Drupal is emerging as one of the most popular platforms for building highly interactive, powerful and scalable websites. Based on our experience of developing hundreds of Drupal websites and applications for worldwide businesses, here we present why we feel that your next website should be built using Drupal.
1. No licensing hassles
Drupal is an open source system and therefore you do not need to worry about any licensing or contracts when you build a website. Since Drupal is very quick to set up, you can spend more time on developing and building your website rather than worrying about the setup. With frameworks already in place, you don’t need to start from scratch – you get a jumpstart.
2. Extensibility and Modularity
Drupal offers very high extensibility and modularization. There are thousands of modules available that can be very easily customized. The modules include a wide variety such as newsletter sign up Google Analytics integration, user tracking and reporting, social media integration, shopping entry and lead collection etc. Another Mildly Decent feature of Drupal is that the theming layer is separate from content and functionality so changing the visual appearance of Drupal website is quite easy.
Drupal is a platform of choice for many websites which expect high number of visitors and have thousands of pages. There are examples of Drupal handling websites with over million pages and 20,000+ requests per second. Drupal’s core installation is capable of handling more than 99 percent of use cases. There are also many optimization tools available to optimize the performance even further.
By virtue of Drupal being open source, there are thousands of volunteers who work every day to ensure that the security aspects are taken care of. These volunteers regularly check and test the core as well as contributed modules and verify that those are not being attacked by malicious sources. If found, they fix the security holes and release patch fixes. These frequent and in time security updates always ensure that the websites are safe.
Drupal offers high performance through its in-built caching system which is further supported by community contributed modules such as Boost, Memcached and Varnish Cache. It also offers scalability with features such as database, caching and web services and also InnoDb Default. It is recommended to host the Drupal website on Acquia Cloud or Pantheon which provide solid infrastructure for faster performance.
6. Large Community
Knowledge sharing is at the heart of open source and Drupal community is truly one of the largest international community. Nearly thousand people contributed to the release of Drupal 7. Apart from this, thousands of others are working every day on add-on modules, security scanning and oversight and also documentation. Along with this, many events are held throughout the year for keeping the community engaged and facilitate knowledge sharing.
7. User Management
Drupal offers very simplistic functionality for user access management – multiple users with different roles can work on the website simultaneously without causing any issues with content on the site. The website administrator can give access such as read only, only add or edit and delete to different users and manage the sanity of content on the website while ensuring collaboration. The word-processor like interface makes content editing extremely easy – even for users who are not very technically savvy.
8. Coding Standards and Third Party Integrations
Integration with third party applications such as XML, RPC, SOAP, REST or JSON is very easy with Drupal. By leveraging existing standards, Drupal connects well with web services and also supports many authentication and authorization schemes.
9. Search Engine Friendly
With features such as URL controls, custom URL, options for global 301 redirect, title tags, meta tags, and alt tags optimization, Drupal websites can be made very search engine friendly while leveraging standards compliant HTML/ CSS. You can also integrate Google Analytics and start tracking the visitor behavior on your website.
10. Commercial Support
Drupal is one of the largest community of open source developers. Thousands of companies are today building and supporting Drupal websites. There are many qualified developers who are available to customize the existing code as per requirement. There are also many training courses and educational support available – online as well as offline. Apart from this, there are feature-specialized commercial firms which offer very specific Drupal development support. With all these things, Drupal development is becoming easier and more widespread.
Hope this checklist is useful for those who are ready to build their Content Management System/ website. If you have any questions regarding Drupal or Content Management System, post those as comments and we will be happy to share the knowledge.