Drupal and WordPress have long been two of the most popular content management systems, both rated highly by those who specialize in providing web development services. In fact, between them, they account for around 67 percent of all CMS platforms.

WordPress makes up the lion’s share of these numbers, with around 65 percent of all CMS websites built using this software. Drupal’s 2 percent may seem fairly small by comparison but that still equates to over 1.5 million sites. 

Numbers aren’t everything, of course. There’s no point in choosing the most popular CMS platform if it doesn’t have the functionality and features to meet your development needs.

So, when deciding on CMS software, what factors do you need to consider? What features should you be looking out for? And out of Drupal and WordPress, which is better positioned to meet your needs? Read on to find out!

1. The quick guide to CMS

Before we get too deep into the comparisons, let’s first estawebblish what a CMS is.

CMS stands for the content management system, a type of software that enables developers to quickly and efficiently build functional, secure websites. Before the invention of the CMS, websites had to be built from scratch using code. This was a very time-consuming process that required intensive skills and resources.

Without getting too technical, a CMS is made up of a front end and a back end. The front end is the interface that people interact with when they visit your website. The back end is where all the code is stored.

The back end of a CMS is a user-friendly interface that makes adding, removing, and editing content extremely easy. Before the development of CMS platforms, even these easy tasks required in-depth knowledge of code. Now, anyone, from the marketing intern to the IT team leader, can quickly update a website. 

2. Factors to consider

While most CMS platforms are built around this basic structure, there can be quite significant differences in the types of features offered.

Some, like WordPress and Drupal, pride themselves on being suitable for all users. Others are built for specific purposes. Kentico, for example, is often the CMS of choice for e-commerce sites.

When choosing your CMS platform, consider the following factors:

a. Price:

Some CMS platforms — like WordPress — are completely free. You’ll need to pay a developer to do the work, but the software itself won’t cost a thing. Others, like Kentico, are closed source, meaning you will have to pay a license fee. There are usually added advantages to this, like having access to increased customer support.

b. Native vs. third-party plugins:

Some CMS platforms come packed with a range of features that have been developed by the software company. Others require you to download what are known as third-party plugins — as the name suggests, software created by a third party.

The latter can come accompanied by a range of security issues, depending on where you source your plugins from.

c. Permissions:

One of the main advantages of using a CMS is that multiple people can be working on the back-end of your site at one time.

Both the marketing and design teams can be making changes simultaneously. Check how many users your chosen platform supports and whether you can set restrictions to protect certain areas of your site.

d. Third-party integration:

Your website is not a standalone entity. To provide value to your customers and in turn, gain as much information as possible from them, you need to be able to integrate your website with third-party applications. Make sure your CMS supports this. 

3. WordPress: pros and cons

WordPress’s widespread popularity signals that it’s suitable for most users, particularly those with basic development needs. Pros of this CMS platform include:

a. Ease of use:

WordPress is known for being incredibly user-friendly. Its interface is quick to learn and with so many users out there, you can quickly find the answer to any question you have. 

b. Price:

As mentioned, WordPress is open source, meaning the software is completely free.

c. SEO functionality:

Even the most basic websites built using WordPress tend to be very SEO friendly. It comes with a range of tools that will help you build your presence online.

In terms of cons: some criticize WordPress on the basis that you may need to use a significant number of third-party plugins to build your site. Others claim that certain themes or plugins tend to hurt website speed. These types of problems can generally be navigated by hiring a professional team that provides web development services

4. Drupal: pros and cons

We now turn to Drupal. Although occupying a far smaller piece of the CMS pie, there are still several high-profile websites that have been built using the software, details of which can be found on Drupal’s website

Pros to using this CMS include:

a. Scalability:

Drupal is often touted as the best choice for websites that currently (or will one day) require a lot of power. It may require slightly more technical knowledge to navigate but once you (or your Drupal development agency!) gets the hang of it, you can easily create a website that grows alongside your business.

b. Customization:

Being open-source software, Drupal offers endless customization options.

c. Multilingual:

Got team members all over the world? No problem; Drupal can be accessed in over 100 different languages.

As for the cons: the main criticism of Drupal is the fact that, as mentioned, it can take a little while to get your head around. Of course, this won’t be a problem if you’re working with a professional Drupal development agency!

5. The answer?

So, the question remains: in 2022, should I use WordPress or Drupal to build my new website? Well, we recommend speaking to a professional web development services company.

Truth be told, for most websites, either Drupal or WordPress will do the job nicely. However, if your site has particular requirements or needs functions that are slightly left of center, it’s best to get a professional recommendation.