For more than 2.2% of all websites on the Internet (that’s upwards of 22 million websites), Drupal makes up the back end framework. And if you’re not familiar, Drupal is a free and open source content management framework, written in PHP. With rudimentary knowledge of HTML, PHP and other common web programming languages, you can use it to build great websites and applications for everyday use.
It’s not necessarily the best content management tool, but it has some unique features which set it apart from other CMS systems. Easy content authoring, consistent performance, reliable security, flexibility and modularity are some of those differentiating features. While a website holds content exclusively, Drupal is capable of handling workflows for web applications and is better suited to do so than some of its CMS competitors.
Here are 7 reasons to consider using Drupal for your CMS needs:
Just like all open-source platforms, Drupal’s interactive community helps the platform continuously evolve in real-time. The endless modifications and contributions from the developer community make it more secure and reduce the chance of bugs than proprietary software alternatives. The community also has extensive documentation, support forums, mailing lists, user groups and chatrooms to get free advice and support.
A platform like Drupal is best suited for developers who prefer to make significant changes in the root files themselves, increasing their customizability. With over 7,000 plugins and countless themes, it allows for a truly customized experience for your needs.
- Open-source nature
Drupal offers the usual open-source advantages — more affordable than commercially available products, an outlet for great ideas and creativity, and with hundreds of thousands of users working on its platform, it’s incredibly reliable.
- Version 8.0
Drupal is currently on its 8th version. This means it has gone through its share of iterations, making it robust and flexible. Even when compared to version 7, version 8 it allows for easier administration and greater controls over accounts and permissions. Themes in Drupal 8 are also responsive. This means that developers can save time and effort they would otherwise spend developing separate instances for various devices, desktop browsers and mobile browsers.
- Free of cost
Unlike many proprietary tools available, Drupal is free! You don’t need to wait for an update from the service provider to fix bugs; the community takes care of that. Also, you’re saving a lot of money if you’re a startup and want to invest in an idea rather than a platform.
Since it is open-source and most of the language is in PHP and HTML, parts of the code can be migrated and reused in other platforms. Migration is very important for projects: as they expand and scale in terms of number of users and features, you often see large projects eventually switching to new platforms for better adaptability. Using Drupal, migration is seamless between Drupal instances and other platforms where PHP and HTML is primarily used. (And that’s not difficult to find as HTML and PHP are two of the most widely used languages to develop web applications.)
- Time to market
Time to market with Drupal is faster when compared to many alternatives. While it can take 6 months to a year for large ecommerce projects to be launched, this can be significantly reduced using Drupal. Much of the code, classes and functions can be reused from the community to quickly stitch an MVP together. And for idea validation, time is money!
It’s important to note some of the shortcomings of this platform also. It is not suited for large conversions on eCommerce like food delivery or food ordering apps. Concurrent users might face difficulty in accessibility and checkout for such industries. It’s not yet straightforward for this space because of the lack of availability of ready-to-use modules (say, Ubercart). At least as of this writing. But with the food tech quickly evolving, we can surely expect a stable module in Drupal soon. There is also no control on the quality of a fix, since without validation, it can be risky to implement.
And there are, of course, a number of platforms that do the job well. WordPress being the most popular and other CMS competitors being the likes of Joomla, Django, Magento, osCommerce and OpenCart. But if you’re looking for a solution that is customizable, fast, and has a real sense of community, Drupal may be just the solution you’re looking for.
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You might also like this article: Drupal vs. WordPress vs. Joomla – Open Source CMS Comparison