Drupal as CMS vs .NET based CMS: which one to choose for your web development?

Drupal as CMS vs .NET based CMS: which one to choose for your web development?

You used to know Internetdevels as a reliable website development services company. We are always trying to satisfy your every need, which is why our team was recently enriched with specialists dealing with .NET. Now you have an opportunity to choose a CMS appropriate for your site. In this blog post, we describe the differences and similarities between them, and their strengths and weaknesses for you to compare and decide which one is the best solution for your company.

Examples of web resources made with Drupal and .NET based CMS

We have already written in more details about top ten Drupal websites. Here we made a list of some scalable web portals for such organizations and institutions as:

Some big and famous sites developed using .NET. are:

  • Microsoft’s open-source project hosting site CodePlex
  • Private American hosting and domain registration company GoDaddy
  • The largest online community for programmers Stack Overflow
  • A community for computer programmers, with articles, called the Code Project
  • Educational web technologies site W3Schools
  • American multinational retail corporation Walmart (now an app also)
  • Vehicle evaluation and automotive research company Kelley Blue Book
  • World's biggest package delivery company UPS
  • Daily News, a New York newspaper
  • The Independent, a UK newspaper
  • Miami Herald, a daily newspaper
  • Entertainment media company Diply
  • Site for funny videos, clips and pictures Break.

CMS stands for a content management system or content management software. It is a computer program for publishing editing, modifying, indexing and displaying websites’ content and maintenance from a central interface. It provides procedures (manual steps or an automated cascade) to manage workflow in a collaborative environment.

Drupal core has all the characteristics of a CMS. It allows you to deploy core features and functionality very fast and to deliver solutions that address complex business requirements in a robust, structured and cost-effective manner. Drupal is highly customizable, SEO-friendly, mobile-ready, enterprise-class and has an extensive API support.

There are a few .NET based CMS. We are going to describe and compare each one with Drupal to find benefits of using one over another.

DNN vs Drupal

DNN stands for Dot Net Nuke. It is one of the most popular open source CMS based on Microsoft .NET. It can be used as a CMS and as an application development framework. It can quickly create highly interactive, rich and modular sites and applications. It has a lot of options for themes and plugins to design custom skins with a separation between design and content. Drupal offers 2,000+ premium themes with multiple options.

DNN’s core includes third-party modules. Once uploaded, they are automatically put in a DNN installation. They allow you to create an intranet, an e-comm system, a custom-made web app and many other things. As for Drupal modules (there are more than 20,000 of them, all free), they have such additional features as custom content types, WYSIWYG editors, aliases generator, and others.

Drupal is an ideal option for people unwilling to learn sophisticated skills, because the Drupal community always tends to simplify in order to provide a better user experience. For example, Drupal 8 became more user-friendly than previous versions by adding Drag’n’Drop, skip navigation to Core themes, and so on. A beginner with few skills will found DNN more difficult to deal with because of its on page administration. In this situation, all tasks need to be done page by page or module by module. But if you are a fan of Microsoft technologies and aren’t afraid of something effort, DNN may be a nice choice for you.

Umbraco vs Drupal

Umbraco can be used to run anything from a brochure or small campaign site to complex applications for corporations from the Fortune 500 list. Some of big brands using this fully-featured CMS are: Vogue (Japan), Costa, Heinz and Peugeot, Toyota and Warner Bros. Both Drupal and Umbraco are used by large names in business.

Lots of web designers, developers and content creators enjoy Umbraco because it’s mature, robust, and easy to learn, use and customize. It supports both WebForms and MVC. However, some configuring is required to get started, except for installing it with a Starter Package. Out of the box, Drupal allows creating new kinds of content, changing layouts, changing permissions, adding roles and so on. Drupal and Umbargo are both open source and both have free and licenced modules. The majority of cloud hosting providers are Drupal-friendly, while Umbraco is supported by Windows Azure.

Kentico vs Drupal

Kentico is a CMS and CEMS (Customer Experience Management System) that fits well for building intranets, e-commerce and community sites on premise or in a cloud. It supports multilingual and mobile sites, translation, document and multi-site management, marketing automation and online marketing tools. It has 400+ built-in configurable web parts, 70+ modules, many options for plugins and source code.

Kentico is highly configurable, and it can be easily extended and modified to meet your needs. Its UI and layouts are really easy to navigate. It uses a tree hierarchy to organize site’s pages, so you can easily find any page and edit it. So, if comparing this CMS with Drupal, we may say that both of them are quite user-friendly and suitable for users of all levels.

Sitefinity vs Drupal

Sitefinity is a next generation CMS developed by Telerik for designing intranets, portals, sites and blogs. Its revolutionary new interface is very task oriented. This simplifies the user system interaction. For template management, Sitefinity uses Controls and Master Pages .NET standards. It is the first and only CMS that enable you to take advantage of all three mobile development strategies: responsive web design, mobile sites and mobile applications.

Nevertheless, it has its weak points — for example, the lack of support. It can be challenging to design simple things like custom blocks and forms that don't match creative types of content. Drupal, on the other hand, is complete out-of-the-box. As for similarities, Sitefinity provides a Drag’n’Drop content creation experience, like Drupal 8 does.

Sitecore vs Drupal

Sitecore is an enterprise-level CMS as well as a fully-adaptive DMS (Digital Marketing System). It provides public websites, secure portals and web apps. It unites the power of personalization and conversation management, facilitating companies to create and manage business solutions. However, because of its proprietary nature, Sitecore is not well suited for custom-made sites, as opposed to Drupal, which has a strong ability to be customized encouraged by its open source origins.

Both CMS offer high-quality security, patching any vulnerabilities immediately. In Sitecore each install is managed separately and onsite. Thus, you need to keep in contact with vendors constantly to be sure that patches are installed in proper time. This is only available when SiteCore themselves identify a vulnerability, and then create the patch. Drupal has the opportunity to report and prioritize the mitigation of vulnerabilities discovered both in core and in contributed modules. Usually, the Acquia Cloud Enterprise platform is patched even before the security threat is brought to light. The community nature of open source also encourages thousands of activists to keep under observation and report anything concerning security.

The end purpose

Drupal is a great choice for ecommerce, for university websites, for mass media, for political and other scalable sites and allows to build them on any type of operating system.

.NET based CMS are good either for websites or for different applications: mobile apps, web apps and desktop apps. We use Xamarin, Web and Windows forms, WPF and MVC for them.

Looking for specialists

Drupal received appreciation from lots of Drupalists all over the world. To find well-qualified PHP developers or Linux server administrators is not a problem — it’s easy and time-saving, which is why it’s cheaper. Comparatively speaking, it’s challenging to find IT specialists working with .NET. Our Drupal company has some of these specialists with 15 years’ experience of .NET developing — one of our many benefits.


If your final goal is an application of any kind, we would advise using .NET CMS, and if you need a scalable website we recommend you use Drupal. Which one you choose depends on you. We offer both — so just let us know your ideas.

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