Drupal Alternatives: Evaluating Sitecore & Optimizely

Drupal
Sitecore
Optimizely
CMS
DXP

Drupal is a great content management system that has been around since 2001. According to W3Techs, Drupal has a 2.0% market share in the CMS market at the start of 2022, a substantial drop from 4.9% in 2016.

Drupal is open-source, flexible, and offers many different modules to suit your needs. It also provides the ability to customize it for your business which can save time and money in the long run. However, there are alternatives out there that have similar features as Drupal but may be better suited for specific needs or industries such as Sitecore or Optimizely.

This article will evaluate the performance of Drupal, its drawbacks, and alternatives.

What is Drupal?

Drupal is a free, open source CMS with a devoted following. Numerous people, organizations, and large enterprises across the globe use it to develop and manage websites. In addition, Drupal is one of the most popular CMS’s available on the market. The platform provides you with a user interface to customize, build, and deliver engaging content.

Drupal offers an extensive list of features that you can modify and extend to suit your needs. It gives you access to its underlying code, allowing you to monitor any compliance or security issues and resolve them right away. Despite its large community, popularity, and extensive features, Drupal gets a lot of criticism and negative feedback. And for good reason.

Drupal is more complex than most other CMSs, meaning a steeper learning curve and the need for an experienced Drupal developer. Performance is also an issue. It takes too long to upgrade, with limited themes and plugins.

Before Considering A Drupal Alternative, Audit Your Site

Even with the drawbacks of Drupal, it’s crucial to audit your site to know if it’s time to consider an alternative. For you to audit your site, you’ll need a few tools. Let’s take a look at what you need to evaluate and which tools you can use.

Security

To start with, you should know how secure your website is. Security remains one of the most pressing concerns for any business. Having a security or data breach can be detrimental. Although Drupal provides built-in security features and an active security team that helps to protect you from several kinds of vulnerabilities, it is still prone to security vulnerabilities.

The most common ones are remote code execution attacks, bypass vulnerabilities, and DDoS attacks. To check if your site is as secure as possible, you can use the following tools:

  • Coder: This tool checks your code against industry coding standards and best practices.
  • Qualys SSL Server Test: This free online service thoroughly analyzes every SSL server on the internet based on its configuration and gives you a grade on it.
  • Security Kit: With this extension, you can strengthen your website’s security against XSS, CSRF, and clickjacking attacks.
  • The Uptime by Oshyn service includes a complete and thorough review of sites to ensure they stay up and running seamlessly. Additionally, you get access to real-time reports, bug detection, automated testing, constant scanning, and security coverage.

Performance

Performance is another factor to consider when auditing your site. How fast is the website? How much traffic can it handle? How much impact does third-party integration or plugins affect it? At best, third-party modules slow down your site. At worst, they bring down the entire Drupal core of your site. To properly audit your site for performance, you can use any of the following tools:

  • PageSpeed Insights: analyzes web pages and generates recommendations for improving their performance. It’s a tool that determines how speedy a page is for desktop and mobile devices and gives a score from 0 to 100 points.
  • New Relic: It is a Drupal site audit module that monitors multiple aspects of your site, from its infrastructure to its servers, browsers to its applications. It provides dashboards that show graphs and charts regarding your website’s performance. In addition, it lets you view the traffic and performance data of your website in real-time.

Mistake #1: Not Heeding Warning Signs

With auditing tools, you’ll gain insight into your website’s performance, security, and stability. It’s crucial to take note of any signs you notice during this audit. What may seem like a minor problem can quickly turn into a major one.

One of the most common problems with Drupal is its slow performance. Often, the experience is unreliable, usually the result of using too many modules. The number of modules has adverse effects on the site in general. Similarly, it may take a long time to resolve patches.

Mistake #2: Heavy Reliance on Third-party Modules in the Face of Drupal Migrations

Compared to other legacy and monolithic CMSs, Drupal offers fewer modules. And if these modules are not adequately optimized, it can hinder the performance of your website. On top of that, most of these modules are not free.

The more modules you use, the more memory and code that you’ll have to run together on your website. The worst part? Eventually, when you decide to migrate your site to another platform, it’s nearly impossible to do so with the modules or themes you use.

Mistake #3: Ignoring Viable Drupal Alternatives

Most businesses looking for a CMS no longer consider Drupal as the best option. And it’s not surprising. There are several better alternatives now on the market. With all the flaws that come with using Drupal, most businesses are looking for the best alternatives to help them stay ahead of the competition and deliver the best digital experiences to users.

