If you have your own website, you must know about Drupal. This content management system has been at the top for years, and its various versions are currently used by more than a million websites. Drupal 7.x is the most widely used version with 800,000+ websites using it.
Drupal is constantly evolving and changing. The latest Drupal 8 allows those who are using it to enjoy improved mobile and multilingual support, a new user interface, and in-place editing.
Drupal has been the center of attention for quite a while. Some love and praise it, some hate and despise it. Today, we are going to take a closer look at Drupal as it is, and answer one particular question that we are often asked: Is Drupal good or bad?
3 Drupal Myths that Have to be Debunked
Drupal is criticized a lot. However, most of the time this criticism is based on outdated information and the subjective point of view of the authors. This is why we believe we should debunk some of the myths about Drupal’s negative points in order to move forward.
The first thing you may hear from a person that advises against Drupal is, “It’s so difficult to use it if you don’t have any programming skills! Why would anyone use Drupal?” Although this was true for previous Drupal versions, Drupal 8 allows its users to enjoy the WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editor, which requires no technical background.
If you are unfamiliar with what WYSIWYG is actually like in practice, think about how easy it is to use Google Documents or Windows OS. These interfaces are based on the principle of WYSIWYG as well.
When it comes to security, the main reason for this concern is that Drupal is open-source. However, this reason is far from being substantial. Actually, Drupal maintains a high level of security thanks to the dedicated contributors on the security team that are constantly reviewing the code, looking for potential exploits and bugs, and are ready to fix them instantly. Many Fortune 500 companies and government agencies, and even the New York Stock Exchange, use Drupal due to its security. It is very unlikely these large corporations could be wrong.
Another reason some people are strongly against Drupal is the misconception that its functionality is limited and not enough for proper web content management. However, this is a misconception worth debunking.
In fact, you can choose from thousands of modules and expand the Drupal functionality the way you want to. Moreover, by choosing only what you need, you don’t have to deal with functionality that is useless for your particular purposes.
Here is our answer to the question, “Why use Drupal instead of WordPress?” WordPress’s plugins and add-ons are far from being as flexible as Drupal’s modules, and they are not enough to cover every potential need. Drupal modules are flexible. They are basically like a puzzle that you are supposed to solve. You determine what features you need, install the modules that will satisfy these needs, and enjoy the flexibility of such an approach.
7 Reasons to Use Drupal
1. It Is Open-Source
Yes, this one is going to be at the top of the list, although it may seem counterintuitive for some to trust something created by thousands of developers worldwide. So, consider this: The contributors are constantly reviewing and testing the CMS, and if there are any issues that need to be solved, they are fixed in no time due to the number of contributors available. The code is constantly studied to make sure there are no bugs.
Besides, as it is open-source, it is distributed for free. Therefore, you can save some money by not acquiring the license for another CMS.
2. It Has Huge Community Support
Continuing the previous point, Drupal is actively supported by more than 100,000 contributors. The overall community amounts to more than 1 million supporters. As a result, there are 39,000+ modules that you can use for free. These modules extend the functionality of Drupal to suit your needs. Your task is to determine what functionality is required for your website and install the necessary modules.
For instance, you can use the Google Analytics module to integrate this service, configure it in Drupal, and track the stats. You could also use PathAuto to automate the generation of URLs for pages, instead, and make sure they are relevant and easy to remember.
Additionally, you can enjoy 2,500+ themes for Drupal that are also (surprise!) free to install and use. Once again, thanks to the vast community of contributors.
3. Customization & Integration Opportunities Are Endless
Thanks to an enormous number of various modules, you can integrate many third-party services with your website effortlessly and enjoy the benefits. You can add CAPTCHA, photo-editing services, social media feeds, calendars, etc. to your website. In addition, Drupal supports integrating third-party APIs and single sign-on with other systems (such as Google Apps).
4. Its Mobile Support Is Great
This is one of the features that are crucial in today’s world. More than half of smartphone users spend 3-5+ hours on it a day! This means that your website is very likely to be accessed via a smartphone, and you need to be prepared for it.
Drupal has you covered. It is mobile-friendly and aimed at seamless displaying the website on any device. Drupal is focused on the mobile-first approach. There are various modules that can help you make sure your website looks flawless on any smartphone or tablet.
5. It Allows for Easy Scalability
Websites such as Twitter and The Economist with huge traffic load have opted for Drupal. This is the best proof that Drupal is a perfect fit for websites that either start as large and complex ones or are expected to become large and complex in the future. For instance, Drupal is great for eCommerce, large corporations, government, and education institutions, etc.
Drupal has proven it can handle both traffic spikes and constant huge traffic volumes thanks to caching, which, in turn, significantly reduces page load time. This is why Drupal is the right choice for websites that are complex and deal with huge volumes of traffic.
6. Content Migration Is Easy
Of course, migrating all the content from one website to another can be done manually. However, this approach is not only exhausting but also risky. Some data may end up lost as a result. However, you can use key modules Drupal offers you to migrate content, back it up regularly, and move to Drupal easily.
7. Multilingual Support
Last but not least, Drupal is your best option if your target audience is multilingual. Aside from having the Drupal interface available in various languages, you can customize your website to display information in other languages. You can develop a whole language strategy and decide which content should be translated or not, what to display in case translation is not available, etc.
In addition, you can find various resources and guides for using Drupal in languages other than English, as well. Thus, you can make sure nothing gets lost in translation.
Why Use Drupal? – The Bottom Line
It seems that Drupal will never stop being discussed. With all the improvements we’ve experienced over the last couple of years, we are sticking with Drupal. All the reasons described above are exactly why we use Drupal and recommend it to others. Take another look at the points on our list and consider them. Perhaps, you will find one particular reason that will be the decisive one for you.