Drupal vs WordPress

Although there are many blog posts out there comparing Drupal and WordPress, I've found that there still seems to be a lot of confusion as to when it makes sense to choose one or the other. They both have a lot of positive similarities, making them equally great platforms in the right situations. Some of these mutual benefits include being:

  • Open Source
  • Widely Popular
  • Easy to Use

Because they are both open source platforms, this means that we as developers aren't limited by the standards set in place by the platform and development possibilities are virtually endless. This means that to just about any question, the answer is 'Yes, we can make it work, but would it be a good use of our time and your money in this case?'**

**Note that these are reasonable expectations for websites in general, so no; we cannot build you a website that reads your mind and writes all of your content for you (yet).

Both Drupal and WordPress are very popular in the web development world, which means there is constant support all around us. If you run into a problem, the chance of someone else having the same problem is very high, which leads to finding solutions much faster than a custom solution. Both Drupal and WordPress have amazing communities, so when we use these platforms for your site, you have thousands of people working hard to solve any problem that you haven't even thought up yet.

A third reason that leads to these platforms being so common is that they are very user-friendly for you. Thanks to being both open source as well as popular in the development world, we are able to focus on how you use your website, and make sure that adding content is as straightforward and efficient as possible.

So if they're both so powerful, why choose one over the other?

Many people end up leaning towards WordPress because of the initial price tag. If they're both open source and are content management systems, why is it that Drupal always seems to be so much more expensive?

This may seem to be the case at first, but to make the best decision we have to look at the big picture and find out the real differences between Drupal and WordPress:

Drupal vs WordPress

When it comes to using WordPress, getting a basic site up and running generally does not take much time. This is because the platform was intended for a simple blog along with general content pages, so features like these come standard without requiring additional development.

On the flip side, if you do want more than just a blog and a few content pages, it will take more time to build custom requests. This is because that although WordPress allows for all sorts of custom development, that wasn't what it was created for. Think of it this way: WordPress is like a model car kit. You have all the pieces to build out the car, but if you want anything extra you might have to go out and find other pieces and materials that work not only with your car, but with each other.

Drupal on the other hand, is like having a giant box of Lego blocks. Unlike WordPress, its intention was to be able to do just about anything. Unfortunately, the downside of this is that the initial setup will take a little bit longer. Each little piece of the site has to be put together before we can do anything fun with it. Once the site is up and running though, adding new features is generally quick and painless, at least compared to other platforms.

Let's say, for example, you decide to have a new section of content that only shows up in the top left of three pages. If you were using WordPress, we would have to go build a new 'Öpart' that lets us make a new space for your content, and then find another tool that makes sure it only shows up where you want it.

If you were using Drupal, we already have every part you need and, after a quick configuration, you're off adding new cat images and YouTube videos to your heart's content.

So, the answer to the big question here is that it depends on what you want for a website. Are you just looking to update your old 2008 site to something new and responsive? Then maybe WordPress is perfectly fine to get you up and running. If you're looking to rebuild and want room to grow, then - although it may not seem it now - Drupal just might be a good investment for when you decide to add all those new fancy membership features down the road.

Amanda Downie
By Amanda Downie

Designer from school, coder by hobby, her greatest interest is combining the two as a Front-end Developer. Her other interests include music, dragons, and guinea pigs - though not always at the same time.

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