What is Drupal and Why you Should Consider it?
Drupal is one of the most trusted content management systems available today. For over 16 years, Bear Group has built custom Drupal websites and web apps. We’ve seen first-hand why this platform is a secure, smart choice for government, enterprise, nonprofits, higher education, and more.
Drupal provides you with the content management system (CMS) framework to build a highly-custom website to meet your unique needs. Drupal is an open-source platform with a strong community of developers. The platform is incredibly flexible and can fit many needs, so we sometimes refer to it as the “Swiss Army Knife” of platforms.
Drupal Benefits to Your Business
These are features that are both unique to Drupal, and directly beneficial to your website management goals:
1. It’s flexible
Drupal is built on a modular system, meaning that Drupal websites are extended with individual modules, similar to building blocks. Features can be enabled and disabled as easily as turning them on and off. It’s simple enough that once these features have been installed, non-technical admin have the ability to manage them. You can dictate where features like blogging capabilities, comments sections, and user accounts appear on your website from a single module directory.
From the same platform, you have the flexibility to create a website as simple as a single direction publishing site, to an interactive community website. With thousands of modules freely available through the Drupal community as well, creating a website with custom functionalities requires a lot less development time. Using pre-written modules instead of creating custom features from scratch, your web developers can build your website much faster.
2. Content management features
Most CMS platforms have similar content management features. You manage your content through familiar fields, WYSIWYG toolbars, and image file upload processes. Where Drupal distinguishes itself is how much freedom it allows non-technical admin to have over otherwise complicated content processes. Here’s just a few:
Views is a Drupal module (included in core in Drupal 8.0) that allows website admin to create their own data structures. Essentially, you can generate content lists based on tags you specify. How your Views is displayed depends on design, a Views list could be anything from a list of recent blog posts in the footer of your website, to a page of images linking to past portfolio projects. With Views you may need a designer, but you can arrange and place incredibly custom blocks of content without coding knowledge.
Content types and fields
Drupal’s system makes creating your own content types much easier–blog posts, portfolio pages, web forms. You don’t have to recreate the page in each instance, saving the page as a content type that can be used again and again. And from the back-end, you can also specify the fields used to display content on the user’s side.
Unfortunately, nothing online can ever be absolutely secure. Drupal has, however, taken strides to create a system as secure as possible.
- Drupal is not a proprietary system (like AEM, Sitecore, Weebly, Squarespace). You own your own code and can manage how it’s protected.
- Drupal’s core team is dedicated to security, and regularly release security patches and updates their code to address found vulnerabilities.
- The Drupal community augments the Drupal core team. Thousands of developers use their free time to contribute to and monitor Drupal’s code.
- Just as Drupal’s open-source system allows it to easily integrate with other third-party systems, it can also communicate with additional security systems. For example, we’ve implemented Sucuri and Cloudflare for clients as part of their Drupal builds in the past.
Outside of its core, hired team, Drupal thrives on the code of thousands of contributing volunteers. Open-source community projects are a major source of innovation for a lot of software companies, with businesses like Adobe Commerce (Magento) and Microsoft encouraging developers to engage in their code. Drupal is an example of the success of that community participation.
This is incredibly beneficial to your website in two major ways. One, your website will rest on a platform that is constantly being updated to meet the latest security and performance standards. As long as you have an ongoing strategy in place to keep your website in sync with those updates, you don’t have to worry about working from an antiquated, legacy platform.
Two, the widespread adoption of Drupal among developers means that you have a large pool of developers to choose from. This lowers your risk of developer lock-in, allowing you to more freely shop around for a development agency that works best with you, or build your own internal development team.
Drupal’s open-source build makes it easily scalable, allowing it to grow to better fit the needs of your business.
Drupal’s open-source build allows developers to directly engage with the source code of your CMS. This is especially beneficial for businesses that need custom integrations, a specific line of communication, between their website and their software. Drupal’s underlying framework–under Symphony–makes it object-oriented, and easy for your developers to work with.
Drupal’s architecture means that (as long as you have the correct server resources) you can continue to serve up content to endless streams of traffic (this, in particular, is one of the reasons Drupal is preferred by enterprise businesses).
Unique Content Strategies
Whether you need a “headless” CMS serving content to your app, or you need a CMS that can handle the content of your online store by pairing with your eCommerce platform, Drupal is incredibly flexible and supportive of virtually any kind of content strategy.