Drupal vs. Wordpress

Posted on 04/28/2016

Drupal vs. Wordpress has been a hotly-debated topic ever since content management systems burst into the web development world many years ago. Even though they both accomplish the same main goal (making your website easier to use and update), they each use very different methods of doing so. There are die-hard supporters of each platform, and web developers like myself will almost always have their favorite. I will go into some of the main differences here, so you can judge which one is best for your website.

Wordpress

I understand that Wordpress has better name recognition and clients often ask for it specifically. However, I have never been able to recommend it over Drupal. In my opinion, there are only two things that set it apart.

Free Website Templates

There are hundreds of free available templates that will help you get an easy-to-use website up very quickly and without the costs that a custom-designed website would entail. Drupal does not have as many templates options, and therefore requires more setup time and usually a custom design. Now here's the good news: if you are absolutely in love with a Wordpress template, but would prefer to use Drupal, I can re-code almost any template (or really, any design you can show me) into the Drupal platform.

Visually-Appealing Dashboard

The main argument I see for Wordpress is how easy-to-use it is for clients. The dashboard is very easy to figure out and is a little more easy on the eyes than Drupal's. Unfortunately, that also means that some of the settings you would hope to change are more buried, or sometimes even absent altogether. Drupal's administrative dashboard is also very easy to navigate and gives you a lot more control over what is happening on your site.

Drupal

Drupal is my go-to content management system and always has been since I started developing. There are several reasons I would recommend using it for your next website, and I will outline some of them below.

Modules

Drupal and Wordpress both offer packages of code (called modules and plugins, respectively), that help make it easier to things on your website such as create image galleries, or accept contact form submissions. I won't get too technical here, but there are two modules that Drupal offers that are simply unrivaled by anything Wordpress has to offer. The Views module is used to organize and display content on your website that makes it incredibly easy to add things such as image slideshows, rotating carousels, blog pages, etc. It makes it incredibly fast and easy for Drupal developers to set up very cool and exciting functionality for you, which means less money out of your pocket! The Webform module makes it simple to create contact forms on your website and designate where you would like to receive the submitted information.

The library of modules for Drupal is vast and they are more likely to be both better, and free, compared to similar Wordpress plugins.

User Accounts and Roles

This is not going to be a big deal on every website, but in certain situations, you may want to have separate levels of access for the people that are going to be logging into and managing your site. Let's say you have an intern that is going to be posting blog entries on your behalf, but you do not want them to be able to do major things such as re-order your menus or even delete your site altogether. In addition to your "administrator" level of access, you can create a "Blogger" role and make sure this person only has the permissions you want to give them. Drupal comes with this ability right out of the gate, and I have never found anything in Wordpress to adequately and reliably replicate this.

Security

I have not collected data to back up this claim, but in my past 5 years of web development experience, I have seen considerably more Wordpress sites fall prey to malicious attacks from spammers and hackers. This must have to do with the core code package simply not being as robust as the one Drupal comes packaged with. Drupal's core code and modules are updated very frequently and have led to a very low frequency of attacks in my experience.

Still set on Wordpress?

Even though I use Drupal 95% of the time, I have created several Wordpress sites and do recommend them if you have a very low budget and want to get a site up very quickly. I generally inquire as to what special functionality your site will need, and can recommend Wordpress if it will meet the requirements. Get in touch with me if you'd like to discuss any of this further.