WordPress vs Drupal: Choosing the Best Free CMS Solution for Your Site Marketing

By Katherine Crayon on October 22nd 2014

When it comes to choosing the best free CMS solution for building a website, what is the first option that comes to your mind?

I believe many of you would say it’s WordPress. And you would be absolutely right. Whether one is developing a blog or blog/website combination, WordPress is considered to be the most preferable solution.

However, we shouldn’t forget about a number of other awesome options, like Drupal, Joomla, and other.

Today, we’d like to focus your attention on WordPress and Drupal mainly. We will discover what makes these so popular among developers, compare their features, as well as decide which offer is the best free CMS for setting up your web resource.


WordPress vs Drupal: Similarities

 

When bringing our business to the web, we face several options – either code everything by ourselves, hire a skilled professional who has launched a number of successful projects or grab a ready-made design. The latter is considered to be the most effective and less time-consuming option.

Getting a ready-made theme you don’t have to spend tons of time on coding and designing.

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All you need to do is customize the template to your liking, choose colors, visuals, fonts and textures that perfectly fit your brand, and that’s it.

You are ready to get your site live in a few hours.

The next point you should decide on is picking the right Content Managing System (CMS) for building your website with. There are many solutions to choose from, each coming with its unique set of features and functionality.

However, there are still some things they have in common. Let’s have a closer look at similarities between WordPress and Drupal.

  • Both WordPress and Drupal are open source solutions, which means you can download and use them for free. On install, you get the standard features and functions, which you can further expand with the help of necessary plugins. The latter may be either paid or free, so check this out once downloading one.
  • If you have any questions or need some help during installation, there is always a good support community to assist you.
  • When it comes to editing and posting articles, a number of CMS have similar easy to use interfaces.
  • The responsive nature of a website is what we pay special attention to. The good news is that both WordPress and Drupal are design agnostic, so you are free to create however you like. Both CMS have basic responsive themes that can accelerate your development time and even let you design within the browser. Traditionally, all the features can be improved by installing additional plugins.

WordPress vs Drupal. Main Differences

 

There is an ongoing debate about the best free CMS to choose for building a website in a fast and easy way.

While there are so many solutions available, today we’d like to focus your attention on WordPress and Drupal mainly.

Being a blogging platform at its core, WP is more usable than Drupal. It doesn’t include a lot of options, which doesn’t confuse the starters.

If you are a beginner, you are likely to find Drupal rather complicated.

screenshot_Drupal_Admin_Screen

The platform comes packed with plenty of features that can help you work more productively in case you know how each of them functions. Learning these characteristics may be time consuming, but if you are starting a large corporate website, then Drupal would be a better choice for you.

Small businesses and bloggers may safely use WP to their benefit.

When it comes to comparing the degree of popularity of each of these platforms among developers, we may surely claim that WP is the winner.

While some have never used or even heard about Drupal, out of the top million of websites using one CMS or another, about 14% prefer WP, while a bit more than 1% choose Drupal.

This results in the wider community of WordPress users.

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In case you don’t know how to use something within the blogging system, there are plenty of free tutorials available on the web, which help you find answers to all questions that matter. These are only some basic, general factors that differ WordPress from Drupal.

Now let’s dig a bit deeper and compare both platforms in detail.


Ease of use. Generally speaking, Drupal is not more difficult to use than WordPress. It takes more time to learn how to use it.

Compared to WP, Drupal can’t boast such a wide user base. It is intended for experienced users, whereas WP can be used even by beginners.

The interface is intuitive, with WYSIWYG content editor, which makes it easier to write, edit and publish posts.

With WordPress you can set up your site and get it running in a couple of hours.

Drupal doesn’t have a standard WYSIWYG content editor. Instead there are 13 suboptimal editor module options for choose from.


Features. WordPress is known for its rich feature set.

Similar to many other popular free CMS, it allows controlling everything right from the dashboard. Many of the essential tools you will need for better SEO optimization and safety are built-in, meaning that you can start using these on the download.

wordpress-seo-plugin

As per Drupal, it also provides users with plenty of features. The only difference is that you have to create custom features by yourself.


Plugins and Themes. Comparing the general amount of plugins and themes provided by both platforms, WP is no doubt better than Drupal.

Wide choice gives the freedom of selecting more options, which results in more benefits to your resource.


