Choosing the right CMS for your website

Written on 18 November, 2014 by Karen Lim-Sam
Categories Web Design & ContentTags contentweb designweb hosting

WordPress and Drupal are two leading content management systems (CMS), but which one is right for your website? We unpack a few of the most important features of these two popular options to help you decide.

WordPress versus Drupal

As your CMS provides the foundation for your entire website, you need to be confident in your decision. Different systems have different capabilities, so it's important to look at the kind of functionality you need from your website and then choose your CMS accordingly.

One of the biggest reasons webmasters turn to WordPress is its easy-to-use interface. It has a very intuitive management system, and if you do come across something you don't understand, there's a huge online community of users who freely share tutorials, information and advice. The Drupal community is much smaller, so you're less likely to find free resources.

Designing your site

WordPress also offers many free-to-use tools you won't find on Drupal, and it’s extremely easy to customise a WordPress site. Drupal is a more complicated system and can be more time-consuming. That said, it does also offer a variety of themes and customisable options, and both content management systems feature starter themes that can get your website off the ground as quickly as possible. Both also offer the ability to make mobile-friendly sites, and WordPress has a mobile app that even allows you to edit your site on the go.

However, Drupal tends to outpace WordPress when it comes to building web projects that require user permissions. If you're developing a large site or app for your business, you might want to consider the robustness and flexibility of Drupal's API development and default caching features.

Keeping your site safe

Security is another major concern for businesses and should be a big factor when choosing your CMS. Overall, Drupal wins this battle. It has enterprise-level security and is even trusted by the government as its CMS of choice. WordPress also has some good security features, but there are a few potential weaknesses, particularly in regards to plug-in vulnerabilities. The amount of security you need will depend on the nature of your business and the likelihood of your site being targeted. Small businesses may find that the convenience of WordPress far outweighs potential risks.

Another big difference between the two is the fact that WordPress has upgradable code and Drupal does not. This means you may have to invest more time in updating a Drupal site as the years roll by. That said, you may be very likely to redesign and upgrade your site every few years anyway. WordPress does need a frequent database upgrade, but this is done in the background and won't affect your site.

There are major benefits to both content management systems, but for very large web projects which need high levels of security, Drupal may be the best choice, whereas nimble businesses that want an easy to use, hands on system might want to pick WordPress.