Setting up a new site is relatively easy these days. There are plenty of free and premium hosting services you can use to get started. There are also Content Management System or CMS that can be installed in just a few minutes. The available CMS platforms are designed to make setting up, updating and maintaining the website a lot easier to do. There is no need to create HTML pages manually; you simply add a post or page to the database and the CMS platform will handle everything about displaying the content for you.
Among the popular CMS platforms are WordPress and Drupal. These two CMS platforms are known for their flexibility, allowing them to sit comfortably at the core of even the most complicated websites. Which platform suits your next site best? That is what we are going to find out in this article.
Drupal started life in 2001, making it one of the first open-source, free CMS platforms on the market. Since then, Drupal has been powering millions of websites. Notable names including the Warner Brothers and The White House all use Drupal to power their sites.
Drupal’s main strength is its immense customizability. The platform uses the combination of HTML, CSS and PHP, so even the most inexperienced web developer can customize Drupal to suit their needs. It can also be used to create web applications, handling tasks such as content management, content distribution and access management.
Drupal is more of a universal CMS. While it is immensely flexible and easy to customize, you need sufficient coding skills to truly take advantage of the platform’s strengths. There are ready-made plugins and themes for this CMS too.
The developers’ community behind Drupal is a great community to be a part of. You will always get quick solutions to your Drupal-related problems. There are special sections on the official forum where you can learn more about how to develop plugins and themes for this platform.
One last advantage Drupal has over WordPress is scalability. Drupal is built to handle a large amount of traffic from the start. Especially when coupled with a Drupal optimised host. As long as you run Drupal from a powerful enough server, you can have a very scalable website capable of handling millions of traffic without wasting a lot of server resources.
On the other side of the equation, we have WordPress. If you think Drupal is popular, wait until you see just how many websites are using WordPress today. According to the official site, WordPress has been downloaded 140 million times. In fact, 25% of the internet is powered by WordPress.
WordPress is popular for two main reasons. First of all, it is very easy to use. You don’t need coding skills or advanced knowledge in web development to be able to use WordPress. The administrative user interface is truly the easiest to use compared to other CMS platforms. It also works well with a wide variety of hosting services.
The second reason is flexibility. There are more than 45,000 plugins for WordPress. The plugins directory at WordPress.org has just been updated to make searching for plugins even easier. There are also thousands of free themes to choose from along with just as many of premium themes for more exclusive looks. The vast repositories of plugins and free themes are enabling first-time site owners and beginners to add features and construct a customized site within minutes.
WordPress is primarily designed for blogging. Sure, you can create other types of website with WordPress as the foundation, but you can’t really ignore the fact that this is a handy blogging platform and good way to distribute contents. Brands such as Sony, Forbes and CNN are using WordPress to power their websites for this very reason.
All of these features are great, but WordPress is still not perfect. Scalability and efficiency can be a problem, but that doesn’t mean you can’t optimise your WordPress site to be scalable. In fact, outlets such as Forbes are sticking with WordPress and are investing in optimization options.
Which one should I use?
The answer to this question depends highly on a number of factors. The kind of website you want to create and your level of expertise are the two most determining aspects to think about before choosing which CMS platform to use.
That said, WordPress is much more beginner-friendly than Drupal. If you’re relatively new to blogging and you want to get a website set up quickly, then WordPress is the obvious choice. It is also the platform to choose for easy site maintenance and long-term ease of use.
As you use WordPress and its plugins more, you will be able to find ways to optimise the site for maximum performance. Scalability would not be a problem and you can let the site grow to its fullest potential with WordPress handling most of the hard work.