Oct 31, 2013

WordPress has a variety of different use cases, but it’s notable that many larger and smaller media sites have switched to WordPress during the last couple years. Even though Drupal was once the rising star, WordPress shines when pushing streams of content and showcasing the best articles visually. This recent development has especially affected the Drupal community, because just a few years ago Drupal was the rockstar child that every media company wanted to use. This doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

Right now Drupal is going after bigger and more complex sites, but at the same time media sites are trying to make their sites less complicated and easier to use.

WordPress isn’t a bad choice. The platform has proven that it can be used as a CMS for high-traffic sites. Additionally, WordPress’ authoring experience is very familiar to editors and is very much in line with the increasing multichannel requirements that media sites require.

All that being said, media companies are certainly not instantly switching their Drupal sites to WordPress, and a fair amount of media companies will keep on investing to Drupal. But WordPress is quickly becoming a strong competitor for Drupal in media sites.

The company behind WordPress.com, Automattic, is also supporting this movement with their VIP offerings which seem to be targeted especially for large media companies. Many high-profile media companies have started using WordPress more and more lately, for example, New York Observer, BBC America and TechCrunch. Many others are also using WordPress to run their popular subsites, eg. CNN and Time.com.

In Finland, Drupal is still the top dog when it comes to media sites. The largest media sites are using Drupal heavily and also investing large sums into the development of their own modules and templates. Due to these investments, most likely they will continue to run on Drupal for some time. But for many smaller media companies this actually makes Drupal an even less interesting choice since all the large media sites are doing in-house Drupal development and are buying Drupal developers instead of projects. The price of skilled Drupal developers remains relatively high and agencies do not gain project or business expertise when only selling individual developers or teams.

At the moment many media companies are desperately looking for more cost-effective ways to run their business, and WordPress is offering an interesting option for them. It might require media companies to sometimes adapt their concepts to WordPress and simplify their concept designs, but it delivers a smaller price tag and less-complicated editor user experience.

Many media companies might find their new rockstar child to be WordPress instead of Drupal.