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This article explores two of the most popular blogging platforms on the web: Drupal vs WordPress. They are both free to download and use out of the box, but what are their strengths and weaknesses? Which one should you choose for your next blog project?
Drupal vs WordPress: What’s the difference between these two platforms?
You’ve probably heard of WordPress already.
The free WordPress software has become the most widely used blogging system on the web.
WordPress is quite simple to use, and a good choice for creating a relatively simple blog.
The power of WordPress lies in its thousands of plugins. These add-on modules let you extend and customize your blog on just about any front you can think of.
A WordPress website is operated using a browser interface. This means that there are no file system paths to worry about, and no configuration files to edit manually (on most installations). All of the administration is done with a point-and-click web interface.
WordPress is a “content management system” which means that you can use it for much more than just blogging.
WordPress is not exactly a “programming platform”, but rather an application that you administer via your browser.
In fact, WordPress doesn’t have all that many settings that you can change directly through the admin interface. However, there are many helpful modules and add-on applications that you can use to extend the basic functionality of your blog.
Drupal is more powerful than WordPress because it’s a full-fledged content management system.
Drupal is a free, open-source, PHP-based content management system. This means that you’re able to independently customize the appearance of your site, including all of the elements and functionality associated with it: images and graphics, forms, buttons, and menus, etc.
WordPress isn’t really a standalone application, but rather a plugin-based platform that can be extended using 3rd party add-ons (which are sometimes free, sometimes not so free).
WordPress is designed to help your blog. It’s not necessarily a content management system.
If all you want to do is a simple blog, WordPress may well be the way to go.
However, if you want more control over the website itself (e.g. need a lot of configuration options for your site), then you may want to consider Drupal.
Drupal vs WordPress SEO
WordPress is easier to make Search Engine Optimized (SEO) for two reasons:
– WordPress allows you to control your own permalinks
– WordPress allows you to easily edit your content title and meta tags yourself. This is because the WordPress database schema has a table specifically for this purpose, called wp_postmeta.
Drupal on the other hand has two different database tables for posts and taxonomies, called node and taxonomy. This means that any SEO you want to do on a Drupal website has to be done in code.
Another benefit of WordPress is that it also parses your pages for you, meaning it looks at all links in your content and makes sure that links to pages with the same root URL are replaced with a canonical link. This ensures Google will index your pages with the right URL.
Whereas Drupal has no such link checking built-in.
Lastly, I would like to point out that custom post types and custom taxonomies are supported in WordPress. While they are not as good as they built into Drupal by default, they are easy to install and do give you some control over your site.
Which one should you choose for SEO?
If you want to spend a bit extra to make your blog search engine optimized, then WordPress is the way to go.
If you do not wish to go through the hassle of learning how to do SEO in Drupal, or if you don’t have much time or resources, then WordPress is your best bet.
Drupal vs WordPress eCommerce
WordPress is also the best way to easily set up an eCommerce website.
There are many themes available for WordPress that are specifically optimized for eCommerce sites, and there are plugins available to add advanced e-commerce functionality such as payment gateway integration.
Drupal’s built-in capabilities do not have a specific focus on the e-commerce market, although it’s possible the community has developed some elements that can be applied to an online store.
Drupal does not have a dedicated e-commerce module, and you may need to develop a custom module for your store. This is usually not too hard to do but will require you to have some HTML/CSS and SQL knowledge.
Drupal’s SEO features are also not as strong as WordPress’s.
Which one should you choose for eCommerce?
If you want to spend a bit extra to make your store search engine optimized, then WordPress is the way to go.
If you have the HTML/CSS and SQL knowledge to make a custom module, or if the features provided by Drupal’s e-commerce module are enough for your store, then Drupal is your best bet.
However, if you want a store up and running in no time at all, with no need to modify any underlying code and absolutely perfect for getting your eCommerce business started out without any issues – then I recommend using PrestaShop.
Drupal vs WordPress Cost
WordPress has one definite advantage over Drupal. The fact that it’s easier to set up and use means that developers specializing in WordPress are in higher demand than Drupal developers, meaning they are able to charge a bit more. Just be sure to check their portfolio and past clients before hiring them.
Drupal is more expensive to set up and use than WordPress, and it’s not as easy to get good help on the Drupal forum. It’s also not as widely used, but that may change in the future.
In case of Hosting cost, you can choose A2 Hosting, which can provide hosting service for both Drupal and WordPress at $2.99/month.
Which one should you choose for cost?
WordPress can be a bit cheaper to get started with because of its popularity, availability, and the fact that concerns about security are lower than for Drupal.
