I have a customer who needs a membership website for his large roadside assistance program.

I have 3 options:

1. Wordpress
2. Drupal 9
3. Backdrop

I know that Drupal 7 could do this with ease.

I know that Drupal 9 could do this with pain (tons and tons of it...)

Now this business had been around for 18 years, and they want something that will work for at least a decade.

Will Drupal  9+++ and  it's shenanigan's be around in a decade? I doubt it, looking at the anemic adoption rate, I think Drupal will be toast within half a decade.

Wordpress will be around, unless something better comes around, but just like PHP, once it's so engrained, it probably will never go away!

So my question is, can I use and trust Backdrop for decade+ in the future projects?

What are the adoption rates, growth etc...?



I believe that Backdrop CMS has a future and that future will get stronger as more of the hundreds of thousands of Drupal 7 site owners looking for an alternative to Drupal 9, adopt Backdrop CMS. I've moved my own site to Backdrop CMS and several of my clients. In addition, I've invested a lot of my own time into contributing to this community (I'm not exactly impartial). 

At the same time, I don't believe that any of us can make fool-proof predictions about the future. However, I've put my money/time where my mouth is and bet on Backdrop being around for a long time.

Here are some resources or related topics that you might find helpful:

If you have not yet tried Backdrop CMS, I highly recommend spinning up a demo site in just 2 minutes and looking around the UI. Note, we're adding new features and improvements with each release, every 4 months. 

https://backdropcms.org/demo (it will only last 24 hours).

I think the fact that you are talking about a membership website, suggests that Backdrop CMS has some strong advantages over Wordpress. 

Sure, drupal 7 is light years ahead of WP. 

But does backdrop have enough modules to run a membership site?


But does backdrop have enough modules to run a membership site?

Um, it depends?

In general, I would say yes. But, there are certainly many situations in which the required modules might not be available immediately or a few cases in which working versions are available but still being tested (dev versions available on Github, but not on BackdropCMS.org).

Example: much work was done on the Organic Groups module for Backdrop CMS in the last couple of weeks. It's my understanding that it is working for some users that are testing it, but there is still come cleanup happening and there is not yet an official release (additional help testing and posting bug reports is encouraged). 


I recommend looking through the modules that you think you will need and in addition to checking BackdropCMS.org for their availability, check the backdrop-contrib section on Github to see if ports have been started, are in development, or even close to a release. 


The good news is that we are seeing new modules ported every week. Some modules are ported quite easily, while others require additional effort.

We also have this issue queue, where users can post their desire to have a module ported and/or their intent to start a port. 


Another idea to gauge the overall health of the community would be to join our chat channel (Zulip) and/or drop by one of our weekly core development meetings (to get a sense of what is happening in core development). 


Hi xuzo,

I have been working with Drupal since 2005, and with Backdrop since 2016. For the last 4-5 years I have been developing all new (more than 50)  websites only with Backdrop. I only maintain a few old sites with Drupal 7 and even 6 and gradually reinstall them with Backdrop.

I finally broke up with Drupal 8 about 4 years ago and lost any hope that there will be a positive change, except for large, complex and very expensive corporate sites. I also know professional programmers - website developers - who worked with Drupal 7, but after Drupal took a new direction, they abandoned Drupal altogether and started working with various PHP frameworks - they find this more efficient than fighting Drupal 8/9.

Backdrop CMS already has a solid base of modules and it is constantly expanding. Many of the modules in Github can actually be used as well, I'm currently testing the i18n (very important and complex group of modules) and although i18n still don't have an "official version" - I find most of these modules fully functional and reliable. I'm writing "most" because I have 1-2 more modules left to test, the ones I've tested work perfectly.

Backdrop has one important advantage - the community, in my observations as an outside observer, avoids duplicating modules with the same or similar functionality. This should be kept in mind when comparing with Drupal, where the number of modules is high, but there are many with similar functionality and the real useful capabilities are less than the number of available modules.

Drupal 8/9 has a serious drawback - many modules that are not supported. Even modules for Drupal 7 are discontinued due to developer withdrawal and this number will increase. Particularly annoying is the fact that serious modules that are generally the reason to work with Drupal, for example Rules in Drupal are still in dev or alpha version. There Rules is in version 8.x-3.0-alpha6 released on July 20, 2020 - and that FIVE years after the start of Drupal 8. There are many others.

For me, this means only one thing - Drupal 8/9 is a system that is gradually losing power, developers and users.

But does Backdrop have enough modules to run a membership site?

I think there are enough and this opportunities will increase over time. I have experience with developing websites with social network functionalities (for NGOs with hundreds of members with special access and internal opportunities and information for the organization) with Drupal 7 and I think that Backdrop is completely suitable for this. It still depends on the goals and the scale. Backdrop is for small and medium sites, but also for large ones that want excellent functionality at a good price.

If you ask in the forum exactly what modules to run a membership site you need, participants will certainly be able to give more accurate answers and specific examples or ideas for adapting other tools for the same purpose.

I also now support several Wordpress sites - they were not made by me, they just assigned me to maintain them at one point. Wordpress for me in a terribly cumbersome platform, which has only one advantage - it is easily learned by non-specialists and has many ready-made themes.

And with the latest trend to integrate more closely with block editors, Wordpress is becoming increasingly unsuitable for true professional work and fast, efficient sites. Therefore, my advice is to exclude it from the possible options. Especially for a membership site - in Backdrop the management of roles and users is incomparably more flexible than in WordPress.