Security. When it comes to security, Drupal is the true winner.

Numerous governmental institutions and large corporations entrust their web presence to this CMS (The White House, The Warner Brothers, The Economist, Digett, etc.). Hackers know WP from A to Z. They find no difficulty with breaking into the system to wipe out thousands of sites over there.

Over the past few years, a number of apps helping web masters manage WP and Drupal site security have seen the light of the day. If you are using Drupal, then Acquia and Pantheon will come in handy, whereas WP Engine offers a reliable solution for those of you having a website powered by the blogging platform.

Screenshot-Issues for Drupal core - drupal.org - Mozilla Firefox


SEO. Making your web resource SEO-friendly is a must to beat competitors and build solid web presence. Here you can’t go wrong with the choice since both WP and Drupal are designed to develop SEO-friendly websites.

But since we are here to find out which of these two CMS is the winner in certain category, it’s worth noticing that Drupal would be a better choice to get your project to the top of SERP.

What is the indicator of site reliability for Google? That is quality and quantity of content.

Drupal makes it possible to store plenty of written and visual data on one resource, which results in better SEO.


Multiple Authors Support. This point is of special importance for those of us who deal with guest blogging.

As you’ve already guessed, WP is the right choice here. This is the blogging platform in its core, so it was designed in a way to make it possible to accommodate several authors.


Flexibility. Using WordPress you can create simplistic designs, like blogs, e-commerce stores, and portfolios. However, this variety can hardly compete with what Drupal can do.

As we’ve already mentioned above, Drupal is the perfect choice for building large corporate websites, multi page estores that pack loads of content of any nature. Either a simplistic design or a platform that handles immense amount of pages and users – all these can be easily developed by means of Drupal.


Conclusion

 

As you see, WordPress is the perfect solution for building a blog or website/blog combination, whereas Drupal is the most preferable solution for setting up large websites.

Featuring easy to use, intuitive interface, WP can be used even by those of you starting the first web project ever. Compared to the latter, Drupal comes packed with a number of outstanding, high quality modules making it easier to build and manage a web resource of any level of complexity.

Drupal10

Compared to Drupal, WP is much easier to learn. Thousands of handy tutorials explaining how to use the CMS step-by-step help to learn working with it on your own.

Drupal, in its turn, is more technical. It doesn’t include all those easy-to-use tools you will find in WP, so it is better suited to more advanced users and developers.

wp 1

In case you are not that tech-savvy to build a website on your own, take a great solution allowing you to pick a pre-made design and adjust it to your liking. When it comes to Drupal, it requires custom development. This is not the type of project you can spin a theme off of.

Before making your choice, decide what kind of a project you need to develop – a blog, personal portfolio, e-commerce site, or a large corporate website. Based on this and the aforementioned comparison chart you can decide whether you need WordPress or Drupal.

Take your time, spin through the possibilities, and choose the best free CMS that meets your requirements the most.

Now it’s your time to speak up. Which of these two platforms do you find more usable? Have you ever experienced working with any of them? How do you feel about that? Share your thoughts with us in the comments block below.


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Katherine Crayon

@CrayonKatherine

Written by Katherine Crayon, copywriter reporting on tech news and all aspects of the web design industry. Anyone looking for a magic kicker to get your own online business started meet her in person on G+ and Twitter.

  • Freidrich

    Cool post! Super useful information. Thanks a lot for publishing it!

  • Katherine Crayon

    Thanks, Freidrich! I’m glad you enjoyed it =)

  • At one point you have mentioned that WordPress is a multi user blogin software and Drupal does not have. But Drupal has equal features. Multi-user bloggin is also possible in Drupal.

    Thanks,
    Sakina

    (http://www.wordpresstrainingkolkata.in)

  • Hi Sakina, thanks for sharing! We’ll make sure to update this in our next post.

  • Nataliya Bogdanets

    Just wanted to add that the real deciding factor comes down to what you really need your site to do in the end and how much effort and time you are willing to put into it.

    Being an experienced IT specialist – I left Drupal in favor of WordPress and have zero regrets. Not for nothing WordPress is considered to be one-fits-all solution – hardly any other CMS comes close to it in terms of multifunctionality and flexibility. By the way, I managed to switch from Drupal to WordPress without intensive hands-on (here’s the source – http://goo.gl/mvZUno). Hopefully, it will help smb…