Nowadays, anyone can make a website. But not just anyone can make a great website. To make a commercial site that stands above the crowd, you need to either be a master developer or have a great CMS. A CMS, or Content Management System, comes with the tools you need to create, manage and market content online. But with so many choices, which CMS do you use? Here’s a comparison of two leading CMS providers, WordPress and Drupal. This article will deal with how they are similar, how they are different, and what their particular specialties are and who are they targeted at.
WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, and has been used to create over 60 million websites. Compared to that, Drupal is a feisty young upstart with everything to prove. They are both open source and community driven solutions, but there are advantages and disadvantages associated with each. Here are the main areas on which both compete.
WordPress has little security, leaving it to the user to secure and maintain the site that they create. This is because WordPress is very much a DIY CMS, giving users as much flexibility with easy to use tools as possible. However, WordPress has a security team which ensures that plugins and add-ons are safe for consumption. There is also a very helpful community of volunteer developers who are happy to give you tips and pointers about how to secure your site. Drupal, on the other hand, is more hands on with security, undertaking regular security reports and patching vulnerabilities. That must be why the White House uses it.
Ease of Use
WordPress is famously easy to use, with a starter pack that can be picked up in minutes and drag and drop features as well as one-click installations. It can be used by experts and beginners alike. Drupal is also easy to download and run, but it is slightly over the head of beginners and requires specialist knowledge to make full use of all the features it includes. Upgrading Drupal in particular requires developer knowledge.
WordPress has improved considerably since its first days in terms of loading speed and performance. It is trusted by large sites to load in under a second. However, if you use too many plugins you might find that the website starts to lag. Drupal, on the other hand, is both lightning fast and doesn’t drain resources however many additions you use. However, because using Drupal requires advanced knowledge and can be complex, it may lose speed points for this reason.
Like Lego, WordPress is the ultimate customizable device. You can add plugins and modify them to your heart’s content. There are thousands of free WordPress themes and over 40,000 free plugins. It leaves the functionality wide open so that when you use WordPress, the sky’s the limit. Drupal competes pretty well in terms of customizability. It’s got as many features as you can imagine, making functionality its strong point. Also, modules are made to be interactive with one another, something WordPress can’t deliver.
Even if these two CMS products are easy to use, you can still find yourself getting stuck and needing help. This is where support comes in. WordPress has the support of millions of anonymous fans, who create plugins and also provide information on how to use them, on forums and websites and in chat rooms. Drupal also offers community support, but because the platform isn’t as popular, there is less of a pool of knowledge and help can be harder to find. This is unfortunate given that Drupal can be more complex than WordPress.
WordPress is great at providing free stuff. From plugins to themes, it’s mostly great quality. However, WordPress sites can be more costly to maintain if they’re big and require additional server power. Drupal has a number of costs involved, including extra time to set up and the costliness of expert advice if you need help from a professional developer. Drupal can be many times more costly than WordPress.
Given WordPress’ popularity and seniority, the question is whether you want to stick with WordPress or try Drupal. If you want a secure CMS that is customizable and quick, and you don’t mind some complexity or paying more for an expert, then try Drupal. Otherwise, stick with WordPress.