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Reasons Why Institutions Of Higher Education Are Preferring Drupal Over Wordpress In Their Choice Of A CMS

Reasons Why Institutions Of Higher Education Are Preferring Drupal Over Wordpress In Their Choice Of A CMS
Reasons Why Institutions Of Higher Education Are Preferring Drupal Over Wordpress In Their Choice Of A CMS
It is typical of universities to have a large number of departments that are tasked with the responsibility of creating and maintaining voluminous content of extremely important nature, such as research and academic studies. Due to the very powerful governance tools built into Drupal, its robust architecture, and scalability, it is considered to be a very good fit for academic institutions. Even though WordPress is perhaps the most well-known CMS solution with a 60%-plus share of the market, it does not follow that all customers will find it to be the best solution for their requirements. Educational institutions, in particular, need to understand essentials like the platform’s functionality, security, and accessibility features to figure out whether the CMS package will meet their needs. Some of the top reasons, including customization and accessibility requirements that Drupal manages to satisfy better, are examined herewith:

Governance And Permissions

With its comprehensive site management and governance tools, and top-order security features, education institutions consider Drupal as their preferred choice of a CMS platform that can support the requirements of a large number of departments, each responsible for creating and maintaining very large volumes of content. Drupal allows individual departments to set up sites for managing their own functions, for example, the admissions department to manage their vital tasks. It also permits safeguarding of content by requiring approvals to be taken by less expert users or users down the hierarchy to initiate changes. The highly-flexible permission system permits the site administrators to suit the workflow of the site as per user requirements while ensuring that the overall content management rules are not violated by content editors resulting in the pages breaking. The system speeds up the editing process of the site, removes bottlenecks, and makes sure that only the content is being updated by the editors, not the design of the content, which helps to preserve the integrity of the brand.


Almost all higher education institutions give very high priority to accessibility to the CMS. This on account of two primary reasons; firstly, the institutes want to ensure a high degree of user-friendliness, and secondly, the high level of accessibility enables them to comply with their guidelines. In the typical WordPress vs. Drupal comparison scenario, Drupal 8 scores very high in the matter of accessibility because it offers a large number of out of the box capabilities and robust support. Additionally, the OpenEDU distribution of Drupal has an accessibility checker built in that can help to ensure that concerns can be identified and addressed in real-time, and even before going live.


Because of the many departments involved and the very high number of users, it is natural for institutions of higher education to be very concerned about security. While WordPress does offer in its core offering, a large number of security protocols, users have the added responsibility of managing the security threats of all the plugins they employ for various functionalities. It is well known that the third-party plugins have made WordPress quite vulnerable in the past and threats to its security continue to emerge regularly; as a target WordPress is especially attractive due to its huge popularity and simple structure. According to, an Imperva report has revealed that 98% of the vulnerabilities of WordPress relate to plugins. The fact that many government organizations, where security is vital, use Drupal will also serve to reassure users of Drupal’s security.

Custom Content Support

Various types of custom content such as events, profiles, and news are a frequent requirement of many higher education institutions. The ability of WordPress to create custom content types is undeniable; however, the content structuring tools provided by Drupal are far more flexible and powerful and have the added advantage of not requiring any coding. Further, Drupal makes available exceptionally capable tools for creating and managing custom content while its strong taxonomy/tagging system permits content editors to relate content and make them discoverable with the search function. With the help of these powerful tools, content managers on Drupal can improve the user experience significantly and assist in easy discoverability of content. An outstanding feature of Drupal is that it supports the personalization of websites that is very important for institutions seeking to deepen their existing relationship with users.

The ability to personalize websites allows higher education institutions to offer different user interfaces to different types of users or personas by assisting the site to learn about user preferences regarding the content they want to see. Personalization of user experience is a very effective method for balancing a large number of requirements of various types of users and deepening the user-relationship.


Multisite capabilities of WordPress are extremely limited which means that customers can end up struggling to administer large WordPress sites. WordPress Multisite suffers from the lack of flexibility that permits institutions to customize and style each website while ensuring permissions, critical governance, and workflow capabilities. You can use a tool like Acquia to effectively manage hundreds of sites on the Drupal CMS platform for operations that are truly on a global scale.

Multilingual Functionality

Institutions of higher education are attended often by a large number of international students. The ability of an institution to present its website in multiple languages can be a critical differentiator for many students and their parents attempting to find out the best possible education institutes to apply for admission since they can evaluate the merits of the institution in their native language. While WordPress does offer multilingual content capability, there is no doubt that Drupal 8 offers far more flexibility and greater depth in multilingual language handling competence with its more advanced in-built capabilities.


While the higher initial investment requirement for Drupal may deter some educational institutions, with its scaling up, it is well worth it given that you will perhaps need to spend more on upgrading WordPress. The enhanced capability of Drupal in terms of security, personalization, scalability, as well as compatibility with digital technologies, both currently in force and of the future, make it undeniably a more attractive choice.

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