Open Source CMS Comparisons – WordPress, Drupal & Joomla

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A frequent question in the open source CMS world is a variation of: “Which is better, Drupal or WordPress?”

Of form, there’southward non a simple answer to the WordPress CMS vs. Drupal CMS debate. Many accept a stiff bias towards one content direction system or the other, merely often, staunch opinions on the subject field are based on a few brief facts or outdated information.

Both the WordPress CMS and the Drupal CMS accept evolved a lot since their introductions in the early 2000s. In some ways, this evolution has brought them into closer alignment with each other, evidenced by developments such equally the porting of WordPress’s Gutenberg content editor over to Drupal in 2018. In other means, WordPress and Drupal evolutions accept clarified distinctions.

Mostly speaking though, in the current environs, the bulk of sites can be supported equally well by either option.

Fierce Loyalists in Both Camps

That’s not to say that the WordPress vs. Drupal debate doesn’t still spark strong opinions. Both have their devotees. Promet Source has deep ties to Drupal, and over the by two years, we take broadened our perspectives and talent base to include WordPress advocates and experts. Equally such, we’re well positioned to considerately cover the topic.

Permit’s start with a few key stats and facts about Drupal and WordPress.

Drupal Advantages: The Internet’s Heavy Lifter

A modular CMS written in PHP, Drupal enables developers to leverage a flexible taxonomy system that’s designed to organize complex content types, set highly customizable user permission levels, and ensure spider web accessibility compliance with enhanced testing and tracking capabilities.

Launched in 2000, Drupal now stands as the third most popular CMS in terms of marketplace share.

Drupal’s enterprise-level trajectory was launched in November of 2015 with the release of Drupal 8, which resulted in a complete architectural overhaul and the creation of an enterprise-level CMS. Subsequent versions, such as the June 2020 release of Drupal 9, are now intended to exist incremental, more of a point release than anything resembling the total CMS rewrite that occurred with the upgrade from Drupal vii to Drupal 8.

As of Feb 2020, there were an estimated 1.3 billion websites on the Internet and Drupal accounted for:

  • Roughly 2 percent of total websites and
  • An estimated 3 percent of the CMS marketplace, with
  • 560,000 live, active Drupal sites.

                              Drupal Share of CMS Market

         Source:  Website Builder: 67 Astonishing Drupal Statistics,  January 2020

For reasons that include core support for multilingual sites, Drupal is often the CMS of pick for government, higher ed, large enterprises, and health care institutions. The NASA site is on Drupal site, as is Portland State University, the U.S. Commune Courtroom of the Southern District of New York, and Martin County Florida. The White House website was on Drupal during the Obama administration.

Drupal has a diverse and dedicated community of contributors,
as evidenced by 42,650 free modules that are bachelor for download.

WordPress Advantages: A Pervasive Internet Presence

While websites with complex content models and data requirements gravitate towards Drupal, WordPress sites cover a broad spectrum of needs.
WordPress accounts for roughly sixty percent of the full CMS market, primarily among small to mid-range sites, but a number of enterprise sites are on WordPress, as well.

Originally developed as a blogging platform, WordPress has maintained its entreatment for non-tech types with a low barrier to entry. While information technology’southward possible to set up a WordPress site without development or coding expertise, experienced developers frequently piece of work within WordPress and leverage their knowledge of HTML, CSS, and PHP to build sizable sites with a greater range of capabilities for business clients.

Making steady inroads into the enterprise CMS space, WordPress is now the CMS for Time, The New Yorker, and BBC America.

Beyond the basics, WordPress offers thousands of plug-ins to expand functionality, outranking Drupal for set-to-go themes that serve to fast-track development without the need for custom evolution work.

Every bit of February 2020, of the 1.3 billion websites on the Internet. WordPress accounted for:

  • More than 35 percent of total websites and
  • 61.7 percent of the CMS market, with
  • 455 one thousand thousand websites currently on WordPress.

For more WordPress stats, bank check out this recent post in WPCity.

                              WordPress Share of CMS Market

WordPress stats 2020
          Source:   Who is Hosting This?: 2020’s Nigh Surprising WordPress Statistics,  Feb, 2020

One determination to be drawn from WordPress’s impressive net saturation: it’s a CMS that has proven to be the right fit for a wide range of different needs and has gotten many things right, from a broad ranging choice of plugins to an easy-to-utilize CMS.

Convergence of Features

As more and more Drupal developers realize the advantages inside WordPress, and other convenient CMS platforms such as consumer-focused SquareSpace and WIX that offer an easier to utilize back end, we are seeing new frameworks and features being added to the default editor within Drupal.

A multitude of no-lawmaking/low-lawmaking solutions, such as drag-and-drop functionality or component-based blueprint, are finding their manner into Drupal, due to the flexibility of the platform and providing marketers and content editors with greater flexibility and possibilities for making revisions to their sites.

Core Distinctions

Both Drupal and WordPress offer a depth and breadth of add-ons that extend functionality. These are called “modules” in Drupal, and “plugins” in WordPress. “Themes” that refer to a site’south aesthetics and user experience, such as design, layout, colors and navigation, is a term that applies to both Drupal and WordPress.

Unlike Drupal’south 2015 architectural realignment with the launch of the enterprise-set up Drupal 8, WordPress has never undergone that aforementioned kind of overhaul. The resulting difference is that expanded functionality for WordPress occurs at the theme/plugin layer. Much of Drupal’southward functionality, on the other hand, is centralized inside the ever-increasing core level, equally the nearly oft used and widely accepted Drupal modules are continuously incorporated into core.

