WordPress vs Drupal: Which to Choose in 2022?

Having trouble figuring out which content management system to use for your company or project? Wondering what the right CMS is for you?

Well, neither Drupal or WordPress will ever be the simple, easy to use, out of the box solution that works perfectly for you. But, both WordPress and Drupal have advantages and disadvantages that will lend themselves to different projects. By picking a CMS that aligns with your needs is the first step to making your future much easier.

So, in the article below, I’ll go into the advantages and disadvantages of both content management systems and their best use cases.

Advantages of Drupal and WordPress

In general, WordPress and Drupal have their own niches: Drupal is for “ambitious experiences,” or complex projects with complex integrations. WordPress has long been considered the go to for brochure style websites like blogs and news where the information is transferring one way.

Now, these assumptions don’t always hold true. You can build a complicated website in WordPress and you can stand up a simple blog using Drupal. That’s just not their strong suits.

Both content management system’s strengths come down to ease of use and technical ability. Are you working on a complex site that you might need to run headless? Drupal is probably for you. Are you a news organization publishing articles? WordPress is a great option, it can do a lot without the added complexity of Drupal.


  • Powerful, more complex
  • Customizable content types
  • More granular permission structure
  • Multi-lingual out of the box
  • Taxonomies to aggregate information
  • Slightly more secure


  • Easy to use, simpler
  • Less technical
  • Extensive plugin library
  • Larger community
  • Lower development costs
  • More popular

History of WordPress and Drupal

WordPress and Drupal both started in the early 2000s. WordPress in 2003 and Drupal in 2001. Both are open source and supported by their respective communities. They both use a LAMP tech stack. But, in the last two decades, WordPress has been far more popular than Drupal. WordPress has 28 million installs. Drupal has around 600,000. Even looking at the two in Google trends shows how WordPress has grown faster and remained more popular than Drupal.

But is being less popular a bad thing? Not necessarily. Drupal still powers big websites. Dries Buyteart noted that the majority of Covid-19 manufacturers use Drupal for their website. Big government agencies stand up Drupal along with universities, member associations, and sports leagues. Popularity isn’t everything.

Key Out-of-the-Box Features

If you’re just standing these two CMSs up out of the box, you’ll notice that WordPress is significantly easier to use. The primary reason is Gutenberg editor. It is a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor where content is placed in blocks that are easy to move around. In short, it doesn’t take much technical know-how to create content and make design changes on a site. If you are a content manager with less technical savvy but you still want to change the look of a site — the Gutenberg editor is an incredible tool (though, if you also have technical people working on your site, you can run Gutenberg in Drupal).

Drupal is not as intuitive out of the box. but comes with a lot of customization content types and a permissions matrix that allows for granular choices for who can be an editor or author. Do you want to give editor permissions to the HR department on the “careers” section of your website and nowhere else on the site? Drupal does this. Drupal also takes an “API first” philosophy. The JSON API allows a website to be run as a traditional coupled CMS or as a decoupled CMS where a custom frontend is implemented. You can easily run Drupal headless, too, and integrate a Drupal backend with augmented reality, smart watches, or other devices. There’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to Drupal.


  • Multi-lingual
  • Granular permissions matrix
  • Customizable content types
  • Robust open API


  • Gutenberg editor
  • Image editing
  • Media library
  • Theme customizer


In open source software like Drupal and WordPress, users are constantly writing and distributing custom code to increase functionality. In WordPress, these pieces of custom code are called plug ins, in Drupal they’re referred to as modules.

Drupal modules are, for the most part, pretty secure. They’re vetted by the community and updated often. A WordPress plug-in isn’t as secure. They’re not always closely inspected by the community and can develop security vulnerabilities. WordPress security issues often stem from plugins and you must stay vigilant about ensuring your plugins are up to date!

And then there’s permissions.

Drupal has a much more granular control of user permissions. You have the option of assigning users a role in just one section of the site.

WordPress only has single roles. An editor can edit and publish anywhere on the site. This is a potential security vulnerability because there will be more people with permissions over more of the site. You can’t silo users into specific sections. If you own a WordPress site, you must ensure permissions are up to date and current to avoid someone making unwanted changes to a site.


  • Various roles and permissions
  • Permissions can be contained to specific areas
  • CMS core is frequently patched and secure
  • Like WordPress, most security breaches are due to unpatched software. Drupal has a security advantage over WordPress in terms of INTERNAL THREATS. But they are about equal in terms of EXTERNAL THREATS.


  • Various roles and permissions
  • Permissions span across entire website
  • CMS core is frequently patched and secure
  • Most security breaches are due to plugins and themes that have not been secured or updated as well as users who have not properly managed passwords. Most breaches happen to outdated (non-updated) CMS versions.


The downsides of both content management systems should be pretty clear at this point: WordPress is not built for complex tasks and it has more security vulnerabilities. Drupal might be too complex depending on your needs, this means spending extra money hiring developers or extra time learning about functionality you may never use.


  • Requires more technical developer skills
  • Requires more technical content skills
  • More costly to build, update, and maintain
  • Takes longer to configure
  • Learning curve is steep


  • Permissions are broadly defined
  • Permission granularity requires a plugin
  • Multi-lingual requires a plugin
  • Outdated plugins are #1 cause of hacks
  • Large target among hacker community

Best Uses for Drupal and WordPress

Drupal: In general, Drupal is a better option if you are:

  • Not as concerned about spending on your website
  • Have many content managers or low trust in content managers
  • Have tech-savvy, web-savvy content managers
  • Publishing content that is complex, technical, relational
  • Close with a trusted web vendor
  • Not in a huge rush to launch website
  • Very concerned about the security of your website

WordPress: WordPress is a preferred option if you are:

  • Working on a tight budget
  • Have a few trusted content managers
  • Less technical content managers
  • Content is relatively simple
  • You want to avoid web vendor lock-in
  • Need to get website up quickly

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