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Drupal 8 vs. Wordpress: 54 Types Of Web Sites Compared

With the impending release of Drupal 8, the CMS scene has been turned on its head once again. If you're planning to launch a new web site, outdated and unclear information can make it difficult to decide which platform to invest in. This guide aims to help you navigate the murky CMS waters by providing an expert opinion of whether Drupal 8 or Wordpress is best for the type of site you're trying to build.

In this article, I am comparing 54 types of web sites using the Webby Awards categories as a baseline. For each category, I have included a verdict on whether I feel Drupal 8 or Wordpress is more appropriate and some clarifying thoughts on why I made that decision.

As with any opinion-based piece, it's important to understand the background of the author. I primarily develop Drupal sites for a living but have also implemented my fair share of Wordpress sites. Keep in mind my recommendations are not hard and fast rules – your situation might warrant a decision opposite of what I recommend.

I have tried to write this article as objectively and impartially as I can. In fact, if you count the category winners below, you will notice Drupal 8 and Wordpress are tied at 27 recommendations apiece. This was not planned – I assigned the winners before I counted their totals.

But enough preface. Let's get to the good stuff!

Click on a category to quickly navigate to it:


Activism

Sites facilitating political change, social movement, human rights, public education and reform, or revolution.

Winner: Drupal 8

If you want to manage petitions, register users, and create an online community, Drupal 8 is the right choice for you. It gives you the flexibility and tools to quick build out a complex site tailored specifically to your cause. Wordpress does not gracefully handle types of content (such as petitions) that are not blog posts or pages, and its user management is less suited for registering anonymous visitors to your site.

Art

Sites primarily to display or promote art of any medium, art galleries, art auctions or content focused on art criticism or the art world.

Winner: Wordpress

Gallery-style sites work extremely well in Wordpress. There are endless plugins and themes  made for just for this purpose, and the built-in file management and superior comment system of Wordpress makes it a clear winner. Drupal 8, by comparison, needs a lot of initial configuration to become a comparable solution and will be much more complicated to manage.

Associations

Sites for industry or trade associations or groups.

Winner: Wordpress

This is a closer call, but Wordpress wins. A typical association site will be focused on news, information, and events, and needs to be managed without extra overhead or learning curve. 
Wordpress has a low learning curve, is built to maintain news-style content, and will be easier to manage in just a few hours per week. Drupal 8 can also accommodate this need, but the learning curve will be higher and take more work to build and maintain.

Blog - Business

Sites that serve as weblogs or online journals for professional and business related topics.

Winner: Wordpress

Wordpress is the de-facto blogging solution, period. While Drupal 8 can function as a blog, if you don't need any other features, it's an unnecessarily powerful solution and takes longer to set up.

Blog - Cultural

Sites created by individuals or groups that serve as weblogs or online journals for cultural, lifestyle or entertainment topics.

Winner: Wordpress

See Blog - Business.

Car Sites & Car Culture

Sites that feature car culture, performance and services, including review sites, online resources, pricing guides and fan forums.

Winner: Drupal 8

Managing and displaying complex content such as car makes, models, trim levels, and reviews is where Drupal 8 shines. It has a suite of powerful management and display tools that will give you exactly what you want without pigeonholing you into a certain approach. Wordpress, by contrast, struggles to keep up when managing complex forms of content.

Celebrity/Fan

Sites focused on celebrating, promoting or honoring celebrities, personalities, bands, athletes, movie actors, or other people of note.

Winner: Wordpress

Usually, the needs and features of celebrity/fan site are not particularly complicated. Perhaps event listings or videos are needed, but those are not particularly complex, which makes it a great candidate for Wordpress, which is quicker to set up and maintain. For most situations, Drupal 8 will be an unnecessarily large and complicated solution.

Charitable Organizations/Non-Profit

Sites for charities and charitable organizations whose primary purpose is helping people or other worthy causes.

Winner: Drupal 8

The non-profit category encompasses a huge range of organizations with various levels of needs. Drupal 8 provides a rich feature set for non-profits looking for a sophisticated web presence, and is my choice of CMS. However, for newly launched or smaller non-profits, Wordpress provides a simple and cost-effective starting point for launching their first site.

