Long gone are the days where we regularly encountered teams not already considering Drupal among a range of solutions to power their digital needs… (or fielded questions such as “What the **** is Drupal?” or came across anyone pronouncing the name in new and interesting ways such as “Dru-paul.")
Perhaps more noteworthy is that, while long considered a good fit for small- to medium-sized needs, Drupal has increasingly become a top choice at the enterprise level. And this is true even when evaluated amidst a mix of high-priced, all-encompassing digital experience platforms (DXP)!
Here's why so many businesses turn to Drupal:
1. Drupal’s API-first design provides the multi-site, multi-channel, multi-device capability you need.
Drupal is a CMS with rich authoring tools that can store and natively present content to site visitors. Maybe less known is that the platform is also well-suited to publish the same content across independent channels and devices of all types—including third-party websites, signage and even product documentation (e.g., PDFs and PowerPoint presentations).
Marketers and site admins have enough work to do in keeping content up to date; why not set up a single source of truth to power content updates? Through simple configuration, Drupal can be set up to publish content stored within the same Drupal database via JSON, API or by utilizing any of the available Drupal feed modules.
Beyond publishing content across multiple channels, Drupal can also receive and ingest third-party data feeds—connecting it with a variety of related content and allowing for presentation with an integrated UI delivery. We've personally seen how this has benefitted our clients' websites:
- Healthcare websites can integrate and display physician directories utilizing data from other sources; physicians can be associated with news or blog articles within the CMS
- Higher education websites can import course catalog information, then associate course pages with professor biographies or relevant articles
2. A modular building block approach ensures projects can fit a tight budget or timeline.
Commercial product licenses provide organizations with every available feature and function. But for a lot of teams, it could months—or even years—until they take advantage of even 50% of the feature set! And who's to say your needs don't change in the interim?
With Drupal, users can seamlessly scale up or down to meet budget or timeline constraints. Its core installation is relatively light and focused on essentials—from the well-architected framework to the backend interface.
Drupal offers more than 20,000 free modules to add features as you need them. These modules include event management, media management and integration with payment solutions (just to name a few).
3. Drupal can scale with your organization and support a growing number of sites.
With Drupal, you can manage your entire digital ecosystem of sites from one central CMS install. This allows you to:
- Simplify the management of users
- Share content and media across website properties
- Create a seamless user experience
- Add additional sites as needed
Whether for a healthcare system with a main website and separate microsites for each hospital location or a university with microsites for each program, Drupal enables a variety of approaches to support and scale a growing number of sites.
4. Elite security management and communication help to reduce risk and aid compliance.
Drupal is well managed and has a strong track record of quick, effective resolution of any security concerns. The Drupal community has a dedicated security team who regularly investigate and track issues. They also prepare security announcements for both Drupal core and the community module library.
The size and level of engagement within the Drupal community—with an active developer base of 20k+ contributors worldwide—boosts the platform's ability to review issues and provide more frequent releases of updates/patches.
To protect anyone running Drupal websites, vulnerabilities are kept private until there is a fix or until it’s apparent that a solution might take more time. Public announcements are made once a threat has been addressed and a secure version is available.
Because of this level of security, Drupal can be found supporting many prominent organizations at the enterprise level—including South Shore Health, GE, The New York Stock Exchange, US Department of Commerce, NASA, Tesla and West Point Academy.
5. There is a high level of community support for enterprise application integration.
Among the large list of available Drupal modules are many that provide integration across a wide range of third-party applications. And if there isn't an existing module available, there's likely someone out there blogging about how to leverage existing Drupal capabilities.
This has allowed many of the sites we've built also integrate with other systems, including:
- Marketing automation platforms (e.g., HubSpot and Marketo)
- e-Commerce payment solutions (e.g., Drupal Commerce, PayPal and Stripe)
- CRM systems (e.g., Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics)
6. Drupal is known for its highly customizable, world-class admin UI.
Straight out of the box Drupal is vanilla by design. However, the architecture is there to roll out a world-class admin user interface (UI) with the right combination of community themes, modules and integrations.
Drupal's well-organized backend allows the most common administrative tasks to be streamlined using its drag and drop layout builder.
While many CMS platforms require users to jump all over the backend interface, Drupal keeps it simple. Content authors can create a new page and then do all of the following in one place:
- Add content
- Upload and inlay media
- Configure metadata
- Refine layout (e.g., number of columns needed)
- Add to the menu
- Save updates
7. Combining the layout manager with reusable layouts and modules allow for a low-code approach.
A well-architected platform can empower content authors and editors to not only manage content, but also modify and optimize the layout and display.
Drupal's built-in layout manager can be combined with reusable templates and page modules, allowing client teams to scale and optimize websites with minimal reliance on developers and very little (if any) need for writing code or markup language.
Our team typically creates flexible layouts—providing authors with advanced control to drag and drop modules onto the page, as well as the ability to create new content types.
8. Drupal's robust user management provides multiple workflow options and built-in multilingual support.
Drupal offers a robust variety of permissions and publishing settings within one admin. Site owners can give users access to view and edit their site only, or even specific content within their site. (Certain content features can also be hidden as needed.) Using Workflows, authors can restrict groups from publishing content, explore integrated alerts and review work.
And when it comes to internationalization, Drupal has accelerated multilingual website development. The CMS platform includes support in its core installation to handle multiple languages—allowing for content translation, interface translation and configuration translation. Drupal comes equipped with the ability to store and manage one or more language translation for all content elements/settings.
9. Elite Drupal-optimized hosting choices allow for fine-tuned, scalable performance.
Drupal is a flexible platform that is operating system independent and can be hosted almost anywhere. And the best hosting platforms offer support for Drupal version upgrades, module/plugin updates and security patches.
While the number of available hosting options may seem intimidating, there are several enterprise-ready hosting platforms that are fine-tuned for scalability and performance of Drupal websites—including Acquia, Pantheon and ZenSource.
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