If you are thinking of creating a new website to establish an online presence for your business, than you first you have to decide which platform to choose. Let’s take a look at two of the most famous open source solutions. We have already made a Drupal vs Wordpress comparison: functionality vs simplicity. Taking into account technical capabilities, cost and development time, let’s now try to define what types of websites are a better fit for each CMS. What kinds of businesses and spheres of social life do these sites represent? What kinds of organisations and companies do they serve? Remember, too, that you can always change your mind and migrate from Drupal to WordPress as well as vice versa.
For websites of which industries is it better to choose Drupal and why?
(Internet shops that sell products online)
WordPress has made some progress in this area, and it can offer ecom themes. However, Drupal is the best solution for e-commerce. There are even whole Drupal-based ecommerce platforms like Commerce 2.0 and Ubercart designed specially for online shops of all sizes, which can satisfy their needs very well with the extensive range of ready-made features and opportunities for customisation.
Governments and local authorities
(Official sites representing governmental institutions)
Wordpress isn’t equipped to compete on the enterprise space and Drupal has efficient enterprise-level features. Governments trust Drupal because of its high security, performance and scalability. Drupal multisite functionality allows them to build a bunch of websites for different political departments, ministries, parties and agencies with separate databases and configuration settings but on the same codebase, so that there is no need to develop each site from scratch.
Banks and other financial institutions
(Sites providing services like credits, deposits, loans, investments, mortgages and currency exchanging)
Web security is the first concern for companies which operate every day with large sums of money and keep large databases of clients private data. It’s well known fact that security is a benefit of Drupal sites, but the same cannot be said for WordPress. So the choice is obvious for those who want to prevent harmful hacker attacks and damages as a result of them.
(Websites for schools, colleges, universities and distance learning courses)
Educational institutions need to manage large amounts of content and online resources. Drupal has a taxonomy system that efficiently categorize content for convenient navigation through it. To allow teachers to give and check online assignments for their students, there should be different access rights as well as personal accounts on a site. Drupal is best for education needs, with its diverse system of roles and permissions and profound opportunities for user management.
(Websites for hospitals, clinics, medical, health care and fitness centers)
Drupal provides flexibility, security and search capabilities for sorting and filtering content. Many large health care sites are built with Drupal. If there is a need for managing user accounts for people with cancer, AIDS or any other kind of support community, then Drupal can offer better customizable user management features than WordPress.
(Websites that provide services and information for travelers)
Powerful ecommerce features of Drupal makes it easy to to sell airplane, train and bus tickets, or to rent hotel rooms and vehicles, and for booking tours, cruises and vacation packages. Many travel sites on Drupal are evidence of this. WordPress isn’t good at managing online payments and reservations, at least not with ease.
(Solely online media sites or online editions of offline newspapers, magazines and journals)
Since online newspapers and magazines are all about publishing articles on the web, WordPress seems to be the right option, as it was initially designed as a blogging platform. And it is a good choice for small local publications. However, large news portals, managed by a large staff, require more control and flexibility then WordPress can offer. Among Drupal’s benefits for the media and publishing industry is customizable publishing and scheduling workflow, many moderation states and easy subscription management.
For which industries is it better to choose WordPress and why?
Personal blog or personal website
(Websites for expressing individual’s opinions and sharing experiences in a form of blog)
Periodically publishing blog posts and managing comments are the main requirements for the blogging sites devoted to site owner’s passion, be it a hobby or a business. This is for sure within the capacity of Drupal. However, it’s not the best solution if other advanced functionality isn’t going to be used. WordPress, being a self-hosted blogging platform, offers custom domain names, more than 3,000 themes and more than 35,000 plugins. All this allows blog authors to adapt blogs to their tastes and needs cheaper and faster than with Drupal. Also, the low learning curve is a benefit for beginners.
(Sites for self promotion through the demonstration of the projects examples)
Websites created by individuals about themselves, aimed to show the proofs of their skills and experience in a particular sphere are quite simple and static. They contain photo galleries or other collections of works which don’t get updated very often, and minimum interactivity with site visitors is required. So Wordpress is a suitable quick and cost-effective solution with a low learning curve.
(Sites for informing fans about the lives of famous people and their activity)
Official websites representing the life and work of musicians, artists, film or sport stars usually don’t need sophisticated systems. Even with a lot of visual, video and audio content Drupal could be an unduly complicated solution, while Wordpress is faster to set up and easier to maintain.
(Sites providing culinary information including recipes, diets and food nutrition tables)
Sites that serve as a stock of recipes and related information about food and drinks are really just a collection of online articles with textual content with visual illustrations. Those articles are created and published either by site owners or by registered site users. WordPress has everything needed for fast and cost-effective development of sites with primarily article-based content.
Beauty and fashion
(Sites that provide information and services about make-up, manicure, spa, hairstyle, clothing style, accessories, etc.)
Fashion and beauty websites provide blog posts with pieces of advice on how to look beautifully, healthy and fashionable, as well as various tutorials, guides and cosmetic products reviews. Both WordPress and Drupal have free responsive themes and functional features to satisfy these needs, but unless there is no special requirements, WordPress will be the more advantageous choice. Its WooCommerce plugins help beauty salons and barber shops set up options for booking their services to run their businesses on the web.
(Online art galleries, art exhibitions and art auctions)
It’s convenient to use photo galleries to arrange the information about pieces of art, especially if it’s fine arts or sculpture. Wordpress fits well for sites with gallery-based content. It has many themes, plugins and built-in features for managing files and comments. Drupal requires more things to configure and more time for these manipulations to get the same result. In addition, an art site built with WordPress will be easier to manage and maintain.
(Sites dedicated to particular artistic, sporting and other public events like festivals, championships or conferences)
Official websites of specific events contain the basic information about the participants and schedule, guidelines on how to reach the location, how to buy tickets, and answers to FAQs. Photo galleries could also be uploaded to demonstrate how it is going. Event sites aren’t complicated or frequently updated, as they just need to work for a short time. WordPress won’t make you wait long to load a fully functioning event site.
As WordPress was initially designed for blogging and later extended its capacities, it is the best fit for websites where the main role is played by a blog, some similar article-based content (like recipes in a culinary site) or photo galleries. It’s a good choice for small and average sites where Drupal’s complicated functionality would be redundant, as it isn’t planned to be used. In these cases WordPress will take less time, work and cost to obtain the same result.
Drupal, on the other hand, is beneficial for complex sites, where content is published by many people with different access rights (as in news portals), profound user accounts management is needed and where web security is a top priority (as in government and financial websites).
We hope our recommendations on which CMS to choose for what website are useful for you. If it is, please, share this blog post via social media using the icons below to help other people make the right choice of platform. If you disagree, share your thoughts and experiences in comments.