Drupal vs WordPress – Which should you choose?

Introduction

If you’re planning on setting up a new website, then you’re going to need to choose the best host for your website possible. This can be a complicated process, and choosing between wordpress vs drupal can be difficult. There are many different options for setting up a website, and working out which is the best option for your personal needs and preferences, and for the requirements of your new website, can be time consuming and challenging. Knowing the difference between wordpress and drupal is an important part of working out what the best option is, and we’ve put together a guide to help you understand the difference between drupal and wordpress.
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What is WordPress?

WordPress was originally set up back in 2003 as a platform designed for blogging, and since then it has only grown, becoming the single largest website host on the entirety of the internet and powering more than a third of all websites across the world. WordPress has grown significantly from its original blogging roots into a multi purpose content management system (often referred to as a CMS) that offers functionality covering blogs and many other types of website to cover a wide range of needs and user preferences and a number of different purposes across the world. WordPress holds a market share of well over 50% of the content management systems market, clearly showing its popularity.

Pros

  • As the most popular web hosting platform on the internet, WordPress is easy to find support for. If you’ve encountered any problems or have any questions that need answering, then someone else has almost certainly also encountered the same problem, and you’ll be able to find a solution online somewhere.
  • WordPress is usually recognized as the easiest content management system to learn. This platform is easy to use no matter whether you’re an experienced developer or a complete novice, making it a great option for anyone who doesn’t have a great deal of experience or confidence.
  • If you need help getting your wordpress site into the state you want, then you might need to hire a web developer to help you out. This is usually cheaper for wordpress than it is for any other major content management system.
  • WordPress is a good option for customizability and extended functionality. This content management system offers a larger library of possible themes and plugins than any of the competition, which makes it particularly easy to extend the functionality of your website and add additional elements that you might struggle to find in a default web service provider without specialist knowledge and skills.

Cons

  • If you’re trying to set up a website in any language other than English, then you’ll need to install a third party plugin to allow that functionality for WordPress, making the process of setting up a web page in other languages more difficult than that of Drupal.
  • Some of the best and most valuable wordpress plugins are premium paid extensions, and if you’re planning on setting up a website like an eCommerce site via WordPress then the costs of these premium extensions can add up quickly.
  • Once you’ve chosen one of the many WordPress themes available for users, you have to use that for the entirety of your site. While other content management system options allow different templates for different pages, WordPress themes are applied to the entirety of your site.

What is Drupal?

Drupal has been up and running for even longer than WordPress, having been set up all the way back in 2000. It might not have the eyecatching market share of WordPress, but Drupal powers about 2.5% of all websites across the internet, and commands a little under 5% of the content management system market. Drupal’s popularity has remained fairly stable for almost 20 years now, and that’s a lot of expertise!

Pros

  • Drupal offers a slightly more flexible range of custom content types and post types than WordPress, although neither of them are particularly bad at all.
  • If you want to set up a site in any language other than English, then Drupal is a good choice. Multilingual functionality is built into the core system, making it easy to set up sites in any language at all.
  • Drupal has great functionality for custom user roles and permissions, thanks to its built in access control system that allows you to create new roles and customize their individual permissions.
  • WordPress has a strong taxonomy system, but Drupal’s taxonomy system is more advanced and flexible, making it a great choice for keeping large amounts of content organized and under control.

Cons

  • Drupal is far less user friendly than WordPress, particularly for users with no web development experience. This makes it a stronger choice for beginners.
  • If you need to hire a professional developer to help you set up your website, then Drupal developers tend to be more expensive than WordPress developers in most situations.

Drupal vs WordPress security

Both WordPress and Drupal are built on secure foundations, with core systems that are reliable and well constructed. The problem arises when users install too many third party plugins without keeping everything properly updated, as this is where the security vulnerabilities start to creep in. Drupal is generally a little more secure, but that’s primarily down to human error rather than to any inherent vulnerability in the WordPress core.

