WordPress vs. Drupal – Battle of the CMS

Drupal vs. WordPress

WordPress and Drupal are two of the most popular content management systems being used today. Both CMS’s have their distinct advantages over the other. In this video I talk about the differences in the two and help pinpoint when to use one over the other.

Drupal Benefits:

  • It is worth noting and understanding that Drupal is not exactly a blogging platform per se, as is WordPress, but it is a CMS construction kit. Hard core programmers can go to town on Drupal, front end and back end, and build it out however they like.
  • The user profiles are extensible and allows for easy creation of membership sites and portals.
  • The categorization of content in Drupal is innovative as well. However, it takes some time to understand the taxonomy of things, but once you get the hang of it, it really does make a difference.
  • Drupal does a great drop of building out dynamic sites, something wordpress falters at.
  • Drupal can be easier because the backend allows for themeing as well. If you want your backend to look like your front end for easability, you have that option with Drupal. People who are looking to design websites that they can essentially pass off to their clients might find Drupal to be a better fit. WordPress on the other hand has a set theme for its backend which cannot be changed.This can be a little confusing for the novice webmaster.

WordPress Benefits:

  • Drupal can seem coarse for some bloggers, it is not very easy to set up for one, and modifying the code behind the scenes can be a nightmare for even some what savvy php coders. WordPress does a fantastic job of allowing for easy set up and creation, as well of modifying of code.
  • There are literally thousands of free plugins and themes for wordpress. The community surrounding WordPress really does an outstanding job with this. Drupal doesn’t quite have as many plugins (called modules in Drupal) and themes to go around.

For further reading on this subject visit the Drupal community site.

I am curious on others thoughts, which CMS do you like to use and why?

Published by

Brian Chappell

I sold my Moz recommended Search Agency in 2016 so I could prepare for the next big thing. I consult a select few and am continuing to grow my side projects into stable businesses. If you are curious about partnering, contact me

25 thoughts on “WordPress vs. Drupal – Battle of the CMS”

  1. For me, both are good CMS, and as you really well point out, WP is better if you want to build a Blog site, or just a medium website around a blog. Drupal can be really more powerful under the hood to build massive website especially community driven website.
    Also I would recommend WP for a non php coder, a html/css beginner webmaster.

    Well done article Brian 🙂

  2. I prefer Textpattern myself. It may take you a few time to figure it out, but after you do, there’s no going back. My next choice would be WordPress. We’ve done some crazy WP customization at Sitening and it has a ton of excellent plugins written for it.

    Ultimately though, if you’re an actual developer, it’s always good to have your own framework to work with. We use a framework called Simple PHP Framework, which we developed ourselves. We are currently working on a more robust version that will come with several modules (Blog, Articles, Navigation, etc…), which we will most like make open source once we get it complete.

    Overall though, nice article. It’s a great comparison. And although Drupal isn’t the flavor of CMS I like to ride with, it’s a worthy contender in the world of content management systems.

  3. Our company tried WordPress, Joomla, and a dozen other content management systems, but Drupal easily won out as our favorite content management system. Drupal does have a learning curve and lacks on themes, but with the release of Drupal 6 and Drupal 7, the development and theming will be much easier. Our company along with many other Drupal specialist companies set up installation profiles for specific uses such as a Social Networking Site, or an Education site, a small business site, an e-commerce site, etc… Drupal’s permission system also rocks. For our non-technical clients we setup a role that only shows them the things they need to see and not a huge confusing control panel.

  4. +1 for Textpattern. It is very flexible, extensible, has a very low volume of security reports.

    Updates aren’t nearly as frequent as for WordPress, severly reducing webmasters’ stress.

    Add an elegant designer-friendly, XML-based, yet grokable templating system opposed to the PHP-based which WordPress forces onto web designers.

  5. I thought I’d seen the last of these articles… us Drupal guys have, in the past, gotten kinda cranky about comparisons between Drupal and other platforms – specifically those targetted at blogging.

    Drupal is inherently more complicated than WordPress (I don’t know a lot about the latter in honesty), but the power of it is quite incredible. You can do pretty much anything with it. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the next version did your washing-up for you.

    The reason I personally chose Drupal for website development for business is the flexibility – I can develop any kind of site that I want with it, which is a great advantage. If I have a client that wants to tack a shop onto the existing “brochure” website, I have none of the usual integration issues – it just plugs straight in. Further to the general greatness of that system, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Drupal for SEO is just fantastic – an important factor for bloggers (although I realise there is similar functionality available in WP).

    I would advise anyone reading negative responses about Drupal to revise what they think after the release of Drupal 6. This release looks to fix a great many usability issues and include lots of great new stuff in core.

