In this article, we will be exploring five of the best alternatives to Drupal in 2023. Each of these solutions offers similar features to Drupal, including customizability and scalability, while also providing unique benefits to those looking to migrate away from Drupal.
The popular content management system, Drupal, is used by many organizations for website building and web application development. It is highly customizable and offers powerful features for managing content, users, and media.
Drupal was first released in 2001 by software engineer Dries Buytaert, and has since become one of the most popular content management systems in the world.
It has been used to build some of the world’s biggest and best websites, such as The Economist and Whitehouse.gov, so it’s no surprise that many organizations are considering using Drupal for their next website project.
The first version of Drupal was based on the PHP scripting language, and provided basic features such as user accounts, content creation and editing, and support for multiple languages. Over the years, Drupal has been continuously improved to add more features, including support for new technologies and frameworks, increased security, and better usability.
As technology evolves over time, it can be hard for Drupal users to keep up with all the new options for a CMS and keeping up with those that are emerging in popularity.
Drupal isn’t always the best choice for everyone’s needs — it can be difficult to learn and challenging to maintain over time. That’s why we wanted to explore some alternatives in this article so you can make an informed decision when choosing your CMS platform, assessing whether to upgrade or migrate away from Drupal, if that’s the right choice for your organization.
We will also provide an overview of when Drupal might be right for your organization’s new website and discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of each platform, so that you can make an informed decision about which alternative is right for your organization’s website.
So, let’s get into and take a look at the leading alternatives to Drupal. All these platforms have their own unique strengths which may make them suitable options depending on your individual requirements; let’s take a closer look!
WordPress has become almost synonymous with web development, today, thanks largely due its wide range of customizability and ease of learning.
It is an open-source content management system, and in 2023, it proudly powers over 40% of the websites on the internet. It’s easy to use and offers thousands of free and premium themes, plugins, and tools. It’s highly customizable and can be used for small business websites, portfolios, and eCommerce stores.
What makes WordPress stand out from Drupal is its user-friendly development model. Using one of the WordPress page builders, you can drag and drop development with no-code.
Anyone on your team can create and customize pages quickly. The platform also offers hundreds of integrations with popular third-party services like Salesforce, Mailchimp, and Google Analytics. Plus, everyone loves how WordPress offers support forums where you can get help if needed; a huge community of WordPress developers, engineers, and educators all cooperating to make this open source project successful; and the migration from Drupal to WordPress as easy as possible.
Everyone likes WordPress because it is incredibly user friendly and versatile. With it, organizations can create beautiful websites without having to write any code at all.
WordPress is easy to install, set up and manage from one dashboard, with a range of free and premium themes available for customizing your site’s look. The platform also provides powerful plugins that can be used to extend functionality further still – from eCommerce tools like WooCommerce, membership plugins like Memberful, and marketing tools.
WordPress offers thousands of plugins developed by third party developers which can be used for a variety of purposes such as marketing, security enhancements or even adding new features like chatbots or social media integration into your website.
Folks love using Webflow, because it is a simple and intuitive way to create and design stunning websites. The platform is easy to use and it’s great for those who want to quickly create a website without having to learn complex coding.
Webflow is a visual website design and hosting platform designed to enable users to create responsive websites quickly and easily. The platform was founded in 2013 by Vlad Magdalin, Sergie Magdalin, and Bryant Chou.
The first version of the platform was released in May 2013 and it allowed users to create websites without any code. Users could simply drag-and-drop elements onto their page, and then customize them as necessary. The platform was designed to be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible, so that novice and experienced users alike could build their own custom websites.
In late 2014, Webflow released their first version of dynamic content, allowing users to easily add dynamic content to their websites without needing to learn how to code.
Since launching, the platform has continued to evolve and innovate. In 2015, Webflow released a feature to let users convert their designs into HTML and CSS, allowing them to host their websites on their own servers. The year after, Webflow added a feature that made it easy for users to create ecommerce sites.
Typically, Webflow is most popular for:
- Startups and new companies
- Smaller digital agencies
- Photographers or other creatives
- Designers with little programming knowledge
- Marketing managers
The platform continues to be improved every year, and it now has a number of features designed to make web design easier and more accessible. Webflow has become one of the most popular alternatives to Drupal.
Craft CMS is one of the most popular open source content management systems for web developers today, thanks to its customizability and flexibility.
Newer than some others on our list, some developers love CraftCMS. It’s also easy to use with intuitive navigation tools and a vast library of plugins from third-party providers that extend functionality further still.
Craft is touted as one of the most powerful and user-friendly open source publishing platforms on offer today with its range of customizable templates and modules making it “ideal for creating complex websites quickly.”
Craft is a content management system that provides everything developers need, while also being secure and supported.
It has integration capabilities with marketing tools such as Salesforce and Mailchimp, localization services for an unlimited number of sites in multiple languages, an internationalized admin panel translated into 25 languages, authors’ ascend feature to give them a user-friendly authoring experience, scalability to fit any business size or type from small portfolios to large multinational companies, and access to the worldwide Craft community for support.
Joomla is a popular open-source content management system designed for creating websites, online applications, and portals. It has been around since 2005 and is currently used by thousands of people and organizations. It is highly customizable and allows you to create stunning websites without any coding experience.
It is written in the PHP programming language and can be used on any platform, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and other Unix-like systems. Joomla was first released in August of 2005, and is now one of the most widely-used content management systems in the world.
Joomla was created by a group of developers led by Andrew Eddie, who was inspired by the Mambo CMS platform. He wanted to create an open source system that was more user-friendly and extensible than Mambo. Eddie worked with developer Brian Teeman to create the initial version of Joomla, which was released as 1.0.
Since the original release, Joomla has undergone several major revisions, each with new features and improvements to existing features. Joomla has also added several forms of extensibility, such as modules and plugins, allowing users to customize their websites to suit their needs.
Joomla 4, released just recently, has some new features, but has left some wondering about the future of the project. In most recent years, our engineers are most exposed to Joomla exporting content, and managing content and website migration from Joomla to WordPress and helping organizations handle the complex upgrade process to Joomla 4.
Joomla has several advantages over Drupal, including a more intuitive user interface, better template control, and an extensive range of built-in modules for enhanced customization. Additionally, it is marketing-friendly, supports multiple languages, and offers a wide selection of templates.
5. October CMS
OctoberCMS is a powerful open-source platform that has been steadily growing in popularity since its launch back in 2014.
October CMS is an open-source content management system that was engineered to be easy for developers and users. It is built on Laravel, the best PHP framework available, and includes all of the necessary tools and classes to create amazing websites.
Its easy-to-use drag & drop interface makes creating complex websites quick and intuitive, while the ‘theme engine’ feature allows users to quickly switch between different designs without having to start from scratch each time you need an update!
In early 2023, OctoberCMS reports over 300,000 websites built with the CMS to date.
“We moved the component-based RAD (rapid application development) concept to the web and implemented it as a flat-file CMS.” explains Alexey Bobkov, co-founder of October CMS. “The configuration section of October CMS pages uses the INI format. The INI format is an ancient technology; I believe it’s at least 30 years old. Thus, we took several really old ideas and mixed them with the best and newest technology in the PHP world – Laravel.”
October CMS allows developers to build pages quickly with components and its simple template engine (Twig). The platform also offers a code editor, compatibility with Composer package manager, asset combiner for reduced page load times/server traffic, multisite feature for multiple languages support as well as Tailor – a tool which automatically creates content types from YAML files.
“October CMS is perfect for website and web application developers familiar with Laravel.” offers Bobkov. “If you have web development projects with tight deadlines and a lot of custom requirements, October CMS is the best fit.”