Craft CMS vs Drupal

October 11, 2023

Selecting the right Content Management System (CMS) is crucial for any website or digital project. Among the myriad options available, Craft CMS and Drupal stand out as two formidable contenders, each with its own strengths and unique characteristics. Let's dive into their respective pros and cons to help you make an informed decision for your next web project.

Craft CMS

Craft CMS has emerged as a robust and flexible content management system that empowers web developers and content creators alike. Founded in 2011, it has steadily gained popularity in the web development community due to its user-friendly interface and extensibility. Craft CMS offers a sleek, modern platform for building websites and managing content efficiently. 

Craft CMS is designed to put content first, offering an intuitive interface for content editors and developers to work seamlessly together.
quote from Brandon Kelly - Founder of Craft Brandon Kelly - Founder of Craft


Drupal, on the other hand, has a longer history, dating back to 2001. It is renowned for its versatility and scalability, making it a go-to choice for large-scale and complex web projects. Drupal's open-source nature and a vast community of developers have contributed to its success. However, with great power comes great complexity. 

Drupal's strength lies in its ability to handle complexity and scale, making it a top choice for enterprise-level websites
quote from Dries Buytaert - Founder of Drupal Dries Buytaert - Founder of Drupal

Pros and Cons of Craft


1. User-Friendly Interface:

Craft CMS is praised for its elegant and user-friendly interface. Its clean dashboard and straightforward content editing experience make it an excellent choice for teams that include non-technical content editors. Craft CMS's emphasis on usability ensures that content creators can focus on their work without getting bogged down by a steep learning curve. This results in increased productivity and a more efficient content management process.

2. Flexibility and Customization:

Craft CMS provides a high degree of flexibility and customization. It allows developers to build websites tailored to specific requirements, from simple blogs to complex e-commerce platforms. Craft CMS's flexibility is a key selling point for agencies and developers who want to craft unique, high-quality websites. It empowers them to implement custom designs and functionalities without being limited by rigid templates or structures.

3. Strong Community and Plugins:

While Craft CMS has a smaller user base compared to some other CMS platforms, it boasts an active and passionate community. Additionally, it offers a growing library of plugins and extensions. The presence of a dedicated community ensures that Craft CMS users can access a wealth of knowledge and solutions. The availability of plugins expands its capabilities, making it adaptable to various project requirements.

4. Performance Optimization:

Craft CMS is optimized for performance, prioritizing fast page loading times and efficient resource utilization. In an era where website performance is crucial for user engagement and search engine rankings, Craft CMS's commitment to optimization ensures that websites built with it deliver a smooth and responsive user experience.


1. Licensing Costs:

While Craft CMS offers a free version (Craft CMS Solo), advanced features may require a paid license. The licensing costs, while not high, can be a concern for small businesses and startups with limited budgets. 

2. Smaller Market Share:

Craft CMS has a smaller market share compared to industry giants like WordPress and Drupal. The smaller user base may lead to a lack of readily available resources, themes, and plugins tailored specifically to Craft CMS. Developers may need to invest more effort in finding solutions and getting community support.

Pros and Cons of Drupal


1. Robust Content Management:

Drupal excels in managing complex content structures and taxonomies, making it a top choice for websites with extensive data organization needs. Large organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies benefit from Drupal's ability to handle intricate content hierarchies, allowing them to maintain a well-structured online presence.

2. Scalability:

Drupal is highly scalable and can accommodate websites of all sizes, from small blogs to enterprise-level sites. The scalability of Drupal makes it a preferred choice for websites that anticipate significant growth. Its capacity to handle increased traffic and data volume ensures long-term viability.

3. Large and Active Community:

Drupal has a vast and active community of developers, contributing to a robust ecosystem of themes, modules, and extensions. The size and activity of the Drupal community translate into a wealth of resources and solutions. Users can tap into a vast knowledge base and access pre-built extensions to enhance their websites.

4. Security:

Drupal is renowned for its robust security features and frequent security updates. Security is a paramount concern for many organizations, especially those handling sensitive data. Drupal's commitment to security makes it a trusted choice for websites that require stringent protection measures.


1. Learning Curve:

Drupal's power and flexibility come at the cost of a steep learning curve, which can be daunting for newcomers. The complexity of Drupal can require a significant investment of time and resources in training and development, potentially delaying project timelines.

2. Development Costs:

Customizing and maintaining a Drupal website can be more expensive due to the expertise required. The need for skilled developers and consultants can increase the overall project cost, making Drupal less accessible to smaller businesses and organizations with limited budgets.

The Key Difference: Ease Of Use

Craft CMS has gained a reputation for its user-friendly interface, making it a compelling choice for content editors and website administrators. Here's why:

1. Intuitive Control Panel:

Craft CMS provides an intuitive control panel that is well-organized and easy to navigate. Content editors can quickly locate and manage content, making updates and additions with minimal hassle.

2. Flexible Content Editing:

Craft CMS offers a flexible content editing experience. You can create custom content structures tailored to your website's needs, allowing for a more natural and efficient content management process. This flexibility is particularly useful for websites with unique content requirements.

3. User-Focused:

Craft CMS is designed with content creators in mind. It prioritizes the content-editing experience, allowing users to focus on creating and publishing content without being overwhelmed by technical complexities.

4. User Permissions:

The platform offers robust user permission settings, giving administrators control over who can access and edit specific parts of the website. This is crucial for larger teams with varied roles and responsibilities.

5. Content Drafting and Versioning:

Craft CMS includes features for content drafting and versioning, making it easy to review and revert to previous versions of content when needed.

Drupal, while a powerful CMS, has a steeper learning curve, especially for content editors. Here's why it's considered less user-friendly compared to Craft CMS:

1. Complex Interface:

Drupal's admin interface can be overwhelming for newcomers. It's feature-rich and highly customizable, but this complexity can make it challenging for content editors to find and manage content effectively.

2. Content Creation Process:

Creating and managing content in Drupal often involves more steps and configurations than in Craft CMS. This can be cumbersome for users who are not familiar with the platform.

3. Module Dependency:

Drupal relies heavily on modules for extending functionality. While this provides flexibility, it can also mean that users need to install and configure additional modules to achieve desired features, which can be confusing for beginners.

4. Learning Curve for Administrators:

Even administrators and developers may face a learning curve when setting up and configuring Drupal, as it requires a deeper understanding of the platform's architecture.

5. Limited Frontend Editing:

Drupal traditionally focuses more on backend content management, which means that content editing and previewing may not be as seamless as in Craft CMS, where frontend editing is more common. 

Craft CMS excels in providing an intuitive and user-friendly experience, making it a strong choice for content editors who prioritize simplicity and flexibility. Drupal offers immense power and flexibility but requires a higher level of expertise and can be less intuitive for those new to the platform. The choice between the two will largely depend on your project's specific needs and the expertise of your team.

Wrap up

Craft CMS and Drupal are both powerful content management systems, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Craft CMS is an excellent choice for projects where user-friendliness and flexibility are paramount. It's ideal for smaller to medium-sized websites, offering a balance between ease of use and customization. On the other hand, Drupal excels in handling large, enterprise-level websites that demand scalability and robust security. However, its steep learning curve and resource requirements may not suit every project.

Ultimately, the choice between Craft CMS and Drupal depends on your specific project requirements, budget, and the technical expertise of your development team. Craft CMS shines in providing a user-friendly experience and flexibility, while Drupal remains a powerhouse for complex, large-scale websites with stringent security needs but comes with a steeper learning curve and more complex setup.