Whether you’re creating a site or looking to migrate an existing one, you might be considering a content management system (CMS). A CMS will enable you to create, manage, and modify a website without coding it from scratch.
When evaluating different CMS platforms for your business, you should have a list of priorities. For example, how would you rank the following in terms of importance?
Ease of use
If flexibility is your number one priority, then you should consider building your site on Drupal.
What is Drupal?
Drupal is an open-source content management system designed by developers for developers. Free to download, Drupal comes with robust built-in functionality, security, and over 40,000 modules for extending the platform’s functionality. This flexibility sets it apart from other CMS platforms, but does require a steeper learning curve.
In fact, users will need to be familiar with HTML, CSS, and PHP to fully leverage the power of Drupal. While these advanced users will appreciate Drupal’s extensive functionality, users with less technical knowledge should look into alternatives.
WordPress, for example, is an open-source CMS that offers a more intuitive dashboard, advanced blogging features, and even more plugins for extending the platform’s functionality. A WordPress alternative is Joomla, an open-source CMS with more advanced features for managing content and users.
CMS Hub, on the other hand, offers a very different experience to running and managing a site than WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. As a proprietary CMS, it offers everything needed to create and grow a site in one place, from hosting to a drag-and-drop builder to a built-in CRM.
Below we’ll take a look at these and more alternatives to Drupal, so you can find the CMS that’s right for your site.
Below we’ll compare the ideal use cases, pros and cons, and pricing of each CMS. Let’s get started.
CMS Hub is a great Drupal alternative for businesses that need one tool for their developers, marketers, and IT professionals. Offering smart content, SEO recommendations, and support for multi-language content variations, CMS Hub is designed to help businesses build and grow a website that's optimized for every device and every visitor.
Includes hosting and customer support
Integrated with HubSpot’s marketing, sales, and service tools
Global CDN, Web Application Firewall, and standard SSL
WordPress.org is a great Drupal alternative for users with little to no coding experience. Leveraging WordPress’ ecosystem of resources — including thousands of plugins, themes, and how-to articles — users can build all types of sites, from eCommerce stores to online magazines.
Joomla is a Drupal alternative that’s ideal for creating membership sites, social networking sites, portals, and other web projects with lots of users. While site owners don’t need to have coding skills to use Joomla, it will help shorten the learning curve.
Built-in multilingual support
Advanced user and content management options
Can create custom post types
No official theme directory
Flaws in code make sites vulnerable
Extensions need to be installed via the backend, which can be difficult for non-technical users
Free to download but costs associated with domain registration, hosting, and premium plugins and themes
Shopify is an alternative to Drupal that’s ideal for entrepreneurs and small ecommerce businesses looking to grow. Shopify Payments, Channels, and Multi-Currency are just a few of the innovative core features this ecommerce platform offers to help you provide a seamless customer experience on your site.
Ton of built-in functionality
All plans include hosting and SSL
Largest app marketplace of any dedicated ecommerce platform
Limited selection of templates
Monthly packages can be too pricey for first-time shop owners
Bitrix is a Drupal alternative for individuals and small businesses looking for basic CRM and lead gen capabilities to build a simple business site. Most of these users could probably get what they need from the free plan, which offers 5 GB of cloud storage as well as access to its core CRM and task management, communications, and website building tools.
Free limited version is available
Website builder natively integrated with CRM and marketing automation tools
Magento is a Drupal alternative designed for growing ecommerce businesses or existing ones with global reach. Whether you’re using the free Magento Open Source eCommerce software or the all-in-one cloud solution Magento Commerce, you’ll get all the features you need to build and run a store online, including product comparisons, product tiers, discounts, coupons, and multi-store management.
Can manage multiple stores
Transact in multiple countries, languages, and currencies
TYPO3 is an ideal Drupal alternative for advanced programmers at enterprise companies. Supporting smart content, multi-language and site management, and integrations with most third-party tools, TYPO3 is a powerful platform for building complex web projects like university sites. In return, it does require a significant investment of time and resources to learn and be able to fully leverage the platform’s capabilities.
Can create and manage multi-site installations in different languages
Configure advanced user roles and permissions
Even more extensible than Drupal
Missing some basic functionality, like embedding videos
Interface looks outdated
Even advanced users have to dedicate a lot of time to learning the platform
Free to download but costs associated with domain registration, hosting, premium plugins and themes, and hiring a development partner
Webflow is an alternative to Drupal that will appeal to web designers. Designed as the first “visual” content management system, Webflow takes care of hosting, security, and performance so site owners can focus on fully customizing their sites.
Can use template or start from scratch
Download extensions or add custom code to extend functionality of site
Build site for free and pay when ready to go live
Requires basic knowledge of CSS, HTML, and web design
Only email support available — no live chat or phone support
Website plans: $12 to $36 per month
Ecommerce plans: $29 to $212 per month
Account plans including individual plans (fee per month) and team plans (fee per user)
Any of the CMS platforms above can help you manage your content, visitors, and teams in one place. The key to selecting the right one for your business is ensuring its capabilities align with what you’re trying to achieve.
Originally published May 1, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated June 15 2022