WordPress vs. Drupal
When choosing a content management system (CMS), many people look to WordPress or Drupal, two of the largest providers on the market right now. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but one can benefit your company more than the other.
Choosing the right CMS for your business is about realizing your vision, convincing the end user, and differentiating yourself from the competition. Drupal and WordPress happen to be two of the most widely used CMS platforms out there, and both have tons of customizable features.
Still, Drupal requires more technical experience than WordPress, and the costs associated with using these platforms vary widely. Find out more about these two platforms, how to use them, and the benefits of each.
What are the advantages of WordPress?
WordPress is the fastest growing CMS in the world. It currently makes up about a third of the total internet, including 14.7% of the top 100 websites in the world, and for good reason. This powerful platform comes with thousands of customization features and plugins, some of which are paid, that will help you grow your website in a way that suits your business's needs.
Even if WordPress powers much of the internet, you don't have to worry about your website looking like everyone else's. You can easily customize the look of your website using the platform's built-in tools without much technical know-how.
Create and host blogs, vlogs, and more
Blog title Big Drop
While a lot of the websites on WordPress are rather simple blogs with text and images, you can use the platform to host all kinds of content, including portfolios, videos, podcasts, social networks, and e-commerce stores. No matter what type of website you need to build, WordPress can be used.
How easy is WordPress to use?
One of the greatest advantages of using WordPress is that anyone can learn to use this platform in just a few minutes. It has an extremely user-friendly interface with clearly labeled buttons, tags, and customization functions. You can copy / paste your content right into the platform, drag and drop images, create unique frames and headings, and quickly optimize your pages for SEO.
This is why WordPress has taken over so much of the web as we know it today. New business owners and startups with little technical experience can quickly upload their content without hiring a professional web designer. If you and your team are eager to start creating content without learning a new programming language or building a website from scratch, WordPress is behind you.
Responsive, mobile-friendly websites
WordPress does a great job of creating a responsive website too. Almost all of their topics are mobile friendly so you don't have to worry about turning off some of your viewers or getting penalized by Google for not having a mobile friendly website.
Open source website themes
It's also open source, which means that the original source code is made available to other users. This makes it easy to quickly develop new pages without starting from scratch.
Disadvantages of WordPress
While WordPress can be an easy choice for those looking to build a website, that doesn't mean it comes without reservations of its own. There are several drawbacks to WordPress that one should consider when choosing a CMS.
Determining the total cost of your website
While the base WordPress platform is free, you can easily spend a lot of money on additional plugins and themes. Understanding your overall budget is crucial when choosing a CMS platform.
You should know exactly how much to spend on your CMS, and you may need to play around with WordPress for a while before you really understand the full cost of the program based on your customization preferences.
WordPress also comes with lots of updates, many of which will improve the platform and your website. But installing new updates is also associated with an overview. You should regularly evaluate your website after installing these updates.
A simple update could change the layout or the usability of your website. Some of these updates could also pose a security risk. A member of your team will have to spend some time monitoring your website as new plugins and updates become available.
Some of these plugins and updates can also slow down your website. Speed is critical when it comes to conversions and SEO, so you should also check your website speed regularly to make sure it is performing as it should.
What are the benefits of Drupal?
While Drupal has its fair share of dedicated users, it can't be compared to WordPress in terms of market share. Drupal currently hosts 2.3 % of all websites, but that includes some high profile clients including a number of reputable universities and The Economist magazine. Drupal allows you to host and develop all kinds of content, including simple blogs, videos, social groups, and online surveys.
(Almost) endlessly customizable features of Drupal
Like WordPress, Drupal has tons of customizable features that you can use to create the perfect user experience. Like WordPress, it's open source and comes with ample technical support in case you and your team run into problems. You can also rest assured that your website is mobile friendly.
Keep your website secure
Drupal is known as one of the most secure CMS platforms, making it a great choice for publications and organizations that need to keep their content online securely, 24/7.
How much does a website cost?
Unlike WordPress, which offers thousands of plugins at varying costs, Drupal makes it easier to figure out the total cost of your website from the start. While the actual platform may not cost as much to use as WordPress, using Drupal you will likely have to pay for a professional developer, which could add to the overall cost of your project.
