Hire a Website Developer to Use Drupal or WordPress

Written by Andres Garzon

Should the Nearshore Website Developer You Hire Use Drupal or WordPress?

Today, many companies are hiring nearshore teams to help supplement website and software development, and those that do choose that route because of the maximum flexibility it offers for staffing needs. When it comes to website development itself, we’re going to let you in on a little secret: flexibility is still king. For some, using Drupal as the backbone for a website can give the nearshore developer you hire a great advantage when it comes to that same virtue. For others, it’s WordPress that has the edge. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons for each.

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What are Drupal and WordPress?

In basic terms, Drupal and WordPress are a website publishing platforms. They are both platforms that allow you to build, scale, and publish websites, and allow you to do so without having to write your website in raw code. They are both based on a content management system model -- or CMS -- which is literally that: a system that helps you manage your content, be it video, photo, text, or interactive forms.

With Drupal, as with WordPress, you’re given a simple, intuitive platform which allows you to navigate, create, and iterate on existing web design models, so you and the nearshore web developer you hire can bring your website to the world with speed, ease, and efficacy, with a range of different coding knowledge and even when located in different locales around the world.

What’s Up with WordPress?

WordPress isn’t the oldest website CMS, but its first version was created way back in 2003. Today, it remains the most popular, reportedly accounting for the back-end of 34% of the world’s websites -- including whitehouse.gov and thenewyorker.com.

What’s Up with Drupal?

Despite being older than WordPress, Drupal (introduced to the world in 2000) only serves as the foundation for 2.3% of the world’s webpages. But don’t be deterred by that number: that’s still plenty, as there are a lot of web pages in the world. Some Drupal sites include big players such as Nasa.gov and economist.com.

What Do they Share?

When working with a freelance web developer or a nearshore team, it’s important to note that both Drupal and WordPress are excellent systems, with millions of happy users, fans, experts, and vibrant support communities. With either, you and your nearshore team should have no problem troubleshooting problems, finding resources to help you through rough spots, or plugging into various advances being made by the best and brightest to optimize the web development experience. Likewise, both systems are open source, so there’s no fees involved in using either CMS on the base level.

What are the Differences?

The first difference you may notice between Drupal and WordPress is the learning curve: most experts agree that WordPress is “beginner friendly” and Drupal is not. In other words, an in-house teammate might be able to set the beginning stages of your WordPress site, before an expert nearshore developer is brought on to complete the job. However, with Drupal, enough technical knowhow is required to get the project off the ground that a website built with Drupal should likely be built in partnership with, or by, your nearshore team from the get-go.

The second difference is in customizability and function. Both systems offer a wide range of options in terms of making your website your own. However, they achieve this in different ways. For WordPress, customization means over 5,000 free “themes” (basic website designs) and over 53,000 “plugins” (website features, like a store or newsfeed). In contrast, Drupal only offers over 2,500 themes and 39,000 plugins (they call them “modules”). So on the face, WordPress offers more front-end variation, though Drupal isn’t far behind.

When it comes to function, however, one advantage does go to Drupal: security and flexibility of users. More than WordPress, Drupal is built to handle complex websites, multi-thematic projects, large amounts of data and content, and to offer these all tighter online security. This is because Drupal can be made more functional and diverse in terms of who can access which part of the site, who has editing function, when, and how. With Drupal, multiple admins, content editors, and multiple stakeholders with diverse needs can be accounted for, and invited to work side-by-side securely. WordPress just does not offer this functionality, which means when working with external partners like a team of nearshore developers, Drupal does have a significant edge.

So Which Is it?

In the end, whether you hire a freelance developer to bring additional might to your web development project, or outsource your entire development project to an expert nearshore team, whether you use Drupal or WordPress will depend on your needs, your preferences, and the expertise you have at your fingertips. Though with the expansiveness and know-how of the nearshore community, that expertise might just be deeper than you even know!


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Written by Andres Garzon

Andres was born in Quito, Ecuador, where he was raised with an appreciation for cultural exchange. After graduating from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, he worked for a number of companies in the US, before earning his MBA from Fordham University in New York City. While a student, he noticed there was a shortage of good programmers in the United States and an abundance of talented programmers in South America. So he bet everything on South American talent and founded Jobsity -- an innovative company that helps US companies hire and retain Latin American programmers.