Wordpress vs Drupal

WordPress vs Drupal: Comparing the Two Most Popular CMS Platforms

WordPress vs Drupal is an ongoing discussion as both platforms have become increasingly favored in the past few years – companies of all sizes are migrating from their legacy website systems to WordPress and Drupal as both content management systems (CMS) follow industry best practices for website development.

With CMS’ gaining in popularity, in recent years, there’s been a proliferation of options, causing many to wonder, “Which CMS is right for me?”

To help you decide between WordPress vs Drupal, here’s a guide comparing the two popular content management systems, to help you make up your mind.

WordPress vs Drupal

While WordPress may be the best-known CMS, with 28% of websites worldwide employing the popular CMS platform – being several times as large as the closest competitor, Drupal. Each CMS platform has its constituency, its loyal followers, its prophets, acolytes, and advocates.

Both WordPress and Drupal are some of the best-known CMS’, with each having their own benefits. Knowing which CMS will be right for you and your organization depends on what business or industry you’re in, your website and eCommerce needs, strategy for mobile optimization, site security and more.

WordPress and Drupal are both reliable CMS platforms, each having specific uses built for businesses and organizations of all sizes. WordPress might be best for smaller or mid-sized businesses, blogs, and small eCommerce sites, due to its ease of use.

Drupal is the most powerful CMS on the market, however, with the highest security settings built-in, which is the reason why almost all government agencies are migrating to Drupal.

Which CMS Is Easiest To Use?

If you’re not that comfortable with web technologies, and you’re just getting started on your first business website, WordPress is likely to be your best bet. Drupal development is deep, vast, and powerful, with Enterprise capabilities, for those savvy enough to know how to use it.

Another advantage of WordPress development is the vibrant community of users and developers who have fearlessly gone where you are trying to go, and are usually more than happy to help you with whatever technical problems you might be having.

Drupal has a vibrant community, as well, but smaller than WordPress’, being more comparable to technical forums like GitHub or Stack Overflow. Drupal is not designed to be a cookie-cutter CMS, Drupal has a steep learning curve, so we highly recommend having an experienced Drupal developer on standby.

Updates are another thing to think about. Typically, WordPress upgrades itself automatically, making it as easy to keep your website up-to-date so you’re not having to contact your web developer regularly. Drupal, on the other hand, will need to be updated manually, so we highly recommend updating Drupal’s core/modules only if you’re experienced with the process. The good side of Drupal’s manual updates, however, is you can decide which updates you want, for full customizability.

Site Customization

Themes and plugins/modules are the easiest way to customize WordPress and Drupal sites, especially if you’re new to web development. If you’ve not yet gotten into learning custom HTML, CSS, and PHP, WordPress has a lot to offer, in regards to Site Customization, with an extensive community of web developers offering over 30,000 themes and plugins – many of which are available for free.

Drupal offers a similar level of customizability, on-page, but does so without using plugins. Drupal uses modules instead of plugins, and there are almost as many Drupal modules as there are WordPress plugins, so there’s plenty of options to choose from based on your specific website requirements.

Weighing Cost

While both Drupal and WordPress are free to download as they’re both considered open source platforms, Drupal can be a bit more pricey, in the site building setup, as you’ll likely want to hire an experienced Drupal developer and project manager. WordPress can easily be set up with minimal experience as it’s slightly more user-friendly and requires fewer resources overall.

Security

As cyber-security becomes an increasingly hot topic, by the day, wondering which CMS platform is most secure is a pertinent concern. By and large, Drupal is the more secure of the two. With WordPress being so popular, security is a subject that website owners need to constantly stay on top of.

Ironically, third-party plugins are also a way to make WordPress more secure. Drupal, on the other hand, by default, is already highly secure making it the clear choice for enterprise-level security.

Google Ranking

While Google ranking is not platform specific, per se, the way WordPress and Drupal are set up allows developers and SEO consultants to streamline the site building process as both CMS’ are SEO friendly.

Drupal was built specifically for prime SEO performance, but WordPress can easily perform just as strongly, via 3rd party plugins. Drupal also tends to load faster, another factor that Google looks at for SEO ranking. Drupal has an easier time handling large amounts of content, which is something else Google looks at for SEO ranking.

Mobile optimization is an important factor in SEO ranking. While there are tons of responsive WordPress Themes out there, ready to go, Drupal is even better suited for mobile development, especially since the release of Drupal 8.  Drupal 8 is structured to be fully mobile responsive out-of-the-box.

