20 December 2023
Choosing the right content management system (CMS) for your new website is incredibly important. If you’re building a website from scratch, you’re probably going to use a CMS to help design and manage your site.
And when it comes to CMS, two names stand out: WordPress and Drupal. Both CMS platforms dominate the market share, taking up over 64% of the market.
Each has its own targeted online community and a loyal fanbase. In addition, both Drupal and WordPress power some of the largest websites in the world.
Below, we’ll look in more detail at how WordPress and Drupal stack up against each other. Read on to get answers to the following questions:
By the end of this Drupal vs WordPress comparison, you’ll have a good understanding of which CMS is better for your new websites in 2024.
Let’s get started!
Before we dive into a more detailed comparison, let’s see a quick introduction to the two players in this comparison. Obviously, both are content management systems. That means they provide a self-hosted solution for creating and managing your website’s content.
So, how do they compare to content management systems?
Drupal is an open-source CMS known for its strong and flexible framework, which allows you to create and manage diverse types of websites. It has been around longer than WordPress but does not have the same market share.
Drupal, founded in 2000, now powers 1.1% of all websites and accounts for 1.6% of the content management system market.
Some notable websites running on Drupal are:
WordPress is the most popular free, open-source content management system. It started as a blogging platform in 2003, today powers 43% of all websites, and owns a whopping 62.8% of the total content management system market.
Some notable websites using WordPress are:
Here is a detailed comparison of WordPress vs Drupal features.
One of the key reasons to use a CMS is that it allows you to build and manage your site more easily. With the rise of CMS, anybody can create a visually appealing, functional website without technical knowledge.
In this WordPress vs Drupal comparison, you’ll learn how easy Drupal and WordPress are to use as well as which one comes out on top.
If you choose beginner-friendly website hosting, you can install Drupal more easily. Furthermore, Drupal supports a number of installation options known as distributions. If you know the type of website you want to build, you can use one of these instead of a blank Drupal installation.
After you’ve installed Drupal with CMS hosting, you’ll have a number of customization options at your disposal.
However, the learning curve accelerates at this stage. Aside from very easy site customization, most changes need you to know how to program in PHP, HTML, and many more languages. If you can’t program, you’ll need to hire a Drupal developer at this stage.
Even simple tasks such as keeping your site up to date need technical expertise because you’ll need to modify the code to ensure that every part of your site is compatible with the new version.
One of the key reasons WordPress is so popular is because it is very easy to set up and use.
WordPress can be installed on your host in just a few minutes. Most WordPress hosting providers offer a simple one-click WordPress install that will help you through the installation process.
After you’ve installed WordPress, you’ll be welcomed by the user-friendly dashboard.
This is where you will install plugins and themes, create content, and update your website.
Furthermore, if you want to create your site even easier, you can install drag-and-drop page builders like Elementor or Beaver Builder.
Adding posts and pages, as well as creating content, is also very easy.
If you want an easy-to-use CMS, then WordPress is a better option for you. Not only can you install WordPress in minutes, but the intuitive WordPress dashboard makes it easy to install themes and plugins and create content.
On the other hand, the Drupal installation process is also simple. However, once you start customizing your site, you might run into issues if you lack technical skills.
Everyone wants a visually appealing website. That should go without saying. So, while comparing WordPress vs Drupal, consider the design customization options.
You also need to consider feature customization. And how easy it is to create, launch, and modify the site type you want. Whether it’s publishing, e-commerce, membership, or anything else you need.
You can customize a Drupal site using modules and themes similar to WordPress plugins and themes.
Drupal offers 51,000+ modules to extend site functionality and the 3,100+ themes used for modifying the site’s appearance.
As a result, you can customize your Drupal site easily. However, customizations can be more difficult unless you know how to code. It also takes a lot more effort to create something unique using Drupal than it does to create something similar in WordPress.
WordPress has a massive collection of plugins and themes. The foundation of your site will be established using a theme, and extra functionality will be added via plugins.