However the opportunities for customization are higher with Drupal, and you will have a wider variety of plugins available to you.
This means that your WordPress website will be more limited than a Drupal one.
If you want to spend a bit extra to get great service, then Drupal is the way to go.
On the other hand, if you are just starting out and want something that’s easy to get going with, WordPress is the way to go.
Drupal vs WordPress for Bloggers
WordPress is a great platform for bloggers. It is extremely popular, easy to use, and offers a lot of features out of the box.
This is why most bloggers use WordPress.
Drupal, on the other hand, can be intimidating to some users, but as I mentioned before, it’s also a content management system. This means you can extend its functionality using modules and add-ons. Drupal also scores high with its full-text search capabilities and overall customizable interface.
Which one should you choose for bloggers?
WordPress is a great choice for bloggers. It’s easy to use, has numerous features out of the box, and is extremely popular.
If you have less experience with programming or don’t know how to install modules, then Drupal is probably what you need. For more in-depth tutorials then check out this very comprehensive guide on Blogging where to start.
Drupal vs WordPress Security
WordPress wins in this area by far. As a community, the WordPress community is much more concerned about security, and it has much better security features built-in.
WordPress makes use of several different methods to ensure that a hacker can’t easily gain access to your site, including (but not limited to) Perma structures, plugins, and themes.
There are also several WordPress security plugins available that improve the overall security of your website even further.
There is not much to speak about Drupal’s security. It is actually quite secure out of the box, and it has several security add-ons available, but they are not as widespread as WordPress’s.
WordPress users are also much more concerned about security, and regularly back up their sites and check for vulnerabilities.
Which one should you choose for Security?
WordPress is the clear winner in this category. WordPress developers are also more aware of security issues, so a hacked WordPress site can be cleaned up pretty quickly.
However, if you’re on a budget and don’t mind learning some more security issues, Drupal can be a good alternative.
Drupal vs WordPress Functionality
WordPress wins in this category by far. For example, the following extensions are not available for Drupal:
Email Marketing Opt-in Forms Checkout Optimized Pages Newsletter Subscription Manager User Management Themes (fixed or fluid) Buttons WordPress Theme Installer
Some of these are not as important to hosting a blog as others, but nevertheless, they are important.
Drupal on the other hand, has a development community that closely follows functionality, so Drupal functionality is usually not too far behind.
Which one should you choose for functionality?
WordPress wins in this category, but only if you need a lot of WordPress-specific features. On the other hand, if you just want something that can be expanded and modified as your business (or blog) grows, then Drupal can be a good choice.
Drupal vs WordPress Content Management
This is a pretty interesting category. It’s about the way in which your content is managed, and how it is done.
You see, WordPress has pages and posts. Pages are meant for static content like About Us pages or contact information that doesn’t change very often. Posts are meant for more dynamic content such as blog posts, events or product updates. Drupal follows a similar idea.
WordPress makes it easy for you to create categories, write posts and attach pages to your posts.
Drupal can also be used in this way, but Drupal expects you to group content together, and build your site from modules and pages. This is because Drupal is essentially content management and not a blog platform.
With WordPress, the dynamic nature of its pages makes them easy to manage but not as powerful as they could be.
Drupal, on the other hand, makes it easier to manage your content, but because of its focused design, you have to build certain page templates and add data in a specific way in order to get content populated.
Which one should you choose for Content Management?
Both WordPress and Drupal can be used for static content. This is what their designers envisioned when they designed the sites. If you need such functionality, then Drupal will work fine.
However, you can make WordPress into a CMS just by adding in the right plugins.
Drupal might be a better option if you want to customize the way your content is managed, or if you need sophisticated features like templating, image manipulation, or a statistics system.
Drupal vs WordPress Support
WordPress wins again in this category. WordPress has a very active help forum that is frequented by thousands of users. The team behind WordPress also does a great job of responding to issues and updating their software with new features.
If you are not comfortable using forums, then you can always turn to your host for help, but chances are that they will provide technical support for WordPress, which in most cases will be sufficient.
Drupal also has a forum, but it is not as extensive as WordPress. Also while Drupal has extensive documentation, it doesn’t have the same amount of forums that WordPress has.
Which one should you choose for Support?
Beginners should choose WordPress since they will be comfortable using forums and they can also get help from their host if needed.
Experts and people who are used to the command-line interface or people who are comfortable searching for answers on forums should choose Drupal.
Drupal vs WordPress Mobile Friendly
WordPress wins in this category. WordPress has a new version of its platform, and it has been designed to be mobile-friendly from the start.
