The Download on Drupal

You’re interested in joining the global community of Drupal users, and want to know what the open source content management platform has to offer for you and your growing business. You’re looking to revamp your digital presence, and you’ve always wanted the download on Drupal. Look no further—Ron Hadler, our Director of Marketing Technology, is here to walk you through the high-level ins-and-outs of Drupal development.

Why you should use Drupal:

It has a low startup cost. Drupal is open source software, so there are no immediate costs to acquire Drupal, nor are there future costs to upgrade the software for newer versions or defect releases.

It’s scalable. Many top websites with high traffic can be built on Drupal. Examples include whitehouse.gov, which serves 2.5 million unique visitors in a month, and grammy.com, which has peak traffic of tens of millions of page views in one weekend. 

It’s adaptable. Drupal is not just a CMS, or Content Management System, but it actually qualifies as a Software Application Framework. Unlike WordPress, Drupal has been designed to handle any type of content and can deliver it in whatever format is needed, whether on a desktop, tablet, smartphone, or watch.

It’s flexible. The Drupal admin dashboard allows different types of workflow and user & role supported permissions, potentially down to a field level. More significantly, Drupal offers the most configurable and organizational space available. Users can modify and rework any part of the admin dashboard to accommodate their business requirements.

It's extensible. Because of the popularity of Drupal, there are over 30,000 modules that provide readymade functionality for any given site. Drupal’s architecture was developed with extensibility in mind. There are plenty of hooks for the developer to take advantage of in both a custom or pre-built module.

It’s secure. Drupal provides the ability to have multiple admin/editor roles to enter and manage content. Security can be addressed down to the field level by any role or CMS user. There is an expansive workflow to allow for n-step approval and alerting for new or edited content to be published to the production server.

What’s next for Drupal?

It’s been almost 4 years since Drupal 7 was released in 2011. The release date for Drupal 8, which is a major rewrite, has yet to be announced. The expected release date is early 2015. There may be some wait time for all your needed modules to be compatible with Drupal 8. While Drupal experts continue to improve the Drupal 8 platform, it would be most optimal to begin developing in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2015. However, if you’re interested in building your site now, Drupal 7 will still be supported for years to come.

Marketing Automation is an important set of features for a modern CMS, and unfortunately, Drupal does not have this feature built-in. The good news is that Drupal provides Marketing Automation through add-on modules for separate services, such as Marketo, Pardot, Eloquoa, Silverpop and Hubspot. Additionally, content personalization is something that is available for Drupal in a standalone module and an add-on module through Acquia Lift. It is good to note that other systems besides Drupal have personalization built into their core functionality.

Is Drupal the only CMS option?

Kentico is a proprietary, all-in-one CMS with well-integrated out-of-the-box features, such as Marketing Automation, Personalization, Social Networking, A/B & Multivariate testing, and Ecommerce.

Sitecore is considered by many experts to be the top CMS available across the board for medium and enterprise level organizations. Sitecore generally provides the features other products are scrambling to emulate, whether it be built-in analytics, 360 degree customer profiles, or Marketing Automation and Personalization. Sitecore is a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management.

There are many, many ways to build a Drupal website. An experienced Drupal developer is a must, not just to ensure that a website that meets your requirements, but also to create one that is built for long-term ease of maintenance and expansion of functionality.

Interested in talking to an expert about developing your own site? Talk to Ron about the best options for your business.

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