When our projects require a flexible and reliable Content Management System that's easy for our clients to use we turn to Drupal. Find out why millions of websites worldwide do the same.
Drupal is an open source project, built on an open source platform, by a community of developers. This means it has no licensing costs, the hardware and server stack used to run it is inexpensive and the community of developers that can be called upon to work on a site are numerous. This also means Drupal developers need to ensure they are offering a high level of service as there is no lock in, and it is simple for a client to pack up their site and find another developer. This means a client has a low total cost of ownership, but receives a high level of service. All core updates to Drupal are provided free, forever. The only cost comes from the development of the site itself.
A dedicated staff of over 40 security specialists as well as hundreds of thousands of contributions from the wider community ensure Drupal is one of the most secure CMS solutions available. Security releases happen on a regular basis, and major concerns are addressed the instant they are discovered. Drupal will also alert site administrators to security risks the moment they occur and provides steps to resolve these. Many other CMS will wait months before offering a security release, giving the appearance they are more secure, when the reverse is the case. The Drupal security team address every security risk, no matter how small, as soon as its discovered. This has lead to Drupal being adopted by many government organisations such as The Whitehouse, The US Senate, The US Department of State, the Beehive and many more. A full list can be found here https://groups.drupal.org/government-sites
Extensive user roles and permissions
Drupal possesses one the most sophisticated feature sets for user management including custom data for all users, multiple roles associated with those users, and extensive permissions granted to those different roles. This allows a truly fine-grained approach to who is allowed to do what on which parts of the site. Most other CMS allow three levels of permissions - administrator, authenticated user, and visitor. Drupal allows a virtually unlimited number of these roles with custom permissions for each.
Custom Content Types
Drupal assumes absolutely nothing about the type of site being created, and allows extensive customisation of content types. Many contributed and core modules provide good starting points for things like blogs, polls, forums, video channels, wikis, and intranets, but the power of Drupal means that these can be extended in ways their creator couldn't have originally imagined. Content can be set up with the specific fields, data, and media assets required, and deeply cross linked to each other to create a truly sophisticated, highly integrated and extensible system, not possible in the majority of other CMS in the same time frame.
Drupal includes an extremely powerful visual display designer called Views, which allows developers to access content, and display it in any way imaginable. What would be a plethora of complex database queries and code in another CMS, is reduced to a series of simple clicks with Drupal that produces a custom look at the content of a site. The same piece of content can be displayed in a list, or as an image slider, or in a pop-up modal window, or as a short summary embedded in another piece of content. These views can also be passed arguments to change the way they function or even allow those arguments to be exposed to the visitor, allowing them to decide what content they want to see and how they want to see it, without having to write separate code to handle every eventuality. The power of Views is unique to Drupal and produces results in a fraction of the time, and therefore cost, of other CMS solutions.
Custom Workflow and Automation
Drupal can be setup to work the way an organisation operates, not the other way around. Custom workflows can be created and enforced by the system, and once paired with the extensive roles and permissions capabilities, ensures that the right people are doing the right things at the right time. For example, one user role could receive an alert by the system that they need to update a piece of content on the site because a date is nearing completion. That user could make the update and submit it so their manager receives it for approval. The manager can review, make changes, and submit their approval, telling the system to publish it on a particular date and time. When that time occurs, the system publishes the content automatically. This ensures accountability and alignment with business process, as opposed to many other CMS which force businesses to adapt to their way of operating.
Hundreds of thousands of individual developers use and contribute to Drupal, allowing it to integrate with almost any other digital service or platform imaginable. Social networks, document management, video channels, web services, management systems - almost every possible integration has been explored and a solution provided. Because of the way it is coded, Drupal can easily be integrated with systems that currently don't have a contributed module should the need arise.
Search Engine Optimisation
Drupal provides content to search engines in an extremely semantic, well structured way that makes it naturally score well in organic searches. As long as content is using appropriate key words and is written in a natural manner, Drupal sites tend to bubble to the top of search results. A set of contributed modules provide fine grain control over what search engines see and how, allowing for customisation of various pages in search engine results.
Powerful community management
Contributed modules provide extremely powerful community management features, including open groups, following, likes, organic popularity of content, integrated chat, and custom user pages with custom blogs and media libraries among others, making Drupal ideal for business intranets and social groups.
Superb internationalisation and translation
Drupal has the ability to deeply integrate multi-lingual content and translation services into websites. Content can be created, submitted for translation to the system which sends an email with links to update the translation of the content to translation providers who can then update the content and submit for approval and publication. All translations belong to the original content and stay with it throughout the system, and only parts of the content that need translation are flagged for translation. In other words, the main text of a page might be translated, while the images might be left alone. This means parts of the content are just reused instead of recreated on a case by case basis. It also means that if a piece of content isn't yet translated, the original content can be shown. Drupal can also provide automatic translation of content via services such as Google Translate.