WordPress or Drupal or Django – What do I choose for creating my website?
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There are many free tools available for building a website; how to choose the best tool for your specific requirements? Do you want to build a corporate website with minimal transactions, or a portal that encourages visitors to conduct ecommerce with a channel to a payment gateway? Different tools i.e., content management systems (CMS) have different capabilities that can help you achieve your specific goal.
In an ideal world, a perfect content management system (CMS) would have the best of all features: SEO compliance, unlimied community support, first-time developer friendliness, supports unlimited users, highly customizable, minimal maintenance, supports multiple language, and many more. But since all CMS systems cannot have all features, we take a consider three of the industry’s leading CMS tools – WordPress, Drupal, and Django and analyse their features. The popularity and flexibility that these tools offer in terms of construction from make them few of the most popular open-source CMS used across the world.
Let’s get started on what each of these, WordPress, Drupal, and Django, actually are and what are their favoured features that help decide which framework/CMS works best for development and customization.
“WordPress is an open-source CMS framework for website creation written in PHP. Per the user review, it is the easiest and most robust blogging and website creation platform in existence today.
If you want to create a website with lucid navigation process flows and transactions for the end user, and is easily customizable, then WordPress may be the tool for you. Installing a WordPress site does not require a user to have coding skills whereas, Drupal and Django require coding knowledge in order to maximize their funcionalities.
Beacause of these reasons, we have analysed WordPress separately from Drupal and Django.
Drupal is a content management system with framework-like properties. Think of it as an advanced WordPress system which is user friendly in terms of adding and modifying content and layout design without much development effort.
Django is a framework with CMS-like properties. The framework targets developers with Python and allows for a higher level of customization and is tailored to meet specific needs. The technical know-how and experience needed by the developer is higher with Django.
Cost: WordPress is free as it is an open-source website creation tool. Any user can install WordPress from wordpress.org and use it as a hosted service via wordpress.com.
Themes: The users can apply a predefined design template as a themeto the website and switch between themes without any loss of content or health of the website. The availability of the themes is classified as free (available at wordpress.org) and also as premium (paid). Users with coding skills can also create their own themes.
Plugins: The addition of plugins allows the user to extend functionalities of the website enabling customization. There are reportedly 45000+ plugins available that offer custom functions. Some common features that plugins introduce are search engine optimization, client portals, addition of widgets and navigation bars.
Mobile Friendly: There are many mobile-friendly WordPress themes available that automatically adds a lucid and responsive mobile theme for mobile visitors to your WordPress website.
Security: There have been concerns about WordPress security features as they have been hacked into several times. To counter vulnerability and promote security, WordPress has now introduced automatic background updates to streamline the updates user experience from WordPress 3.7 onwards. The current version is WordPress version 4.5.2 (as on May 2016). Proactive installations can prevent attacks by keeping all the themes and plugins updated and only downloading from trusted sources.
Drupal vs. Django – Create complex website systems with multiple users and transactions
Drupal is a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) based platform. It is also supported by Windows (WAMP) by using Python for Windows. Django is a Unix-based platform driven by Python, also run in Windows by Python for Windows. Therefore, both are platform independent.
Both support a variety of clients, from personal user base to global corporations. The examples below show that both can support enterprise level applications.
Some examples of their clientele:
Drupal powers the New York Observer, Economist, AOL Corporate, Dahon Bicycles, San Jose State University, Harvard, MIT, MTV UK, Sony Music, Warner Brothers Records, Ubuntu Brainstorm, DrupalSN, Whitehouse.gov and so on.
Django powers Instagram, Disqus, Spotify, NASA, Firefox, Lawrence.com, Reddit Gifts, washingtonpost.com, EveryBlock, LJWorld.com, Tabblo, Toronto Life, The Onion and so on.
Database: Both Drupal and Django can run on MySQL which can support up to 6 million users in a customer website.
Webserver: Both platforms utilize Apache. Django uses an Apache module, mod_wsgi to run through the processing of Python.
Technologies supporting both the platforms are open-source with recorded reliability. Drupal architecture has multiple layers to retrieve data; this has been addressed by the version Drupal 7 by removing one of the layers while processing. This issue does not occur with Django. To counter performance issues, Drupal has an internal caching mechanism which reduces processing and page-rendering time taken.
Drupal is highly extensible by modules via hook systems searchable at https://www.drupal.org/project/project_module.
Django is extensible through the use of middleware i.e. incorporating other Django applications into your application.
Drupal and Django allow the developer in modification of data model and extension of software as per developer’s choice.
Operations: As both PHP and Python are open-source programming languages and have a large number of contributors, up-to-date fixes and enhancements, stable releases to the production environment are provided. Both platforms use Apache and MySQL which are confirmed stable.
Since both Drupal and Django are open-source there is a large group of people who quickly and effectively deal with threats and manipulation of data. It is important that the developers be familiar with the coding pattern of external plugins they use, otherwise it is easy to attract vulnerabilities to the system.
Django has a slight advantage in shielding against risks as it has preventative tools built into the system. It automatically escapes the special SQL parameters to prevent SQL injections. Also, Django’s customer and developer base is smaller than Drupal; hence risk of attacks is substantially smaller.
In conclusion, Drupal platform offers huge community support. But it lacks robust architecture and stability. It would be better to use Drupal to get a new system running quickly but long-term maintenance effort and costs are cumbersome.
Django lacks in community support but it has a stable architecture and is easier to unit test.
The choice between choosing one over the other depends on your needs. If you need an easily customisable website with minimal coding and adding functionalities, go with Drupal.
If you need to and have the capability of building your website from the scratch and require extensive flexibility in terms of what the system does, go with Django.