WordPress functionality relies heavily upon themes and plugins, and many contend that this represents a forcefulness. WordPress modules tend to be more than complete applications, and the vast WordPress collection of themes and plugins provides a high degree of flexibility.

The flipside of this argument, and key gene that tends to fuel the appeal of Drupal for circuitous enterprise, higher ed, and government sites, is that there is an inherently a higher level of security and stability associated with working in cadre. Continued support for themes, plugins, or modules is not always guaranteed in either Drupal or WordPress, and their track record is not necessarily established.

Scalability vs. Complexity

WordPress has proven itself to be extremely scalable and the correct fit for some notable sites such as fourth, which I mentioned before. The essential distinction which is often missed is not so much size or scalability, simply complication. Even though there are hundreds and hundreds of pages, on fourth, for case, the site consists primarily of articles. When a greater range of content types and complex data models are required, WordPress falls short and Drupal shines.

Acknowledging that both Drupal and WordPress are solid content direction systems, and that there’s considerable overlap in the types of sites for which either would provide an excellent solution, Promet recently developed the following matrix in an attempt to highlight the relative strengths of both options and open a dialog amidst our teams.

Here’s what we came up with relative to 10 key criteria.

                    Open Source CMS Comparison

Drupal vs WordPress  Open Source CMS Comparison

  1. Open Source.
    Yes. Both Drupal and WordPress are solid Open Source solutions with neat track records.
  2. Lamp Stack (PHP).
    Yes. Both use Lamp Stack PHP equally. V stars for both.
  3. Enterprise Set up. Drupal: Yep. That’due south where this CMS shines. WordPress: Yes and No. It’s applicable for some, non all, enterprise applications.
  4. Dedicated Hosting Partners.
    Yes. Both Drupal and WordPress have defended hosting partners, allowing for proactive maintenance, as well as heightened security, speed, and reliability.
  5. Available/Accessible to Novices.
    No for Drupal. Developing a Drupal site and understanding how to work within the Drupal interface requires distinct expertise and training. Aye for WordPress. A non-technical hobbyist or modest business owner with a touch of know-how can observe a theme that fits their needs and figure out how to build and manage a WordPress site, often within a few hours.
  6. Appropriate for a Brochure Site. No for Drupal. While it’s possible to create a straightforward brochure site on Drupal, in that location’s not much indicate in doing so when other, simpler options are available. Yes for WordPress. WordPress is ideal for a brochure and weblog site. That’south what it was originally adult for.
  7. Has a Complex Content Model. Yes for Drupal. Complex taxonomy content models are where Drupal thrives. Not so much for WordPress, which best serves sites that don’t crave the organization of high levels of complexity.
  8. Works for a Tight Upkeep.
    (nether $10,000). No for Drupal. The flipside of Drupal’south ability to navigate complication tends to exist the requirement of considerable developer legwork and ramping upwards. Yes for WordPress. WordPress offers a greater range of out-of-the box solutions and, depending on requirements, it’s quite possible to build a respectable Drupal site for under $10,000.
  9. Design Theme Availability.
    Drupal: Somewhat. Drupal has a limited number of design themes that are ready out of the box. Promet has created a Drupal theme equally part its upcoming launch of a component-based, elevate-and-drop capability for Drupal. WordPress: Yep. WordPress has an extensive and robust design theme capability
  10. Community.
    Drupal: Absolutely. Drupal has a great professional community of dedicated developers, who regularly gather for grooming and information exchange (now nearly) at events, camps, and meetups all over the globe. This is less the case for WordPress. While at that place are many professional WordPress developers, the WordPress community is more diverse and less cohesive.

Tracking the Evolution

Among those of us whose history in the CMS trenches dates back many years, it’s been very interesting to witness the evolutions of both Drupal and WordPress. At one time, Drupal and WordPress accounted for the vast majority of the open source CMS earth. Together, they however business relationship for a whopping 65 percentage of the CMS market, but newcomers such as Wix and Squarespace are gaining ground among their respective niches, and GoDaddy has likewise but introduced a drag-and-drib CMS. At the same time, multiple closed-source website creations options take emerged that weren’t around as recently as a few years ago.

To an increasing degree, Drupal and WordPress are viewed less as competitors, and more and then as members of the same family.

One big indicator of this tendency: in May of 2020, Drupaldelphia, the annual camp held in Philadelphia for Drupal developers, site-builders, content administrators, and designers, was renamed CMS Philly. The upshot was largely dominated largely by Drupal and WordPress.

High Stakes Solutions

When the stakes are loftier (and when are they not), selecting the right CMS calls for careful consideration and adept assay. The Drupal vs. WordPress conversation does not lend itself toward across-the-board rules or easy answers.

That said, the judgment and expertise of anyone who suggests that Drupal is always the answer or that WordPress is e’er the answer should be considered highly suspect. Every bit the saying goes: “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

WordPress and Drupal each take a definite place at their corresponding ends of the spectrum, with hobbyist or pocket-size business sites on one finish and complex, enterprise-level digital experiences at the other. The vast middle ground between these ii ends can be highly nuanced with no piece of cake answers, but at that place’due south a likelihood that either Drupal or WordPress would work as well.

The primary thing is the assurance that true experts with a depth of perspective and commitment to customer success are doing the work.

Interested in an expert analysis of the CMS that stands to represent the correct fit for your system’s singled-out objectives? At Promet Source, we have all the right people to help with that. Contact us today.