Drupal vs WordPress : Who wins?

Drupal vs WordPress is a constant battle between web site developers.

But who really wins? Everyone wants to solve the argument, but let’s be honest. In my research and years as a developer, it really depends on the use cases of your application.

What is Drupal

Drupal is an open source content management system used to make websites, web applications, and digital experiences. Drupal was initially released on January 15th, 2001 by Dries Buytaert. Dries is still Project Lead of Drupal and a Board Member of the Drupal Association.

Drupal Commerce, the open source Ecommerce software, was released in August 2011.

Drupal Logo

Technicals

When you dive into the technical aspects of Drupal, you become amazed at the complex code running in the background.

Content Types

A website can have different types of content all under the hood.

You could have an article, a pool, a blog, or just a basic page to highlight any of these. You could also even have your own custom content type. These content types are all what is known as a node.

Content types come pre-installed in Drupal’s installation profile. Each node is tied to a specific content type. A node has a one to one relationship.

This means a node can only have one content type.

Drupal Core

Drupal comes pre-installed with a set of core modules and themes.

These core files with be a mixture of database calls, functions, and HTML themes. These will be needed for Drupal to run smoothly. There are also tons of contributed modules that have been created and certified by the Drupal Community.

You can find those here.

Open Source

Anyone can download and customize Drupal to their needs. The technologies Drupal uses are PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You can use any of these to expand the frameworks functionality.

Drupal has a large community backed by developers, architects, editors, sponsors, and many other roles.

There are large entities who use the platform to create their websites like the United States Government, London, and France. Most media companies on the internet use Drupal to publish their articles to the world.

With the help of the Drupal Community, Drupal is a powerful framework that stays fresh and up to date.

Support

With Drupal being open-source, and having plenty of projects with different uses cases, sometimes there are issues.

If you run into issues you can visit the Drupal website and check if the issue has already been acknowledged. There are also forum threads where you can ask for help.

What is WordPress

WordPress is an open source web software that allows you to create websites, blogs, or applications. WordPress serves as the most popular content management system with it’s ease of use.

WordPress Logo

Is WordPress No Code?

The selling point is you can create all of these with no coding experience. WordPress comes with modules, known as “plugins”, that help scale your website. WordPress has the largest free directory of plug-ins on the internet.

WordPress Marketplace

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the open-source directory, you can checkout the WordPress Marketplace.

The marketplace allows developers to create plug-ins and sell them to users. “Selling” them allows users to use them in their website. You will be required to pay a one-time fee or a monthly fee. This is dependent on the developer.

WordPress Community

There are high profile entities who use WordPress like TechCrunch, Facebook Newsroom, Tonal, Rolling Stone, Vogue, and many more.

WordPress is known for it’s simplicity as a blog platform.

Let’s breakdown the Drupal vs WordPress comparison.

WordPress Pros and Cons

WordPress is designed to be easy to use for new developers, or non-technical people wanting to spin up a website.

The benefits of WordPress are:

WordPress Pros

Easy to install from host

One of the best features with WordPress is that most hosting websites will allow you to one-click install from their user dashboard.

This usually happens on the back-end. You will receive a fresh database creation and a new, up to date, install of WordPress. This is real automation.

Ease of use

As exampled above, the ease of use is very high with WordPress.

You could call WordPress a “no-code” platform and you would have a beautiful, blazing fast website. You are able to swap themes, add web forms, add pages, write blog posts, and many more features right from the user dashboard on WordPress.

You will instantly get this user dashboard after WordPress is installed by the host.

WordPress Cons

Security Issues

Security is a big issues with WordPress.

WordPress is the most hacked Content Management System on the market. Don’t let that scare you away. The system is safe, but the third-party plugins are where you receive security vulerabilities. You should always keep your site, plug-ins, and database up to date. When doing this you are patching security vulnerabilities that hackers have found.

Practice proper web management with security updates and you can reduce the changes of a security breach.

Drupal Pros and Cons

Pros

Customizable


Drupal is focused on developers with plenty of customizable features. You have customizable themes, views, files, modules, and anything else.

Security

Drupal is know for it’s security, even between security patches. The Federal Government has many sites that use Drupal. This should be a lead case for how secure Drupal actually is. The biggest factory with Drupal is all the custom modules on the marketplace go through very rigorous testing before release to developers and users.

Community

The community is Drupal is one of the most active around the developer space.

Developers work around the clock on their open source software. People are contributing the whole software development life cycle to custom modules. Web builders can then use these custom modules on their site. The community is also a critical part of security.

They are sometimes able to patch and push updates before a hacker comes across the vulnerabilities.

Cons

Learning curve

Drupal is very simple to install and use unless you want to start customizing.

This is where the learning curve begins to accelerate. You have numerous features that go far beyond PHP, HTML, and CSS. These require you to learn SQL and other technologies. You will need to call in an experienced Drupal Developer if you cannot maneuver these customizing.

Drupal Vs WordPress Conclusion

If you want to make your website as easy as possible, WordPress is the way to go.

WordPress can give non-technical people an advantage into creating a website. This could be as simple as installing a theme. creating a form, and installing plugins.

Drupal is great if you know how to code and want to spin up a quick website. This is not the route you should take if you want to build your site as quick as possible.

No-code is a huge shift in the technology world, and WordPress certainly wins there in the Drupal vs WordPress battle.