City & Urban Innovation

Sites created by or executed on behalf of a city or local municipality that advances or informs the needs of its constituents via an online experience.

Winner: Drupal 8

Historically, Drupal has been a winner in the government space, from local government all the way to The White House. This is another category that can swing either way depending on the feature set of the site, but generally speaking Drupal 8 is appropriate for city & urban innovation sites with reasonably specific or detailed requirements.

Community

Sites creating and facilitating online community, connectedness and/or communication around shared interests. These sites can target either a broad-based or niche audience.

Winner: Drupal 8

If you need extensive user management in your community, such as custom fields, preferences, or permissions, Drupal 8 is the solution for you. If your community is limited to readers discussing topics you've written through comments, you could use Wordpress (but I'd argue that format is closer to a blog, anyway).

Consumer Electronics

Sites that feature or review any type of consumer electronics, including computers, mobile devices, home audio/video equipment or other related electronic products.

Winner: Drupal 8

Depending on the specifics of your feature set, this one could go either way. I am recommending Drupal 8 because many times, consumer electronics sites need to outline and display review criteria, product specifications, or other detailed information. Much of this can be automated easily in Drupal 8. If you do not need to manage complex specifications or details about the products you review, you may prefer Wordpress for its superior authoring environment.

Corporate Communications

Sites that serve as online identities for corporations, organizations, businesses or professional individuals. These sites may promote, market or provide information and a point of contact for products, services, corporate individuals or companies involved in on or offline commerce.

Winner: Wordpress

Take this one with a big grain of salt, as it depends on the size of the company. My general assumption is that a typical corporate communications site primarily consists of static information about the company, as well as product/service & contact information. For these purposes, Wordpress works really well. However, a corporate site could easily be more suited to Drupal 8 if it has features above and beyond what I just described.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Sites that promote a company or organization’s mission to improve civil and social life.

Winner: Wordpress

Similar to corporate communications sites, corporate social responsibility sites benefit from the simpler learning curve and authoring tools of Wordpress.

Cultural Institutions

Sites for museums, parks, zoos, gardens, aquariums, theatres, arenas and any other institutions of cultural significance.

Winner: Drupal 8

Complex and diverse museum sites will greatly benefit from the depth and flexibility of Drupal 8, while simpler garden and theatre sites may prefer Wordpress. This really comes down to the content you need to display. Do you need to organize, sort, categorize, and search a large amount of content? Drupal 8 is your answer. Otherwise, if your content is relatively straightforward, you should consider Wordpress.

Education

Sites that are educational, promote education, or provide online curriculum or education services. This category includes educational content for children or adults, resources for educators, and "distance learning" courses. Does not include school sites, see School.

Winner: Drupal 8

Drupal's user management plays a key role in my decision. The ability to manage a diverse set of fields and permissions for users right out of the box makes Drupal 8 a great choice for education. Wordpress is hard-pressed (pun not intended) to beat out Drupal 8 in a situation where the user accounts and customizable content plays a primary role.

Email Newsletters

Subscriber-based newsletters sent via email. Such as general interest, communal, retail, and customer relationship management.

Winner: Wordpress

Wordpress makes it dead simple to add a newsletter signup form to your site and get up and running quickly. In this situation, Drupal 8 is way too complex and requires a lot of configuration to get to the same point.

Employment

Sites featuring job and employment listings, job and career search services, recruiting services, career advice, headhunting or other career or job related information.

Winner: Drupal 8

In a world of complex searches and filtering, Drupal is king. The steep requirements of an employment site from a job listing and job searching perspective demand a robust feature set which Drupal 8 is well equipped to provide. Building a similar site in Wordpress would be much harder and less flexible. 

Events

Sites promoting specific events including concerts, fairs, festivals, sporting events, tours, or other events.

Winner: Wordpress

There are tons of event themes for Wordpress that will get you up and running with minimal effort. Especially given the temporary nature of event sites, Drupal 8 requires too much time and configuration compared to Wordpress. The simpler administration experience of Wordpress will also benefit busy event coordinators who are handling many other responsibilities.

Family/Parenting

Sites providing content related to family issues, child rearing, family activities, pregnancy, parenting tips and other information.

