Contentstack vs. Drupal - Choosing the Right CMS for Your Organization

Contentstack vs. Drupal - Choosing the Right CMS for Your Organization


Welcome to this comprehensive comparison guide between Contentstack and Drupal, two popular Content Management Systems (CMS). Choosing the right CMS for your organization is crucial for efficient content management, user experience, and business growth. In this guide, we will analyze the features and functionalities of both CMS platforms to help digital leaders and decision-makers determine which CMS suits their specific needs best.

Foundations of CMS

Contentstack and Drupal are both powerful CMS platforms, but they have different foundations that shape their functionalities and capabilities. Contentstack is a modern headless CMS designed for developers and marketers, offering a flexible and efficient content management system built on a scalable API-first architecture. On the other hand, Drupal is a comprehensive CMS with a modular design that provides flexibility and extensibility through its open-source community-driven framework.

While Contentstack focuses on speedy digital experiences through its headless architecture, Drupal offers a more traditional approach with a slightly steeper learning curve but vast customization options. Organizations seeking simplicity and efficiency might find Contentstack more appealing, while those requiring extensive customization and enterprise-level solutions might lean towards Drupal.

Design & User Experience

When it comes to design and user experience, both Contentstack and Drupal offer robust features. Contentstack's headless CMS approach allows for seamless content delivery through APIs, enabling developers to create custom front-end experiences across various channels. Its Visual Editor and built-in Style Guide Editor give marketers the power to manage content and design without extensive coding knowledge.

Drupal, on the other hand, provides a comprehensive theming system and a wide selection of pre-built themes to choose from. It offers a robust WYSIWYG editor for content creation and editing, with the ability to create custom content types, layouts, and templates. Drupal's user interface is highly customizable and can be designed to fit specific branding and organizational requirements.

In terms of user experience, Contentstack's clean and intuitive interface streamlines content management, making it easier for marketers to create and publish content quickly. Drupal's interface is highly customizable but may require more training for new users to navigate effectively.

Content Management

Content management is a fundamental aspect of any CMS, and both Contentstack and Drupal excel in this area but with unique approaches. Contentstack's headless architecture allows content creators to manage content independently of the presentation layer. This separation enables faster content updates and allows for better omnichannel delivery through APIs.

Contentstack's Content Management API (CMA) provides a wide range of features for creating, organizing, and publishing content. It offers granular content modeling with the ability to define custom content types, fields, and relationships. Contentstack also provides a powerful workflow engine, allowing users to set up custom approval processes and content publishing workflows.

Drupal, on the other hand, offers a more traditional content management approach with a built-in content authoring system. It provides a user-friendly interface for creating and editing content, with rich text editing capabilities and multimedia handling. Drupal's content management capabilities can be extended through various contributed modules, allowing users to add specific functionality as needed.

Both Contentstack and Drupal offer robust version management features. Contentstack allows for easy rollbacks and comparisons between different versions of content, while Drupal provides a revisioning system that tracks changes and allows for content moderation.

Collaboration & User Management

Effective collaboration and user management are crucial for organizations working on content creation and management. Contentstack and Drupal both offer features to facilitate collaboration and streamline user management.

Contentstack provides a user-friendly interface for managing user roles and permissions. Administrators can create different user roles with varying levels of access and define workflows and approval processes for content creation. With Contentstack's collaboration features, team members can collaborate on content creation, review, and approval, ensuring smooth workflows and streamlined processes.

Drupal offers a robust user management system with fine-grained access controls. Administrators can create multiple user roles with specific permissions, allowing for granular control over who can view, edit, and publish content. Drupal's access control system ensures that content is secure, and only authorized users can make changes.

Both Contentstack and Drupal provide collaboration features such as comments and annotations, making it easier for team members to provide feedback and discuss content changes. Contentstack's collaborative editing feature enables multiple users to work on the same content simultaneously.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance and scalability are key considerations for organizations, especially those with high traffic volumes and complex content requirements. Both Contentstack and Drupal offer features and options to ensure optimal performance, scalability, and a range of hosting options.

Contentstack's headless CMS architecture, combined with its API-first approach, enables efficient and high-performing content delivery. By separating content management from presentation, Contentstack allows for faster page rendering and ensures consistent performance across different platforms and channels. Contentstack also offers content delivery through Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) for enhanced speed and global reach.

Drupal, as an open-source CMS, benefits from a vibrant community and a wide range of contributed modules that can enhance performance and scalability. With proper optimization, caching, and configuration, Drupal can handle high traffic volumes and complex content requirements. Drupal also offers options for server clustering and load balancing to ensure scalability.

In terms of hosting options, Contentstack offers a fully-managed, cloud-based solution, providing organizations with a hassle-free hosting experience. The platform takes care of infrastructure management, security updates, and scalability, allowing organizations to focus on content management. Alternatively, Contentstack also supports self-hosting for those who prefer to have full control over their hosting environment.

Drupal provides flexibility when it comes to hosting choices. Organizations can choose to self-host Drupal on their own server infrastructure or opt for hosting providers that specialize in Drupal hosting. This gives organizations the ability to select the hosting environment that best suits their needs in terms of performance, scalability, and security.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization, extensions, and a thriving ecosystem are important factors to consider when choosing a CMS. Contentstack and Drupal both offer extensive customization options and a wide range of extensions to enhance functionality and meet specific requirements.

Contentstack allows for easy customization through its modular approach. Developers can create custom content types, fields, and relationships to fit their specific content structure. The platform also supports the creation of custom extensions and integrations through its APIs, enabling organizations to integrate with other systems and extend functionality. Contentstack's marketplace offers a variety of pre-built integrations and extensions that can be easily added to enhance the CMS's capabilities.

Drupal is known for its unlimited flexibility and customization options. With its modular design, Drupal allows developers to create custom functionality through contributed modules or custom module development. Drupal's extensive module library offers a wide array of add-ons and extensions for various purposes, ranging from e-commerce integration to SEO optimization. The Drupal community actively contributes to the development and maintenance of these modules, ensuring a constantly growing ecosystem of extensions.

Both Contentstack and Drupal have active and supportive communities, providing resources, forums, and documentation to assist developers and users. These communities offer a wealth of knowledge and provide a platform for sharing best practices and addressing challenges.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

For organizations looking to drive traffic, improve visibility, and monetize their content, strong SEO, marketing, and monetization features are essential. Contentstack and Drupal offer features to support these efforts, although they may differ in their approach.

Contentstack provides several features to optimize content for search engines. It allows users to define SEO-friendly URLs, meta tags, and descriptions for each piece of content. The platform also provides tools for managing redirects and canonical tags, ensuring proper indexing by search engines. Additionally, Contentstack offers integrations with popular SEO tools, allowing for more comprehensive SEO analysis and optimization.

In terms of marketing, Contentstack provides features to help organizations deliver personalized and targeted content. Its content targeting capabilities allow for the creation of segmented audiences based on various criteria, enabling the delivery of tailored content experiences. Contentstack also integrates with marketing automation platforms and analytics tools, providing valuable insights and enabling more effective marketing campaigns.

Drupal, too, offers robust SEO capabilities. It allows users to create search engine-friendly URLs, customize meta tags, and generate XML sitemaps. Additionally, Drupal offers various contributed modules that can enhance SEO efforts, such as those for optimizing page load speed and implementing structured data markup.

When it comes to monetization, Drupal offers a range of options through contributed modules and integrations. These modules enable the implementation of advertisement banners, sponsored content, subscriptions, and e-commerce functionalities. With Drupal's flexible architecture, organizations can tailor monetization strategies to suit their specific needs.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are critical considerations for any CMS, especially for organizations handling sensitive data and user information. Contentstack and Drupal prioritize security and offer features to ensure the protection of data and compliance with industry standards.

Contentstack places a high emphasis on security and provides robust measures to safeguard data. It follows industry best practices, including encryption at rest and in transit, user authentication, and role-based access controls. Contentstack is compliant with various data protection regulations, such as GDPR and HIPAA, ensuring organizations can meet their legal obligations. Regular security audits and updates further enhance the platform's security.

Drupal, being an open-source platform, benefits from a large community that actively contributes to identifying and addressing security vulnerabilities. Drupal's Security Team releases patches and security updates to keep the system secure. Moreover, Drupal follows secure coding practices and adheres to industry standards to minimize potential security risks.

In terms of compliance, Drupal provides modules and tools that assist organizations in meeting regulatory requirements. It offers modules for managing user consent, implementing cookie policies, and ensuring accessibility compliance. Additionally, Drupal's extensibility allows organizations to build custom compliance features specific to their industry or region.

Both Contentstack and Drupal offer options for data backups and disaster recovery, ensuring that organizations can restore their content in case of emergencies. Regular updates and patches from both platforms help protect against emerging security threats.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migrating to a new CMS, ongoing support, and maintenance are crucial aspects to consider when evaluating CMS options. Contentstack and Drupal offer solutions and support to ensure a smooth migration process, ongoing assistance, and efficient maintenance.

Contentstack provides resources and expertise to facilitate the migration process from your existing CMS or content platform. Its team assists organizations in mapping content structures, migrating data, and ensuring a seamless transition. Additionally, Contentstack offers comprehensive documentation and support to guide users through the migration process, making it as smooth as possible.

Drupal also offers resources to aid in the migration process, especially for organizations transitioning from other CMS platforms. Drupal's migration tools and modules help with data migration, ensuring that content, users, and configurations are successfully moved to the new platform. The Drupal community also provides support and guidance through forums, documentation, and user groups.

When it comes to ongoing support, Contentstack offers various support tiers to cater to different organizational needs. These support options include access to technical resources, assistance with troubleshooting, and access to product updates and enhancements. Contentstack's support team is known for their responsiveness and dedication to resolving issues promptly.

Drupal, being an open-source CMS, benefits from its extensive community-driven support. The Drupal community actively contributes to resolving issues, providing updates, and sharing best practices. Additionally, Drupal offers commercial support options through various agencies and service providers for organizations that require dedicated assistance.

In terms of maintenance, both Contentstack and Drupal release regular updates and security patches to ensure the stability and security of their platforms. These updates often include bug fixes, feature enhancements, and security improvements. Regularly applying these updates helps organizations maintain a robust and up-to-date CMS.


After a thorough comparison of Contentstack and Drupal, it is clear that both CMS platforms offer unique strengths and features that cater to different organizational needs. Choosing the right CMS depends on factors such as content management requirements, customization needs, scalability, and desired user experience.

If your organization values a modern, headless CMS architecture with a strong focus on speed, efficiency, and flexibility, Contentstack is an excellent choice. Its API-first approach allows for seamless content delivery across various channels, and its intuitive interface empowers marketers to manage content without extensive coding knowledge. Contentstack's strong collaboration and user management features further enhance its appeal.

On the other hand, if your organization requires extensive customization options, a wide range of contributed modules, and a vibrant community, Drupal is a solid choice. Drupal's modular design allows for unparalleled flexibility, making it suitable for complex projects that require custom functionality. Drupal's robust theming system, user management capabilities, and integration options cater to enterprise-level needs.

In terms of SEO, marketing, and monetization features, both Contentstack and Drupal provide powerful tools. Contentstack's SEO-friendly features and content targeting capabilities enable organizations to improve visibility and deliver personalized experiences. Drupal offers comprehensive SEO capabilities and a vast array of contributed modules to enhance marketing efforts and monetize content effectively.

Security, compliance, and ongoing support are priorities for both Contentstack and Drupal. Contentstack's focus on security, regular audits, and compliance with industry standards ensure that organizations can trust their CMS infrastructure. Drupal's active community and dedicated Security Team provide frequent updates and patches to address security vulnerabilities. Ongoing support from both platforms ensures that organizations receive assistance and guidance when needed.

In conclusion, both Contentstack and Drupal offer powerful CMS solutions, each with its own unique strengths. Consider the specific requirements of your organization, such as content management, customization needs, scalability, and desired features, to determine which CMS is the best fit. Evaluate your current and future needs, and take advantage of demos, trials, and support options to make an informed decision.


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.