WordPress vs. Drupal: Which CMS is for You?
How do I choose a CMS for my web development project?
The age old question—or at least decades-old question of WordPress vs. Drupal is one we encounter on an almost daily basis. When deciding between the two content management systems, it may not be a question of which is better, but rather which is the best fit for your specific project. In this article, I'll walk through some of the key factors to considering when deciding between WordPress and Drupal for your web development projects.
Which is more costly?
When evaluating budget, it is important to keep in mind factors such as site customizations, ongoing support, and continuous development. While WordPress websites typically have higher upfront costs, Drupal websites are typically much easier to maintain, leading to a lower lifetime cost of ownership.
Which has better support & site maintenance?
If you are in the market for a custom, feature heavy site, Drupal wins on ongoing maintenance. Along with lower long-term costs, Drupal sites also benefit from many open source features, modules and custom integration points that are already created and continually maintained by the Drupal community. While WordPress also has a wide range of plugins to choose from, quality control can often be an issue. Adding new features and customizations to WordPress sites can be a heavy lift and very expensive to scale, leading to higher long-term maintenance costs.
How much expertise is needed?
For those looking to get up and running with minimal technical expertise, WordPress could be the best fit. The learning curve is much shorter, especially for content contributors, making WordPress the preferred choice for companies that might experience a high turnover rate of site maintainers, especially if ongoing site updates are handled internally. On the other hand, Drupal is a very robust and developer friendly platform which is easily scalable to add new features, and leads the pack in performance for factors such as page load times.
Which has more integrations and customizations?
Drupal currently has many existing APIs to handle 3rd party integrations. WordPress is certainly capable of integrating with 3rd party sites but may require the development of a custom API or reconfiguration. Both platforms have approximately 40,000 modules or plugins available that are developed and maintained by the open source community.
Which has better security?
One of the downsides of WordPress's growing popularity is its tendency to be targeted by hackers. Many WordPress plugins can carry vulnerability that can be easily hacked. Once identified, customizations can often be made to improve these issues, but ongoing monitoring is critical. The Drupal CMS is synonymous with enterprise-level security and scalability, which has made it a favorite among government, healthcare and education websites.
Which CMS is more scalable?
Originally designed as a blogging platform, WordPress has limitations handling large volumes of content, resulting in performance issues and decreased user experiences. Scaling a WordPress site to handle a larger number of pages or complex functionality may cause problems or not be possible. From its infancy, Drupal was built to handle the gamut of website sizes - from one to thousands of pages, making it great at handling simultaneous page views. Drupal is virtually limitless in its ability to scale.
Which CMS prioritizes web accessibility?
As an inclusive community, Drupal contributors are committed to maintaining an accessible tool for developers, content managers and users of all abilities, including those accessing Drupal with the use of assistive technologies. Drupal's platform initiative is to ensure that all features of Drupal core conform with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines: WCAG 2.0, ATAG 2.0, and WAI-ARIA. They even work to go back and remediate past versions that existed before the web accessibility guidelines were implemented. The WordPress web accessibility team is still working on their handbook for accessibility guidelines. As a platform, they currently provide support for all users and are committed to improving this initiative to conform will all current guidelines.
Read: How to Fix Common Web Accessibility Barriers in Drupal
Which CMS is more SEO-friendly?
Out of the box, Drupal is built to be search engine optimization (SEO) friendly. With better page load times due to faster caching features, Drupal sites are often preferred by search engines. Drupal is also able to handle larger amounts of SEO-targeted content, which results in better load times for simultaneous views. While WordPress may fall behind in this area, there are many plugins such as Yoast SEO that exist to enhance SEO. Caching plugins are also available that can help improve page load times.
Need Help Deciding Between WordPress and Drupal?
You're in luck! The Promet team is here to help. We have over a decade of experience developing, maintaining, supporting and migrating both Drupal and WordPress sites. We understand the complexities, limitations, and strengths of both platforms, which is why you'll find us running a similar comparison as the one above against project specific requirements. Contact us today to get started on your next great web project.