Spot the Difference: WordPress or Drupal?

Posted 8th September 2012
Spot the Difference: WordPress or Drupal?

Can you spot the difference between these two websites?  From a visitor's point of view they are almost exactly the same. One of the site is built using the Wordpress content management system, and the other using the Drupal content management system.

You may ask why anyone would want to build the same website twice?  Surely once is enough? Well, I was contracted to build this website and I originally suggested using Drupal (because that was the system I knew best). Once it had been built, as I had some time on my hands, and wanted to improve my ability in WordPress, I thought what better way of learning than replicating the Shapecast site in WordPress?

The Shapecast site had specific requirements.  It needed basic elements such as a series of static pages as well as drop-down menus.  It also needed to include more dynamic elements, including a blog, job section, staff profiles and case studies.  These elements would get updated and added to regularly.  Lastly, there would be a series of small advertisements on some of the pages, linking to, and promoting services offered by the company or linking to other parts of the site.


in Drupal, I had built the site using custom content types for the blog, jobs, case studies and advertisements. In WordPress, I only created one custom content type for the advertisements, and then use the built in posts content type for the blog, jobs and case studies. I just added a category for each and applied that category to the post.  So if it was a job post I created a normal post and added it to the jobs category.

In both websites I needed to add custom fields to hold some of the data such as links or job titles for staff.  In Drupal, custom fields are built-in, and to an extent, they are built-in in WordPress too, though WordPress has more limited options, so I used a plug-in "Advanced Custom Fields".


in the Drupal site, I controlled all the layout using blocks (boxes that you can add to different areas of the page and put different types of content in) and Views (an additional module that allows the creation of lists of content). In WordPress, I achieved the same results by creating different page templates.


having now built on the same site using two different CMSs, I would say overall it was simpler and faster using WordPress than Drupal. Drupal is a more complex CMS thanWordPress, it has more options and more features, and its internal system is more complicated, so generally it takes longer to set things up using Drupal.  Also, from a user's point of view, the WordPress CMS is probably easier to manage.  Again, this is because it has fewer options than Drupal.  In WordPress the main administration screen is more user-friendly and reasonably straightforward.


Either system works fine for this site.  If this site needed membership area or more complicated features, then Drupal may well be a better choice, but as it is WordPress is my preference because it is simpler and faster to build, especially so if I had to do it all over again!