Welcome to Part 2 of our series examining the distinct benefits for each of the current “Big 3” in the CMS world – WordPress, Joomla, and today’s focus, Drupal – to help you decide which one is right for your company.
Choosing a Content Management System (CMS) is a critical step in your web design process. With the time and expense involved in your initial setup, you want to choose the CMS that fits your business needs both now and well into the future.
Part 1 covered the “3 Benefits to Choosing WordPress as Your CMS”, and here in Part 2, we will dive into the benefits of Drupal.
Remember – while all 3 have particular strengths, any of these 3 systems can likely meet (or be customized to meet) your business needs. Our focus will be on some of the distinct benefits each CMS holds over the others.
Without further ado, here’s Part 2:
Drupal – The “Android of CMS”?
If you consider WordPress the “iPhone of CMS” (which still may even understate their current market domination), Drupal can be thought of as the “Android of CMS”. Although the comparisons are not perfect, WordPress is great for beginner and non-technical users, while Drupal holds some significant advantages on the level of control and customization options for their CMS.
Don’t let the large gap in market share between Drupal (5.68% of the Top Million websites currently using CMS technologies) and WordPress (51.26%) mislead you, though. With users from The White House to Tesla, LinkedIn, National Geographic, the American Red Cross, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and many more, Drupal is obviously doing many things right.
So what makes Drupal the right fit for me?
Despite its popularity, WordPress began as just simple blogging software, and while it can be made to do nearly anything, there are certain limitations and difficulties with trying to use WordPress for a large scale or an enterprise level CMS. That’s where Drupal comes in.
That’s not to say that Drupal cannot handle your typical blog or small to medium business website. Technically, it absolutely can. WordPress dominates the usage in those areas for a reason; while power goes up in using Drupal, ease of use goes down and the learning curve increases.
You will want to weigh your decision carefully, but there’s no question that Drupal offers significant advantages for the right organizations, and can be customized to fit like a glove.
3 key benefits to choosing Drupal as your CMS include:
If, like Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, you’re always looking for “more power” in your website design, the open source Drupal CMS has it. Despite their much smaller user base, the number of plugins available rivals those of WordPress.
Digging down to the development level, Drupal even allows you to edit the root files of the program, providing for the deepest level of control among the top 3 content management systems. With the proper development team, Drupal can be modified to meet all of your company’s needs, now and well into the future.
“Security is hands down the biggest differentiator… Drupal has enterprise level security and site scale. Numerous government websites are built with Drupal, with the most famous being Whitehouse.gov,” according to Adam Hermsdorfer.
While no security system is without its flaws in our blossoming digital age, Drupal‘s overall security advantages, along with platform specific hosting applications to further manage your security risks (which also improves security for WordPress), can give it another leg up on the competition.
“Drupal is the most technically advanced of these three content management systems. It doesn’t use nearly as many system resources… so your company won’t have to worry about upgrading to a more expensive hosting option as quickly.”
Additionally, “Drupal pages typically load more quickly, and have faster response times than those made with WordPress or Joomla,” according to Robert Mening.
Plug-ins and other site changes can obviously affect these differences, but a good development team should be able to maintain your website’s performance.
So, is Drupal right for me?
If you’re a large or enterprise level business, Drupal likely deserves some serious consideration for your CMS. Budget and timing differences can also play a factor. It’s important to note that, in general, “it takes 2 to 3 times as long to develop a Drupal site as compared to WordPress”.
It’s also helpful if your team has some technological savvy, to troubleshoot error messages or identify potential problems in coding. Given the deeper complexity and learning curve, ongoing technical support will also likely be required.
Ultimately, these benefits are just a launching point for discussions on determining your CMS. Your design partner should work closely with you to weigh the pros and cons of each CMS option, and help you choose the best fit for your budget, expectations, and future business growth.
Read Part 3: “2 Benefits to Choosing Joomla as Your CMS”