Drupal and SharePoint: A Comprehensive CMS Comparison Guide for Digital Leaders

Drupal and SharePoint: A Comprehensive CMS Comparison Guide for Digital Leaders


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison guide between Drupal and SharePoint, two popular content management systems (CMS) sought after by digital leaders and decision-makers. In this guide, we will delve into the various aspects of both CMS platforms, exploring their features and capabilities to help you make an informed decision for your organization.

Foundations of CMS

When it comes to the foundations of a CMS, both Drupal and SharePoint offer solid frameworks, but with different approaches. Drupal, an open-source CMS, is built on PHP and uses MySQL as its database storage. It provides a flexible and extensive API that allows developers to customize and extend its functionality extensively. On the other hand, SharePoint, developed by Microsoft, is a proprietary CMS that integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft technologies and applications. It offers a wide range of features out-of-the-box, making it an attractive option for organizations already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem.

One key differentiator between the two is the target audience. Drupal is highly regarded among developers and technical teams who prefer the freedom to build complex, custom solutions. SharePoint, on the other hand, appeals to organizations with a heavy reliance on Microsoft products and a focus on collaboration and document management.

As both CMS platforms have their own strengths and target different use cases, it is important to consider your organization's specific needs and priorities before making a decision.

Design & User Experience

Design and user experience play a crucial role in any CMS, as they directly impact how content is presented and consumed by visitors. Drupal comes with a wide selection of customizable themes and templates that cater to various industries and design preferences. It allows you to create unique and visually appealing websites with its robust theming system and responsive design capabilities. Additionally, Drupal offers a user-friendly interface for content editors, making it easy to create and manage content.

SharePoint, on the other hand, focuses on providing a consistent user experience across Microsoft products. It offers a range of pre-designed templates that are simple and easy to use, allowing organizations to quickly set up collaboration sites, intranets, and document management systems. SharePoint also integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft applications, enabling users to access and collaborate on documents within familiar interfaces like Microsoft Office.

Ultimately, the choice between Drupal and SharePoint for design and user experience depends on the level of customization and integration required for your organization. If you prioritize extensive design flexibility and customization, Drupal may be the better option. However, if seamless integration with Microsoft products is a priority, SharePoint may be the more suitable choice.

Content Management

When it comes to content management, both Drupal and SharePoint offer robust features to support the creation, organization, and publishing of content.

Drupal, being a versatile CMS, provides a comprehensive set of tools for content creation and management. Its flexible content modeling system allows you to define custom content types and fields, enabling you to structure your content in a way that best suits your needs. With Drupal, you can easily create and manage various types of content, such as articles, blog posts, multimedia, and more. The built-in WYSIWYG editor simplifies the content creation process, even for non-technical users. Drupal also offers advanced content workflow management capabilities, including content moderation, revision tracking, and approval processes, ensuring content quality and collaboration among team members.

SharePoint, on the other hand, provides a content management system that is tightly integrated with its document management capabilities. It excels in managing structured content, such as documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. SharePoint allows users to create document libraries and folders, making it easy to organize and store files. Its version control feature ensures that document revisions are properly managed, and users can track changes and collaborate on documents with ease. SharePoint's search functionality is also powerful, making it effortless to find specific documents or content within the system.

Both Drupal and SharePoint provide content categorization and tagging capabilities, allowing you to create taxonomies and apply metadata to content. This enhances the searchability and discoverability of content, facilitating efficient content navigation and retrieval.

In summary, Drupal excels in managing diverse and flexible content types, making it ideal for websites with complex content structures or those requiring extensive content customization. SharePoint, on the other hand, is well-suited for organizations heavily focused on document management and collaboration within a Microsoft ecosystem.

Collaboration & User Management

Collaboration and user management are key aspects of any CMS, as they determine how teams work together and access content within the system. Let's explore how Drupal and SharePoint compare in this area.

Drupal offers a range of collaboration features to support team collaboration and user management. It provides fine-grained access control, allowing administrators to define user roles and permissions with precision. This ensures that each team member has the appropriate level of access to content and site management features. Drupal also supports user authentication and integration with external user directories, such as LDAP or Active Directory, making it seamless to manage user accounts and permissions.

In terms of collaboration, Drupal offers tools such as forums, blogs, and comments, enabling users to engage in discussions and provide feedback on content. It also supports collaborative editing, allowing multiple users to work on the same piece of content simultaneously. This can be particularly useful for organizations that require real-time collaboration and content co-authoring.