More than half of entry points for WordPress hackers come from security vulnerabilities in third part plugins, and the poor reputation that WordPress has for security is primarily down to human error in the installation of plugins and failure to keep things up to date.

Drupal is more secure, and its lockdown security is a major selling point that is probably a large part of why it is used by so many government institutions and other large clients. Its security is generally tighter and more reliable, and the company is very transparent, publishing regular security reports.

WordPress versus Drupal: getting things set up

Setting up a new website is a process where you want to simplify every step as far as possible, and cut down on as much complexity as you can in order to save yourself potentially significant amounts of effort and time. Comparing the process of setting up drupal versus wordpress is an important part of helping you to decide which of these content management systems is the best fit for your specific preference and the needs of your new website. More experienced developers might not need to put much focus into this, but newer and less confident website owners should consider this as a major aspect of their choice.

WordPress ease of use

WordPress is generally seen as the best option for beginners and less confident users, and is set up to allow even novices to get a great looking website up and running as quickly as possible. It’s an easy provider to install, and many hosts come with pre installed wordpress core software, saving you a great deal of time.

When WordPress has been installed, it’s easy to get content created and uploaded at speed thanks to the straightforward and user friendly interface. Even if you have no experience in web design at all, the interface is highly intuitive, and the process of getting web content set up with wordpress is easier than it is with most other content management systems.

WordPress can also use more advanced editing options thanks to a range of more complex plugins, allowing you to achieve more specific end results once you’ve fully grasped the basics. This keeps the learning curve relatively smooth and straightforward even at more advanced level. You can also edit your theme with no need for coding, thanks to the recently added WordPress Customizer, which is now supported by a wide range of themes, allowing easy customization of the look of your chosen theme.

Drupal ease of use

Drupal is pretty much opposite to WordPress in terms of ease of use and learning curve. The interface is not particularly user friendly and intuitive, and most novice users will be baffled by it in most cases, making it difficult to get anything edited into shape. It’s very stripped down, and not massively readable at all. Even experienced developers often find it difficult to use! It’s functional, but nowhere near as user friendly as the wordpress content editing interface.

There are themes available for Drupal sites, but most drupal websites run on a custom coded theme or a heavily customized version of a pre existing theme. That means you’re going to need some expertise, whether your own or that of a developer, to get your site looking good.

Drupal vs. WordPress extensions, themes and plugins

Both WordPress and Drupal offer numerous add ons that can be installed on top of the core provider in order to add further functionality beyond that which is offered by the default core software of each one of these content management systems. WordPress calls its extensions plugins, while Drupal’s equivalents are known as modules. Both of them use themes for aesthetic customization.

WordPress offers over 50,000 free plugins, and thousands of additional premium plugins on top of that, as well as over 5,000 free themes and many additional premium themes. Drupal, meanwhile, offers over 39,000 modules and over 2,500 themes. However, if you only consider modules compatible with the most recent version, Drupal 8.x, then you’re looking at a library of around 4000 modules and 250 possible themes, which is smaller but still not bad at all.

Conclusion

Drupal and WordPress are both high quality providers, and the Drupal 8 vs WordPress comparison is one that cannot produce an objective answer as to which is better. It’s more important to consider which of these content management systems is better suited to the specific needs of you and your new website, and to consider the difference between wordpress and drupal rather than trying to identify one of them as the definitive best option for all situations. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and your particular needs and preferences are going to affect which suits you.

With the help of our WordPress vs Drupal comparison and guide above, you should be able to properly understand the difference between drupal and wordpress and to work out which of these content management systems is the right choice for your website. It’s important to remember that they’re both good providers, though, so the most important thing to consider is your particular level of experience and confidence in web development. If you’re less experienced and more hesitant, then you’ll want to stick with WordPress, as Drupal is quite complex and not particularly user friendly, but if you’re a more experienced user who is prepared to use a more complex system, then the additional functionality and flexibility offered by Drupal might make it a worthwhile consideration.

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