When deciding what content management system (CMS) to use for powering your website, there are two options our team most often suggest: Drupal and WordPress. Although we do work with other programs, we encourage our clients to harness the power of open source software for a variety of reasons.
What are the differences between Drupal and WordPress? We’ll take a look from a high level and review some of the important distinctions.
Drupal stands out when it comes to security. Drupal has enterprise level security and site scale out of the box. Many government websites are built on Drupal including Whitehouse.gov. There are platform specific hosting applications which help manage security risks for both Drupal and WordPress. We highly recommend industry leader Pantheon.
Ease Of Use
WordPress is definitely more user friendly when administering a website. There is an easy-to-use back end for updating a plethora of website content. If you can create a Word document, you can create and edit posts and pages in WordPress. Drupal administration can be far more complicated. But if your website requires complicated integrations and several custom options, Drupal allows for more flexibility.
Both Drupal and WordPress have plugins or modules which allow for responsive starter themes to work seamlessly with devices of all sizes. In Drupal 8, image sizes can be set inside the admin by using the Image Style module. With WordPress, image sizes via break points are declared in the functions.php file.
Both Drupal and WordPress are free to download, but development costs for Drupal are usually higher than WordPress. The popularity of WordPress means there are many more options to achieve certain goals. Drupal requires a more advanced dependency understanding and in general takes more time to implement. It’s best to have a honest conversation with a development expert: just like most things in life, you get what you pay for.
Search Engine Optimization
Out of the box, Drupal pages load faster because of default caching features. Google prefers websites which load quickly. Also, Drupal is built to handle vast amounts of pages and content. The more relevant content your website can house, the higher your search engine results. WordPress does have caching plugins which can help with page load speeds and any good development team will encourage you to use them. Both options can be implemented with proper page structures and SEO-friendly slugs.
Making A Choice
It’s no secret in the web design and development world: people have their favorite. I happen to have worked extensively with both platforms and think there are times when either one is the best fit. The best way to determine which path to take is to reach out and discuss the needs of your online property.
At Hit, we love both Drupal and WordPress! We are only evangelists of providing the right solutions for our clients.