Drupal is an open-source content management system (CMS) that facilitates the creation of complex websites and web applications.
Written in PHP, the platform is a good choice to manage web content and create personalized on-site experiences for high-traffic enterprise websites. But with a more cost-effective, flexible, and easy-to-use alternative like WordPress available, is Drupal the best choice?
Drupal 6 has reached its end of life. Drupal 7 will do so in November 2022. So if you’re weighing your options against the latest version i.e. Drupal 9, then read on to find out why moving Drupal to WordPress is likely a better bet.
WordPress and Drupal are similar in many ways. Both are open-source CMSs meant for easy content authoring. Both are versatile and extensible with thousands of modules, plugins, and themes. Both are backed by a strong community and provide freedom from vendor lock-in.
While WordPress isn’t perfect, Drupal is far from an ideal enterprise CMS. Here are the three key reasons why it makes sense to migrate your Drupal site to WordPress.
Drupal is highly customizable and has powerful content management features, but the platform is difficult to use and has a steep learning curve.
The backend is fairly intricate and you need an understanding of web development and other technical know-how to make the most of this platform.
The whole point of using a CMS is convenient and efficient content management. And Drupal doesn’t exactly provide the most user-friendly or intuitive content management experience that you’d expect.
While website setup and hosting cost about the same for Drupal and WordPress, the price of maintaining and upgrading your website can be substantially different down the line.
Drupal’s complexity means you’ll likely need to hire experts to keep your website in top shape, which is a large time and financial commitment. Plus, the Drupal community is smaller, so professional help is harder to come by and tends to be more expensive.
Also — time is money — and Drupal development typically takes longer which often means more time to market and lower agility.
Speed is a pivotal Google ranking factor that impacts your site’s user experience and even conversions.
Drupal relies on a complex hook system to automatically load modules. This causes Drupal to use additional memory resources, negatively impacting performance. While Drupal’s built-in caching mitigates these memory and performance issues, it can also lead to strange bugs specific to Drupal websites.
Drupal performance optimization is a complex specialization in its own right. Drupal developers and agencies may spend days or even weeks investigating performance issues and fixing them.
How WordPress is Better than Drupal
WordPress not only tackles Drupal’s drawbacks effectively but also establishes itself as a reliable CMS for businesses big and small. Here are a few of the many benefits of converting Drupal to WordPress:
Sure, Drupal offers a few advanced features such as support for multilingual out of the box, but with the right integrations and plugins, WordPress can do anything that Drupal can do, and do it better.
Choose from 58,000+ plugins and 8,000+ customizable themes to build and scale a truly unique branded website.
Ease of Use
WordPress is renowned for its user-friendly interface. The backend is designed with users of all levels in mind. Users with limited technical know-how can use WordPress to its full potential. Tech-savvy users can customize the platform in remarkable ways.
Creating and managing content is super intuitive and even non-coders can build and maintain the website relatively easily.
With the vast repository of plugins and integrations, WordPress makes it possible to extend your website’s capabilities with little-to-no custom development.
And as your enterprise grows, scaling up your website to accommodate the traffic growth and maintain peak performance is relatively easy too.
Security is often cited as WordPress’s weakness owing to some past security exploits, but this perspective is skewed. In reality, WordPress tends to get hacked more simply because there are more WordPress sites on the internet.
Weak passwords, unreliable hosting, outdated plugins, etc. are what lead to successful breaches. If you follow all the security measures diligently, WordPress in itself is a secure CMS.
Hosting & Infrastructure
Optimized hosting and infrastructure are key to ensuring safe, scalable, and smooth running CMS in enterprise environments.
With WordPress, you have some great managed hosting solutions specifically optimized for WordPress that offer useful features like automated daily backups, multiple staging environments, Git integration, enhanced security, technical support, and much more.
WordPress’s massive global developer community and ecosystem mean that it’s easy to find support for any issues that you run into.
WordPress also has comprehensive documentation, support forums, user groups, and so on — all run by an active and welcoming community.
Both platforms are free and open-source, but all things considered, WordPress can be notably more budget-friendly than Drupal.
WordPress offers more “out of the box” solutions and thanks to its unparalleled popularity and usage, WordPress experts are easier to find and more affordable than Drupal experts. Plus, as your WordPress website grows in size, you can add more server power for an incremental cost.
SEO and Mobile-Friendly
WordPress is SEO and mobile-friendly (fully responsive) out of the box, and there are some great SEO plugins to help you reach and retain that top spot on Google.
Matt Cutts, the former head of the Google webspam team, has publicly stated that Google loves WordPress and that just using the platform takes care of 80-90% of optimization. So in terms of SEO, opting for WordPress is an investment into a future-proof platform.
Drupal vs. WordPress: By the Numbers
Launched as a basic blogging platform back in 2003, WordPress now powers over 40% of all websites and holds a whopping 64.9% of the CMS market share. Here are a few of the top enterprise-grade websites running on WordPress across several industry verticals.
The New York Times
Though Drupal arrived on the scene a couple of years earlier than WordPress, it currently powers just over 2.2% of all websites and has a 4.6% share of the CMS market. So Drupal is nowhere close to WordPress in terms of sheer numbers, but it still powers notable websites like:
How WordPress Takes On Drupal’s Advantages
It’s becoming clear how WordPress wins this head-to-head CMS battle in nearly every regard.
