Which CMS Should I Use- WordPress or Drupal?

Choosing the right CMS can be a tricky prospect. There are many available: WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Magento, to name a small selection! Today, we will be looking at the first two on that list- WordPress and Drupal. These are our examples as they are two of the most popular available content management systems, and both have quite different uses.

WordPress

WordPress is by far the most popular CMS available, used by over 25% of websites.

There are a number of factors that contribute to its success. For instance, ease of use: adding pages and blog posts can be done easily and quickly.

The pre-built blog and user system make WordPress a popular choice. Little work is required to setup a fully functioning blog with comments and even email subscription.

Also, there is a large collection of plugins, add-ons and themes available, which can be used to extend WordPress to suit your needs both technically and looks-wise. Some of these plugins even allow you to ‘visually manipulate’ the look of your pages so you can edit your site without a knowledge of code, making it extremely accessible.

WordPress sites are also easy to maintain. Maintenance is necessary to keep your site secure from hackers. You can do so without direct access to the server and without directly editing any of the daunting code files. Also, sites can be updated directly from the CMS, in this place WordPress, meaning users don’t need to have direct access to the server to update, making it even more user friendly.

However, there are a number of downsides to WordPress, its popularity being one of them. Being the biggest CMS around attracts the more nefarious users of the internet, and WordPress itself not being the most secure system in the world means that sites are open to hacks if not properly updated, maintained and secured.

WordPress and plugins for WordPress are updated frequently meaning that the maintainers of the site need to stay on top of updates. There is an automatic update option, however occasionally this might break some functionality of the site, which might go unnoticed/ be difficult to fix for someone without technical knowledge.

Drupal

Drupal is a CMS maintained by a large community. As such it has access to large number of free modules, providing extensive customisation options.

These modules are really the power of Drupal, providing tools which cover a broad range of uses such as adding a shop and storing complex data types (i.e. beyond just a blog post).

Drupal has a robust way of categorising and viewing data bases, all of which can be customised based on your needs and specific requirements.

However, all this means that technical knowledge will be required to build, maintain and update a Drupal site. There aren’t as many off the shelf themes and the quality of them isn’t as good as WordPress (this is perhaps because they’re free, unlike WordPress), and most of them are designed to be extended- usually a designer will be needed. Using the aforementioned ‘category and view’ system will probably require a developer, and will probably take longer. Updates will require ‘File Transfer Protocol’ access to the server.

Which one should I use?

For smaller/ simpler projects WordPress is the better choice, although the plugins and themes aren’t free, the money spent would still be less than hiring a developer to do the work. But if the project has a larger scope and budget and a more bespoke solution is required you should consider Drupal and its extensive module collection.