WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for creating websites. But it isn’t the only game in town when it comes to content management. Drupal, for example, is gaining in popularity. But which platform should you choose, and what are their relative benefits?
The WordPress platform has been around for a long time. When it started, websites were generally smaller and less complex than they are today. It offered developers a way to get a good-looking site up and running quickly, and its portal was simple enough to use that end users could easily keep their content up to date.
Bigger and more complex, Drupal may seem daunting at first. But Drupal development is gaining in popularity because for larger enterprise sites it offers a number of key advantages. It’s better at handling web apps and sites that need user permissions, and it has better API ability to allow it to link to other apps. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of the two platforms in more detail.
Security is perhaps the biggest difference between the two platforms. WordPress can be vulnerable because of its plug-ins, which – particularly if out of date – can be targeted by hackers to damage systems and take down websites.
Drupal though is built with enterprise-level security in mind, so it’s no surprise that it’s used for building many government websites. For both platforms, though, there are hosting applications available that can help manage the security risks and guard against attacks.
You can no longer rely on users accessing your site on desktop or laptop PCs. These days they’re just as likely to be using a mobile phone or tablet. The variety of devices that your site can be viewed on means that it needs to be responsive, so you can be sure it always looks good.
Both WordPress and Drupal have plug-ins that allow images to be resized to suit different devices, and both have responsive themes available that can reduce development time significantly. If you need a dedicated theme for a separate mobile site, such themes are available for both platforms too. Drupal, though, has the added flexibility of additional content fields that will only show up when the site is viewed on a mobile device.
Although optimising a website for search engines can seem like something of a dark art, it’s essential if you want your content to be seen by as many people as possible. SEO shouldn’t really be affected by the platform used to build your site, but things such as page load times do matter. Drupal’s default caching feature means it generally offers faster page loads, though WordPress can be optimised to load faster using plug-ins.
WordPress is easy to use, even for people with only limited experience of the platform or building sites. However, although Drupal is more complex and presents more of a learning curve, once learned it does offer more flexibility and offers more admin features for maintaining the site.