Blogging involves making several choices about the theme of the blog, the content, and the design. One of the more important choices is about the platform. There are two main competitors for blog platforms: Drupal and WordPress. They each have their own advantages, so as a blogger it’s a good idea to think about both of them and do some research about their characteristics before committing. This post will discuss how a lifestyle blogger would view both platforms.
For some people, the biggest difference between Drupal and WordPress is security. WordPress has adequate security, but Drupal goes above and beyond to secure their sites with top-level tools. Drupal has attracted the attention of many businesses and government entities for this reason alone. With hacking in the news so often recently, security is becoming a larger part of any kind of work on the Internet. However, security is not always a critical part of blogging. If the blog is meant to be part of a larger business that collects customer data as part of its marketing efforts, then, yes, it is important to develop strong security for the blog, but otherwise security is not as high a priority as other characteristics of the chosen platform. It comes down to the intended purpose of the blog.
Time and Ease of Use
Drupal and WordPress differ sharply in how long they take to learn. It is significantly harder to learn Drupal and create a website using it. WordPress has an easier interface and the plugin system makes for rapid extensions to the basic functionality. On the other hand, Drupal requires more technical details and effort to reproduce the same effect. While it might seem trivial, the differences are actually large enough that producing a blog using Drupal takes a significantly larger amount of time and learning. If you are not planning to use Drupal more in the future, then there is little benefit from spending time learning it for a blog. Again, the intended purpose of the blog determines whether this investment is worth the time. WordPress is easy to use and learn, and it is simple to log in and make updates to a blog, then add plugins if you need any extra tools. Drupal is a more general platform, so it takes time to understand how it all works and how to get the most out of a Drupal blog. You do get more control, but it’s an open question if the control or the time is more valuable to you.
The rise of mobile browsing and the mobile user means that having a defined mobile strategy is becoming a critical part of blogging. Both Drupal and WordPress offer mobile tools. For SEO purposes, WordPress has an advantage in that the mobile version of a blog can run off the same domain as the main blog. On the other hand, Drupal mobile sites have a sub-domain. Best SEO practices recommend keeping all of the content on the same domain, but this is not a major issue. Both Drupal and WordPress have development and content publication tools that promote mobile responsiveness, allowing any blog to meet the standard with some tweaking. Their approaches to mobile responsiveness are similar, and of course, there are plugins for both that allow for more control or more tools. If you need to edit and publish from a mobile device, then WordPress has an excellent app that provides smooth and rapid control. Mobile work with Drupal hosting is a little more involved, but still just as functional.
In the end, it really comes down to the individual blog and your plans for the future. There are many different advantages for each platform. Drupal hosting is more favorable for complicated, multi-medium projects that extend beyond a simple blog. WordPress has an approachable and intuitive interface, so it is much easier to get into WordPress and start publishing right away. At this point, both WordPress and Drupal are so advanced and well-developed that they are both extremely good platforms to build a blog. It is possible to run a successful blog using either one. Past Drupal experience makes Drupal more attractive, as well as the possibility of future Drupal work. That might be the deciding factor- whether or not you will engage with Drupal again for something else. Drupal takes time to learn, so developing experience in it makes using it again easier. But if you don’t plan to use Drupal and have no need for its advanced security, then WordPress offers all the same tools in an easier to learn form. Just be careful of plugins, especially free ones. It is easy for a compromised plugin to create security breaches across many blogs at the same time.