforms, and Google checkout.

Back to Table of Contents

WordPress Overview

Currently, WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS. Originally launched in 2003 as a simple blogging platform, WordPress now supports 38.6% of all websites.

Similar to Drupal, WordPress is a free and open-source CMS that many organizations and businesses use. You can fully customize your WordPress website easily and quickly, with a variety of plugins and themes. 

Here are some of the benefits of using WordPress:

  • Intuitive and easy to use — WordPress is very user-friendly, especially for non-developers.
  • Speed to market — It’s possible to whip up WordPress sites very quickly to test out new ideas, features, and approaches.
  • Flexible editing experience — The built-in Gutenberg editor and plugins that add additional types of Gutenberg blocks make it easy to visually create a wide variety of layouts for your content.
  • Extensibility — WordPress’ third-party theme and plugin communities make it similarly easy to extend WordPress without the need for custom development. 
  • Ease of getting help — WordPress has a massive global community thanks to its open-source network, meaning that it’s easy to find support for any issue.
  • SEO optimizations — WordPress has built-in support for human-readable URLs that is easy to manage.
  • Media management — The built-in media manager for WordPress is robust, intuitive, and extensible.
  • Integrations — If you use specialized systems to manage your email lists and customer relationships, chances are that these integrations already exist and are maintained by the tools themselves for WordPress.

Back to Table of Contents

Drupal vs. WordPress: Comparing Features

Let’s take a closer look at the actual similarities and differences between Drupal and WordPress. In order to break down this information and make it easier to digest, we’ll be dividing our comparisons through ease of use, SEO, customizability, and security. 

Ease of Use

In general, WordPress provides the easier admin user experience, although Drupal is coming close with their recent version releases. The WordPress interface is simple for even the most casual of users to grasp — there’s no need for an expert coder or another third party to step in. WordPress also has more ready-made themes available from sites like ThemeForest, which can help with cost and timeline barriers.

If you decide to use WordPress, it’ll likely take less time to find a great theme and set up a fully functioning site than with Drupal. Drupal themes do exist, but many Drupal websites actually use custom-coded themes, or at least one that’s highly customized. This is why many Drupal users end up reaching out to developers to make their site work properly and look good. Drupal has become the clear leader as an enterprise-level CMS platform for more complex projects. 

While Drupal may require more technical experience and help than WordPress does, this can show in the end product. Drupal is a great option for companies that have more robust, design-heavy requirements, or a lot of customization.

SEO

In reality search engines don’t really care which CMS a website is built on. Both WordPress and Drupal are good for SEO. They both offer SEO features and extensions that can be integrated into the platforms to help with good SERP ranking. 

Customizability 

Thanks to their open-source code, both Drupal and WordPress have ample opportunities for you to expand and customize your CMS to your organization’s needs:

While WordPress is famous for its clean, consistent administrative interface, Drupal allows you to apply different administrative themes to your website or even use your public-facing theme as part of your site management and editing experience.

Security

Having a secure website is one of the most essential components to consider. Whether your website hosts important organizational data or processes your constituents’ financial information, you need ample security and protective steps to ward off data breaches or hackers.

Both core systems have some sort of security measures in place. However, WordPress’ massive third-party plugin ecosystem introduces some risks that aren’t as prevalent in Drupal and its modules.

Plugin vulnerabilities actually account for 55.9% of all known entry points of malicious actors. According to Sucuri’s analysis, a website security & protection platform, WordPress is also the CMS that 74% of hacked websites use.
On the other hand, one of Drupal’s top features is its enterprise-level security and ability to provide in-depth security reports. In fact, this is a driving factor for why Drupal is often used by government institutions and other large, security-conscious organizations. Sucuri even states that Drupal only accounted for 2% of the hacked websites.

Choosing the Right CMS: Drupal or WordPress

In the end, it’s hard to simply compare Drupal and WordPress and pick the “better” CMS. Realistically, there is no best overall CMS, but it is worth it to explore the differences to consider which solution is right for your unique situation and needs.

Taking in the facts above, WordPress is a great solution with its wide range of plugins and extendability options. It’s easy to use, can be set up quickly, and you have access to a great community of developers if you ever have a support question.

However, if you are building a more complex site that will facilitate lots of important data and metrics, Drupal might be a better choice for its high security features. You can still expand and customize your system, but it might just take a little longer. 

For both options, you have the opportunity to partner with a dedicated website service agency, like Kanopi. Kanopi knows that all organizations and websites are different — they come with their own needs and have different goals. We can aid your journey by learning about your mission and develop the best website for your organization.

On top of helping you figure out the best CMS for your needs, the Kanopi team can:

  • Promote a continuous improvement approach to ensure that your website is always up to date, working properly, and set up for long term growth. This includes module/plugin upgrades, bug fixes, security patches, third-party integrations, and more.
  • Provide a website growth plan. We don’t just help you set up your website and leave you high and dry. Whether it’s supporting your Drupal 7 system or training your own team to update your website to Drupal 8, 9 or WordPress, we make sure you have actionable next steps to follow.

Interested in a partnership with Kanopi? It doesn’t matter what CMS you use, we would love to hear from you and get started on making your website the best it can be. 

Back to Table of Contents