SharePoint, being primarily focused on collaboration, offers a wide range of features to support teamwork and user management. It provides an extensive set of tools for creating and managing teams, including team sites, shared calendars, task management, and discussion boards. SharePoint's integration with Microsoft Office suite enables seamless collaboration on documents, regardless of whether they are being edited in SharePoint or offline using Microsoft Office applications.

When it comes to user management, SharePoint integrates well with Active Directory, making it easy to manage user accounts, permissions, and access rights. Its built-in social features, such as profiles, feeds, and activity streams, foster a sense of community and collaboration among users.

In conclusion, both Drupal and SharePoint offer robust collaboration and user management capabilities. Drupal's focus is on providing flexible user access control and collaborative editing, while SharePoint excels in providing a range of collaboration tools and seamless integration with Microsoft Office suite.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and hosting are critical factors to consider when choosing a CMS, as they impact the speed and reliability of your website or application.

Drupal is known for its strong performance and scalability. Its architecture allows for efficient caching and optimization, resulting in fast loading times. Drupal's modular approach enables you to choose and enable only the necessary modules, minimizing resource usage and optimizing performance. Additionally, Drupal's database structure and caching mechanisms contribute to its ability to handle high traffic loads and large amounts of content. To further enhance performance, Drupal supports various caching strategies, including page caching, block caching, and entity caching.

When it comes to scalability, Drupal has proven to be highly scalable, with websites ranging from small blogs to large enterprise-level platforms built on the Drupal framework. Drupal's modular design and scalable infrastructure allow organizations to expand and adapt their websites as their needs grow and change over time.

In terms of hosting options, Drupal websites can be hosted on a variety of hosting platforms, including shared hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated servers, and cloud hosting. This flexibility allows organizations to choose the hosting solution that best fits their needs in terms of budget, performance, and scalability.

SharePoint, being a Microsoft product, offers a range of hosting options. It can be hosted on-premises within an organization's infrastructure or in the cloud using Microsoft Azure. Hosting SharePoint on-premises provides organizations with full control over their environment, ensuring data security and compliance. On the other hand, hosting SharePoint in the cloud offers the benefits of scalability, reliability, and ease of management.

SharePoint's performance and scalability largely depend on the setup and infrastructure in which it is deployed. Proper configuration and optimization, as well as sufficient hardware resources, are crucial for achieving optimal performance and scalability with SharePoint.

In conclusion, both Drupal and SharePoint offer strong performance and scalability. Drupal's modular architecture, caching mechanisms, and hosting flexibility contribute to its excellent performance and scalability. SharePoint's performance and scalability depend on proper setup and infrastructure, and it offers the choice between on-premises and cloud hosting.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization, extensions, and the ecosystem surrounding a CMS are important considerations for organizations looking to tailor their website or application to specific requirements and leverage additional functionality. Let's explore how Drupal and SharePoint compare in these areas.

Drupal, being an open-source CMS, offers extensive customization options. Its modular architecture allows developers to create custom modules and themes, enabling organizations to build unique and tailored solutions. Drupal's robust API and documentation empower developers to extend and customize its functionality to meet specific needs. The Drupal community is vibrant and active, with a vast library of contributed modules and themes available for users to enhance their websites. This thriving ecosystem ensures that users have access to a wide range of resources and support for their Drupal projects.

Furthermore, Drupal's flexibility extends to its theming system, which enables organizations to create visually stunning designs and user experiences. The Twig template engine, which is integrated into Drupal, offers a clean and efficient way to create and customize website themes.

SharePoint, while not as open for customization as Drupal, provides a range of customization options within its framework. It offers a variety of pre-built templates and web parts that can be customized to align with an organization's branding and design requirements. SharePoint also allows users to create custom lists, libraries, and workflows to fit specific business needs. However, customization in SharePoint often requires more extensive development and customization effort compared to Drupal.

When it comes to extensions and add-ons, Drupal has a vast library of contributed modules available on its official website. These modules provide additional functionality for various purposes, such as e-commerce, SEO, social media integration, and more. The availability of a wide range of contributed modules ensures that organizations can easily extend Drupal's capabilities and integrate with third-party systems.

SharePoint, on the other hand, offers a variety of apps and add-ons through its SharePoint Store. These apps provide additional functionality and can be integrated into SharePoint sites to enhance collaboration, document management, and other specific workflows. The availability of SharePoint apps allows organizations to extend the capabilities of their SharePoint deployment without extensive custom development.

