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Kentico vs Drupal

6 minutes December 15, 2022
Daniel del Pino Digital Solutions Consultant
CMSs play a big role in shaping customers' online experiences. In a crowded marketplace, Drupal CMS and Kentico Xperience have continued to stand out as leading choices for enterprise level businesses.

Kentico vs Drupal - which CMS is better to use?

Today, many enterprise-level organisations are using or considering a technology like Drupal or Kentico for their content management needs. The role of enterprise level content management systems is changing, as these organisations shift their focus to “Digital Experiences" or the use of Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs).

As users move from typically using one screen (desktop) to multiple screens (phone, tablet, smartwatch and TV) in their engagement with a company, Drupal and Kentico have both evolved to meet this trend. Digital experience platforms have shifted the core way the content is managed, and the way the technology can now engage with a user. This means it is important to understand that what a website 'can' do and the way it is managed is different when using Drupal or Kentico.

“There's been a shift from "responsive" websites to digital experiences that are tailored to the device and user type. Code languages have evolved and expanded, and there are more and more 3rd party tools available to integrate and leverage. The way websites are built and maintained has also changed. Kentico (enterprise software) and Drupal (open source software) are two different ways of solving your online requirements.”

It comes down to the fundamental differences between Open Source and Proprietary Software.

Drupal is an open-source software that relies on a global community of developers to create PHP-based components that improve website content delivery. The program runs on servers, which reduces hosting costs and makes it free to use. Although Kentico and other paid CMS software offer similar features, the vital difference is that Drupal is open source.

Kentico Xperience is a subscription-based CMS product that cannot be used without a paid subscription. In addition, the software has been developed by the parent company ‘Kentico’ instead of a group of individuals or passionate developers who make updates or add new features to a product in their free time. The propriety nature of Kentico Xpereince makes it more secure than an open source solution, making it well suited to projects with strict data protection requirements. Usually, timely updates, new modules, and features are part of a bigger market strategy to capture more people who want to use Kentico Xperience to offer the best experience to customers.

Due to the competitive nature of paid products and the investments that go into them, they typically offer superior services than open-source. Open source services can also be part of a larger scheme to push people into other paid tools or services, and as seen by the main contributors to the Drupal marketplace, many features are part of a marketing strategy to promote the business that created them.

What are the similarities between Drupal and Kentico? They are both used for websites...

Drupal is built by innovative developers, taking the initiative to structure the framework of how an enterprise site should operate, with reliance on the community (in hired developers) to customize and expand in line with your project requirements. Kentico is powerful, and though it might have a price, the customer experience and the ‘out of the box’ value it offers creates efficiencies in the total lifespan of a development project.

Global communities on the internet power the capabilities of Drupal by adding more features and removing bugs. On the other hand, Kentico is proprietary, meaning it is a product offering from a company dedicated to making sure it delivers (with a roadmap of progression to improve and meet market trends ahead of time).

Base Features

Drupal comes with limited out of the box functionality, but works well for people who have small websites or want to implement small-scale solutions for limited customers. The product is open source, meaning it can come in handy for those with programming skills to add more features themselves. In a way, the open-source feature makes it flexible enough to a point it can compete with proprietary software when in the hands of a professional developer.

Flexibility allows for collaborations and on point customisation (no bloat features), where users with the right skills can come together to build web plugins to make it more formidable. The hard part is finding a Drupal developer for the right price to then develop what potentially already exists at the level required for propriety software. 

Kentico Xperience has a wide range of features (and applications), including those offered by Drupal. It has a visible API, which easily integrates with a website via the copy and paste functionality. In addition, it enables a mix of template style content management and widget-based content management. This allows content administrators to freely (without a develop) alter and customize content presentation and design once set up. Kentico also has a built in contact management application that helps manage user data, track user journeys, allow enhanced feature access and create dynamic personalized experiences. 

The contact management feature integrates with email marketing, marketers can then build custom EDM campaigns leveraging a connected user experience and targeted email lists within the one platform.

