How to achieve the same goals with both Drupal and WordPress: 9 Tips for Former WordPress Junkies

Although there have been many blog posts making comparisons between Drupal and WordPress, the two most popular open-source content management systems, there is seldom mention of a comparison of the tools we as clients, developers, designers, business analysts, marketers or anyone else on a project require to produce and use a website effectively.

We can leverage similar functionalities from the two systems. We can further extend those functionalities by incorporating the use of plugins or modules. WordPress tends to call these ‘plugins’ while Drupal calls them ‘modules’. Sometimes it’s purely an issue of semantics and a simple difference of what each community endearingly calls it. Other times it may be that both systems provide different solutions for the same problem. The two can choose a very different means to the same end.

As different integral parts of a team, each website editor has unique needs that the website must satisfy. Bloggers and content writers require WYSIWYG text editors. Marketers require tools to assist with SEO efforts. Developers need reliable and effective ways to build forms. This list gets rather long, particularly as the needs of the website increase. Therefore, in this post we share what we consider 9 of the most commonly used features in Drupal and their  counterpart in WordPress.

 

Tip 1: Improve Your SEO

Drupal – Metatag, WordPress – SEO By Yoast

Casual users of WordPress and Drupal will often neglect this aspect of building and running a site, but power users will be well-versed in the science of meta tags and search engine optimization. Without explicitly informing search engines of what the content of a page relates to they are left to work it out for themselves. Drupal and WordPress both provide simple and effective ways of managing meta content. Drupal has the metatag module and WordPress has SEO by Yoast

 

Tip 2: Backup and Migrate Your Content

Drupal – Backup Migrate WordPress – Updraft Plus

Sometimes it will be necessary to move a website to a new hosting provider, or maybe you would like to ensure that you have a disaster recovery plan in place. WordPress and Drupal offer third party plugins and modules to ensure you’re never left without a copy of your site should the worst happen. Drupal’s Backup Migrate and WordPress’ Updraft Plus will help you export and import your site in an easily manageable way.

 

Tip 3: Categorize and Tag Your Content

Drupal – Taxonomies/Tags, WordPress – Categories/Tags

You’d be forgiven for thinking that ‘tags’ were a concept purely created for blogging websites, but categorization of content is an essential ingredient in powering listing pages and to cross-link between articles or blogs. Giving site users a simple way to find content in a similar vein is a great way to ensure they stay on your site and continue to consume your site’s material. Taxonomies are grouping mechanisms for items and both Drupal and WordPress provide a way to ‘tag’ content out-of-the-box.

 

Tip 4: Extend and Create Your Own Content

Drupal – Field API, WordPress – Advanced Custom Fields

Sometimes just a WYSIWYG editor and a title don’t fulfil the requirements of a site and editors find themselves needing to add new fields or types of content. Not only is it important to be able store the data in a logical and usable fashion, but it is also inevitable that the data will need to be displayed in a format that is user-friendly or consumable by a third party. This sort of requirement can easily be handled in several ways using both WordPress and Drupal. As part of Drupal 7’s core the field API allows content managers and site administrators to create new fields in the same way that WordPress’ Advanced Custom Fields plugin Advanced Custom Fields plugin can.

 

Tip 5: Secure Your Site

Drupal – Security Kit WordPress – Wordfence

There’s nothing more frustrating than having your site hacked or defaced. A lot of users of both Drupal and WordPress will forget that they are using two of the most popular open source content management systems around and as such their site is a potential target for attack. But securing a site need not be a chore. There are security modules available for both WordPress and Drupal that can save you a lot of time and pain. WordPress’ Wordfence plugin and Drupal’s Security Kit module both offer a suite of different security and performance enhancements.

 

Tip 6: Get a Fresh Look

Drupal – Display Suite, WordPress – Custom Page Templates & Widgets

There are times when the default theme, or even a downloaded theme, just don’t cut the mustard. Sometimes you might want to modify or extend the way content is rendered on your site. Both WordPress and Drupal offer the ability to do so in a number of ways. Drupal’s Display Suite module is a powerful tool for manipulating fields and templates to customize their output. WordPress gives users the flexibility to create custom page templates and use widgets to achieve their desired look and feel.

 

Tip 7: What You See Can Be What You Get

Drupal – CKEditor, WordPress – TinyMCE for Javascript Editors

There are a plethora of Javascript / text editors out there and sometimes it can be hard to pick the right one. With so many to choose from it will often come down to use-case or preference. However, two of the most well received and well supported are CKEditor and TinyMCE. WordPress comes with TinyMCE installed by default, while Drupal offers the flexibility to use any number of editors including the CKEditor module.

 

Tip 8: Create User-Readable Friendly URLs

Drupal – Pathauto WordPress – Permalinks

There isn’t anything much worse than an ugly URL.  They are not very helpful and they don’t tell you anything about the page or its content. WordPress offers the ability for users to create their own URL paths based upon the content’s title, date and a number of other factors. using permalinks. The Pathauto module for Drupal gives site administrators the ability to specify different URL patterns for different types of content.

 

Tip 9: Create User Friendly Forms

Drupal – Webforms WordPress – Gravity Forms

The whole point of having a form is so a site visitor can contact you in some manner, but not all forms are created equal. Not all form plugins are either. Many lack basic validation or field flexibility to create powerful advanced forms. Drupal’s Webform module Webform module and WordPress’ Gravity Forms plugin are two of the most powerful and extended plugins around. With a host of third party extensions and integrations the two can service most form needs.

Have a favorite WordPress or Drupal plugin to add? Have a question or need website consulting? Sound off in the comments section.

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