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WordPress or Drupal?

Paul Fasel
, President

Wordpress logo vs  Drupal Logo

As you might guess I am a bit biased when I say that Drupal is the best of the two, and maybe that is because we are slightly more experienced developing sites in Drupal. With that said, we are also very good at making custom websites using Wordpress, and in some instances Wordpress may have the advantage over Drupal.

As time goes on they are becoming more similar, but there are still some very significant differences that we can discuss.

First off, Wordpress calls their add-ons "Plugins" and Drupal calls them "Modules." These are the add-ons that programmers make and release through the Drupal or WordPress community. They extend both the Drupal Core and Wordpress Core to add additional features, and they do this without editing the core directly. This is important: editing the core for Wordpress or Drupal is not advised because when you update the software you will overwrite the edits and your site WILL break.

  1. They are both content management systems
  2. They are both Open Source projects which means that you can use them for free under the GPLv2 license
  3. They both can do Ecommerce
  4. They both can be used for blogging
  5. And they are both relatively easy to use for content creation
     

Wordpress

Pros - Wordpress is easy to use, and fairly easy to setup. There are a ton of free or very low cost themes available and with over 15,000 plug-ins available most features have already been built. The trick is to find the right combination of plug-ins to complete the task necessary.

Cons - Wordpress can be more difficult to customize, and since the Wordpress core gets updated very frequently you might run into a situation where the core update breaks your site due to an incompatibility with one of the plug-ins you have chosen. Another limitation is the flexibility you have in formatting content. If you do use WordPress, try to select the most popular plug-ins. Then, even with frequent updates, your site should be fine.

Drupal

Pros - Drupal is more of a development framework and with Drupal 8 on the way it is becoming more so every day. What this means is that Drupal can do just about everything from blogging to integration with 3rd party apps such as Quick Books, Salon Booker, and Flickr to name a few. When set up correctly Drupal is easy to use as a content creation tool, and it also has the ability to integrate Ecommerce.

If a CRM is something you need, there is CIVICRM that integrates directly with Drupal. It allows you to track leads, send HTML email campaigns, and manage donors and sales.

Bottom Line - Drupal is preferable for more complex sites with a more complex workflow and page layout.

Cons - The biggest downside for Drupal is the need for an experienced developer to setup the system and create the theme for your site. A typical Drupal site takes quite a bit of planning and experience to create a successful project. But when done right Drupal site owners are very happy.

Conclusion

So what do I choose for my website project? The real answer is "content is king," and having a good idea of what you want your website to do now and for the next 2-3 years will be very helpful in deciding on the most appropriate technology. If all you are ever going to need is an online brochure with very minimal third party integration (with the exception of social media) and you plan on adding a ton of articles or want to blog, then WordPress is probably the best option.

On the other hand, if you plan on adding in E-commerce, or another more complex third-party app such as an accounting package, then I would say you might want to seriously consider Drupal.

If you have any questions, contact us. We can help you make the right decision.

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