The security vulnerabilities, cache problems, poor UI, limited functionalities, and poor performance are simply a few of the issues for Drupal users. When you can achieve everything you need with a much simpler approach, why bother with something more complex that will take more time and cause more problems down the road?

Why Would You Need a Drupal Alternative?

Drupal is an excellent CMS solution in its own right, but it might not be the right one for you. Let’s see when Drupal is and when isn’t a good alternative for you:

Drupal Is Good for You If:

  • You have coding knowledge (specifically PHP skills), and you want the flexibility to build from scratch
  • You don’t need a lot of customer service support
  • You want access to lots of content types and flexible taxonomies
  • You want your website to be scalable, and even multilingual
  • You need absolute control over the security

Consider An Alternative To Drupal If:

  • You want out-of-the-box readiness from a website builder that’s easy for beginners
  • You want the best security for your website
  • You may occasionally need assistance from a professional
  • You don’t have a lot of experience with coding language and programming
  • You don’t have a lot of time to build your website
  • You’re concerned about speed and performance issues

Meet Alternatives To Drupal: Sitecore and Optimizely

Sitecore

Sitecore is one of the leading digital experience platforms for creating seamless, immersive, personalized digital experiences. It is an integrated platform that powers commerce and digital market tools  for building rich experiences and driving growth. The flagship product of Sitecore is the Sitecore Experience Platform (XP). This product includes the Sitecore Experience Manager (CMS), Sitecore Experience Database (xDB), and a powerful CMS.

Sitecore is a platform that is constantly evolving with new innovative tools on every update. It is extremely customizable with different content creation features and templates. It has a large and vibrant community of developers.

Pros

  • Sitecore provides a powerful, easy-to-use, and intuitive UI for creating and editing content.
  • It is very robust and can house a large amount of storage.
  • Extensive content authoring capabilities.
  • Comes built-in with several features and marketplace integrations.
  • Provides embedded multi-site hosting functionality that eliminates the need for extra licenses and maintenance.
  • For a .NET developer, Sitecore is easily customizable and simple.
  • Sitecore Analytics provides a dashboard that lets you see how users are engaging with your site.
  • Sitecore provides content personalization and A/B testing functions out-of-the-box.
  • Sitecore provides robust caching functionality that lets you set different parameters for component caching.
  • High scalability.

Cons

  • Certified Sitecore partner experience needed to manage the platform.
  • The cost is on the premium side in contrast to other CMS platforms albeit it comes with all the modern features solutions you need to set up your digital experience platform.

When Sitecore Is A Good Fit

If you’re only looking for a CMS for authoring and publishing content, you’d be better with an alternative. However, if you’re in the market for a robust digital experience platform to house your digital marketing campaigns and customer engagements, then Sitecore is a great option.

Optimizely

Optimizely is a digital experience platform that provides marketers and merchants with omnichannel experiences geared towards long-term growth. It helps to provide consistent brand experiences across all digital channels. It combines commerce, content, and real-time intelligence capabilities into one integrated platform.

Pros

  • Advanced A/B testing tools
  • Powerful and intuitive dashboard for monitoring experiments and delivering data snapshots during digital campaigns
  • Easy to use
  • Multi-site and multi-language support
  • Seamless deployment with no effect on uptime
  • Excellent search capabilities

Cons

  • Not easy to customize the user interface
  • When dealing with a large database, you may face some lag, flickering issues, and slow response
  • Insufficient user guide
  • Lack of segmentation features for audience

When Optimizely Is A Good Fit

If you’re looking for a platform with top-notch to drive brand engagements and A/B tests, then Optimizely is a good option.

Drupal vs Sitecore vs Optimizely

Drupal Sitecore Optimizely
Ease of use Poor UI and steep learning curve Intuitive, easy to use UI Simple and easy-to-use platform
Security Poor security Great security and testing features Highly secure
Flexibility Difficult to customize with limited component options Extendable and customizable with the help of an expert partner Difficult to customize
Performance Average, can become slow over time as you add more modules Great performance, can handle large volumes of content and data Lags when dealing with high product data volumes

Need Help Choosing The Best CMS? Oshyn Can Help

With more businesses embracing requiring a highly sophisticated digital experience platform, it’s clear there are better alternatives to Drupal. The choice of the best platform depends entirely on your needs. Oshyn can help you with this.

Oshyn is a Sitecore and Optimizely implementation partner that has worked with several top brands and agencies around the globe. We provide complete, agile-based development for developing, maintaining, and deploying websites and apps.

If you’re thinking of switching to a modern enterprise-ready CMS platform, you can reach out to Oshyn for help. Have a look at a client’s perspective on working with Oshyn.