At CurrentDesign, we have gone through planning processes for a variety of new projects over the last few months. Most of these had some Content Management System (CMS) requirements. Based on different requirements, we specified appropriate CMSs for each project. This gave us the opportunity to revisit the ongoing CMS comparison debate.

For many of our clients’ projects, the choice of CMS comes down to WordPress or Drupal. These are two leading open source products, and we have expertise with both. Over the past few years WordPress has gained ground within our world. As its features expanded, WordPress became an appropriate option when previously only the more sophisticated Drupal would serve. For example, WordPress now has acceptable multi-lingual and ecommerce capabilities for many of our clients’ needs.

However, Drupal is still preferred for content-rich sites, particularly when many types of content are presented differently in different contexts. Drupal is also superior for sites that present different content to different types of users. On the other hand, the thriving WordPress prebuilt theme market makes delivering low cost brochure sites even easier with the simpler CMS.

Sometimes, the requirements for a CMS are not simply functional. One client requested Drupal for a simple website because its in-house IT team preferred it. With the release of Drupal 8, we are pleased to see that a simple site is easier to deliver, and as this site requires a custom design, Drupal is an acceptable choice.

The outlier in our recent projects is a site for an NGO that specified the simple report website be delivered on their server environment without a database. As a result we are hand-coding it. Thanks to the availability of open source libraries and frameworks, the effort to deliver the project is not much greater than if we had used a CMS. Of course, the site will not be readily updatable by the client, which is one of the main benefits of a CMS, but the client is happy with that limitation. There are many options to deliver website content, and it is a matter of choosing the right tool for the job.