Drupal Vs. WordPress: All You Need to Know

By: | Updated: July 22, 2021

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A detailed Drupal vs WordPress comparison article.

WordPress has been the market leader when it comes to usage as a Content Management System. Overtime it has evolved from a blogging platform to a complete CMS.

Today, WordPress provides solutions to all kinds of websites ranging from static blogs to dynamic ecommerce websites. It also offers hosting services and is by far the most used CMS on the planet.

It offers easy to use frameworks with one-click operations, site management and enhanced site security. It has an array of diverse plugins that help you manage all the variables associated with running and maintaining a website.

However, there is another enterprise level CMS, which offers unique, content types, comparatively richer admin experience and lots more.

Introducing Drupal

Drupal is not meant for the uninitiated. While it offers an advanced experience, the learning curve associated with coming to terms with its functionalities is steep.

Drupal is far more complex and larger than WordPress.

If you are into web app development or other projects that are based around user permissions then Drupal is the go to CMS. It is more flexible when it comes API development and default caching.

WordPress is undoubtedly the current market leader with its flexible features, 3rd party security enhancements and an extremely customizable development matrix.

They recently closed a Series C funding sessions, which means we will see a lot of diverse offerings from them in the time to come. On the other hand, Acquia, the parent of Drupal is well placed in the personalized web space with products like Acquia Lift, a testing and targeting platform with background reporting. Similar to Optimizely, Acquia recently closed a $50 Million Series F funding to launch its product with maximum innovation.

In this word battle, I will put out the essential features of Drupal vs WordPress and analyze how they stand against each other.

We will compare various features like security, design and development, SEO and user interface. You will realize that in fact both have a wide range of offerings and it really depends on the type of business you run online.

Drupal vs WordPress

Here is all you need to know about Drupal Vs WordPress.

Development and Design in Drupal vs WordPress

A responsive design centers of effective management of interactive media like images, infographics and videos.

You should understand that by concept these images don’t automatically scale perfectly according to device size. Each CMS has its own solution to make their sites responsive.

If you are using WordPress then most themes are programmed to scale and image sizes per break points are mentioned in the functions.php file.

Some WordPress themes scale images with CSS and this can cause performance issues. You should be careful when selecting the theme and check hoe they offer responsiveness.

Drupal offers a more dynamic Image Style Module where you as the admin can set image sizes. This however, takes some time but you get more control over customization.

Both Drupal and WordPress provide a host of plugins that enhance site responsiveness and also allow you to regenerate images from previous ones.

Both CMSs are design independent and allow you full control over customization. You can design custom templates, use their starter responsive themes to accelerate development time. Both systems allow dynamic design in browser experience without much knowledge of coding or professional design.

Search Engine Optimization in Drupal vs WordPress

I have heard many bloggers debate over the fact that hosting or the Content Management System they use affects the SEO. I don’t think so!

What matters is unique content, adherence to genuine SEO standards and interactive user experience. There is no SEO advantage towards any particular CMS. However, there may be some essentials that you should know about:

Drupal sites can run into problems if the developers are ignorant of certain variables. WordPress has an even lesser margin of error.

You should evaluate some factors while doing on-page SEO:

  • # Both provide ideal caching features especially Drupal. Therefore, page load times are not something you need to very about unless you are putting uselessly heavy content.
  • # Both follow the same process for Shcema.org implementation. Schemas can be added to the views or hard-copied to template files.
  • # CDNs or Content Delivery Networks can easily be integrated with both CMSs to make content distribution easy and more flexible.

Security and Data Backup

WordPress is more likely to be hacked or targeted than Drupal. This is because. Drupal comes with enterprise level security and a massive site scale. For instance, numerous government websites like Whitehouse.gov are built using Drupal.

WordPress has a range of plugins that are created by unreliable or unverified sources. These can be easily attacked by hackers and can bring down or wipe out multiple sites in seconds!

  • # If you are using Drupal then the best hosting applications to go with are Acquia and Pantheon. They help manage security by providing advanced filtering.
  • # If you are using WordPress then there are many hosting providers that provide completely managed WordPress hosting solutions. The first one to provide the same was WP Engine.

Security leaks happen mostly at server level. Therefore in either case of Drupal Vs. WordPress it is essential to estimate how important and confidential your data is and choose the hosting services that provide the required protection.

