First, Drupal is a free software package that allows you to easily organize, manage and publish your content, with an endless variety of customization. But why Drupal as a CMS for my website? This is one of the many questions I’ve pondered since I started working creating business websites. Why Drupal over WordPress, joomla or any other popular CMS out there? Simply, why Drupal at all? So when a potential client asked me those same things, and when I was unable to find more than one or two well written, qualified articles on the subject, I decided to find out on my own.
Drupal is Open Source
Drupal is open source software maintained and developed by a community of over 1,000,000 users and developers. It’s distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (or “GPL”), which means anyone is free to download it and share it with others. This open development model means that people are constantly working to make sure Drupal is a cutting-edge platform that supports the latest technologies that the Web has to offer. The Drupal project’s principles encourage modularity, standards, collaboration, ease-of-use, and more.
The passionate volunteer Drupal community is on hand to give support via various vibrant IRC channels, in the forums, and face to face at Drupal events. The community has also created Documentation for Drupal, which covers major topics related to working with Drupal. The worldwide community drives the innovation that makes Drupal the preferred choice for web developers and site owners. Everybody can get involved and make a difference to Drupal.
Dries Buytaert began the Drupal software as a message board in 1999. Within a year or so, more people became interested using and contributing to Drupal, so the project was made open source. Drupal.org came online in 2001, and the Drupal community gained momentum in 2005 with several code sprints and conferences. Read more about the full history of Drupal and Druplicon.
As well as the community, there are many dedicated companies in the Marketplace to help with your Drupal project. Providing expertise and a deeper understanding, they can help with design, development, hosting, spam blocking, theming, training, and more.
Is there a bigger target than the White House? Whitehouse.gov was built with and is powered by Drupal. Drupal’s dedicated Security team is responsible for identifying reported issues, patching these issues, and notifying the community when there’s something to watch out for. Drupal’s core code has been proven to prevent common security problems such as those defined by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). Additionally, the thriving development community has entire forums dedicated to delivering the best security strategies for your system. If the United States Government trusts Drupal, it’s safe to say that you can too.
Why Drupal for businesses?
The benefits of having a Drupal website
- Its easy to customize.
- Runs on any server including Linux, Windows.
- More control on structure and content.
- Easy Configuration
- Site Internal search and communication
- Unique source for projects collaborative.
- Trouble-free to change shelf themes and also for custom ended ones.
- Clear Web pages that can easily interact with search engines.
- Benivolent Drupal development unique services include:
- Drupal quick Installation and configuration.
- Customized Drupal themes design
- Search engine optimization for all Drupal websites
- Drupal integration module development
- Constulting Services for Drupal development
- Drupal upgrades and enhancements.
Entreprises uses Drupal to give website absolute quality in front end as well as back end. As Drupal is famous among the developers for its features of inbuilt modular which helps to customize and upload website with minimum efforts.
Why is Drupal the best choice for your business?
Among developers who have tried various tools for building websites, Drupal has emerged as the CMS of choice, and is becoming quite popular, for many reasons:
- It is a powerful and flexible framework for creating dynamic, reliable, and scalable websites. It has built-in support for custom content types, rich editing, and content revisioning; user comments and forums; clean and search-engine friendly URLs; modular theming; tagging with keywords and taxonomy terms; image galleries; support for an unlimited number of web pages (with no coding required); user authentication, sessions, permissions, and management; internationalization and localization; and much more.
- Drupal makes it possible for me to add new features to a website quickly. Over 20,000 prebuilt modules can be used to expand the functionality of a basic Drupal installation, with less time and effort than other solutions.
- Site content and settings are saved for you in a database, which can be backed up, for greater security.
- Drupal allows website owners to add and modify the content easily, without having to understand HTML or other technologies.
- A Drupal website keeps track of ongoing activity, such as specific users logging in and out. Even the changes to page text can be logged, using revisioning.
- Drupal is optimal for building search-engine friendly websites, including standards-compliant HTML/CSS, dynamic page titles, meta tags, customizable and readable URLs, RDF support, and Google Analytics integration.
- It is based upon the most commonly used and trusted Web technologies available, including PHP and MySQL.
- Drupal is actively maintained, tested, and improved — including updates for any security problems discovered.
- Drupal is more secure than the only two CMSs more commonly used, WordPress and Joomla. Drupal’s dedicated security team has more than 40 experts, who will unpublish any modules with unresolved security issues. Also, Drupal’s password security meets the requirements for US government agencies. In fact, the websites of the White House and US Commerce were built using Drupal.
