There are several content management systems (CMS) to choose from when considering your business needs. The two giants that spring to mind are Drupal and WordPress. Each platform takes up a huge chunk in the market share of CMS and are perfectly reasonable choices for most websites.
But what distinguishes one from the other? Which one is better? Easier? More functional? Efficient? What are the advantages and disadvantages to using one versus the other?
Although both systems allow users to create and manage content over one or multiple websites, there are major differences between the two. Understanding how these platforms work, what their strong points are and their unique benefits will help you to become confident in your final choice. The goal here is to provide you with a complete overview giving you insight into the good, bad and the ugly so you can make an informed decision on which route to select for your website.
WordPress is perhaps the easiest and most powerful blogging and website CMS on the Internet. It has 10 times the amount of users than Drupal strictly due to its popularity and simplicity. Starting out simply as a blogging system, it’s evolution to a fully-functional content management system has positioned WordPress to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, currently powering more than a whopping 24% of the web!
Using the WordPress platform is ideal for beginner blogger/website creators yet advanced techies and web developers can have lots of fun with all the creative ways to customize.
Here are the benefits along with the disadvantages and ugly side to using WordPress:
- Highly flexible, with uses of websites, blogs, complex portals and enterprise websites, and even apps
- Easy to learn without having to know HTML
- Search engines love WordPress, making it great for SEO
- Huge community support for Q&A
- 100% customizable
- Thousands of free (and paid) themes, plugins and tools
- Upgrades completed automatically without owners having to do anything
- Gives owners complete control of their site without having to wait for web developers
- Manage your site from any computer/mobile device
- Set up for multiple authors, each having their own access and capabilities
- Feasible for any type of marketing content
- Due to frequent updates, some plugins may not adapt as quickly, preventing them from working efficiently if at all
- Graphic changes do require knowledge of CSS and HTML
- Permalinks are numeric until user knowingly activates the SEO friendly feature
- Slower experience at times when handling large volume of content
- Extremely vulnerable to plugin viruses that can wipe content and pages (yikes…check out how to prevent these viruses from occurring here)
Who Actually Uses WordPress?
Here are some well-known brands that leverage the power of WordPress and its benefits…
- The Official Star Wars Blog
- SONY Music
- MTV News
- New York Times
- Best Buy
- Mozilla Firefox
- Wall Street Journal
Drupal is favored amongst government, higher education institutions, NGO’s, and global enterprises proudly serving sites like The White House website. It is an incredibly powerful framework that can serve as a solid foundation for virtually any type of website.
The beauty of Drupal is that it was especially designed for search engine optimization. It also places high value in security, reliability, and flexibility. Although not boasting as many users as WordPress, Drupal indeed has a large friendly community that is highly active and responsive to inquiries.
This CMS is definitely for the advanced with developer expertise…it is not for all users like WordPress. If you do not have an experienced web developer on staff, you may have to contract one for this project. However, it is a webmaster’s dream because of its unique customization features.
Using Drupal is indeed a great choice with the ability to create fantastic looking sites. Let’s examine the advantages as well as the not so good features of Drupal:
- Advanced control over URL structure
- Top notch enterprise-level security
- Features countless modules, themes, and extensions.
- Ideal for community platform sites that require complex data organization with multiple users
- Great ability to handle large amounts of content
- Supports multiple site stakeholders (admin, editors, logged in users requiring customized content, private groups, etc.)
- Clean look, built for high performance
- More robust features for complex jobs
- Pages tend to load faster due to its defaulting caching features
- Flexible with lots of versatility
- Requires technical expertise
- Hiring a web developer to install is more expensive than WordPress installation
- Upgrades need to be completed with developer knowledge
- Premium themes and plugins (modules) cost a lot more than WordPress
- It is difficult to install
Who Actually Uses Drupal?
- The White House
- The Weather Channel
- Turner Broadcasting
- Australian Government
- Popular Science
- Dallas Cowboys
- Warner Music Group
- University of Oxford
How to Choose the Best CMS for Your Business
The first step towards choosing which CMS will work better for you is to assess your current and future business goals and how can your website take you there. If you foresee your site growing to hold lots of data (especially sensitive information), Drupal is a better choice because of it’s security and page load speeds. If you plan to have multiple authors and want a platform that is simple to use (particularly for a team that may not be as tech savvy), WordPress is it.
Knowing which CMS is right for your business will ultimately save you time and money…both now and in the future!
HostGator offers web hosting for both WordPress and Drupal. Learn more about the features of the two platforms and build your website today.
Henry Green is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas who helps small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their online presence through marketing, social media, and website optimization.