WordPress offers 11,000 free WordPress themes from its official theme repository. If you don’t find the theme, consider looking for other options from third-party marketplaces.
Similarly to themes, WordPress has over 59,000+ free plugins in its official plugin repository, and many more are available on third-party marketplaces.
As a result, WordPress allows you to create whatever type of site you want.
If you’re a newbie who wants greater control over the design and feature set of your site, WordPress is the way to go. Drupal has a severe learning curve, so creating something unique will be challenging.
However, if you know how to code, Drupal is a good option since you will be able to design your site in any way you see appropriate.
Search Engine optimization (SEO) is crucial if you want your website to rank higher in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). If not, your online presence will suffer badly.
So, let’s see how each platform stacks up against the other.
Drupal does a good job with SEO. The CMS is designed with SEO best practices in mind, such as built-in coaching. You’ll also discover a range of modules, such as Yoast SEO, that may help you improve your SEO.
Furthermore, Drupal comes with SEO-friendly features that WordPress lacks in the absence of external plugins. For example, Drupal has native caching out of the box, but WordPress requires additional caching plugins. Page caching results in quick load times, which is a very useful metric to boost your PageRank.
WordPress is very well optimized for SEO right out of the box. It offers several SEO plugins that help you easily optimize content, generate sitemaps, and manage other SEO essentials.
Furthermore, many WordPress themes are also optimized for SEO, focusing on responsive design and fast performance.
Overall, WordPress is more accessible and user-friendly, making it a go-to for beginners or those who prefer a more straightforward approach to SEO.
Drupal offers more advanced and customizable SEO features, ideal for those with the technical know-how to leverage its full potential.
You want your website to be safe no matter what type it is. Nothing on the internet can ever be 100% safe. Instead, your goal should be to achieve the best level of security possible.
Let’s look at how Drupal vs WordPress handles the security aspect.
Drupal has a reputation for being one of the most secure content management systems available. It is the platform used by the most popular sites we discussed above. Therefore, you can expect it to have good security standards.
While it has had its share of issues, such as numerous SQL injection vulnerabilities, the community has been fast to adapt, and Drupal has performed well in combatting security risks.
The WordPress core is quite secure. However, the growing number of third-party plugins and themes leads to increased security flaws.
Furthermore, because it is such a popular CMS, it is far more likely to be vulnerable to security threats. In fact, WordPress is the most hacked CMS.
With WordPress, you’re dealing with a vast ecosystem of plugins and themes. Therefore, the chances of installing a badly coded plugin or theme are higher.
However, by following WordPress security best practices, you can limit the likelihood of any security vulnerabilities.
Overall, Drupal has less chance of getting hacked. This can be due to two reasons. First, Drupal has a smaller market share, so the chances of Drupal sites being targeted are much smaller. Second, it has a smaller plugin and theme ecosystem, where most security holes arise.
WordPress, on the other hand, can be very secure if you take the proper steps to protect your site. As you learned above, the WordPress core is incredibly secure. However, installing poorly coded plugins and themes can leave your site open to risk.
Having a fast-loading site is crucial if you want to drive more organic traffic to your website. Slow loading times can frustrate visitors, leading to a poor user experience.
Furthermore, search engines like Google use site speed as a ranking factor.
Below, we take a look at what both CMS platforms offer in terms of speed and performance.
Drupal can help in the creation of high-performance, fast-loading websites. One major reason for this is that the CMS requires fewer resources. This enables lightning-fast server connectivity and faster response times.
Furthermore, this makes it more capable of handling websites with thousands of pages. You’ll also be able to add further extensions, such as website caching, to increase performance even more.
One of the main disadvantages of WordPress is its slow speed. That’s not to say it can’t be fast, but many webmasters don’t optimize their websites properly. If you know what you’re doing or even make an effort to adopt WordPress performance best practices, you may end up with a really fast website.