Who Uses WordPress Vs Drupal

Both The New York Times and CNN run on WordPress, but The White House, NASA, and Harvard University use Drupal. If you’re just looking to set up a website as quickly as possible and begin publishing, WordPress is going to be your best bet. If you’re looking for a fully customizable, scalable CMS, with enterprise-level security, Drupal might best for you.

Still wondering which of the two most popular CMS platforms are right for your organization? Get in touch with our web design agency today, and let us help you pick either WordPress vs Drupal for your website project.

Website Speed

The Importance of Website Speed: Test Your Site Now

With nearly every business on Earth having their own website and extensive online presence, the importance of website speed is becoming increasingly obvious. Websites that load faster get more traffic, plain and simple. Obviously, when the user experience is much more streamlined, efficient, and pleasant, it’s a major step towards “delighting the customer/user,” one of the holy grails of digital marketing.

According to an infographic compiled by Kissmetrics, based on research on loading times by Akamai and Gomez.com:

  • Nearly half of internet users expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • Those users tend to abandon a site if it’s not loaded in 3 seconds or less.
  • 79% of people shopping on the internet won’t return to a site if they’ve experienced problems previously.
  • 44% of digital customers will tell their friends if they have a negative or unpleasant experience on a website.

The bottom line is, a second or two delay on your website or app could cost you dearly, in terms of future customers and sales, so test your website now.

Tools and Resources For Determining Your Website’s Speed

Website speed has been an important metric for determining SEO ranking since 2010 when page load time was incorporated into Google’s search algorithm. According to an official statement from Google – “Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.”

Unfortunately, based on numerous websites we’ve reviewed in recent months, we’re still seeing plenty of websites that are continuously neglecting website speed, so it’s extremely important your site speed is tested and fully optimized per Google’s best practices.

To see what Google sees, there are several useful tools and resources for determining your website’s speed. Use online tools such as, Page Speed Online, GTmetrix, browser extensions like Firefox’s Page Speed, WordPress plugins like Google Pagespeed, and, of course, Google Webmaster Tools, are invaluable, powerful resources that every website owner and developer should have in their arsenal.

Page Speed Score

Straight from the behemoth, Page Speed Online is a free online resource for determining website speed by Google. Nobody knows more about website ranking than the largest search engine on Earth, making Google’s tools an excellent first place to start in determining how your website speed is impacting your Google rankings.

Page Speed Online offers several possible fixes to improve your website by notifying you of potential coding issues. Many of the recommended fixes tend to be fairly technical, so you might want to have a web developer at hand to translate.

So, you might be wondering, how does Google precisely measure the speed of your website? They use a metric labeled as Page Speed score, with a score between, 0 – 100. Ultimately, the less technical issues a website has, the higher it scores.

Test your site right nowgo here and enter your URL to view your Google page speed score.

Optimizing Your Website Speed For Mobile Users (And Why It Matters)

Do you think desktop users are impatient? Consider your average mobile user, who is often trying to grab a quick glimpse at a site while standing in line, riding the bus, or some other tedious, mundane task where they’d rather be doing something else (like reading about web development, for instance.)

 

Wondering why website speed matters for mobile users, in particular? Mobile users fall behind desktop users in several important metrics, most notably, time spent on site, bounce rate, and pages per visit. Considering that over 30% of all online shopping happens via a mobile device, annually, and is only expected to rise, this is a huge opportunity, as well as a common mistake that many web developers make.

 

As recently as July 2016, the average load time for mobile users was 6.9 seconds, according to Dynatrace’s Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index. Considering the average user gives up after 3 seconds, with 79% reporting they’re unlikely to do business through a website with unsatisfactory user experience, as we’ve already mentioned, this is a major PR nightmare, as well as a potential blocker for profits and repeat business.

 

Here’s a tool we also recommended that will allow you to test your website speed for mobile devices – https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/

 

Still not convinced website speed is important? Here’s a quote that’s extensively used, a study completed by the Aberdeen Group found that “A 1-second delay in page load time equals 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in total sales conversions.” This particular research study dates back to 2008, so if anything, user expectations of fast loading websites are on the rise.

 

Want to know how our Northern Virginia web designers can help your website load faster? Get in touch with us today and our team will help you improve your website speed!