Market analytics are the heart of any business. An area Drupal has not yet capatilised on yet. Kentico has done its homework and provided a window for administrators to understand their businesses (and users), highlighting what areas (or services) to put more effort into for better results. Kentico analytics track the best-performing campaigns and set them out in an easy-to-understand graph. In addition, customer support may provide you with more insights about what is on the graph to optimize the business more for better performance. 


Drupal gives any project a solid set of core modules to work with, then as you grow and scale there are thousands more community-created modules to leverage and extend how content is managed and presented. Kentico has out of the box applications that are ready to go and powerful, can be configured in a simple manner to cater for unique requirements.

General content management

Both Kentico and Drupal offer what you would expect from a content management platform. You can manage workflows, permissions, URLs and templates. The key difference is the backend use for editors, Drupal is considered difficult to navigate with poor UX for the standard content administrator. Kentico on the other hand has invested in an extremely intuitive backend that is quick to navigate and manage for everyday content activities.

Plugin expansion

Open source software limits you to the number of plugins and management tools available. Drupal has an active and generous developer community that offers thousands of modules that can be leveraged and even expanded on. However if something is not already available, it may mean finding other software to fulfill your demands, and successfully integrating it with the platform. Kentico provides an all-in-one tool where you get a ton of functionality fit for different projects under one umbrella.

Kentico also provides unique solutions for businesses needing specialised software because it can host custom-build products such as intranets and client portals.

  • The software comes free of cost.
  • It is fit for use on many websites.
  • Add-ons come free.
  • Active community support.
  • It offers perfect scalability features.

  • It comes with updates from unknown developers, putting customers at risk of vulnerabilities.
  • Modules undergo limited testing before they hit the market, making them unstable.
  • Customer service is below par. Solving an issue requires a lengthy trial and error procedure from content written on community forums all over the web.
  • Drupal requires goodwill from top-class developers to create new modules that stop working when they get other paying projects.

  • Unlimited Support service
  • It has a ton of integrations and plugins to fit many web pages
  • Timely updates
  • Works with many projects because of customization
  • Requires little programming knowledge to make it fit for other functionality
  • Looks modern
  • Works with other proprietary tools
  • Offers integration with social media
  • Has the best talents that concentrate on making a feature better

  • It is a paid service
  • It does not have chat support
  • Its email marketing features are not user-friendly
  • It is not suitable for small businesses but rather for medium-sized and large businesses

Simple comparison between Kentico CMS and Drupal CMS - if there is such a thing...

Kentico CMS and Drupal CMS are both popular content management systems (CMS) that are used across the world to create and manage websites. They both have been in the industry long enough to have examples, case studies and experienced developers to implement any project. While they have some similarities, they also have some key differences that make them better suited for different types of websites and users.

One of the key differences between Kentico CMS and Drupal CMS is the level of user-friendliness for administrators managing content. Kentico CMS is known for its intuitive user interface and straightforward content editing tools, making it a good choice for users who are new to website creation and management. Drupal CMS, on the other hand, is more complex and requires a steeper learning curve, making it better suited for experienced users who are comfortable with coding and web development.

Kentico CMS is known for its intuitive user interface and straightforward content editing tools, making it a good choice for users who are new to website creation and management. Drupal CMS, on the other hand, is more complex and requires a steeper learning curve, making it better suited for experienced users who are comfortable with coding and web development.

Kentico CMS has a dedicated security team that works to prevent and address potential security vulnerabilities, and the CMS is regularly updated with new security patches and features. Drupal CMS is also known for its focus on security, and the CMS is regularly updated with new security patches and features to keep websites safe from threats. However being open source does expose it to more potential risks compared to that of Kentico.

Both Kentico CMS and Drupal CMS have large and active online communities where users can seek help and advice, as well as share tips and best practices. Kentico CMS has a dedicated support team that provides assistance to users through online forums, email, and phone, as well as offers a range of online resources and training materials. Drupal CMS also has a large and active online community, as well as a range of support options, including online forums, user groups, and professional support services.

Kentico Xperience is a proprietary software, so it costs to start using it and they have few packages to choose from. While Drupal is free to use. The total cost of ownership depends on features and functionality, as Kentico comes ready with a stack of features in their suite leading to greater efficiency as the project kicks off. Drupal for the most part needs to be built from the ground up, so the saved costs are spent in development hours.

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