Drupal or WordPress?

At Other Media we typically work with two powerful, industry standard, open source content management systems (CMSs), Drupal 7 and WordPress. Both platforms allow us to develop great websites that cater to our clients’ needs and goals. However, choosing which platform to use for each project is not a simple process. Both CMSs have their own strengths and weaknesses which should be considered by us and our clients when selecting the right platform for a project.


Drupal 7 is a great platform for building some of our more complex sites. Its ever growing community offers modules and plugins that can help us take a site from a simple blog to a fully fledged e-commerce site. This is due to Drupal 7 having a great framework to use as a foundation that means most features that we need can be built in a way that can have a wide-reaching yet minor impact on the site as a whole. With Drupal moving to an Object Oriented framework in Drupal 8, this will only improve it as a great foundation to build sites that go beyond the standard blog. However with that comes the learning curve, that will likely deter many developers and site owners. To get into the nitty-gritty of Drupal 7 is not as simple as WordPress and that can be a barrier to potential new users and developers.


Conversely, WordPress is better suited to build up simple content driven website front-ends. Out of the box WordPress has more to offer over Drupal 7 in regards to building a blog site. Its framework excels at allowing you to customise at almost all levels and decide how your site functions and presents content. Unlike Drupal 7 however, building up a complex CMS that has more to offer is a much more complex venture. Like Drupal 7 it has a growing community that offer free plugins that can get the job done. But unlike Drupal, some of these plugins can cost money and in these cases don’t always provide the tools you need to build your own features that extend the use of the plugin. What makes WordPress strong from a developer point of view is it’s easy to jump in and start creating your own functions and templates and feel like you’re really making an impact on your site from a creative aspect.


When picking a CMS or Framework we should always take into account what they offer us as developers, designers and visitors. My professional opinion is that we should be using Drupal for sites that are more than just content driven and use WordPress to build rich content driven experiences.