WordPress vs Drupal vs. Laravel - which platform is best?

Screen with code

Ten years ago we talked about which platform had the most functionality. More functionality gave more possibilities, which means a more powerful customer experience. Those days are over, because today most systems can do anything you want. But it doesn't necessarily cost the same - scalability, efficiency and training needs are some of the factors that take over. Now we are instead talking about good ROI, or where you get the most bang for your buck in the short and long term.

So - which platform is best for you? Read on to get 7 pointers, and a little reassuring pep talk at the end.

Size of your project


This is often the big factor, which in most cases gives us a good idea of ​​which technology we should choose. If we use e-commerce solutions as an example, the order will be from smallest to largest: WordPress - Drupal - Laravel. In WooCommerce, which is the largest WordPress plugin in the field, you will be able to quickly set up an online store with the many and varied built-in functions. Upload photos, enter a price and connect a payment solution - it's (almost) as simple as that. There are simpler solutions such as Shopify, but then we are usually talking about fairly small conditions without the need for special adaptation.


But if the products are more complex, WooCommerce can start to lag. If you own an electrical company where you want to digitize the entire purchase chain, Drupal Commerce will be better. You may have to list a minimum price, book an inspection, list a fixed discount per customer, fixed prices for setting up sockets, etc., get signatures on change requests, have documentation afterwards... With WooCommerce, you would have to rewrite the entire system here. Drupal is hard to deal with on a smaller site, but won't get any harder as you expand.


Finally comes Laravel, which is basically a blank slate. Almost everything has to be built from scratch, but in really big projects it's a big advantage. The larger the project, the fewer predefined functions you should start with. Otherwise, you end up with a slow system with lots of functions you don't really need.


If we imagine complexity as a graph, it would look something like this:

vs graf
So why not always use Laravel? Well, price is not part of this graph. Even if the user experience is easier in Laravel to begin with, it will probably cost two to three times of WordPress to get up to the same entry level.

Where will you be in four years?

Even if you have a large online store, you can still be very happy with WordPress. There comes a point where the complexity becomes high, but if you have a size you're happy with, you'll be fine.

However, if you have a plan to grow at 40% a year for the next four years, the 400,000 WooCommerce project will be great at launch, but will be challenging to scale up. The 2 million dollar project on Drupal will suddenly seem cheap compared to all the maintenance and customizing that needs to be done to keep up.

Again, there will be an assessment between Drupal and Laravel, and the answer lies in how much or how little you want to grow, and how clearly you envision which functions you will need.



Drupal is the king of integrations, and especially custom ones. If, for example, you need a payment solution to talk to both a CRM and an accounting system, you will get a solid solution with Drupal. Of course, it depends on who is programming, and you get good products for WordPress as well, but the WordPress plugins often have more functions and are more independent. WooCommerce, for example, is “self hosting”, or self-managing. This offers some advantages if you manage with the standard functions, but when the relationships between systems and plugins become complex, WordPress plugins can struggle a bit.


If your solution is something completely separate that does not require CMS functionality such as a web app, Laravel comes into its own. There we have the opportunity to build exactly what you want, without having to remove redundant code.



It's a myth that WordPress suffers from security challenges. As long as you have hired an agency with your tongue straight in your mouth, a WordPress site can be just as secure as one on Drupal. But again, there comes a point where it doesn't do to keep your tongue straight in your mouth, and you have to lean more on the system. Every plugin (or module, as it's called in Drupal) is a security risk, and the more independent it is, the more you have to trust the developers to keep it updated themselves. We therefore refer to the graph above and recommend the technology that best suits your project.


User experience

Drupal is already a natural choice for enterprise-sized websites. Our goal is to also make Drupal the most user-friendly enterprise CMS on the market. This focus consequently means that we select away the places where WordPress shines. In this respect, WordPress and Drupal are like Windows and Mac were a few years ago: Mac was the answer if you wanted a great user experience from the start, and needed programs that "just work". Windows was pretty clunky in terms of things, until you wanted to make special adjustments. Then Windows was a natural choice. These differences have been blurred over the years, but the comparison holds.

How quickly does the site need to be up and running?

If you need a well-functioning site asap, there is no point in choosing anything other than WordPress. Here you get a tool that, even without plugins, looks great and works well. If you also know a little CSS, you have a winner.

Role management and page types


If you run a large online publication or a university website, you will need advanced handling of roles and many content types. You publish different categories of news, research articles, static pages and online stores, and each content type will be associated with many users with different permission levels, staff pages, etc. There are several reasons why many of the world's largest universities choose Drupal, and this is one of the big ones . Complexity is Drupal's and Laravel's strong suit.


If you rather need showroom and campaign pages, medium online stores or the like without too many pages, relationships and users, WordPRess is a natural choice.

I have already invested in a platform. What should I do then?

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, most platforms can do it all. If you or your agency are good enough at the technology you have chosen, you will get what it needs to be. In cases where we have recommended a change, the process has been initiated by the company in advance. Then we are quite free to recommend what we think is best. But there are plenty of huge websites on WordPress, and small ones on Drupal. If you are already in a technology that you don't want to replace, we will make it work for you anyway. We are realistic and relate to reality! We are committed to being able to deliver quality projects to you as a customer, regardless of technology and circumstances.


Thor André is senior business advisor in Frontkom with 20+ years of experience working with web projects. Thor André is an expert in Wordpress and Drupal and was also chairmain of the board in Drupal Norge for some years. He writes about CMSs and how to leverage technology for business growth.

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