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Once upon a time, there were two CMS platforms

Not all CMS are created equal; they serve different purposes based on your company's type, size, and overall needs, so it's best to understand what each of them offers before pulling the trigger on purchasing one or applying a CMS to your marketing and website structure.

It's no secret that WordPress and Drupal are the backbones of some of the largest websites in the world, each with their own millions of dedicated users. Many companies might look at WordPress and Drupal and think it's a toss-up: "They're pretty similar, so does it matter which one I use?" The short answer is yes, it does matter. They're both free and open source, but they do have significant differences. Keep scrolling to get the breakdown of each and what they do differently for your business.

What is Drupal?

Drupal is a free, open source content management system meaning the system is modifiable. The original project took off in 2003 as a digital platform for blogs, calendars, and forums. Since then, it's evolved into a CMS forerunner used to build websites with over 46,000 modules available to increase functionality based on your preferences and needs.

What is Drupal used for?

Like any CMS/DXP, Drupal is your assistant for structuring and managing content. Seemingly one-size-fits-all, small and large organizations alike use Drupal to build their website and manage their e-commerce, mobile apps, social channels, kiosks, intranet, resource directories, and more. Drupal powers over 1.7 million websites and is advocated by developers and marketers alike.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is also a free and open source CMS, primarily used for blogging and building websites. The CMS began, like Drupal, in 2003 as a blog-publishing system and has improved its capabilities to support multiple web content types.

What is WordPress used for?

It's popular for users that lack coding experience and want to build a website. From businesses just starting out to a simple personal blog, WordPress can help you create many types of websites. It's widely used as a content management system for a variety of reasons, namely its cost, large community of developers, and endless amount of customizable themes.

Compare & Contrast

At a glance, WordPress and Drupal are both jam-packed with tools for multichannel publishing, customization, SEO.


This is an experience-dependent decision to make.


For more complex web-building, Drupal is perfect and can be more modifiable than WordPress with coding knowledge. Once you get the CMS hosting down pat in Drupal's backend, then your customization options are open. Installation is beginner friendly, but you'll need to have some coding under your belt to truly customize it, or you'll hit a wall of confusion. Beyond beginner tailoring and their "distributions" (site templates), you'll need to know how to program in various languages including PHP, and HTML.


You can chalk up WordPress' popularity to its ease of use. Within moments, you can install WordPress on your website host. The dashboard guides you through potential plugins, a space to create content, and the instant ability to install themes. Coding is pretty much a non-necessity when it comes to WordPress.

WordPress wins this round if you need something to create a website in the easiest way possible, and Drupal wins if you want somewhat endless options for a coding connoisseur.


Which CMS giant will hold down the fort?


Drupal has gained a reputation for being one of the most secure content management systems out there. The company takes it seriously, even the White House website was powered by Drupal at one point. The window for hacking is small given its minimal theme and plugin options. Though Drupal's had its run of SQL injections, they have been quickly resolved. Built more for coding capabilities, the security standards are extremely high.


At its core, WordPress is secure. However, the plethora of third-party, poorly coded themes and plugins at the users' disposal can diminish that level of security. The truth is, WordPress is the CMS that gets hacked the most. This is mainly due to user oversight, so by understanding how to pick plugins that are updated versions and other security practices, you can reduce your WordPress site's vulnerability.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The analytical elephant in the room is: what can these two CMS do for your search engine ranking?


Drupal is quite effective at SEO. This CMS has built-in suggestions for SEO to give you insight into the best practices for your website. Quick loading and mobile-friendly formatting are key to SEO success, and

Drupal's BigPipe module does just that by sending cached content first then personalized content as rendered. Structured metadata gets added automatically to increase search visibility and when pages become outdated, users can create redirects to safeguard rankings.


By default, WordPress is well structured for SEO; they have XML sitemaps auto-generated for search engine visibility. You've also got many built-in SEO tools like MailChimp, Google Analytics, and Yoast SEO.


You can use both Drupal and WordPress to create professional-looking websites, but with separate implications.


For designing your website, you may need a developer to make this happen. Unlike WordPress, Drupal doesn't have an extensive marketplace of themes or third-party page builders. Time to get creative.

There's no shortage of customizable themes and templates on WordPress, though the interface isn't well-known for being user-friendly. Even so, choosing page builder plugins can transform the editor into a drag-and-drop process.

Speed & performance

Speed can be detrimental for SEO; if it doesn't load fast, visitors are less likely to stay on the site.


Overall, Drupal better equipped than WordPress to handle websites juggling thousands of pages. Not resource intensive, Drupal can produce higher performing websites that load instantly. In other words, it helps for faster server communication and responses. Adding extensions such as caching can optimize speed even more.


A huge downside to WordPress is its lack of speed. With understanding best practices for WordPress, it is possible for your website to be fast. The snags created by too many plugins or installing poorly coded ones, and not properly optimizing with WordPress managed hosting, can dramatically slow down the website.


If you plan to sell and manage products through your CMS, check what features you'll most likely benefit from.


The system's Drupal Commerce function gives users the option to independently develop an e-commerce site. Key features include: flexible promotions and products types/ranges, order management, and payment API. When creating a website solely for e-commerce, Drupal is more comprehensive.


WordPress has a large variety of feature for all business types. Users can easily create an online store, add products, and of course, apply e-commerce plugins with SEO capabilities on top of that. Automated payment subscriptions, one-click payments with credit or debit cards are some of the no-hassle features WordPress offers.

What's the verdict?

The bottom line is, WordPress is best for beginners with no coding experience, and may be a better option for small businesses with fewer resources or a tight budget. It's a great introduction to website-building and will get your business online. Drupal tends to be ideal for a business looking for a more complex CMS that can function in relation to your site-building experience. It is more flexible and technically advanced than WordPress.

  • User-friendliness: WordPress is by far the most beginner-friendly of the two, simply not having to know any code begets WordPress winning this round.

  • Security: Drupal takes the cake for security, they do not have the security holes that WordPress does with their amount of third-party plugins. Plus, they generally focus on security more.

  • SEO: WordPress is definitely easier when updating or managing your website and provides an easier SEO process than Drupal. A plus: the WordPress community is much larger, so getting help in the forums should be a breeze.

  • Customization: It's a tie, and it depends on your coding experience. Despite the possibility of outdated plugins and third-party chaos, when done right, WordPress has more ready-made themes. The learning curve is steep with Drupal, so stick to WordPress if you need to. If you wear the Developer title or can work with HTML, PHP, etc., go with Drupal and get creative with code.

  • Speed & performance: No frills added, Drupal is most likely the fastest of the two CMS. Site configuration is one obstacle to get over before your Drupal-powered site can reach its highest performance. WordPress is a hit or miss with page loading speed, and as mentioned earlier, speed is their biggest drawback.

  • E-commerce: Another tie. For plugins and e-commerce integration, WordPress is great for juggling the two. For a comprehensive e-commerce dedicated site, Drupal provides much more.

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