WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems on the planet, loved by digital publishers of all sizes for nearly two decades. However, WordPress does have its competitors, and if you’re a publisher, you may be wondering whether it makes sense to explore other content management systems.
One of the closest competitors to WordPress is another content management system platform called Drupal. Like WordPress, Drupal is free and open-source. Drupal serves up the back-end framework for more than 2% of all the websites in the world. Drupal often comes up as an alternative to WordPress because publishers believe the platform has similar features and a competitive pricing model.
Today, we’re going to compare WordPress vs Drupal, and see which platform comes out on top.
Features — WordPress vs Drupal
When it comes to the features you would expect to find in top-quality content management systems, both WordPress and Drupal have their bases covered.
WordPress and Drupal both offer the basic features that publishers need to run news websites. The differences between WordPress and Drupal have to do with how those features are configured and how easy—or difficult—they are to use.
With both WordPress and Drupal, publishers have:
• Multi-channel publishing and personalization
• Digital asset management
• Content monetization tools
• User account registration and maintenance
• RSS feeds
• Page layout customization
• Basic website installation and administration of the framework
WordPress and Drupal can both serve simple websites, single- or multi-user blogs, internet forums, and websites that rely on user-generated content.
To making things a little more interesting, let’s get into the features that are unique to each of these solutions.
Starting with WordPress, the real advantage is less complexity. Even though WordPress and Drupal have some of the same features, WordPress has been able to develop those features in a way that makes them less complex, and thus easier for publishers to implement.
WordPress has a number of themes, both paid and free, that are easy for publishers to implement as they build out their websites. On the other hand, Drupal has very few starter themes to choose from.
For publishers with extensive technical expertise, Drupal contains taxonomies, content types, blocks, and views. Each of these provides power to Drupal users, but it also comes with a steep learning curve that most publishers cannot overcome. Drupal is more geared toward developers than independent publishers. Right from the get-go, Drupal’s platform looks more complicated than WordPress’, which is important to understand for publishers who do not have extensive technical backgrounds.
If you’re like most digital publishers, you’re probably interested in how much these two platforms cost. Here is how WordPress and Drupal compare.
First the good news. WordPress and Drupal are both open-source, and therefore they are free to download and install.
There are costs associated with developing a website through both platforms, however the exact price will depend on the developer hired to help with the project. Developers usually charge less to create websites with WordPress than Drupal, because there are more WordPress websites and they are easier to create.
On a day-to-day basis, the biggest cost you’re likely to run into with WordPress is the price of plugins, extensions, and upgraded themes. Although WordPress offers many of these for free, there are a number of premium plugins that you will want to check out.
Because WordPress is so widely used among digital publishers, you can expect to pay significantly less when you’re using WordPress vs Drupal.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is really where WordPress stands apart from Drupal. Drupal can be difficult to learn, and it requires more technical know-how than WordPress. Developers can build custom websites with WordPress and then let publishers manage the sites, whereas with Drupal it isn’t always possible for publishers to handle their own website management.
What both WordPress and Drupal do have going for them are active online user communities with users who are willing to answer most basic questions. Both content management systems also offer documentation online.
Plugins & Modules
What WordPress calls plugins, Drupal calls modules. Both content management systems offer plugins or modules, many of which have the same functionality. However, WordPress’ plugins are usually cheaper and easier for publishers to manage on their own.
Plugins have actually become a key differentiator for WordPress. WordPress has so many plugins, at so many price points, that some publishers have switched to WordPress simply to take advantage. SEO, social media, and display advertising are just some of the things that can be managed through WordPress plugins.
Drupal’s modules tend to be more complex than WordPress’ plugins, and you should expect to need a developer to install and update whichever modules you choose.
Conclusion — WordPress vs Drupal
WordPress is the better content management system for most digital publishers. With WordPress, publishers can manage their own websites with a WYSIYWG editor and drag-and-drop functionality. WordPress has all the under-the-hood power than news publishers need, and more free plugins than any alternative options.
What do you think? Have you made up your mind between WordPress vs. Drupal? Reach out and let us know your opinion.