In essence, WordPress can provide outstanding performance. However, if you use too many plugins, have a badly coded theme, and fail to properly optimize, your loading speed and performance will suffer.
Drupal is most likely the faster and lightweight CMS right out of the box. However, setting up and customizing your site to maximize speed will be more challenging.
WordPress can either give millisecond loading speeds or take what appears to be a century to load. It all relies on the webmaster, the host, and whether or not you’ve correctly optimized your site. The good news is that even beginner WordPress users can easily optimize their websites for performance by installing and customizing a few plugins.
Cost is a crucial factor when choosing a content management system (CMS) for a website. Drupal and WordPress are two of the most popular CMS platforms, each with its own cost implications. Understanding the financial aspects of both can help in making an informed decision.
Drupal is known for its robustness and flexibility, especially for complex, large-scale projects. However, this comes with a cost. The initial setup and development costs for Drupal can be higher than WordPress due to its complexity and the need for specialized developers.
Additionally, customizing Drupal often requires extensive coding, which can increase development costs. Hosting costs for Drupal sites may also be higher, particularly for high-traffic sites that require advanced hosting solutions.
However, Drupal itself is an open-source platform and is free to download and install.
WordPress is known for its user-friendliness and a vast array of themes and plugins, many of which are free or inexpensive. This makes the initial setup and customization costs generally lower than Drupal.
Similar to Drupal, WordPress is also open-source and free to install. However, costs can increase if premium themes or plugins are used or if extensive customization is required.
Additionally, while WordPress can run on cheap hosting plans, more advanced websites might need better hosting solutions, which can add to the cost.
Check out our article on WordPress price breakdown to learn more.
In terms of cost, WordPress is often a more affordable solution, particularly for small to medium-sized websites or those with less technical expertise.
While Drupal is more expensive up front, it might be a good investment for larger, more complicated projects that require extensive customization and scalability.
Drupal and WordPress provide different support services to their respective user groups.
Here, we’ll compare WordPress and Drupal support structures to help you decide which might be better suited to your needs.
Drupal is known for its robust and technical community support. Being an open-source platform, it heavily depends on its community of developers and users. The Drupal community is smaller than WordPress’s but is highly specialized.
Users can access a number of documentation, community forums, and online resources. Drupal also provides support via IRC channels, where experienced developers and users provide real-time assistance.
However, for non-technical users, Drupal’s steep learning curve can make it challenging to find easy-to-understand support without professional help.
WordPress has a vast and active community. Its support system is more accessible to beginners and non-developers. Users can find many resources such as forums, detailed guides, tutorials, etc.
Additionally, WordPress has many developers and enthusiasts who regularly contribute to forums and provide free assistance.
The platform also benefits from a large number of third-party resources, including blogs, YouTube channels, and online courses, making support readily available for all levels of users.
Both Drupal and WordPress offer strong support systems but cater to different audiences. Drupal is ideal for users with a technical background or requiring specialized support for complex websites.
WordPress, on the other hand, is more suitable for beginners and non-developers, offering a wide range of easily accessible resources and a larger community for general support.
This is probably the question you came here looking for. However, it is a challenging question because it is hard to declare whether WordPress or Drupal is better.
Drupal is a solid CMS. It comes with several features straight out of the box and is designed for performance and security from the start. It is highly flexible, but it has a learning curve. If you do not want to spend time learning to code and instead want to have your site up and running as quickly as possible, consider using WordPress.
WordPress is a very intuitive and easy-to-use CMS. Although you can build very large and heavily customized websites, it remains highly accessible to beginners.
By installing the right combination of plugins, selecting a good theme, and choosing a quality host, you will set yourself up for success. Furthermore, since WordPress is so popular, you’ll find an array of tutorials and support information to help you with any difficulties that arise.
We hope our Drupal vs WordPress comparison helps you understand which is better for your website in 2024.
For more, check out these other WordPress comparisons: