Backdrop CMS vs. Strapi: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide for Choosing the Right Content Management System

Backdrop CMS vs. Strapi: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide for Choosing the Right Content Management System


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison guide between Backdrop CMS and Strapi! As digital leaders and decision-makers, choosing the right content management system (CMS) is crucial for your organization's success. Backdrop CMS and Strapi are two popular options in the market, each with their own strengths and features. In this guide, we will delve into the foundations of CMS, design and user experience, content management, collaboration and user management, performance and scalability, customization and extensions, SEO and marketing, security and compliance, as well as migration, support, and maintenance. By the end, you'll have a clear understanding of which CMS is the best fit for your organization's needs.

Foundations of CMS

Let's start by looking at the foundations of CMS. Backdrop CMS is built on the familiar Drupal framework, offering a powerful and flexible platform for managing content. It provides a reliable foundation for websites and is known for its stability and security. On the other hand, Strapi is an open-source headless CMS, which means it focuses solely on providing a content management backend that can be connected to any front-end technology. This headless approach allows for greater flexibility in content delivery and enables developers to create custom user experiences using their preferred front-end frameworks.

Both Backdrop CMS and Strapi offer robust APIs that enable seamless integration with external systems and applications. This allows for easy data exchange and integration with other tools and platforms, enhancing the overall functionality of your CMS.

When it comes to ease of use, Backdrop CMS is designed with simplicity in mind. Its user-friendly interface and intuitive content editing features make it accessible even to non-technical users. On the other hand, Strapi requires some technical expertise to set up and configure, as it provides developers with more control over the backend infrastructure.

Overall, the foundation of a CMS is the backbone of its capabilities. Whether you prioritize stability, flexibility, or ease of use, understanding the foundations of Backdrop CMS and Strapi will help you make an informed decision for your organization.

Design & User Experience

Design and user experience are vital aspects of any CMS, as they directly impact how users interact with your website or application. Backdrop CMS offers a wide range of pre-designed themes and templates that can be easily customized to match your brand identity. Its responsive design ensures a seamless experience across different devices, providing a consistent and accessible user interface.

Strapi, on the other hand, takes a more developer-centric approach to design. It does not provide pre-designed themes out-of-the-box, but it offers a flexible and customizable content modeling system. Developers have the freedom to design the front-end experience from scratch, allowing for complete control over the visual aesthetics and user interface.

Both Backdrop CMS and Strapi prioritize user experience by providing a user-friendly interface for content editing. Backdrop CMS offers a WYSIWYG editor, allowing content creators to see how the content will look while editing. Strapi provides a customizable content editor that can be tailored to match specific content types and workflows.

Ultimately, the choice between Backdrop CMS and Strapi for design and user experience depends on your organization's requirements and the level of control and customization you prefer for your website or application.

Content Management

Effective content management is the core functionality of any CMS. Backdrop CMS offers a user-friendly admin interface for creating and organizing content. Its hierarchical taxonomy system allows for easy organization and categorization of content, making it simple to create complex site structures. The version control system in Backdrop CMS enables content editors to track changes and revert to previous versions if needed.

Strapi provides a flexible content modeling system, allowing you to define custom content types and relationships. This enables you to structure your content in a way that best suits your organization's needs. Strapi also offers a media library for easy management of images, videos, and other media assets.

One key distinction between Backdrop CMS and Strapi is the way content is delivered. Backdrop CMS follows a traditional approach, where content is directly rendered by the CMS itself. Strapi, being a headless CMS, decouples content creation and management from content delivery, providing greater flexibility for developers to deliver content through APIs to various front-end channels.

When choosing a CMS for content management, consider the complexity of your content structure, the ability to track changes, and the delivery requirements for your organization. Both Backdrop CMS and Strapi offer powerful content management capabilities, catering to different organizational needs.

Collaboration & User Management

Collaboration and user management are essential features for CMS platforms, especially for organizations with multiple content contributors. Backdrop CMS offers granular user access controls, allowing administrators to define roles and permissions for content editors and other users. This ensures that the right people have the appropriate level of access to the CMS.

Strapi also provides user management features with role-based access control. It allows you to define custom roles and set permissions at a granular level, ensuring secure access to your content and system settings.

Additionally, both Backdrop CMS and Strapi support multi-language content, which is crucial for organizations with global reach. Translating and managing content in different languages becomes seamless, enabling you to effectively engage with your international audience.

When it comes to collaboration features, Backdrop CMS offers a content staging environment where content can be reviewed and approved before publishing. This is particularly useful in scenarios where content needs to go through an approval process. Strapi, being a headless CMS, provides a flexible and extendable environment, allowing for custom workflows to be built according to your organization's collaboration requirements.

Consider the size and structure of your organization when evaluating collaboration and user management features. Both Backdrop CMS and Strapi offer comprehensive tools to ensure efficient collaboration and user access control.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance and scalability are crucial factors to consider when selecting a CMS, as they directly impact the user experience and the ability to handle increased traffic and content load. Backdrop CMS is designed to be efficient in terms of resource usage, ensuring fast page loading times and responsive user interfaces. It also offers caching mechanisms to optimize performance and handle high volumes of traffic.

Strapi is built with scalability in mind, allowing you to handle large amounts of content and high traffic volumes. As a headless CMS, it can be easily scaled horizontally by distributing the load across multiple servers. Strapi also provides caching mechanisms and performance monitoring tools to ensure optimal performance.

