WordPress and Drupal are both content management systems (CMS) that have been around since the early 2000s. Both are open-source (meaning that the source code is made freely available and can be modified and redistributed) and have a strong community of developers who help extend the core functionality with additional modules/plugins. While WordPress has a lot of name recognition, the lesser known Drupal has some benefits over WordPress worth considering.
Which Should I Choose?
While both WordPress and Drupal have their strong points, in most cases we recommend using Drupal for the following reasons:
More robust security than WordPress
Easy content editing and management
Object-oriented code, which enables easier scaling
Drupal vs. WordPress: Detailed Comparison
Content Editing and Management
The point of a content management system is to make editing and managing your content easy and painless. Both Drupal and WordPress allow you to make changes to your website without knowing HTML or getting a developer involved. However, when it comes to ease of making updates, Drupal outshines WordPress. Drupal offers powerful and customizable content management using Paragraphs which is the ability to add/remove sections on a page for a truly flexible layout. WordPress has the ability to do this as well, but requires much more customization to set it up.
It’s often stated as a benefit of WordPress that it has more Plugins and Widgets than Drupal, due to the larger community of developers working on the platform. While this is true, many of the extra extensions are just different versions of the same thing. When examining the subject, it’s helpful to look at both built-in core functionality as well as additional functionality that can be gained from Plugins (WordPress) or Modules (Drupal). Many features often considered enterprise-class can be achieved in Drupal, such as granular logins and version control. Below are what we consider Drupal 8’s top features.
Features in Drupal Core
- Granular logins
- Basic search engine optimization
- Multilingual ready
- Support for accessibility
- Segregation of content
Features Available with Modules
- Version control
- Team/legal moderation
- Advanced search engine optimization
- Ecommerce stores
One downside of WordPress is that its popularity makes it a target for hackers exploiting WordPress sites. WordPress is the most hacked into CMS. One 2017 study showed that 83% of websites hacked were built on WordPress1 while only 1.6% of were on Drupal1. The same study showed that staying up to date with security updates provides more protection from hackers on Drupal than it does on WordPress. In most cases when a Drupal site had been hacked, security updates were not installed, while WordPress was more likely to be hacked even when fully patched1. In the case of security, Drupal is a hands down better choice than WordPress.
Both Drupal and WordPress power large enterprise-level sites. For example, FoxNews.com (368.90 million visits monthly2) uses Drupal3 and NewYorker.com (26.68 million visits monthly 4) uses WordPress 5. However, while both CMS systems power large websites and can scale-up as needed, Drupal 8’s object-oriented core enables developers to use best practices. The use of object-oriented best practices makes it easier and faster for your development team to build a complex site or add additional features to an existing site.
Transitioning from WordPress to Drupal
If you’re ready to switch from WordPress to Drupal, you’re likely wondering how much work it takes to make the change. We often help clients make the switch when they are redesigning their site, so the new site can be built from the ground up in Drupal. If you have a lot of content that needs to be migrated over to Drupal, the WordPress Migrate module can help pull over content without having to manually re-enter it.