Winner: Wordpress

My main assumption is that family & parenting sites will be primarily article-based, and not need certain features such as advanced search or user registration. I'm also assuming that the intuitive, easy-to-use admin interface of Wordpress will be more important to the site owners and authors than the powerful, but more complex admin experience of Drupal 8. However, larger family & parenting sites may prefer to use Drupal 8 if they desire a deep, feature-rich administrative experience.

Fashion & Beauty

Sites that feature personal style, clothing, design, and accessories. These include fashion and beauty editorial and style guide sites.

Winner: Wordpress

While both Drupal 8 and Wordpress can be used to build a fashion & beauty site, the edge goes to Wordpress for its out-of-the-box media management capabilities. In this situation, Wordpress provides the shorter path to launch most of the time. Drupal 8 provides an advantage only if your requirements are specific or complex.

Financial Services/Banking

Sites providing financial services and/or information. These include online stock trading, financial news, mortgage information, credit cards, or investor relations and services.

Winner: Drupal 8

Drupal 8 is king when it comes to security, a primary concern for financial services and banking sites. Because Wordpress has a large market share, it is plagued more than any other CMS by hackers/spammers exploiting security vulnerabilities. Drupal's smaller market share, combined with its vastly customizable backend, makes it an easy choice for financial institutions.

Food & Drink

Sites that cover the culinary world, including food culture, restaurants, recipes, and products.

Winner: Wordpress

For food & drink sites driven exclusively by article-based content, Wordpress will be the quickest and most cost-effective path to launch. The blogging background of Wordpress means its initial configuration will be closer to what you're looking for, and its no-nonsense authoring interface is well suited to the publishing process. While Drupal 8 has made great strides in its authoring and publishing workflow, it is unnecessary unless you want to provide advanced sorting/searching features for your readers.

Games

Sites featuring direct online gaming for individuals or multi-player. Includes games of any type including action, sports, fantasy, skill, or logic. 

Winner: Drupal 8

Drupal 8 is a clear winner here. You might think of it as a preconfigured PHP framework, which is vastly more suited to developing an online game than Wordpress. Why would you choose a software built from a blogging background to create a game?

Games-Related

Sites devoted to the world and culture of computer gaming. This includes gaming news, gaming magazines, walkthroughs, FAQs and gaming resources. 

Winner: Wordpress

While Drupal 8 might be the winner if you're creating an online game, if you're writing about one, Wordpress is your CMS. Similar to other article-based sites, Wordpress is often the quickest path to launch because its out-of-the-box configuration comes closer to your goals than Drupal. However, as your site scales and becomes larger, you should start considering Drupal 8 if you're managing user accounts, providing extensive directories of filterable/sortable reviews, and managing lots of multimedia content.

Government

Sites providing information and services pertaining to government matters. These include sites that enable online citizen action, offer self-help information, publish government documents and forms, and provide access to services provided by government agencies.

Winner: Drupal 8

Drupal 8 is a clear winner in the government space. It provides a compelling value proposition to government agencies with its free cost alongside enterprise-grade features. By comparison, Wordpress is not designed to compete in the enterprise space and will not be sufficient for a large majority of government situations.

Green

Sites that focus on "green" issues including concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the state of the environment. Specific examples include recycling or energy blogs, websites announcing "green" corporate initiatives, conservation-focused blogging or environmentally friendly computer recycling websites.

Winner: Wordpress

Since green sites are often blogs, Wordpress is a great candidate. It's simple to set up and maintain, will provide an easy workflow to publish content, and generally costs less than the same solution on Drupal 8.

Guides/Ratings/Reviews

Sites that provide guides or reviews for consumer or business audiences. These include reviews of restaurants, travel/amenities, and products or services, as well as buying guides, best-of resources, and product/price comparison sites.

Winner: Drupal 8

I am picking Drupal 8 for guide, rating, and review sites because they often have robust feature sets such as aggregated user ratings and reviews, comparison tools, and advanced search and filtering. While Wordpress will work well for writing and publishing the review content, it will struggle to keep up with Drupal when implementing the more advanced features necessary for sites in this category.

