Drupal vs Wordpress for a Midsize Organization

Submitted by Jon Lebkowsky on .
Kits vs. Legos

If you use Drupal or Wordpress, your organization’s website consists of back-end technology (software that powers everything), the website’s front-end design and interface (what users see and use), and a content management interface (where you add and update content).

  • Back-end web development provides the technology powering the components that enable the user-facing side of your website. Drupal and Wordpress provide a basic backend or core software, which can be configured in various ways. Much of the services provided to develop Drupal or Wordpress websites is a matter of organizing and configuring the core software and modules or plugins created by third-party developers.
  • Front-end web development involves creating and implementing the user-facing elements of the site (i.e. the parts a user sees and interacts with). It’s usually referred to as web design, although the visual design is just one aspect of site-building.
  • The content management interface is a back-end interface used to create and manage the digital content of your site. Systems that are built with this kind of interface are referred to as content management systems (CMS).

Many people evaluate website development platforms with a focus on the content management interface. This is totally understandable because an increasing number of marketers and non-developers are in roles of using a CMS to make regular updates to a website, such as blog posts and news articles. However, it is not the only area of your website development to consider.

Drupal for Midsize Organizations

Drupal 8 is packed with features that make the front-end user experience better, and it is making work easier for web developers and content creators. As a CMS, Drupal falls between Wordpress and Adobe Experience Manager as far as the number of users. Some organizations have felt frustrated by Drupal, however, there has been a persistent effort to improve the back-end interface. That interface is customizable, meaning the website developer can modify it for a better user experience.

With the release of Drupal 8, this powerful platform has moved more in the direction of enterprise features, emphasizing an “API First” approach. API is an “application programming interface.” It is a set of protocols and functions that allow applications to communicate with each other. This allows the creation of a front end built with a different technology, such as the React Javascript library. With this decoupled approach, the front-end user experience can be built separately and integrated with the back-end Drupal CMS.

Wordpress for Midsize Organizations

The WordPress CMS, which powers nearly one-third of all websites in the world, is famous for its relatively easy deployment and exceptional back-end usability. Wordpress software is extended by a massive library of plugins contributed by the Wordpress community and it has increasingly diverse applications. While Drupal can be better for more complex use cases, the capabilities of Wordpress have grown over the years as the networks of Wordpress developers have evolved.

The fact that Wordpress is so popular makes it a target for hackers, and occasional security issues have created high profile vulnerabilities from time to time. However, users can mitigate security concerns by including security software such as Wordfence, and by making sure the core Wordpress software and plugins are kept up to date.

Conclusion: Drupal vs. Wordpress

Which CMS is best for your website?

As Polycot’s partner, Pantheon, has pointed out, the two platforms are driven by different philosophies. Wordpress focuses more on publishing content "out of the box with a great editor experience." Drupal is more focused on collating data "from multiple sources and publish[ing] across multiple channels." Wordpress is an easier path to publishing, whereas Drupal has a more sophisticated environment for governance over roles and workflows. Wordpress is fast and simple, while Drupal is complex.

If Wordpress is like a model kit with clear structures out of the box, then Drupal is more like legos — less structured out of the box with more facility for complex construction. Drupal has even more flexibility with the decoupled architecture mentioned above.

In making a choice between Drupal vs Wordpress for your web platform, you should consider all of your business requirements, evaluate the available options, and ask a web developer like Polycot Associates for guidance. The decision is a matter of deciding which approach aligns best with your organization.

Polycot Associates will help you decide which platform will best serve your needs. We have ongoing development relationships with medium to large organizations with evolving web development needs. Request a consultation!