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Which Content Management System is Best – WordPress or Drupal?

content management systems

 Foreman vs. Ali. Batman v. Superman. Freddy vs. Jason… WordPress vs. Drupal!

Hold up. WordPress vs. Drupal?

Is this really what it’s come to? Can we not even develop websites without pitting the two most prominent content management systems against one another in a no-holds-barred, winner-take-all, beat the snot out of each other battle to the death (or, at least, deprogramming)?

No?

Cool. Then let the battle begin.

But, First, a Bit on Content Management Systems

Consider this the undercard.

Open-source, non-proprietary CMS systems like WordPress and Drupal are widely available for anyone to use and develop. Such systems facilitate the creation of professional websites by users who have little to no knowledge of coding. Dashboard systems allow users to login and publish, edit, and manage content.

Open-source systems provide incredible flexibility, as they are supported and frequently updated by multiple communities of volunteers and developers online. With proprietary systems, website owners are at the mercy of the web company they initially hired – even if that company ultimately shuts its doors.

But open-source allows for a more nomadic existence. Nonprofit organizations, for example, do not need to be tied down to one company and can move from developer to developer as needed.

In short, open source CMS systems offer a cost-effective, customizable means of building a site from top to bottom, thanks to a staggering library of plugins and templates.

Both WordPress and Drupal are free open-source CMS systems.

And that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

ROUND 1: Market Share

There’s no question: WordPress is the reigning champ when it comes to sheer volume.

WordPress is responsible for 31% of all websites on the Internet. With nearly 160 million downloads, compared to Drupal’s current tally of 30 million, it is by far the most popular CMS system in the world.

It’s also the most prolific, in terms of service offerings. Consider the breakdown (and check out this infographic):

WordPress

  • Offers nearly 10,000 free themes
  • 53,000 free plugins
  • Serving 75 million websites

Drupal

  • Offers more than 2,500 free themes
  • 39,000 free plugins (or in Drupal-ese, “modules”)
  • Serving 1.1 million websites

ROUND 2: Ease of Use  

Despite WordPress’s global dominance, Drupal actually predates it by two years. Created in 2001 by University of Antwerp students, the CMS was designed by developers for developers. Because of that, it has garnered a reputation for being much more complicated to learn and use. WordPress, on the other hand, was originally designed as a blogging platform, and is renowned for its out-of-the-box simplicity.

Drupal is intended to be used for highly-customized websites featuring massive amounts of content. Its advanced functionality and myriad options for customization require respective technical skill by the user, or the (costly) procurement of a developer.

Much of WordPress’s popularity is due to its “plug-and-play” functionality, and its widespread community support. WordPress is continuously being updated and improved by online volunteers, and bugs are swiftly identified and corrected. (TIP: Be sure to consistently maintain updates to ensure the security of your WordPress site.)

Consider the following:

Drupal

  • Advanced functionality and features, including multiple page templates
  • Advanced user permissions
  • Drupal 8 includes out-of-the-box support for multilingual sites (Comparatively, WordPress must rely on plugins)
  • Support can be more expensive for Drupal

WordPress

  • Requires only basic knowledge to use (a WYSIWYG editor makes posting simple for newbies)
  • Offers a lion’s share of free and paid themes
  • Multitude of user-friendly plugins (SEO, Social Media, etc.) that do not require the assistance of a developer
  • Easily accessible support via global, online community
  • Excellent native mobile app for editing on-the-go
  • Smaller margin of error where SEO is concerned, thanks to easily indexed frameworks, fast load times, and plugins such as Yoast

ROUND 3: Security

Security is a significant differentiator between Drupal and WordPress. Drupal has the distinct edge, offering enterprise level security. The CMS is frequently used by government entities for this reason.

WordPress’s popularity is, ironically, what knocks it down a few pegs on the security ladder, as its abundance of third-party plugins make it more vulnerable to cyberattacks and hacks.

So, the Winner Is?…

You’re the winner. Assuming you know what you want.

Both Drupal and WordPress have their respective pros and cons, dependent upon the website being created. When choosing a CMS, ask yourself what kind of site you need, and what the best tool would be for the job.

Based on the numbers alone, WordPress is an ideal option for businesses of various sizes desiring ease-of-use, efficient design, and rapid deployment.

Drupal, on the other hand, can be a great choice for highly-customized sites requiring massive amounts of content, assuming you have a skilled developer on deck.

Need help? The IMPACT team can steer you in the right direction. We have experience with both WordPress and Drupal, and we specialize in crafting engaging, effective, and optimized websites for any client or industry. Contact us today to set up a consultation.

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