Health

Sites that provide information on personal health and well-being. These include medical, alternative medicine, health and lifestyle, mental health, and fitness.

Winner: Drupal 8

I have personally implemented a number of health sites on Drupal with great success. While Wordpress may be equally suited for the task, if you are managing user accounts or communities on your site, Drupal 8 will be of great benefit because of its incredibly customizable user features. In addition, Drupal's powerful search capabilities have been a deciding factor on a number of sites I've developed.

Humor

Sites dedicated to comedy or the art of laughter.

Winner: Wordpress

If your humor site is going to be a blog-based format, Wordpress is the perfect CMS for you. You can quickly and cheaply get it up and running, whereas Drupal will take more work to set up (and has a steeper learning curve). Unless you're already using Wordpress and hit a ceiling on the features you want, Drupal 8 is probably overkill.

Law

Sites for law firms, legal service providers, pro-bono legal services, and self-help legal information that feature content on legal issues, trials, court decisions, or legal advocacy.

Winner: Wordpress

Unless you are primarily providing legal services online, Wordpress is my choice for law sites. A typical scenario might be a law firm wanting an online presence - in that case, Wordpress is going to be an excellent fit due to its low setup cost and ease of use. However, if you are providing legal services online or are a more established firm looking to expand its web presence, Drupal 8 could be the upgrade you're looking for.

Lifestyle

Sites featuring commentary, commerce and advice on lifestyle and living topics such as gardening, home improvement, interior design, architecture, and like subjects. Sites touching on the personal side of life by providing information and resources that allow people to live on their own terms.

Winner: Wordpress

If your lifestyle site is going to be run like a blog, Wordpress is your best bet. Drupal 8 will often be overkill unless you are willing to endure the steep learning curve to master its more advanced features. My general recommendation for article-based sites first starting out is to try Wordpress, then move to Drupal if you start becoming limited by the feature ceiling of Wordpress.

Magazine

Sites that are online editions or companions to offline business or consumer magazines, or sites published only online ('zines).

Winner: Drupal 8

While Wordpress might seem a tempting option for magazine sites (and is correct for some), Drupal 8 has a lot to offer in terms of customizable publishing workflow, subscription management, and content style/appearance. For editors seeking pinpoint control over their publishing process and content, Drupal 8 will provide a level of power and flexibility not as easily offered by Wordpress.

Media Streaming

Sites that offer audio or video streaming services, such as television, sports, film, music, podcasts, news, and radio.

Winner: Drupal 8

Drupal 8 is able to handle multimedia content much more flexibly than Wordpress. While Wordpress does a great job at handling content that's primarily text, Drupal 8 makes all types of a media a first-class citizen. You will be able manage, tag, display, and stream all types of content just as easily as a text article, which makes Drupal 8 a great choice for media streaming sites.

Movie & Film

Sites dedicated to moving pictures in all forms. Includes movie listings, film reviews, theory and history, and fan sites and fan forums.

Winner: Drupal 8

Managing movie listings, reviews, and forums is a complicated task which Drupal 8 is well equipped to handle. The flexible content types of Drupal 8 can be customized to exactly match the different pieces of content on your site (listings, reviews, articles), whereas Wordpress takes a more one-site-fits-all approach to managing the different types of content on your site.

Music

Sites devoted to discussing and/or promoting music and music culture. Includes band sites, music blogs, and review sites.

Winner: Wordpress

The running joke is that most musicians are broke. If that's you, say hello to Wordpress. Compared to Drupal 8, it's going to be much easier (and cheaper) to set up and manage. There are a number of plugins which help you display upcoming shows and stream your music to visitors. Unless you're looking to set up a music community site (in which case Drupal 8 is right for you), you should be looking at Wordpress.

NetArt

Projects that integrate art and technology, exploring and expanding the distinctive capacity of the medium. Projects must include a Web-based component and may include an offline element.

Winner: Drupal 8

Drupal 8 is very developer-friendly, which is a great feature when you're trying to achieve something outside the painted lines. Wordpress will be tougher to customize and often funnels you into a cookie-cutter approach unless you're willing to write a completely new plugin. But if you're going to do that, Drupal 8 is much more appealing because it's documented, flexible, and customizable.