In summary, Drupal provides extensive customization options, a vast ecosystem of contributed modules, and a flexible theming system. SharePoint, while not as customizable as Drupal, offers customization options within its framework and a range of apps and add-ons through the SharePoint Store.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

Search engine optimization (SEO), marketing capabilities, and monetization options are essential considerations for organizations looking to maximize the visibility, reach, and profitability of their website or application. Let's explore how Drupal and SharePoint compare in these areas.

Drupal is well-regarded for its strong SEO capabilities. It provides a range of built-in features and modules that facilitate optimizing your website for search engines. Drupal allows you to create search engine-friendly URLs, customize meta tags, and generate XML sitemaps. Additionally, Drupal's content modeling capabilities enable you to structure your content in a way that aligns with SEO best practices, ensuring that your content is easily discoverable by search engine crawlers. Moreover, Drupal integrates with popular SEO tools, allowing you to further optimize your website's performance and visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

When it comes to marketing capabilities, Drupal offers a plethora of modules and integrations that enable you to implement marketing automation, personalization, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. These tools allow you to segment your audience, deliver targeted content, and track user behavior, all of which are essential for effective marketing campaigns and lead generation.

As for monetization options, Drupal provides various modules and extensions for managing e-commerce functionalities. The Drupal Commerce module, for example, enables organizations to create robust e-commerce platforms with features like product catalogs, shopping carts, and payment gateways. Drupal's flexibility allows you to tailor your e-commerce solution to your specific business needs, whether you're selling physical products, digital downloads, or services.

SharePoint, while not specifically designed as an SEO-focused CMS, still provides features and tools to improve your website's search engine visibility. It allows you to create SEO-friendly URLs, customize meta tags, and optimize content for keywords. With its integration with Microsoft Office suite, SharePoint facilitates content creation and collaboration, enabling teams to efficiently create and publish marketing content.

When it comes to marketing capabilities, SharePoint offers integration with the Microsoft stack of marketing tools, including Dynamics 365 Marketing and Power Automate. This integration enables organizations to leverage marketing automation, lead nurturing, and customer journey mapping to execute effective marketing campaigns.

In terms of monetization, SharePoint provides features for content monetization, such as paid access to specific content or subscription-based access. It also offers integration with third-party e-commerce platforms for organizations looking to implement online sales or subscription-based services.

In summary, Drupal excels in SEO capabilities and offers a wide range of modules and tools for marketing automation and e-commerce. SharePoint provides SEO features, integrates with Microsoft marketing tools, and enables content monetization options.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are of utmost importance when selecting a CMS, as they ensure the protection of sensitive data and adherence to industry regulations. Let's compare the security and compliance features of Drupal and SharePoint.

Drupal has a strong track record when it comes to security. Its open-source community actively audits the code for vulnerabilities and releases regular security updates to address any identified issues. Drupal has a dedicated security team that promptly addresses security concerns and provides guidance on best practices for secure development. Additionally, Drupal offers a range of security features, such as user access controls, password policies, SSL support, and two-factor authentication. Its modular architecture allows you to implement additional security modules to strengthen your website's security posture.

When it comes to compliance, Drupal offers extensive options for meeting regulatory requirements. With its robust access control system, you can enforce strict user permissions and ensure compliance with data protection regulations. Drupal also provides features for content versioning and archiving, ensuring compliance with data retention policies. Additionally, Drupal can integrate with third-party compliance tools and auditing systems to further enhance compliance capabilities.

SharePoint, as a Microsoft product, benefits from the strong security measures and practices established by Microsoft. SharePoint provides granular access controls, allowing organizations to define user permissions and restrict access to sensitive information. It also provides data loss prevention (DLP) features, enabling organizations to protect confidential data and prevent unauthorized sharing. SharePoint supports encryption at rest and in transit, ensuring that data remains secure while being stored or transmitted.

In terms of compliance, SharePoint offers features to assist organizations in adhering to regulatory standards. It provides features for managing and classifying sensitive information, allowing organizations to enforce data governance policies. Additionally, SharePoint supports e-discovery and legal holds, facilitating compliance with legal and regulatory requirements for data retention and discovery.

Both Drupal and SharePoint benefit from active security communities and regular updates to address emerging threats. It's important to note that while the platforms themselves offer strong security features, the overall security of your website or application also depends on proper configuration, best practices implementation, and ongoing maintenance.

