A spotlight on WordPress and Drupal

This month, our Developers, review two different content management systems, WordPress and Drupal.

Introducing Drupal

Drupal is a free-to-use content management system and is well established with the first version released in 2001.

Drupal is open source and offers the flexibility and community support that many developers look for. It also has thousands of modules and plugins, which make customisation easy. 

Welcome to WordPress

WordPress is another free CMS and like Drupal, it is also open source.  It was first been released in 2003.

Reviewing the key elements


It’s important to be able to connect any platform to other software elements to extend functionality. 

WordPress relies heavily on paid plugins to extend functionality, such as adding flexible fields. In contrast, Drupal offers many of these features for free through open-source modules. For example, automating content to populate into listings is not as easy on WordPress and needs to be custom coded. In contrast, Drupal allows this functionality out of the box.


Menu structure

Moving onto another important element, menu structure. Menus in WordPress are typically flat which can be hard to navigate. Drupal provides more robust menu management options, making navigation easier and more intuitive. Out of the box WordPress has a menu structure that is harder to manage and maintain however plugins can make this easier, but creates more development time and additional software.


Content Management

When it comes to content management, WordPress allows easier modifications to existing components like page types, post types, paragraphs, and taxonomy terms. However, this ease of access can lead to accidental changes by editors. 

In Drupal, many of these components are fixed once created, reducing the risk of unintended alterations.


Development Resources

Due to its sheer size, WordPress has a much larger bank of online resources available which is beneficial for developers and editors seeking guidance.


Legacy Development Practices

WordPress can feel a little outdated in some of its practices which can complicate the development process.  In comparison, Drupal feels more cutting edge.


Editing experience

Both WordPress and Drupal can offer a tailored editor experience through the use of plugins and modules. Some instances allow users to make pages through 'drag and drop' tools which is perfect for those looking for a more interactive experience. There is the capability in both to cater for different levels of editor experience.



As WordPress is more widely used than Drupal there is an increased likelihood that people who are in website admin roles have had some exposure to it. Drupal isn’t as well used which can often mean a learning experience for new editors.



It’s important that any CMS is search engine optimisation friendly in order for the finished website to achieve a decent ranking in search.  Both Drupal and WordPress offer robust SEO features.

WordPress offers a site map feature which works well in search engines and offers a multitude of plug ins which are easy to install and enables the website to be easily modified as SEO requirements evolve.

Drupal’s SEO offering features meta tags, mobile optimisation and multilingual capabilities, however, beyond this you need to depend on SEO modules which require advanced knowledge of coding.

Our verdict

As developers we prefer Drupal because it is so well architected, keeps current with modern technologies and drives high quality development practices. By honing our skills here Drupal enables us to bring robust development practices to Wordpress too. We are experts in Drupal and love the cutting-edge nature of its capabilities, the flexibility to build tailored solutions for our clients and for making us better Wordpress developers where it is appropriate for a project .

Take a look at some of the challenges we’ve solved for our clients using Drupal technology https://www.olamalu.com/stories-our-clients

May 2024