WordPress or Drupal?
Anyone looking to delph into the world of web development probably knows that content management systems (CMS) are one of the best and most powerful ways to get started. A CMS provides the web and content creator with a user-friendly method creating a brilliant site, without the need for extensive knowledge of programming. Trust me, using a CMS will save you hours of time by implementing simple things that can become fiddly and annoying if trying to code it yourself. There are quite a few content management systems available, but in the post, we are going to concentrate on two of the big boys in the CMS world: WordPress and Drupal. If you are at a point where you know you need a CMS but are unsure, then this post will give you greater clarity into deciding which direction your next web project should go. WordPress or Drupal which one should you choose?
Let’s start with WordPress.
First released in 2003; this popular CMS platform is written in PHP and was originally designed as a blogging platform. However, over the years and many releases, the platform has become more than just a blogging platform, with big brands using this CMS as their go-to website creator. Brands/companies such as :
- The New Yorker
- BBC America
- Sony Music
- PlayStation Blog
As you can see, these are some of the biggest brands, and sites in the world today. A lot of sites do use WordPress just for their blog only, but over the years, WordPress has become more than just a blogging platform.
But what makes WordPress so great?
Let’s take a look at its advantages and disadvantages:
- Easy to install
- Users can be set up with a basic site within minutes
- You don’t need a great amount of PHP knowledge – although, when you do more advance web development, it might be help
- WP has over a 59% market share for content management systems – meaning, a lot of people trust this platform over anything else
- It has one of the best, if not, the best out of the box SEO-friendly code structure than anything on the market
- It has over 22,000 plugins. So, if you are stuck on a piece of functionality, the likelihood is that there might be a plugin for it.
- Open-source. This means that the source code is openly available to anyone to develop and improve it.
- Large community for support…All be it from forums, WP communities and the official tech support.
- Extremely flexible. Can support many different types of businesses and website types:
- small businesses
- news outlets
- You can easily update your site on your phone using the mobile app.
Because WordPress is the most popular CMS platform it is obviously going to be a big target for hackers. Make sure you only download approved and regularly updated plugins. If a plugin has not been updated in a long time, it might not be compatible with the latest version of WordPress and could be the weak link in your site’s security. In 2018, 90% of hacked CMS sites were made with WordPress.
I remember having a WP site that had an annoying script inserted into it that displayed a popup. I removed it by installing an anti-virus plugin.
You will need to learn how to properly manage your site, including taking back-ups. Trust me, this is essential. Don’t expect a nice, easy auto-rollback for when you accidentally break your site. Fortunately, there are some handy back-up and restore plugins that will save your bacon, if you choose to use of course.
For those that have never coded and have no idea of how to create a website, then you might be slightly alarmed that it doesn’t (by default) come with a drag-and-drop page builder. However, don’t fret, you can install a theme such as Divi or a plugin such as Elementor. Knowing some CSS, and HTML might be advantageous though.
Another PHP based CMS platform that does a lot of things that WordPress. Although it is not the first platform that you might consider for blogging, it is very effective at being a blogging platform, with its easy-to-create article section. But, Drupal is a powerful CMS and can be used for greater things than just blogging. Here is a list of sites that use Drupal:
- Sevilla F.C
- BBC Good Food
- LV: Liverpool Victoria
- Cancer Research UK
- Royal Mail
These are but only some of the amazing and powerful sites that use Drupal. As you can see, Drupal is extremely flexible and powerful for creating web-based systems that will wow any audience.
- As mentioned, flexibility. The choice is up to you, the creator to decide what your site will look like. Whether it is a simple blog, with images and video, or a content-rich, all singing and dancing site for media companies and e-commerce.
- It is much secure than WordPress and is likely to get hacked. Drupal provides regular updates to ensure your site is safe and running smoothly.
- The Drupal community is very good. You can learn Drupal for free via Acquia.com. DrupalCons are also a thing, and are scheduled events and conferences that take at certain points in a calendar year in various locations; from London to Seattle, there could be one near you soon…
- It is easy to customise. There are tons of modules to choose from, as well as many great, responsive themes to choose from. Stuck? There is more than likely to be a module for what you are looking for. Not only that, but Drupal now comes with a layout builder.
- A favourite among government websites.
Just like WordPress, Drupal is no strange to hackers either. It wasn’t that long ago, but all Drupal sites were at risk to a highly catastrophic exploit known as Drupalgeddon. Drupalgeddon 2 happened early 2018 and it is estimated to have affected over 1 million Drupal sites.
It doesn’t have as many modules (plugins) like WordPress, and some have been discontinued. Yoast! is a very good example. Although I do use a Yoast plugin for my site, it isn’t the official Yoast app that you get with WordPress.
Not as quick and easy to get up and running, compared to other CMS platforms. The learning curve is definitely greater, and this might put some people off, especially if they have no pryer knowledge of web development, and they want something quick and easy. Drupal is not a quick and easy solution, and it is not ideal for simple one-page layouts.
WordPress or Drupal? Have you decided yet?
Both are very good CMS platforms, but have their own pros and cons. I think personally WordPress is the slightly better CMS, and to me it is no surprise that is the most popular. The admin dashboard looks modern, it is easy to get started, and the thousands of plugins and support just make making a site that much easier. I think Drupal is great, but I think it fully gets into it’s own when it is making more complex sites/systems.
So, WordPress or Drupal…Let me know which one you like the best, or is there another system that is better? Joomla, Umbraco, Magento… Leave a comment below and let’s start a discussion.