News

Sites developed for the distribution of recent happenings. These may be offshoots of established broadcast or other existing news operations, or developed specifically for online news.

Winner: Drupal 8

Similar to magazines, news sites often seek very specific control over their publishing & review process, as well as the display of their content. While Wordpress historically provides a great authoring experience, Drupal 8 is better suited to customize your site exactly as you want it and has tremendously improved its authoring experience from prior versions.

Personal Blog/Website

Sites and blogs about individuals. These personal sites are created by you about you, by you about someone else, or by someone else about you. 

Winner: Wordpress

Wordpress started as a blogging software and continues to reign as CMS of choice for bloggers. Unless you enjoy the technical challenge of using Drupal, there is no need to stray from the established winner in this category.

Political Blog/Websites

Sites providing political information. These may include campaign or candidate sites, political blogs, political resources and/or news sites, or sites promoting a political cause or action.

Winner: Wordpress

See Personal Blog/Website.

Professional Services

Sites for professional service firms including consultants of any type, accountants and other business service providers.

Winner: Wordpress

Wordpress provides a quick and cost-effective way for professional services firms to maintain an online presence. Since, in most cases, the content of these sites is static information, Drupal 8 is unnecessarily complicated and expensive for the relatively simple scope of professional services sites. However, if your firm offers (or is interested in offering) online services to your clients, Drupal 8 could be the right fit for you.

Radio & Podcasts

Sites and podcasts with ties to a radio network, station, or program, either on the air or on the Web. This category includes sites that relate to a specific musical or talk-radio show, segment, or station and individual or episodic audio or video podcasts available for download or Online streaming.

Winner: Wordpress

While I have recommended Drupal 8 for media streaming sites, I would consider radio & podcast sites a subset of that category with a smaller scope. Since they are often only publishing a single type of media (audio or video content), they should be able to use Wordpress without being too limited by its one-size-fits-all approach to content.

Real Estate

Sites marketing or promoting the sale or rental of residential or commercial real estate, including real estate listings, brokers and brokerage services, real estate agents, and sites for developments, buildings or other real estate holdings.

Winner: Drupal 8

If you're looking to manage a lot of real estate listings, you should look into Drupal 8. It will allow you to customize and display your listings with the exact information you need. However, if you're managing a site for a development/building, or have a smaller number of real estate listings, Wordpress will likely be more appropriate.

Religion & Spirituality

Sites focusing on spiritual practice including those devoted to rituals, history, church and temple sites, online confessions, virtual prayer, and astrology sites; as well as platforms for direct online spiritual experience (traditional or non-traditional).

Winner: Wordpress

For most religion & spirituality sites, Wordpress will be the most appropriate option. Because a number of organizations in this category are smaller non-profits, the low setup and maintenance cost of Wordpress makes it a compelling choice. Drupal 8 would only be appropriate for the largest organizations with robust requirements for media or extensive online services.

School/University

Sites for schools (high school, secondary school, elementary school), specialty school, technical school, colleges, universities and other schools.

Winner: Drupal 8

Drupal has gained a foothold in the education sector, particularly because of its enterprise feature set with zero licensing cost. Wordpress often does not provide the level of customization and configuration necessary for most schools and universities managing a large amount of online content, resources, and services.

Science

Sites distributing information related to scientific exploration. These include science exhibits, science museums, science organizations, science laboratories, and academic institutions.

Winner: Wordpress

This one can easily go either way depending on the requirements of the site, but Wordpress wins by a hair because I'm assuming the scope of most sites in this category is on the smaller side (exhibits, institutions, etc). If sites like these are primarily composed of static pages of information, Wordpress will be most appropriate. Drupal 8 wins if you're a museum seeking to display your collection online, or if you're a laboratory offering online services.

Self-Promotion/Portfolio

An individual's creative work or collection of examples of prior projects, used to promote experience, qualifications, and skills. An online resume and demonstration of professional abilities on an individual basis. For companies, see Professional Services.