Advantages of HTTPS

Advantages of HTTPS: Here’s Why You Need to Update Your Website

So you might be wondering what HTTPS is and the advantages, well, for quite some time – since August of 2014 to be specific – Google has ranked HTTPS websites slightly higher in search results which is why it’s extremely important as the advantages of HTTPS are endless. This is because HTTPS is a secure process, also known as, Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, which is used to verify encrypted data between trusted websites and servers, preventing hackers from viewing your website’s proprietary information.

What Is HTTPS and How Is It Different?

HTTPS, as we’ve already mentioned, stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTP, which is the conventional term, simply stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. The two sound very similar, yet have striking differences that warrant Google’s emphasis on the more secure variant.

HTTPS appears in the URL when a website is fully configured and secured via an SSL certificate. Now you’re probably wondering, what is an SSL certificate? We can write a new blog post on this topic, so we’ll keep it brief so you’re familiar with the process from a higher level.

So, to determine if the website you’re currently on has an SSL certificate properly configured, you’ll see https:// at the start of the website address (with an “s”) rather than the standard http:// when you’re viewing the site.

In order to activate HTTPS on your website, an SSL certificate must be installed on your website’s server. The SSL certificate serves two vital functions:

  • It fully authenticates the identity of the website, protecting your visitors from being redirected to fraudulent sites linked to malware/viruses.
  • It securely transmits your website’s data via encryption processes, ensuring your customer’s sensitive info is safe from unauthorized connections.

Google Chrome will display an “unsecured” or “potentially harmful” warning for sites that have not completed the HTTPS migration process. Trust us when we say, you don’t want this to happen.

Here’s a screenshot of a website that does not have HTTPS configured on their website. [Place screenshot here]

Here’s a screenshot of our website (yes, the site you’re on right now) with HTTPS properly configured. [Place screenshot here]

For now, the important thing to note is that Google clearly places the spotlight on secure websites using the HTTPS protocol, giving them preference over standard HTTP sites.

In fact, Google stands behind HTTPS and wholeheartedly believes that it helps protect the integrity of any website that has it deployed. It obviously makes sense; the added protection ensures that the website data has not been altered or tampered with. It also guarantees that data being sent or received is originating from a trusted source.

A common question we receive: Is it possible to make the switch to HTTPS for WordPress websites?

Absolutely! You can configure almost every WordPress website based on the HTTPS protocol, you can also set up HTTPS for Drupal websites too. We highly recommend configuring your site during the initial website launch as it’ll streamline the process, and likely prevent WordPress and Drupal bugs.

We also suggest improving your website speed after you implement your SSL certification as it’ll solidify your overall website structure.

Advantages of HTTPS

It’s clear that Google places an emphasis on HTTPS-based websites, but what are the advantages? What will a switch to HTTPS do for your website?

When Google initially rolled out the rankings boost, it only affected a small percent of the global search queries. This meant that it held a lot less weight in search rankings compared to some of the other SEO factors.

In recent times, a lot has changed, based on a comment from an employee at Google, they have since strengthened it so that it acts as a tie-breaker between two competing sites in the search results. Yes, that means you could potentially rank lower than your competitors if they use HTTPS and you don’t, so please, place it on your to-do list.

As for the SEO benefits of HTTPS, well, those are straightforward.

  • The obvious benefit is that your site will see an increase in organic rankings across the board. This is because Google prefers to direct visitors to trusted websites with HTTPS configured, which means you could lose traffic to a site that’s more secure than yours.
  • Second, the referrer data when passing through HTTPS is always preserved. With conventional HTTP, this information is generally stripped away so it’s more difficult to track where your visitors are coming from.
  • Finally, HTTPS offers better security and privacy for your customer base, especially when they are sharing sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and addresses. With website technologies advancing, data breaches are being increasingly common nowadays, any additional layer of security is always recommended. The last thing you or your organization needs is to lose customers because you were unable to fully secure sensitive data for not following security best practices.

Ultimately, deploying HTTPS will allow you to stay on good terms with Google, but it will also establish transparency and trust with your customers. Trust is remarkably important when it comes to transactions and credit card payment systems. Many customers may not know the technical specifics, but they know enough to understand that HTTPS is more secure.

Plus, a slight boost in search engine rankings on Google won’t hurt either, especially if you can get the edge over your competitors.

If you need assistance with configuring HTTPS on your WordPress or Drupal website, please contact us and our web design team will help out!

 

Sources:

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html

https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/security/encrypt-in-transit/why-https