What is Drupal?

A custom content management system: an introduction to Drupal and how it’s used to build custom websites.

Drupal is an open source content management system (CMS) built on a modular framework. Here’s what that means:

“Drupal is open source” - You can modify any aspect of the Drupal platform. In comparison, proprietary platforms, like Squarespace, permit you to customize their platform in specific, limited ways through their own interface. With open source platforms, like Drupal or Wordpress, you can customize them however you want.

Additionally, Drupal maintains a core team of developers, but a significant part of its development comes from contributions from the web development community.

“Drupal is built on a modular framework” - Right out of the box, Drupal has the appearance of a basic website because it only has a few features and capabilities. You customize your own Drupal website by adding capabilities and features to it. There are thousands of modules available for Drupal websites - all of them free.

“Drupal is a CMS” - Drupal provides an administrative interface that non-technical admin can use to build, publish, and manage their websites. The benefit, and unique quality, of Drupal is that you can create what that administrative interface looks like and what it can do.

How is Drupal Used?

Drupal requires web theming and web development spearheaded by a content strategy to really get off the ground. Drupal is best used by businesses that need something custom. This could mean a client portal, pure publishing, a complicated UX, or supporting an ecommerce website with integrated content. Typically, the more complex your website needs to be, the higher your need for a custom website that has been specifically built for the purpose of supporting your strategy.

How Do You Manage a Drupal Website?

As a non-technical website administrator, you have quite a bit of control over your website.

  • Build new pages using the page layouts in different content types.
  • Drag and drop paragraph types on a page to create new layouts.
  • Manage footers, menus, and user navigation.
  • Create webforms, manage automated email sends.
  • View submissions on your website.

These are just a few of the basic functionalities of Drupal as a Content Management System. However, you will need a developer to accomplish tasks such as:

  • Updating the website design.
  • Integrating plugins, extensions or other systems with your website.
  • Deploying security patches.

Who Uses Drupal?

It’s very likely that you’ve been on a Drupal website recently (in fact you’re on one right now!). Here are just a few popular websites that utilize Drupal to manage their content.

T-Mobile

Best Buy

NBC

Newsweek

Target

How Does Drupal Compare to Other CMS Platforms?

  1. It’s Secure - With an active development community and regular patch releases, Drupal is very quick to address system vulnerabilities and keep their platform up to date.
  2. It’s Easy to Build - Drupal’s open source build and modular framework make it easy to customize and work with.
  3. It’s Easy to Integrate With - No website is an island. Most websites need to connect to several other systems - whether email marketing, a CRM, or customer service tools - in order to fully support the entire marketing strategy. Drupal’s open source build makes it easy to connect with other tools.

But how does Drupal compare to other CMS’s? That’s a complicated question. Simply put, compared to other open source, enterprise level CMS’s we believe it’s one of the best.

For a longer more detailed answer, we wrote a white paper that compares Drupal against Wordpress, AEM, Sitecore, Craft, and others. You can get it here.

A Website That Scales With You

When you’re searching for the right platform to build your website on, you want to find one that’s going to scale with your company, be capable of adapting to changing web trends, and support any future changes to your website marketing. You want something flexible, scalable, easy to use, and reliable.

We recommend Drupal.