- Drupal is built using high-quality, modular code that has been well tested, during its successful 10-year history.
- It offers high performance, with built-in caching and scalability to multiple servers.
- The Drupal software is free to download and use, and there are no license fees. So in most cases, the only cost for a new website is the design and development time.
- Drupal is free, GPL licensed, and open source. So none of it is hidden from you or your staff. Consequently, you are not limited by any vendor’s proprietary “black box” (which usually only the original developers can decipher). You are not locked into any relationship, and can easily move to a different Drupal vendor should you ever decide to
do so. There are even agencies — staffed with Drupal experts — that can serve as backup vendors.
- Drupal has a thriving and enthusiastic community of thousands of developers, so you will always be able to find people to maintain your website.
- The number of websites worldwide running on Drupal is unknown, but estimates range from over one million to 7.19 million. These include such demanding clients as Fortune 500 companies, universities, non-profit organizations, and governments — for instance: The Economist, the Grammys, Harvard, IKEA, the City of Los Angeles, the Louvre, MTV, NBC Olympics, NASA, Sony, Viacom, Warner Brothers, the Weather Channel, Wikipedia, and Yahoo. These and other organizations run high-traffic Drupal websites, and have made strategic business decisions to invest in it.
Drupal as an E-Commerce
Drupal Commerce is built from the ground up to integrate with Drupal, which makes it hard to beat when comparing it with dedicated ecommerce platforms such as Magento or Prestashop.
Why? Because changes to Google’s algorithms over the past 18 months (Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird) have placed Content Marketing front and centre of your online marketing strategy. This means that any serious ecommerce solution must incorporate a robust content management system if it is to provide a platform for ongoing success.
Going forward, standalone platforms such as Magento or Prestashop are simply not going to cut it unless you can somehow integrate them with a decent content management system.
The problem with trying to integrate two separate platforms in this way is that any extensions to these platforms tend to be bolt-ons rather than fully-fledged content management systems. As a result, they aren’t as functional as they need to be, and you end up having to do a lot of work to get the two platforms to look the same and play nicely together.
What you really need is a platform where the CMS and the ecommerce platform are on an equal footing. For this reason, I always recommend Drupal plus Drupal Commerce as the best solution for any ecommerce platform I’m asked to work develop.
With that in mind, here are ten reasons why you should be shortlisting Drupal Commerce for your new ecommerce development, or ecommerce re-platform:
- Drupal is an awesome content management and online marketing platform. Drupal Commerce is integrated into Drupal at the deepest level and takes advantage of all the power that Drupal has to offer. This ensures that both users and customers have a seamless experience when using your ecommerce website.
- Development time is less (compared to a two-platform system) since there is no need to develop and maintain a custom integration between two separate systems.
- There is also no need to develop two separate versions of your visual templates, and no need to manually configure the CMS with information about products held in the ecommerce store, such as you might need to do when building a landing page on the site that should feature both content and featured products.
- Ongoing management and maintenance of a Drupal Commerce site is easier since there is only one set of tools for your team to learn (not to mention that Drupal’s management tools are flexible and highly configurable for just about any administration task you might have in mind).
- SEO, CRO (conversion rate optimization) and website analytics are much easier to control because you only have to work with one system, not two. Optimizing the customer journey is much easier because it’s all one journey, not two journeys with a bridge.
- Drupal Commerce’s order management tools are part of the same administration toolset found in the CMS, so you can view, manage and update orders on the website, and send update notifications via the website (so that the correspondence relating to the order is all kept in once place, which allows an audit trail to be created).
- Reporting and analytics tools that allow you to view how many visitors the website is receiving, the rate at which those visitors convert into paying customers, and statistics relating to order value and frequency.
- Drupal offers granular user and role management which you can use to control access to functionality within both the CMS and the online store, as well as controlling the features available to your customers.
- Drupal offers a range of powerful community features that allow you to engage more deeply with your customers, which can help drive repeat sales and higher lifetime customer value.
- Drupal is able to integrate with external systems via a RESTful API, meaning that you can complement or extend the functionality found in Drupal and Drupal Commerce with third-party systems. Drupal’s Feeds module also allows you to import content from external systems.
- Drupal Commerce is free. Unlike the Magento and WordPress communities, the concept of “premium” plugins or modules that you have to pay for doesn’t really exist in the Drupal community. That doesn’t mean that Drupal modules aren’t well supported – quite the opposite. The Drupal community is one of the best we’ve participated in.
