Drupal CMS – What is it and What is it Good For?
Drupal is one of the most popular open source content management systems (CMS) available. It is a robust website content management platform that is used by professional web developers throughout the world. Drupal is used in over 200 countries, it is available in 182 languages and nearly 400,000 websites run on Drupal.
Drupal is such a stable CMS and has such an infinite capacity for development that it is used successfully by many large global organisations including:
- The White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov/
- Oxfam, http://www.oxfam.org/
- The British Government, https://www.gov.uk/
- The Economist, http://www.economist.com/
Drupal has many advanced features that make it a favourite of web developers, but as with any CMS, it also has its share of negatives. So if you are investigating which platform to use for your next project – here are some pros and cons to help you make the right decision:
Advantages of Drupal
- Drupal has all the basic features you need to create both simple and more complex websites – menu management, RSS-feeds, user account registrations, system administration, graphics tools and much more.
- It is easy to install and has thousands of themes and templates readily available. All you have to do is upload your chosen template and then write and add your content. All of these templates are ready to go, but for the more advanced users Drupal has a pre-defined configurations feature to enable you to build more complex sites rapidly.
- Drupal flawlessly integrates your written text with polls, videos, podcasts and much more. This gives your website the flexibility to mature and expand as you build your brand.
- Advanced administrator tools give you the option of setting up multiple user accounts with different levels of access to your website.
- There are over 7,000 plugins available that rapidly increase Drupal’s functionality. And because it is open source you can create your own plugins to give your website even greater capacity and functionality.
- Drupal has full SEO capabilities and seamlessly integrates with Google analytics.
- There is a large worldwide community of developers who are passionate about Drupal and who tirelessly work towards enhancing Drupal’s functionality and security.
Disadvantages of Drupal
- Drupal comes bare bones out-of-the-box so as a client, you are dependent on your web developer to configure and implement it properly. If you’re working with inexperienced Drupal developers, poor implementations can result in difficult to maintain or even an unusable CMS.
- Since Drupal comes bare bones out-of-the-box, it also means it takes more work to set-up and develop. This usually means higher development costs than using simpler CMS’ such as WordPress.
- Drupal’s highly flexible architecture is great for customisation but the downside of that is it has a fairly steep learning curve since there are so many possibilities.
- Upgrading Drupal can be a hefty exercise requiring large investments. Upgrades in Drupal don’t come as frequent as other open source CMS’ but when it does and you need to upgrade to patch a vulnerability, it can result in significant costs as customisations may no longer work with the upgraded CMS.
Is Drupal right for your project? Well Drupal is a highly flexible CMS that can be used to create simple websites or blogs, but it excels when customised functionality is required. It can handle thousands of pages of content and millions of views each month – and has an unlimited range of development possibilities. It is very stable and well suited to managing global services, marketing and sales across all digital media worldwide.
Drupal is loved by developers who need to design technically complex websites. It is a sophisticated publishing platform that is not only free but also provides high value solutions to managing your online branding image.
If you want to create a website that is both flexible and powerful with infinite possibilities – then it is worth investigating Drupal. If you have a fairly standard website and need a CMS, then simpler solutions may be more appropriate.
Have you used Drupal before? Share your experience below in the comments section or if you have any questions about Drupal and whether it may suit you, give us a call at +61 2 8211 0668 or email us.
Co-founder of Cornerstone and web junkie, Michael knows just how to diagnose your online problems and remedy the issue. An online enthusiast who believes in technology as an enabler of growth, Michael worries about all the details so you don't have to.