Planning and launching a website can become a lengthy process. You have to evaluate which CMS platform to use, agree deadlines, plan the content, and that’s before you even start to build a website that you’ll eventually be happy with!
In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of CMS platforms available to users, ranging from cheap and cheerful drag-and-drop builders, to full enterprise-level systems, and everything in between. There’s a myriad of choices out there, and it can be difficult to choose which platform is right for you.
Here, we’re going to look at two mainstayers: WordPress and Drupal, and more specifically, why you should choose WordPress over the latter.
Overview of WordPress and Drupal
First, let us start off with a disclaimer: We are by no means saying Drupal is a bad platform. Drupal sites can be absolute powerhouses, and Drupal developers would argue that it has become the clear leader as the CMS for larger-scale organisations (more on that later).
At Selesti, we tend to default to either WordPress or Magento (or in some cases, a bespoke platform) for website build projects. However, we don't discount Drupal completely, and as part of our process, we work with you determine which CMS is right for you before any work commences.
However, we recognise that Drupal may be a frontrunner for some users, and therefore wanted to provide a comparison to help you make your own informed decision.
Before we look at some of the benefits, let’s have a quick overview of each platform.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS (content management system), having stood the test of time with everyone from marketers and developers to small businesses. Today, WordPress sites represent over 60% of the CMS market share, dominating over all over platforms.
Originally launching as a blogging platform in 2003, WordPress has grown into an extremely versatile CMS, one that is user friendly, has a relatively small learning curve for users new to the platform, and comes with a variety of plug-and-play extras (known as plugins), that cover everything from eCommerce and point-of-sale, to SEO and data collection.
- Further reading [LINK]: Overview of WordPress (from WordPress vs. Magento)
What is Drupal?
If you thought WordPress was old, have you met Drupal? It’s been around even longer than WordPress, but has a much smaller market share of just over 2%.
Despite its smaller market share, Drupal has quickly become regarded as the CMS of choice for organisations such as higher education or government sites. Their CMS tends to lend itself to more complex projects, such as those with a large authenticated user base, customisation requirements and integrations.
Drupal also comes with a steep learning curve, and might be seen to be rendered incomprehensible for casual users, at least at first glance!
Now that we’ve established a bit about each platform, let’s look at the 6 reasons why you would want to consider WordPress vs. Drupal:
Lower development costs
By its very nature, Drupal as a platform inevitably comes with increased web development costs. Sites are usually larger, custom coded and working with a specialist agency or Drupal developer comes with larger costs to you.
By comparison, WordPress offers more “out of the box” solutions, thus making the overall cost of the website cheaper, both during the development stage and post-launch. Many agencies will also employ WordPress developers, giving the added support of an agency, again at a lower cost than one associated with Drupal.
Whilst we alluded that businesses often work with an agency on their site, the ease-of-use and flexibility of WordPress means you don’t necessarily have to go down that route.
WordPress, as mentioned earlier, has a small (if any) learning curve, and that can empower site owners to "just get things done" without the need for contacting an agency. This has the added benefit of allowing you to net a better ROI from any investment.
On the other hand, we can all but guarantee that you will need a Drupal developer or agency support if you choose its CMS for your new website, as the platform requires a lot of work and training for any CMS newbie!
User friendly, even for beginners
WordPress is significantly easier to use than any of its competitors such as Drupal. The administrative interface is much more intuitive.
Adding content is quick and simple, and easy to use, and you also have the flexibility to install drag-and-drop visual content editors, such as Elementor or WPBakery should you require it.
Plugins for everything
Both Drupal and WordPress have a great many community-supported plugins, the former of which calls them "Drupal modules").
However, in this case, WordPress shines above the rest due to the colossal availability and variety of plugins available to the user.
It goes without saying that no website is completely free from security vulnerabilities.
However, with WordPress dominating the CMS market share, security is built from the ground up, helping alleviate the risk of security issues. You can also set a variety of different user permissions should you require it.
Thinking long term, WordPress sites tend to rank high when compared to Drupal sites, largely because they’re constantly being updated.
WordPress also includes a variety of tools and plugins for optimising content for SEO, such as Yoast and The SEO Framework.
What are your website requirements?
When thinking about your eventual new website, it’s important to consider a wide variety of factors. Those factors must go beyond your needs; you need to think about longer term implications such as SEO, ease-of-use and more.
For most, WordPress will take many, if not all, of the boxes for your requirements. Some may prefer to use Drupal, and some may prefer other platforms entirely. In any case, we hope this article has helped you make an informed decision when comparing WordPress vs. Drupal.
If you’re still undecided, and need an expert opinion and direction, get in touch with Selesti to discuss your website project needs.