While Drupal and WordPress are both prominent and admired open source content management systems, they continue to be pitted against one another by many as a binary choice for clients.  It’s as if the decision is one from which they’ll never recover if they don’t, like Indiana Jones, [insert ominous stern voice here] choose wisely.

We decided to outline the first few of many steps we undertake to determine which is the best CMS to use.  Let’s first start with our corporate philosophy:  we pick the right tool for the job. Simply, we understand that it’s better to create an integrated experience using specialized software systems in unique ways for our unique clients. 

WordPress and Drupal are both great means to different ends.  We do a lot of Drupal work these days, but that’s because the needs of our two largest markets, associations and government, consist of larger scale migrations with multiple complex integrations, and Drupal is almost always the right tool for those jobs.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t use WordPress when the end objectives call for it.

Drupal is more developer-focused, and technically more intensive. This is because Drupal is a more modular platform with less pre-configuration found in the WordPress system.  That doesn’t mean it’s better than WordPress; it just means it’s different than WordPress.   WordPress is perceived as a simpler solution because it began as a user-friendly blog solution that was prepackaged and configured, very well we might add, with only the tools needed. It continues to evolve and transform in great ways.  Its capabilities are expanding rapidly, but it’s still not able to match the Swiss Army knife capabilities of Drupal.

But it’s not really about how simple or difficult it is for the developer. One can find a developer who will do amazingly with either system. It’s more important to determine the content manager’s skills and what they’re comfortable with managing. Of course, they can go through the developer to make changes, updates, deletions, or additions, but web managers want to be self-sufficient and utilize and manage the CMS (as is the purpose). WordPress almost always provides a great administrative user experience.  Drupal will too, but it’s more susceptible to the developer’s coding practices, so bad coding and configuration quickly lead to a bad user experience. 

A website created in Drupal or WordPress can be made simple to manage. Both provide significant capabilities in different ways.  So, what’s our recommendation?  Get in touch with a firm like New Target that’s more focused on creating a great user experience for you, but has the technology capabilities and experience to deliver.  We’ll collaboratively make the best choice to meet your objectives.  

If you want to learn more about our Discovery and Requirements Definition processes in more depth than discussed here, please contact us and we’ll be pleased to share more.

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.