In conclusion, both Drupal and SharePoint offer strong security features and compliance capabilities. Drupal's open-source nature and modular architecture provide flexibility for implementing additional security measures, while SharePoint benefits from the security practices established by Microsoft.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migration, support, and maintenance are crucial aspects to consider when selecting a CMS. Let's compare Drupal and SharePoint in terms of their migration processes, available support options, and ongoing maintenance requirements.

When it comes to migration, Drupal provides a straightforward process for upgrading from older versions to the latest release. The Drupal community actively supports and provides documentation to assist with the migration process, ensuring a smooth transition. However, migrating to Drupal might require more technical expertise compared to SharePoint, especially if you have a highly customized website or complex data structures. It's recommended to thoroughly plan and test the migration process to minimize disruption and potential data loss.

Drupal benefits from a large and active community that offers comprehensive support resources. The Drupal community provides documentation, forums, and online communities where users can seek help and guidance. Additionally, there are numerous Drupal agencies and consultants available for professional support and development services. Drupal also offers paid support options through its commercial arm, providing organizations with dedicated assistance and additional enterprise-level features.

On the other hand, SharePoint benefits from the extensive support ecosystem provided by Microsoft. Microsoft offers comprehensive documentation, user forums, and online support channels for SharePoint users. Organizations can also opt for paid support services directly from Microsoft or through certified Microsoft partners. SharePoint's popularity and widespread adoption mean that finding experienced professionals and consultants for support and maintenance is generally more accessible compared to Drupal.

In terms of ongoing maintenance, both Drupal and SharePoint require regular updates and maintenance to ensure optimal performance and security. Drupal's modular architecture allows for easy updates of individual modules and themes. Regular security updates are released by the Drupal community to address any vulnerabilities or issues identified. It's crucial to stay up to date with these updates and perform regular backups to ensure the integrity and security of your Drupal website.

SharePoint also requires regular updates to stay secure and maintain compatibility with the larger Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft provides regular updates and patches for SharePoint, addressing security vulnerabilities and introducing new features. It's essential to stay up to date with these updates and follow best practices for SharePoint maintenance to avoid potential vulnerabilities and ensure optimal performance.

In summary, both Drupal and SharePoint provide migration paths, support resources, and require ongoing maintenance. Drupal has a strong community and offers a range of support options, while SharePoint benefits from Microsoft's extensive support ecosystem. It's important to consider the specific needs of your organization and the support resources available when evaluating the migration, support, and maintenance aspects of each CMS.


After exploring the various aspects of Drupal and SharePoint, it is clear that both content management systems have their strengths and cater to different use cases. Let's summarize the key points discussed throughout this comparison guide to help you make an informed decision for your organization.

Drupal, as an open-source CMS, offers a high level of customization and extensibility. Its flexible architecture, extensive module library, and vibrant community make it an excellent choice for organizations that prioritize customization, complex content structures, and scalability. Drupal excels in areas such as design flexibility, content management, SEO capabilities, and rich development ecosystem. Organizations that have technical resources and seek a highly customizable solution will find Drupal to be a powerful and versatile CMS.

On the other hand, SharePoint, being a Microsoft product, offers seamless integration with other Microsoft technologies and a focus on collaboration and document management. SharePoint is well-suited for organizations that heavily rely on Microsoft infrastructure and tools, prioritizing collaboration, content organization, and a familiar user experience. SharePoint provides features such as strong collaboration and user management, integration with Microsoft Office suite, and comprehensive support options. Organizations seeking an out-of-the-box solution that aligns with the Microsoft ecosystem will find SharePoint to be a suitable choice.

Ultimately, the choice between Drupal and SharePoint depends on your organization's specific needs, priorities, and technical capabilities. Consider factors such as customization requirements, design flexibility, content management needs, collaboration features, scalability, SEO capabilities, security, compliance, and ongoing support options. It's also beneficial to involve key stakeholders and evaluate the long-term strategic fit of each CMS within your organization.

Remember, selecting a CMS is a critical decision that will impact your organization's digital presence and productivity. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate your requirements, explore demos and trials, and consult with experts if needed. Both Drupal and SharePoint have proven track records and strong user communities supporting them, ensuring ongoing development and support for the foreseeable future.

We hope that this comparison guide has provided you with valuable insights and helped you in your decision-making process. Good luck in selecting the right content management system for your organization!


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.