Drupal vs. WordPress Comparison: Which CMS is More Secure?
As you consider different content management systems, it’s imperative to know each platform’s security measures. In this article, we’ll compare Drupal and WordPress to determine which CMS is more secure.
The two biggest CMS platforms for businesses and organizations these days are WordPress and Drupal. Each of them has its benefits and drawbacks, of course, but here we’re going to look specifically at the security differences between the two. Whether you’re starting a new business and looking to make the right choice for your site, or you are thinking about migrating your business’ digital presence to another content management system, we’ll go through some of the specifics of each that will help you choose the right way to go.
Hacking and Your Business—Why Worry?
We’re all familiar with (and probably concerned about) hackers when it comes to our personal and financial information. Whether it’s protecting your home network or your banking information, almost all of us take steps to safeguard our information from identity thieves and hackers.
Most hackers target businesses, however, and some figures estimate that 43% or more of all cyber-attacks are directed at small businesses. Malware, phishing attacks, “brute force” attacks, and many other types of digital hacking are used against businesses and organizations in almost every field. And those attacks are costly; studies estimate that cyberattacks (hacking) can cost businesses an average of $200,000 per incident – a big number for any business, and especially for small businesses.
So when choosing a CMS for your business, the security capabilities of any system you are considering is an important factor to take into account. From basic cybersecurity concerns to more business-specific needs, let’s look at Drupal and WordPress with an eye on security and protecting your business from the threat posed by cyberattacks.
So how do Drupal and WordPress stack up when it comes to ensuring the security of your business’ site? To find out we’ll look at some of the specifics.
WordPress has become tremendously popular, to the point where nearly 40% of websites worldwide are currently implemented with WordPress. That popularity points to the power of the platform but also results in more attacks being aimed at WordPress sites.
On the other hand, Drupal right now is being used for between 2%-4% of websites worldwide, meaning that it is a much smaller target for hackers. However, the popularity of Drupal as a CMS and website platform continues to grow each day, and may eventually reach a point where it is as common a website platform as WordPress currently is. Many developers like Drupal because of the various content types that can be easily integrated, and the compatibility of Drupal modules with each other.
In terms of themes, plugins, and modules, WordPress and Drupal are fairly close in specs. There are more than 5,000 themes available for WordPress, while Drupal boasts 2,500+ themes (and more being created each day).
From a security standpoint, both WordPress and Drupal are considered secure platforms. Both are open-source solutions, both offer numerous plugins and add-ons, etc. But the difference in how websites are built and tailored to each use case is the key in terms of security.
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Specific Security Functionality and Features
Drupal has a slight edge when it comes to security, but not necessarily because of the platform itself. Rather, the way people use the platforms and third-party extensions open WordPress sites up to more vulnerabilities. Drupal themes and modules have internal security that aims to prevent malicious code from being included in the modules, whereas WordPress themes and sites may become vulnerable to this kind of code when introduced or used by unverified parties.
Drupal also has more complex user permissions functionality, which allows for much more finite control of user roles (who has access to certain parts or areas of the site), who can make changes. By contrast, WordPress gives full access to users with “editor” permissions, for example, and that represents a potential opening for malicious software or hacking.
Drupal also issues security advisories that can provide you with critical and useful information about potential threats, and these advisories often form the basis of Drupal updates (which are frequent). Keeping your site and your version of Drupal updated lets you incorporate any security improvements early on before an attack can happen. And Drupal is also known for doing a better job of handling security concerns like PCI Compliance thanks to database encryption capabilities.
This doesn’t mean that WordPress cannot be a secure platform for your business or organization website, though. By taking certain key steps, keeping WordPress updated to the latest version (WordPress also receives regular maintenance), and paying a little extra attention to choosing the most reputable and well-maintained third-party plugins and free themes, WordPress websites are also capable of being built with security in mind. Additionally, taking the time to pay close attention to code auditing and attack prevention on the development side can help to ensure the safety of your site and your data. There are now a number of WordPress guides that provide some very user-friendly, security-specific information for WordPress site development beginners or anyone who is looking to improve a WordPress eCommerce site.
Which one is right for your business?
Both Drupal sites and WordPress sites are great enterprise-level solutions for website development, and each of them has strong capabilities when it comes to security as well. While there are some cases where Drupal has an edge, for now, that does not necessarily mean that your business site built with WordPress will automatically be less secure. In most instances, the cybersecurity difference between the two simply means taking a different approach to your site development and may require a bit more behind-the-scenes work in order to ensure a secure experience for your company and your users if you choose and work with WordPress.
Security issues are, of course, a major factor when selecting how to build your site, and what tool or tools to use. But cybersecurity and the threat of cyberattacks are not the only factors to consider. Looking at the strengths and weaknesses of these two platforms alongside other important concerns—flexibility, scalability, SEO options, customization options, ease of use, and more will help you make the best choice for your business. User experience, available templates, user interface, and many other areas for investigation may arise as you and your team review platforms and options, and there are strengths and weaknesses in each of these areas for WordPress developers and Drupal developers, as well as non-developers who are getting started.
Additionally, contacting either Drupal Development firms or WordPress Development firms will provide you with further insights. And from there you can plan to launch (or relaunch) your site and look forward to the positive impacts that come along with it.