Drupal does have a few tricks up its sleeves — such as strong access controls, flexible taxonomies, core support for multilingual, and custom content types — but with its remarkable extensibility, WordPress isn’t exactly lacking in these aspects either.
WordPress single-site comes with five basic user roles, but Drupal has a built-in access control system with which you can create new roles with individual permissions.
Drupal has a great built-in taxonomy system which makes it ideal for managing lots of complex content.
While the default WordPress install sets you up with two types of taxonomies — categories and tags — you’re by no means limited to them. You can easily create custom taxonomies with the help of a plugin like Custom Post Type UI or Pods, or manually with a little bit of code.
Core Support For Multilingual
In Drupal 8, the multilingual capability is built into the core, whereas WordPress users must turn to third-party plugins.
That may not be ideal, but there are several enterprise-ready plugins like WPML and MultilingualPress to effectively achieve multilingual functionality and content localization. You can have a scalable WordPress framework where you can launch a copy of your website in a new country or language in a matter of hours.
Custom Content Types
By default, WordPress provides you with a handful of built-in content types, such as pages and posts.
But if you need more custom content types (say, “books” or “whitepapers”), you can effortlessly create them by installing the same plugins mentioned above for creating custom taxonomies.
What You Should Consider Before the Migration
Here are a few considerations you must keep in mind before you migrate:
Choose a reputed hosting that meets your needs.
Take a complete backup of your website.
Make a list of your current URLs and content.
Our CMS Migration Approach
We have a well-defined process to ensure you successfully migrate Drupal to WordPress.
Consulting Our team of experts will understand and evaluate your goals, along with the challenges you face with your current Drupal setup. We’ll help you make sense of the how and why to migrate Drupal to WordPress.
Planning Once we understand your website migration requirements, we will prepare a detailed migration plan that considers your existing website features, content, objectives, budget, and timeline.
Initiation We will work with you to perfect the plan of action. Once you’re happy with the plan, we will do a complete backup of your data before starting with the transition from Drupal to WordPress.
Delivery We pride ourselves as migration experts and with rigorous testing, we ensure your new WordPress website meets all your expectations and all content is correctly migrated.
Support Successful Drupal to WordPress migration doesn’t end our partnership. We will take responsibility for your website maintenance, ensuring your new WordPress website continues to achieve performance benchmarks and runs smoothly.
Why Choose Multidots as Your Drupal to WordPress Migration Agency?
Our experts have a proven track record of successful content migration from Drupal to WordPress. Here’s what you’ll get when you choose us as your Drupal to WordPress migration company.
Work with Experienced Specialists
Our team is seasoned in WordPress migration services, so you can rest assured that your Drupal website is switched seamlessly to WordPress.
Our approach is thorough and battle-tested. We take care of every minute detail to achieve the exact results that you expect.
Every business is different, and thus, so is every migration. We understand and cater to your unique requirements to ensure your business remains on track after the migration is complete.
Maintain Website Continuity
We have a zero-downtime approach. Your website continues to function at full performance as we move your data in the backend (on our own servers) from Drupal to WordPress.
Your data security is our top priority. Through our strict security protocols, we ensure all your content and data are secure during the migration process.
Your Drupal migration process becomes stress-free as we handle everything while following an agile methodology to always keep you in the loop.
Core SEO Focus
Your website’s search engine rankings are not compromised in any way. We ensure all pages — including all content, links, visuals, menu items, SEO metadata, and URLs and redirects — on the current website are migrated correctly.
Fully automating things almost always leads to data loss or unexpected inaccuracies. We are manual migration enthusiasts and use the most advanced techniques (manual + automated) to ensure your migration happens with 100% accuracy. Our focus is on data integrity and perfection.
This depends on the size — the amount of data and content — and the functional complexities of your Drupal website. The more complex the site and the amount of data to be transferred, the more time it will take to migrate your website.
In the short term — a few weeks to a couple of months — your rankings may dip a little. But in the long run, your Drupal website’s SEO will remain intact and your current search engine rankings won’t be affected.
It is not essential. If you are satisfied with your current provider’s services and they can host WordPress websites (which most do), you can stay with your current provider. If you have problems with your current provider (say with regards to performance or ease of use), it’s a good idea to switch to a new hosting provider. For enterprise-grade websites, switching to a managed hosting platform like WordPress VIP can be an extremely wise investment.
In case you decide to switch from your current hosting provider, we can audit your current deployment and suggest the best hosting service provider for your WordPress solution as per your project scope and expectations.
We’re a featured WordPress VIP Silver Agency Partner, and we can vouch for WordPress VIP’s premium managed hosting quality, customer support, and focus on speed. We can help you with the end-to-end process of moving your WordPress website to the VIP infrastructure, following VIP coding standards, and meeting VIP plugin compatibilities. We ensure everything moves over smoothly with zero downtime. Once the migration is complete, we also manage your hosting environment to ensure your website is maximizing its new, fast server.
It depends on your existing website. To get a better understanding, we will conduct a thorough evaluation and audit of your Drupal website to gather all necessary information for a successful migration.