Regarding hosting options, Backdrop CMS can be hosted on any web server that supports PHP and a MySQL database. It offers flexibility in choosing your hosting provider or infrastructure. Strapi, being an API-first CMS, can be hosted on any cloud platform or server environment that supports Node.js.

When evaluating performance, scalability, and hosting options, consider your organization's expected traffic, content volume, and technical resources. Both Backdrop CMS and Strapi offer reliable performance and scalability options to cater to different requirements.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization capabilities and a robust ecosystem of extensions are critical aspects to consider when selecting a CMS. Backdrop CMS offers a wide range of themes and modules in its marketplace, allowing you to extend and customize the functionality of your website. Its modular architecture enables developers to create custom modules tailored to specific business needs.

Strapi provides a powerful plugin system that allows you to easily extend its functionality. You can choose from a variety of community-developed plugins or create your own. Strapi's ecosystem is rapidly growing, with an active community that constantly contributes to the development of new plugins and features.

Both Backdrop CMS and Strapi support APIs, which enables seamless integration with third-party services and applications. This adds further customization capabilities and allows you to leverage existing tools in your organization's tech stack.

Consider the level of customization and the availability of extensions that your organization requires. Both Backdrop CMS and Strapi provide ample options to customize and extend the functionality of your CMS, ensuring it aligns with your specific business needs.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

Search engine optimization (SEO), marketing capabilities, and monetization options are vital for organizations aiming to maximize their online presence and revenue. Backdrop CMS offers built-in SEO features, such as clean URLs and meta tag management, ensuring your content is easily discoverable by search engines. It also provides integration with third-party marketing tools, allowing you to track website analytics and performance.

Strapi, being a headless CMS, provides greater flexibility in terms of SEO and marketing integrations. It allows you to choose and configure specific front-end frameworks and libraries that best suit your SEO and marketing requirements. Strapi also offers integrations with popular marketing automation platforms, making it easier to leverage customer data for personalized marketing campaigns.

Regarding monetization options, Backdrop CMS supports e-commerce functionality through third-party modules and integrations. This enables you to create online stores and effectively sell products or services. Strapi, being headless, doesn't provide out-of-the-box e-commerce features but can be integrated with various e-commerce solutions through its API.

Consider your organization's SEO, marketing, and monetization goals when evaluating Backdrop CMS and Strapi. Both provide solid options for enhancing your online presence and driving revenue.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are critical considerations, especially for organizations dealing with sensitive data or operating in regulated industries. Backdrop CMS has a strong focus on security and regularly releases updates and patches to address vulnerabilities. Its active community ensures that security best practices are followed, and modules go through rigorous code reviews before being added to the marketplace.

Strapi also prioritizes security and provides built-in security measures such as user authentication and role-based access control. As an open-source project, Strapi benefits from the involvement and contributions of a large community of developers who actively contribute to its security and compliance efforts.

Both Backdrop CMS and Strapi can be hosted on secure server environments and comply with industry standards and regulations. However, it's important to note that meeting specific compliance requirements may require additional configuration or third-party integrations.

Prioritize the security and compliance needs of your organization when selecting a CMS. Both Backdrop CMS and Strapi offer robust security measures and the flexibility to ensure compliance with industry standards.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migrating from an existing CMS to a new one can be a daunting task. Backdrop CMS provides migration modules that help simplify the process of moving from Drupal 7 to Backdrop CMS, making the transition smoother for organizations with existing Drupal installations. It also offers extensive documentation and support materials to assist with the migration process.

Strapi provides migration guides and tools to facilitate the transition from other CMS platforms. Its flexible content modeling system allows for easy mapping of existing content structures to the Strapi environment. Strapi's rich documentation and active community provide support and resources for a successful migration.

When it comes to ongoing support and maintenance, Backdrop CMS benefits from a supportive community and a team of core maintainers who actively work on improving the system. It provides regular updates and security patches to ensure a stable and reliable CMS.

Strapi offers dedicated support options for enterprise customers, including technical support and professional services. It also has an active community forum and a vibrant ecosystem of developers who provide assistance and share knowledge.

Prioritize the availability of migration support and ongoing maintenance options according to your organization's needs. Both Backdrop CMS and Strapi provide resources and community support to facilitate a successful migration and ensure the continuous operation of your CMS.


After diving into the various aspects of Backdrop CMS and Strapi, we hope you now have a better understanding of their respective strengths and features. Backdrop CMS provides a stable and user-friendly option, with a focus on flexibility and ease of use. Strapi, being a headless CMS, offers greater customization capabilities and control over the content delivery process.

When making a decision, consider your organization's specific requirements in terms of design, content management, collaboration, performance, scalability, customization, SEO, security, and support. Taking these factors into consideration will help you find the CMS that aligns best with your organization's goals and objectives.

Remember, both Backdrop CMS and Strapi have active communities and dedicated support channels to assist you every step of the way. Take advantage of their resources to ensure a smooth implementation and maximize the potential of your chosen CMS.


Martin Dejnicki
Martin Dejnicki

Martin is a digital product innovator and pioneer who built and optimized his first website back in 1996 when he was 16 years old. Since then, he has helped many companies win in the digital space, including Walmart, IBM, Rogers, Canada Post, TMX Group and TD Securities. Recently, he worked with the Deploi team to build an elegant publishing platform for creative writers and a novel algorithmic trading platform.