Mobile Responsiveness and Mobile Website Management

Businesses are going mobile at an unprecedented rate. Both Drupal and WordPress provide excellent themes to start your mobile websites quickly and enter new markets.

You can find many Drupal mobile themes on Drupal.org. For WordPress users, WPTouch is a popular solution.

WordPress users have an advantage here as its mobile themes run on the same domain and do not create any SEO issues. It has an exceedingly easy to use mobile app for content editing and allows blog updates in real time.

Drupal does not offer any native app. However, the admin panel for Drupal 8 is highly responsive and well suited for mobile users also.

Drupal users can easily access additional content fields per page to display on mobile devices.

Most Drupal mobile themes are run on a sub-domain, which can create challenges in indexation to search engines. You will have to establish an entire new mobile SEO strategy and search process.

There are certain questions you should ask before choosing a CMS like:

  • # How many different page templates and content types do you require?
  • # Does your site need different user permissions like site admin, content editor etc.?
  • # Do you actually need enterprise level security?
  • # It takes 2-3 times longer to develop a Drupal site compared to one on WordPress. Is your budget and your resources well allocated to accommodate for the same?

User Interface

This is very important for new bloggers or online careerists who are looking for CMS platforms to establish their first online assets.

In many arguments, Drupal has been mentioned as a CMS with an overly steep learning curve and difficult update patterns.

WordPress on the other hand is largely accepted as a user-friendly and much more flexible CMS.

This debate can be largely attributed to difference in usage dynamics and popular perception

Meaning, those who have used WordPress first and are adept with it will in fact find difficult to switch to Drupal.

They will not appreciate a somewhat complex architecture that in the long run offers simplified operations even to complex frameworks.

However, there are some challenges with Drupal when it comes to relationships and dependencies. A whole chunk of content has the ability to appear across the site and not just on one page. There are complex features like taxonomies, content types, blocks, views that add to the learning curve.

This process can prove intimidating to new comers and hence the favoritism for WordPress.

If your developers are well ordained with complex learning curves and will find better results on Drupal then you should go for it. If you are just starting out and want to allocate resources to time saving yet productive results, then you should go with WordPress!

Access to themes, paid and free!

If you are on the lookout for amazing themes then WordPress has loads to offer. I generally advise against purchasing Drupal themes. Instead, you should go for its starter themes that are easy to use like the Adaptive responsive theme.

This is because Drupal development is highly customized and needs a crafted hand with tech background. Thus, it can pose difficulties for beginners.

Some definite pros for WordPress:

# WordPress offers wide scale adoption through its host of plugins, which are particularly ideal for smaller websites.
# With WordPress you can easily develop a website within 30 minutes. It is excellent if you have limited content types and are building a general website.

Some Definite pros for Drupal:

# Drupal supports multiple site content owners like admins, editors, logged in users, customized content users, private groups and more.
# It has a better experience for admins and content editors. With WordPress, you have to use advanced custom fields for such an experience.
# Drupal is better suited for complex projects that involve app and API development. The web integration feature in Drupal 8 takes it functionality to another level altogether.
# It supports easy development of multilingual websites.
Here are some further core differences in Drupal Vs. WordPress for the hardcore readers!

#1 The WordPress is upgradable but the database updates always run in the background. It releases updated every 3-4 months. Most integrated products like Media Temple automatically update within 48 hours of release.

However, you have to consistently update the plugins. Delays can cause them to function abruptly can provide a bad experience.

#2 With Drupal, the database is upgradable but the code is not. The newer versions like Drupal 8 are more intensive and centered on a re-design. This means that the content stored in the previous database can be upgraded to the newer versions but the code will have to be rewritten!

When it comes down to choosing the right CMS, it all depends on how you can swing it and whether you should swing it. While Drupal is more suited for complex operations, WordPress offers easy to use functions, which are ideal for starting out.

Most developers will work with the CMS they are comfortable with. They should also consider the needs and goals associated with the website.


You should decide which CMS is better for you in order to save time and avoid errors. Bot Drupal and WordPress offer some stellar features and both have their shortcomings. In the end, you should figure out what you really need and balance the scales to make a decision.

by Brett Helling
Brett has been starting, growing, and monetizing websites since 2014. While in college, he began to learn about digital marketing. After graduating, he continued to build a diverse portfolio of websites while working a full time job. After years of building the portfolio on the side, he made the jump to run his websites full time.

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