Winner: Wordpress

The low setup cost, learning curve, and maintenance of Wordpress makes it my CMS of choice for self promotion & portfolio sites. There are tons of free themes available for just this purpose, as well as a host of plugins for contact forms and galleries. I'm hard-pressed to recommend Drupal 8 for many sites in this category, as it will almost always be overkill.

Shopping

Sites providing consumers online commerce and retail sales of any products or services.

Winner: Drupal 8

Drupal 8 is extremely well equipped to handle e-commerce sites of all sizes. While Wordpress has made strides in this area over the past few years, Drupal's extensive customization allows for nearly limitless possibilities when setting up an online store. Unless you're running a very small shopping site (in which case there are better alternatives than Wordpress), I would recommend Drupal 8.

Social Media

Social networks or platforms that enable communal sharing and integration within a community.

Winner: Drupal 8

Drupal 8 is well equipped to handle a social media site with its extensive and customizable user features. Especially if you are trying to dynamically show a list of activity in real time, Wordpress will prove to be an inferior choice because of the viewpoint on which it's built: blogging and static page. Drupal 8 is going to be much more scalable and maintainable for social media sites.

Sports

Sports-focused Sites that feature original content about games and events, players, sports history and culture, statistics, etc.

Winner: Drupal 8

Like social media sites, sports sites may want to display updates and scores in real-time. And like car or tech sites, they may also need to store and display detailed statistics. It should come as no surprise, then, that I'm recommending Drupal 8 for sports sites. The infinitely customizable content types of Drupal are perfectly equipped to handle detailed information, and you will be able to display and configure real-time updates in a more maintainable and developer-friendly way.

Television

Sites which are online counterparts of television programs, promote television programs, television networks, or cable networks.

Winner: Drupal 8

The enterprise-grade features of Drupal 8 make it a compelling choice for television and cable networks. It allows you to have a site configured exactly to your needs, and will scale better than its Wordpress counterpart. Wordpress can be appropriate for mini-sites about a specific program or an independent web show, but if you need a robust and powerful feature set for your television site, choose Drupal 8.

Travel

Sites that provide travel services and information. These include online agents for purchasing tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and other travel services. Includes online travel guides, travel writing, and travel tools.

Winner: Drupal 8

Drupal 8 is a clear winner for online travel booking and reservations. Wordpress will not be able to provide the same features in a scalable or maintainable way (at least not without much more work than Drupal). Managing reservations, taking online payments, and displaying complicated products or travel packages are all tasks better suited to Drupal 8.

Web Services & Applications

Sites or Web/desktop apps that help people accomplish tasks online, including editing photos, creating/sending documents, finding jobs and homes, and scheduling events.

Winner: Drupal 8

Web services & applications will find a welcome home in Drupal 8. Its reconfigured web services model is a dream for developers, and it's configured much more like an application than Wordpress. Developers trying to built a web service or application on top of Wordpress will find themselves needlessly fighting against it to achieve what they want compared to Drupal 8.

Weird

Sites that just seem strange, offbeat or odd. This category includes sites that reflect a fresh perspective in thought and action strong enough to start a revolution, change a behavior pattern, or advance old thinking lodged in bad habits, or that are just plain weird.

Winner: Wordpress

While the scope of sites in this category is practically limitless, I am recommending Wordpress because I suspect most of them will not need an enterprise-grade feature set. For the motivated revolutionary, throwing a up a quick or quirky web site in Wordpress is a snap. I suspect the steep learning curve of Drupal 8 is more work than needed for this category.

Youth

Sites for those under 18: kids, youth, adolescents, teens and young adults.

Winner: Wordpress

This is a close one, and could go either way depending on the purpose of the site. I am recommending Wordpress because its audience and approach is generally more user-friendly and straightforward as a whole - something very important in youth sites. If you're running a larger youth site, Drupal 8 can provide a lot of benefits, but for the average youth site it will take more work to obtain the same result.


Conclusion

As you can see, choosing between Drupal 8 and Wordpress is often not an easy decision. If I could boil it down to one sentence, it would be this: choose Drupal 8 if you need an enterprise-grade solution or would consider yourself a current (or prospective) power user of your site, otherwise choose Wordpress.

I hope this article proved helpful to you! If you agree, disagree, or have thoughts on any of my choices, leave a comment below.