WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are the top 3 leading CMSes. Having played with all 3, our recommendation is to use Drupal for any new websites that you need developed.
Before we jump into the reasons, let us tell us where we are coming from. Acism.com and a few other sites that we created for clients used Joomla. Then WordPress rose to popularity. We loved the simplicity of the interface and hence adopted it. We used WordPress for client websites and our own websites acism.com, kommbox.com and others.
Then for a few years, we had made a strategic decision to move away from the work of making simple websites, and passed on any enquiries we received to WordPress developers who were known to do a good job with those. The status quo would have remained the same, if Drupal 8 had not arrived. We have now decided to adopt Drupal for our sites, and also use it for our clients’ work, given that good Drupal developers are scarce.
Let’s see why.
Drupal was always known as the CMS written by developers for developers. We had explored it previously and appreciated its modular design, which imparts a lot of flexibility of how to present the content and to whom. Compared to Drupal, the design of other CMSes looks a lot shallow, which starts coming in the way of some features that serious sites would need sooner or later. Drupal can handle thousands of pages with thousands of users.
From the flexible design stem the business benefits. Drupal is known to be secure — secure enough to be used by whitehouse.com. This high security comes out of the Drupal development team’s hard work in keeping the security at par with the OWASP security guidelines. Mind you, these guidelines are a moving target, and that makes the Drupal team’s commitment over all these years highly commendable. Security is a big deal for us, especially having seen our WordPress sites getting hacked a few times over the years.
Drupal is fast. Drupal 8 comes with improved caching abilities which makes it deliver pages faster. Some people have complained that Drupal 8 is more sluggish than Drupal 7, but that concern is well addressed in this third party blog.
Drupal is also better for content delivery. An article from a content marketer talks about why Drupal content is more discoverable to search engines.
WordPress is the undisputed king as far as design templates go. There are thousands of them available –both free and paid– and no other CMS can catch up with it any time soon. However, serious new sites always go for custom UI or at least customizing an available UI. Because of that, this factor is not very significant in these cases. Further, Drupal 8 allows itself to be used only as a server side engine, while a good UI technology is used to implement amazing client side experience. Towards this, the new initiave reactfordrupal is noteworthy.
So, if Drupal were all this great, what was holding us so far that changed in Drupal 8?
The Tipping Point
It’s the usability. Drupal has been a difficult-to-grasp, difficult-to-use beast. Drupal 8 has now integrated CKEditor into Drupal core. It’s probably not a big deal from a developer’s perspective, but it is a big deal for content authors, as it gives them the much needed WYSIWIG editing capability. Drupal 8 has made some other improvements too in this area such as in-place editing. Understandably, these improvements still does not take Drupal’s usability at par with WordPress, but it is a big leap in the right direction. It gives us a confidence that when we design a Drupal based site, non-technical content authors will be able to add content to it on their own with ease.
For us, this is the tipping point which has made us the converts.
We love you, Drupal!