Choosing the proper content management system (CMS) for your online business is paramount. A suitable CMS streamlines the up-scaling of your business, while a lousy choice limits the growth. Compare the CMS of a website to the foundation of a house. You can’t build a spacious home on a poor foundation. Similarly, a solid online business can’t run on a weak CMS.
Therefore, in-depth comparisons like WordPress vs. Drupal make sense. Millions of websites run on these two platforms, and countless web admins are satisfied with them. Could either of them be the proper solution for your next project? Most likely, yes! Check out this side-by-side comparison to get a clear idea of each platform and make an educated decision.
WordPress vs. Drupal
WordPress and Drupal are two of the most common CMSs, and huge communities are around both platforms. These share standard features, but there are many substantial differences. It’s pretty normal to ask yourself which of them is better. However, the correct approach is to ask yourself which is better for your project. Each user’s multiple and complex needs make it impossible to provide a universal answer. A personalized solution is a correct answer.
You’d better consider the strengths and weaknesses of each platform and evaluate their impact on your project. A brief history of each of them will give you a strategic overview of WordPress and Drupal.
The following table synthesizes the WordPress vs. Drupal differences. It’s a precious tool to understand the pros and cons of each platform, but we strongly recommend carefully reading the entire article.
|Ease of Use||WordPress||Drupal|
|Suitable for non-coders||✅||✖|
|Easy learning curve||✅||✖|
|Options for non-coders||✅||✖|
|Suitable for complex projects||✖||✅|
|Drag and drop builder||✅||✖|
|Large set of themes||✅||✅|
|Large set of plugins/modules||✅||✅|
|Blogs and magazine news||✅||✖|
|Hacker-proof themes & plugins/modules||✖||✅|
|Meetups & conferences||✅||✅|
|Quality of the services||✅||✅|
Practically speaking, WordPress is the Google of CMSs. Year after year, WordPress’s market share grows exponentially. If you pick two random websites powered by a CMS, one of them likely runs on WordPress. More specifically, WordPress is at the root of around 65% of websites running on a CMS at the end of 2021. What’s most exciting about WordPress is that its market share has grown constantly with no sign of threat to its dominance.
It started two decades ago as a blogging platform, and it’s no exaggeration to say that WordPress democratized content publishing. Thanks to it, millions of people who don’t know how to code have been able to share their thoughts in a user-friendly way.
Nowadays, WordPress is a behemoth that works for any project. It’s no longer a blogging platform; it’s suitable for online stores, portfolios, landing pages, creative projects, and business sites.
Drupal is used for 2% of CMS-based websites. It’s worth mentioning that WordPress grew in 2021 with a bigger market share than the overall Drupal share. However, it maintained the same market share for many years, proving that many people trust Drupal. The sites based on Drupal have an excellent reputation, are pretty complex, and attract many visitors. Pinterest, Home Depot, and Cambridge are just a few well-known users of Drupal.
Both are open source and free to use. You are welcome to bring your contribution to your favourite platform. Thanks to the open format, these platforms have evolved to the current standards. WordPress and Drupal’s active communities have shaped the platforms’ evolutions.
For a digital product, two decades is similar to a century in the physical world. Indeed, it’s not a science-backed supposition, but only a small bunch of digital products have such a long life. Drupal is older than WordPress, but both started to gain traction two decades ago, demonstrating the viability of both WordPress and Drupal platforms.
Ease of Use
WordPress wins for ease of use in the competition between WordPress and Drupal. WordPress caters to non-coders and users with decent digital skills. Moreover, skilled WordPress developers have plenty of options to use their skills in WordPress websites. No one is left behind with WordPress.
Ease of use is a pretty subjective concept. A process or task may be simple for someone but simultaneously challenging for another individual. We strongly believe that someone with modest digital skills can create a WordPress website in two days. A person who knows how to use Google Docs or Microsoft PowerPoint can build a decent WordPress site. (Be aware that WordPress has nothing to do with Google Docs or Microsoft PowerPoint – these are mentioned just as examples of common interfaces.)
Grab your cup of coffee and check our articles related to WordPress, watch a few YouTube videos, or an online class to learn the basics. Clearly, as a first-time user, you will be shocked by WordPress’s friendly and straightforward interface.
Drupal is complex and complicated. Users who aren’t familiar with web design or development will hardly understand its interface at first glance. Under these circumstances, Drupal severely limits the access of individuals looking for a simple CMS for their sites. That’s one of the reasons why Drupal is preferred for enterprise projects that include a development team.
WordPress is more straightforward and more effective than Drupal for creating a website. The onboarding process is smooth, and the WordPress admin dashboard is intuitive. A WordPress website includes pages and posts. Gutenberg, the default visual editor, is powerful but simple to use. All you have to do is drop blocks on a canvas and personalize them for your WordPress website design.
