WordPress v/s Drupal: Development Through the Years

WordPress and Drupal are some of the most sought for content management systems in the field of website development. But to pit WordPress v/s Drupal against each other would be the wrong call.

Selecting a CMS is not so much about picking the best one but more about picking the right one. In order to pick the right system, you need to first figure out what the requirements of your website are and which CMS is most suitable to fit those needs.

Another important factor that will help you make the right decision is by going for the CMS that your team of developers is comfortable working with.

Small websites or large websites:

WordPress is the ideal CMS for blogging as well as simple websites. If you don’t have a technically equipped team at hand to handle your website, then using Drupal will be a huge mistake. If your initial website requirements are basic, then there is no need to choose Drupal.

However, if with time you need to increase the functionality of your website, then you can easily migrate to a Drupal CMS.

As far as large websites with high functionality is concerned, Drupal is a very stable platform that has all the room for scalability that you need.

Up gradation:

When it comes to upgrading a website to keep it in sync with the latest versions of the CMS, WordPress has an extremely smooth and no hiccups involved process. This is an advantage and also indicates towards a huge drawback, which is the inability of WordPress to create a flexible CMS solution.

Drupal on the other hand is very sensitive when it comes to installing upgrades. You need the skills of trained Drupal experts in order to successfully upgrade your Drupal CMS without causing abrupt changes in the front end of the websites.

As upgrading a Drupal powered website is a complicated feat most developers choose to not upgrade their Drupal powered websites at all. Also, complicated upgrading procedures have resulted in later few updates.

This has given WordPress an excellent window to update its CMS and expand it to meet the needs of high functionality websites.

Modules and Extensions:

While WordPress boasts of having over 20,000 extensions to its name, Drupal has over 10,000. This may seem like WordPress offers more variety on the outside, but that is not the case. Many of the plugins that WordPress provides have similar functions and are basically replicas of each other.

However, Drupal modules offer a variety of solutions and as far as repetitive modules go, Drupal offers very few competitive options for users making their decision process way simpler than WordPress developers.

So, the number of extensions that both CMSes provide boils down to pretty much the same.

Community support and technical assistance:

As far as community support and technical assistance goes, both WordPress and Drupal have fairly active communities, Drupal a little more so considering its steep learning curve. Many hard core developers have stumbled in their path to knowledge when it comes to creating Drupal powered websites.

Drupal has Acquia and WordPress has Automattic for its community support sphere.  Both communities take avid interest in increasing the scope of their developers. However, it goes to show that none of these communities come at par with Joomla’s community support.

Source Code Management:

In terms of source code management, WordPress is a way better option than Drupal, because Drupal saves its  design of “Custom Content Type”  in the MySQL database whereas WordPress smartly stores it in the in the PHP source code where it should belong.

As far as business sites are concerned, WordPress is hands down the better contender of the two.

Designer hunt:

This is one major point where Drupal sorely lacks. While WordPress designers don’t need to takes heavy duty classes in source code management, Drupal designs can only be created by designers who are also skilled at coding.

This is a huge drawback in Drupal’s list as it vastly decreases Drupal’s ability to create new age highly creative designs. And makes Drupal a poor choice for new age users.

CMS development through the years:

To say that there is an all out war between WordPress and Drupal would be a completely wrong statement. Before 2007, Drupal would clearly have been the right choice for most website developers. However, with time WordPress has made a fairly sophisticated transition from a blog specific system to a sophisticated Content Management system.

We can clearly see in the Google trends graph below, that while WordPress fan following has only grown with time Drupal has waned away. While it may be a favorite for big shot websites like www.whitehouse.gov , it has certainly not made any strides in having an impact on the masses.

drupal wordpress

WordPress on the other hand has only become better and more powerful. Its huge variety of extensions as well as intuitive admin back end has slowly made it a resource optimized website solution.

Development related expenses:

Even amateurs know for a fact that the WordPress developers are way easier to find as compared to Drupal developers. As such, a WordPress powered website is more affordable to create as compared to a Drupal powered solution.

If you don’t have the dough to support your Drupal powered website then don’t go for Drupal or you will end up spending more at a later date to switch your website from Drupal to WordPress.

Can Drupal make a comeback?

The much awaited Drupal 8 version has garnered a huge interest among the developers community. The question is, after so many years of toned down existence can Drupal really create a robust CMS that will make WordPress enthusiasts question their choice?

Only time can tell.  As of now users can wait and see what Drupal 8 is planning to offer that will make them question their choice to go for WordPress.