WordPress vs Drupal
Sep 10, 2012
When we first started developing sites in 2007, every site we built was with WordPress. At that time, these sites were smaller and WordPress was evolving from a blogging platform to a full fledged content management system (CMS). The sites that we were developing had very minimal content types and the general WordPress page content block was sufficient to give our clients a clean page admin experience. Note: we often refer to the “admin” as the password protected web portal where clients update their content.
The saying is very true “if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail”. Along the way, our client roster grew and we encountered needs for more content types, a richer admin experience, and a more Enterprise Level CMS. That is when we started developing sites with Drupal.
Compared to WordPress, Drupal is an absolute beast! Drupal’s taxonomies and core structure took us a while to get used to. However, after building numerous sites with Drupal, we slowly and surely came to love Drupal as the CMS of choice for Enterprise level websites and web applications. If you have a web app, or any type of web project that requires user permissions, Drupal’s functionality is hardier than WordPress. Drupal is also more flexible when it comes to API development and its default caching features are more robust out of the box.
Ultimately, when determining a CMS, please consider the following questions:
- How many different page templates or content types do you need?
- Do you have different user permissions? An example of a user permission would be site admin, content editor, access to private content.
- Do you need enterprise level security?
- Is your budget healthy enough for Drupal development as opposed to WordPress. In General, it takes 2 to 3 times as long to develop a Drupal site as compared to WordPress.
Without going into hard core development features between WordPress and Drupal, the major differences between the two are:
- Theme Market: WordPress has an amazing theme market for do-it yourselfers. Do not ever buy a Drupal theme! There are amazing drupal starter themes, such as the Omega Responsive theme, but Drupal development is not the type of project that you can spin a theme off of. It is custom development!
- Market Share: WordPress has wide scale adoption and a plethora of plugins that are suitable for smaller websites.
- Deployment Time: WordPress is very easy to develop a site from start to finish. WordPress is perfect if you have minimal content types and are building a general marketing website.
- Content Types: Drupal supports multiple site stakeholders (admin, editors, logged in users requiring customized content, private groups, etc)
- Admin experience: Drupal has a cleaner admin experience for content editors
- App Development and API Development Projects Drupal has, in general, more robust features for complex projects.
- Site Security: Drupal has enterprise level security and site scale. Numerous government websites are built of of Drupal, with the most famous being Whitehouse.gov.
Most developers will recommend the CMS that they are most familiar with without considering the site’s needs and objectives. Knowing which CMS is right for your project will ultimately save you both time in money, both now and in the future.