Drupal also allows creating articles (aka posts) and pages, but the interface looks dated and intimidating. Adding menus and widgets is available on Drupal, but it’s more complicated than WordPress.
Briefly, a Drupal user has no problem creating a WordPress website, but a casual WordPress user will need time to figure out the Drupal interface. However, WordPress doesn’t have more options for site building; it’s just less complicated than creating a website with Drupal. What is achievable in WordPress is also achievable in Drupal.
One of the capital advantages of WordPress is the unlimited possibilities of site customization. Drupal lags behind WordPress, but it also offers many customization options. They are based on themes and plugins/modules to style a website.
Any WordPress website must have a theme to run; there is no website without a theme. Users have plenty of alternatives – be it default WordPress themes like Twenty Twenty, other themes from WordPress repository, or premium themes from marketplaces or developers’ shops. The theme is responsible for the website layout and some functionalities. However, plugins are required for extended functionalities. WordPress repository is an excellent place for carefully tested, updated, and secure plugins. It includes plugins for performance improvement, SEO, multimedia handling, content creation, and so on. Of course, developers crafted many premium plugins to enhance your WordPress sites. Overall, the right combination of theme and plugins gives you complete control over the site’s functionality and design.
To install and configure a Drupal theme or module is simple enough, but WordPress makes it even more intuitive. For example, to install a theme, you have to access the Drupal admin dashboard and go to Appearance > Install new theme and either type in the URL address of the theme or upload it. The same is possible with Drupal, but the number of modules and themes is reduced, and the customization process is more complicated.
Use the same algorithm to upload a module. Alternatively, you can click on Modules > Install new module and you are redirected to the page where you either type in the URL address or upload the theme/module.
Thanks to the efficient modules, plugins, and themes, both platforms work for all types of projects. Online stores, portfolios, blogs, magazine news, business and creative sites are all achievable with both WordPress and Drupal. It’s all about the skills of the site builders.
A benefit of Drupal is the native multilingual support, while WordPress users have to install a plugin in this respect. Additionally, the more complex Drupal taxonomy is an advantage for handling complex websites.
To summarize, WordPress is perfect for all kinds of small to medium projects, and it’s decent for enterprise websites. Drupal caters to big and complex projects but falls shorts for the rest.
Both platforms are built and developed with security as a top concern. The contributors’ teams work day and night to make the platforms more and more secure. However, Drupal seems to be more secure than WordPress. While both installs are safe, the Drupal security team is more proactive and transparent.
WordPress is by a large margin more used than Drupal, so it’s pretty normal to attract the attention of more hackers. Exploiting a zero-day vulnerability of a WordPress theme or plugin is a huge opportunity for hackers. It makes sense for hackers to focus more on WordPress than Drupal.
The vast number of plugins and themes is another security flaw for WordPress. Indeed, these help users build the needed website, but they are a problem from a security perspective. The more plugins a site has, the more chances of getting hacked. There are dozens of cases of hackers exploiting vulnerabilities in plugins and themes.
The WordPress community is considerably bigger than Drupal’s. However, size isn’t the only important aspect of a community. Cohesiveness is another factor that matters for the member of communities. Considering the number of WordCamps, meetups, and online conferences, we can arguably assume that the WordPress community is active, helpful, and cohesive.
The Drupal community is smaller, but it might be more cohesive because the members share more things in common. Unlike WordPress, Drupal users don’t share only the passion for Drupal. Most likely, they are designers or developers, so they have coding, design, software development, or online entrepreneurship in common.
Anyway, as both WordPress and Drupal are open-source software, the communities will continue to play an essential role in the future of the platforms. Besides, you have many opportunities to bring your contribution to make WordPress and Drupal better.
Costs for Professional Help
You may need professional help to manage your site. Lack of time or expertise, the necessity of rebranding, or a complex site change are a few reasons to need the help of an expert. Usually, Drupal experts are genuine, but the fees are pretty high. Sadly, many decent WordPress users market themselves as experts and offer their services on job boards. The prices are relatively low, but the quality of service might not meet your expectations. There is no set-in-stone rule, but you should keep this in mind.
Over to You
You now have a clear idea of the strengths and weaknesses of both WordPress and Drupal. Both platforms have passed the test of time, and there are no signs that users will give up using them. Indeed, WordPress has a fabulous market share, but Drupal has a solid fanbase. Besides, it caters primarily to enterprise projects – an area where WordPress doesn’t shine. You can count on either CMS for your next project but bear in mind their particularities to better manage and scale up your business.