It is quite easy to build a mobile-friendly theme for WordPress, and there are several themes available that are optimized for mobile browsing.
WordPress might however not work as well on older phones like Blackberry or Palm devices.
Drupal does not have any specific features that make it mobile-friendly out of the box. In order to make a Drupal site mobile-friendly, you will have to build your own theme.
But it doesn’t mean Drupal is not mobile-friendly. You can make your Drupal site compatible with certain mobile devices using certain technologies like XHTML Mobile Pages.
There are also several plugins available that help you make your site look good on any phone or tablet displaying a certain type of device (iPad, iPhone, Android, etc.).
Which one should you choose for Mobile-Friendly?
If you want a mobile-friendly Drupal site, then you will have to spend some time building your own theme.
If you want a mobile-friendly WordPress site, then there are lots of themes and plugins available that you can use.
Here’s some tips on how to choose between WordPress and Drupal
For WordPress users
If you just want to write posts and manage categories, then WordPress is the way to go. There are different plugins for your photos or for social networking and other such things, but these plugins are very limited compared with Drupal.
WordPress is also missing some advanced features. For example, WordPress does not have a built-in spam protection system.
WordPress’s administrative panel might also be too complicated for beginners, and the security measures that WordPress implements leave a lot to be desired.
For Drupal users
If you want to customize things and not worry too much about functionality and security, but still create something useful, then Drupal might suit your needs.
You can customize your content management system to suit your needs by using modules available in the marketplace. Drupal’s default functionality might not be ideal if you have specific needs, so it might be a good idea to use modules to add additional features.
Drupal also has a lot more flexibility in terms of what it can be used for. The Drupal community is very strong and there are many people who develop Drupal themes and modules.
The biggest advantage of using Drupal is its flexibility. However, this near-perfect flexibility comes at the cost of its complexity. This can be especially problematic for beginners.
In contrast to Drupal, WordPress is very easy to use and does not have many features on its own. However, the plugins make it easy for you to add functionality as you need them.
Therefore, if you just want a blog or static content, WordPress will be good enough. But if your needs are a little more varied, Drupal will be better suited to your needs.
Drupal is also easier to customize and can be extended far beyond what WP can do out of the box.
If you have specific needs that WP does not fulfill, or if you have some experience in coding or programming, then Drupal might be a better choice for you.
WordPress vs Drupal: Which one should you choose?
The choice between WordPress and Drupal is dependent on your motivations and needs, the level of customization that you want for your website, and the cost of using each one.
WordPress has a lot to offer beginners. If you just want to write posts, use some themes, get some email subscribers and manage categories, WordPress will be good enough for you.
WordPress can also be a good choice if you don’t want to worry about security and functionality issues, and just want to build something quickly and at a low cost.
Drupal is better suited for more experienced users who have specific needs. If you need something extra than WordPress can provide, then Drupal may be the way to go.
However Drupal is not very friendly for bloggers who are just starting out or people who are not that technical.
Drupal has powerful functions that WordPress does not have. It might however be a bit daunting to someone who has never used Drupal before, so make sure you will be comfortable using it before making the switch.
What do I need to know about WordPress before starting?
You have to have a word press installation in order to configure it properly for your business site. After that, you can create content and publish your website from within the WordPress admin panel to the live site.
What should I know about Drupal before starting?
You will have to have knowledge about PHP, MySQL, and coding. If you are not a web developer but want to use Drupal for your business website then you should choose a platform like Drupal site or Creare Studio that offers Drupal development service.
Should I use WordPress or Drupal?
WordPress can be used for a blog but is not very good for setting up a business website. Drupal is great but it’s too complex and also it is expensive. You can use WordPress if you cannot afford Drupal.
I hope I was able to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the two big players in the CMS world. If you are still confused then you can check out the best WordPress Alternatives.
I think both platforms are phenomenal products and I’m not looking to write a comparison comparing which one is better.
What I would like to point out, however, is that it’s very hard to make an absolute statement about what one platform is better than another. The right solution for you may very well be different than the right solution for your friend.
Great content is ultimately what leads to better search engine rankings and more visitors.
What’s important is that you make an educated decision based on your specific needs and you do a bit of research to find out how well each platform serves those needs.
Content is still king, and it will be the primary deciding factor in the success or failure of your website.
I hope this guide was able to help you in some way, give you a better understanding of what each CMS offers, and how they can best be used in your business.
I did my best to answer all the questions I could think of without making any unsupported claims.
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