  6. @NikLP

    “I thought I’d seen the last of these articles”

    You are only going to see more as Drupal hits mainstream TBH. 🙂

    If you watch the video I made, it pretty much entails many of the points you make in your comment. I am def. not bashing Drupal by any means. I think it is a fantastic system that has great promise going forward.

    The fact of the matter remains, and is my main point here. If you are the avg. blogger, who doesn’t know jack squat about coding and PHP then Drupal is not going to be a content framework system you are going to want to use for your solo Blog.

    And you are right, you really cannot compare the two, but its still beneficial in pointing out the similarities and differences in the two.

    @ James

    “For our non-technical clients we setup a role that only shows them the things they need to see and not a huge confusing control panel.”

    This is a huge adv. of Drupal. This alone really makes it an attractive system to utilize.

  7. Good overview. I personally prefer Drupal for anything other than a basic blog. Especially when non-techies will be publishing. WP is just easier for your average writer to use, while Drupal caters to tech-saavy users/devs. Maybe I’m not utilizing Drupal’s content-publishing plugins etc to their max, though.

  8. Need I say which we prefer? 🙂

    Drupal’s “Views” output via the Views and CCK modules far surpasses any content/image/video type display output plugin that I’ve ever seen in WordPress. There is just no comparison here.

    I often see a lot of variables left out of these comparisons between Drupal and WordPress as well – such as WordPress isn’t meant to be a commerce-driven platform or a social networking platform. Drupal is meant to be both of these and more via the ecommerce module, Ubercart module, and the way to many to list social networking modules.

    I believe quite simply that WordPress is good (I still even use it for some sites), but is mainly for publishing content (blogging). Drupal is for the full-fledged company that wants to have platform to build anything and everything.

    I think a MUCH better comparison would be to list the top 25 “functionality” points and then whether or not WordPress and/or Drupal can handle each of them. The functionality points should be commonly used within thousands of site (like shopping cart, multiple user roles/editing, customizing code output, etc).

    Then you’ll have a real comparison 😉

  9. @Brian

    “I think a MUCH better comparison would be to list the top 25 “functionality” points and then whether or not WordPress and/or Drupal can handle each of them.”

    That has link bait written all over it. I wouldn’t tackle something that complex b/c I would not call myself an experienced Drupal expert like yourself. You certainly would need to be to tackle a post like that.

    I was just giving the avg. joe a base point to judge the two platforms by.

  10. WP definitely wins for blogs and smaller simple sites.

    I’m looking into Typo3 to manage larger sites and sites with user registration systems. Any thoughts?

  11. Hey Shey,

    I have never heard of typo3 so cannot really comment. Seems like what you need is Drupal, especially if you are looking to build a large site, with good user registration options.

  12. I evolved from blogger to wordpress and now I’m happy with Drupal :D. Drupal is highly more customisable and I love it (now I’m waiting for module updates to go to drupal 6)

  13. I personally love wordpress. When I was first learning to build a blog/CMS site I had both WordPress and Drupal installed on my server and tried to theme them both. WordPress was a lot easier for me to understand, and overall the support files for wordpress were a lot more user friendly. Drupal help seemed like it was for hardcore techies and I’m just a medium-core techie 🙂

    That said, I don’t generally make websites with complex backend functionality, so I’m biased. For what I do, wordpress is awesome.

  14. WordPress is getting better and better at performing like a CMS. For most simple websites, I would now choose WordPress over Drupal, not just for blogs because of the ease of use for the admin. For very large websites it still probably is better to use Drupal but I wouldn’t be shocked if the distance is closed more over the next 2 years.

  15. I use WordPress, for my own blog KarlKevilus.com and for development for the entire BanditTracker network. (BanditTracker.com, BanditTrackerChicago.com, GeorgiaBankRobbery.com, etc…) I’ve created a plugin for items I’ve needed (Mapping, KML, geocoding), and have downloaded one’s I’ve needed from elsewhere. (Someone even donated $75 for use of the plugin!)

    The key behind open-source is the community, I think the WordPress community is second to none, and when WordPress 3.0 rolls out, it’ll bury the competition hands down.

  16. Thank you for the article. Sometimes it’s hard deciphering why one might choose WP over Drupal or vice versa.

    Having used neither it is interesting to know that one is built to fill a specific purpose while the other seems to be ready to build.

    Not sure if I am understanding it 100%. I have used neither believe it or not and plan to keep it that way.

  17. For blogging I think wordpress is okay but for a CMS I think drupal may be much easier to use.
    Wordpress supports adding of posts easily but for features ans content types drupal will give you a run for your money.

    Also see Wahome’s Blogs

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