Access granted! Easily define individual user authorizations
With Drupal it is easy to assign individual user permissions to each of your team members. When you have a large team, you can make sure that each member can only access certain aspects of your website. This is really handy when you are working with a remote team and you want to assign different tasks to each of your employees.
Easy migration to another CMS
If you already have a website and need to migrate it to another CMS, Drupal makes it easy for you. To migrate Drupal to WordPress, download either the CMS2CMS plugin or the FG Drupal to WordPress plugin. You may need to make some adjustments after the migration, but most of your content should be intact.
Disadvantages of Drupal
Drupal has its own drawbacks, just like WordPress or any other CMS. There are a number of complaints about Drupal, including that it is not exactly user-friendly or that it can affect the overall performance of your website if not optimized properly. These are some of the most common complaints users experience while using Drupal.
Website developers wanted (or needed!)
While WordPress is great for beginners, Drupal does require some technical know-how. Even some seasoned developers may have difficulty using the platform for the first time. You will need to hire a professional website developer with Drupal experience if you plan to use this CMS which will affect your budget for the project.
Drupal can come with a steep learning curve for those without the technical expertise; another user complaint has is that the number of resources that Drupal takes to run. If you are going to use Drupal you need to become a master of caching and tweaking, to say the least.
Choosing the right CMS - 5 tips to keep in mind
In choosing the right CMS, we can approach this in a simple way - if you want to create a simple blog asap, go with WordPress. If you want to build a complicated website, try both platforms, realize your vision, and then compare the total cost of both platforms. If you are a seasoned developer, Drupal could be exactly what you are looking for.
If you're still not sure what to expect from your CMS, check out our five quick tips below:
Evaluate your marketing team
When it comes to choosing the best CMS for your organization, you need to consider what resources you and your team can bring in.
If your team lacks technical experience, WordPress is probably your best bet unless you're ready to hire a website developer. Even if you're ready to hire a developer, ask yourself whether you are comfortable putting so much responsibility on a new team member. If you're the type of CEO who loves doing everything yourself, WordPress will make you feel more at home.
You also need to decide how much time you will spend monitoring your website in the years to come. It can take a while and some technical know-how to get a Drupal website off the ground, but once it's up and running you won't have to spend as much time monitoring it.
On the other hand, you can get a WordPress site up and running in no time, but you need to carefully monitor your website when new updates and plugins become available.
Determine the budget of your website
As we mentioned earlier, cost should be an important factor when choosing between WordPress and Drupal. Both are free, but the more you want to customize your website on WordPress, the more expensive it gets.
A customized WordPress website can cost between $1,000 and $100,000. Drupal may cost less month to month, but you will likely need to hire a developer from the start. Spend some time researching these platforms, find the plugins and themes you want to use, and start calculating your budget.
Don't forget about the user experience
Both Drupal and WordPress have numerous customization functions. The decision on a CMS and the choice of plugins and themes to use all comes back to the end user. Think about what you want your website to look like and how much money you are willing to spend on it.
If you can get by with a simple user interface, WordPress might be a better option. But if you're looking to reinvent the wheel and create a new kind of user experience, Drupal could be the way to go.
Test before you build
As with any important business decision, do your research beforehand. Create a proof of concept for part of your website that you and your team can review.
Think about what works and what needs improvement. This will also help you better determine the overall budget and technical experience required to build your website.
Building a content database takes a lot of work and you don't want to start building your website on the wrong CMS. Start with a small section and slowly build from there.
Continued technical support
Problems are inevitable when you run a professional website. One of these plugins could put you in a loop. Your website could crash unexpectedly after an update.
Whatever the problem, you need to make sure you have access to quality technical support. This is especially important if your team doesn't have a lot of technical experience.
WordPress vs Drupal: which is the right CMS for you?
Ultimately, the choice between the two systems will depend on how much money you are willing to spend, the overall complexity of your website, and the technical expertise of your team.
Using your CMS should be straightforward and pleasant. Take into account your team's level of experience and find a platform to help bring your content to life.