When redesigning your website, an important decision is choosing between WordPress or Drupal platforms to host your new site. Both platforms are open source software with a variety of plugins and modules available to increase functionality, but each platform has its own strengths better suited for different needs. Here are five questions to ask when considering the right platform:
What are my website functionality needs? Drupal hosts more advanced and in-depth features, such as user permissions, taxonomies, categories, blocks, views, etc. These features are powerful and comprehensive if you know how to use them but useless and a hindrance if you aren’t familiar with the system. The backend of Drupal is more complex whereas WordPress is more user-friendly and straight forward. The platform best suited for your website depends on the required functionality and the user’s comfort level with the CMS.
How much content will my website have? WordPress was originally built as a blogging platform and is not as suited to handle large volumes of content. On the other hand, Drupal can handle thousands of content pages as well as thousands of users. Drupal’s caching feature also increases the load speed of web pages. For large complex websites, Drupal is the better platform by far.
What level of security will my website need? Besides functionality and content volume, security is one of the largest differentiators between Drupal and WordPress. Drupal provides enterprise level of security as well as in-depth security reports for its users. The platform is secure enough that many government websites use the Drupal platform. WordPress is prone to hackers, and it has been speculated the platform’s plugins open the system to possible security issues.
How technical is my team? Many prefer WordPress with access to a variety of free themes and pre-built plugins that are easy to manage and available for use. Drupal is more suited for custom development and the installation of its modules, the platform’s version of plugins, often require a developer to install and update. WordPress features are more set and function out-of-the-box whereas Drupal allows for modules to be customized to your needs and requires more technical experience.
What are your cost constraints? Drupal is a powerful, customizable, and secure platform but will require a Drupal developer to manage. Premium themes and modules are more expensive on the Drupal platform while there are many free options on WordPress. Due to content constraints on WordPress, as a company grows and expands its server costs to support the site on WordPress will increase significantly.
Drupal and WordPress are both powerful and useful platforms. The decision of which to use rests largely on one’s needs, the functionality required, and how the website will develop and grow down the road.