All three are open source and built on PHP + MySQL. All three vary significantly in terms of features, capability, flexibility and ease of use. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of each of these CMS solutions:
Drupal: Pros and Cons
Drupal is the granddaddy of CMS systems on this list – it was first released in early 2001. Like WordPress and Joomla, Drupal too is open-source and based on PHP-MySQL. Drupal is extremely powerful and developer-friendly, which has made it a popular choice for feature rich, data-intensive websites like Whitehouse.gov and Data.gov.uk.
Let’s consider a few pros and cons of Drupal:
Advantages of Drupal
- Extremely Flexible: Want a simple blog with a static front page? Drupal can handle that. Want a powerful backend that can support hundreds of thousands of pages and millions of users every month? Sure, Drupal can do that as well. The software is powerful and flexible – little wonder why it’s a favorite among developers.
- Developer Friendly: The basic Drupal installation is fairly bare-bones. Developers are encouraged to create their own solutions. While this doesn’t make it very friendly for lay users, it promises a range of possibilities for developers.
- Strong SEO Capabilities: Drupal was designed from the ground-up to be search engine friendly.
- Enterprise Friendly: Strong version control and ACL capabilities make Drupal the CMS of choice for enterprise customers. The software can also handle hundreds of thousands of pages of content with ease.
- Stability: Drupal scales effortlessly and is stable even when serving thousands of users simultaneously.
Disadvantages of Drupal
- Steep Learning Curve: Moving from WordPress to Drupal can feel like walking from your car into a Boeing 747 cockpit – everything is just so complicated! Unless you have strong coding capabilities and like to read tons of technical papers, you’ll find Drupal extremely difficult to use for regular use.
- Lack of Free Plugins: Plugins in Drupal are called ‘modules’. Because of its enterprise-first roots, most good modules are not free.
- Lack of Themes: A barebones Drupal installation looks like a desert after a drought. The lack of themes doesn’t make things any better. You will have to find a good designer if you want your website to look anything other than a sad relic from 2002 when using Drupal.
Drupal is a full-fledged, enterprise grade CMS. It’s recommended for large projects where stability, scalability and power are prioritized over ease of use and aesthetics.