Drupal and SEO
Drupal, the open source content management system (CMS) that runs WhiteHouse.gov, MTV Europe, and The Economist, is a very powerful system that can be used for large, complex sites, and it’s the best platform that exists today for SEO. I’ve seen clients triple their traffic within a few weeks of switching from a lesser platform. Drupal’s built-in tools for automating SEO on massive amounts of content, along with granular control that gives you absolute power over every single site element, put it head and shoulders above the rest, including Joomla and WordPress. Additionally, Drupal is the most scalable, configurable system, and major improvements in usability will soon shorten the learning curve for new users and developers.
- Search engine optimized URLs. Unlike WordPress, Drupal gives you complete control over URL structure. Each item of content created in Drupal (called a node) can be given a custom URL, called a URL alias. You can even set it to automatically generate user- and search engine-friendly URLs based on content type (blog post, page, user), title of the post, keyword, date, time, or any other information related to the node. In WordPress, you are generally limited to one type of permalink URL for all posts. You can override it, but it’s much less specific than Drupal’s URL aliases. For years, Joomla was lacking in search engine-friendly URLs and the ability to fix them. It now offers a built-in “search engine-friendly” functionality, but it lacks the functionality and control over the URL’s parameters.
- Custom content types and views. Without having to write any code, you can use the content construction kit (CCK) and view modules to create new content types and create advanced custom views for those types. Common examples include news stories, blog posts, albums, books, and tutorials, all of which can be created and displayed in a variety of ways. While most content management systems require additional written code for creating these types, no programming knowledge is required to do them in Drupal. To make it even more search engine-friendly, it’s simple to create content silos using a free add-on called Views Attach. Create an automated query to create a list of relevant content and attach it to any other piece of content – all with a point-and-click interface.
- Ease of editing and revisions. Even the most professional companies make mistakes. Recently I found two spelling errors on CNN.com’s home page, including the word “errors” (it was spelled “erros” for about an hour before the mistake was corrected). Drupal’s built-in version control allows you to save new versions of your Web pages every time they are edited. This gives you the ability to revert back to old versions at any time. Want to try a new marketing message on your site? Type it in. Didn’t work? Rev
ert to the previous page. Snap.
- The organizational wizardry of taxonomy. Drupal has a very powerful, built-in taxonomy (categorization) system that allows you to organize and tag content with keyword-rich terms. While care should be taken that each Drupal “vocabulary” be limited to certain content types, it is an infinitely flexible system. For example, you can use free tagging for types of content like blogs or products, while your news or tutorial sections might have a list of categories that can only be selected from a dropdown that is defined by the webmaster. You can also have hierarchical categories, with single or multiple parent categories. But don’t get crazy and deep with it. It’s a good rule of thumb that no page of content is more than three clicks from the home page. The closer the node is to the home page, the more important Google thinks it is, and the higher that individual page will rank. Drupal’s advanced taxonomy features, combined with CCK and views, also allow you to rank for long-tailed keywords that make up a thorough SEO campaign.
- Multiple user management. Drupal is almost as well-known for its community as it is for being easily optimized. That’s because Drupal was designed for community-based websites, and has a strong user role and access control functionality. There are no limits to the user roles and access levels you can create and customize – for example, “anonymous visitor,” “authenticated user,” “editor,” “webmaster,” “admin,” and “moderator.” You can also keep the advanced user management features turned off – like if you have multiple blogs – and enable them later when your site grows.
- Page titles. The page title is the single most important on-page thing you can do to improve the SEO of your website. Page titles, the line of text in the HTML of a Web page that summarizes what that page is about, act as the welcome mat for your website. Page titles:
- Tell visitors that they are in the right place
- Display in the browser title bar
- Hold important keywords so that your page can be properly categorized by Google and other search engines
- Display whenever someone bookmarks your site
- Are often used by search engines as the heading of the search result
Drupal can generate a page title automatically by using the site name and site slogan of the front page and the node title for individual nodes, but for more complex content, you may want to rearrange the automated page title for SEO purposes. Drupal’s page title module gives you full control over your page titles throughout your site. You can define a pattern that will create search engine-optimized titles automatically as you create new content, or take control by writing your own page titles anywhere you can create content.
- Better integration with Google Analytics. Have you ever wondered how much your own clicking around and working on your website skews your analytics data? Not if you have a properly configured Drupal site. Using the free Google Analytics module for Drupal, you can dynamically show and hide analytics code based on several factors, including if the user is logged in as an admin. You can even not track certain sections of your site, not track certain user types (like people logged in as company employees), and cache the Google Analytics code locally, which will speed up your page load times. All within Drupal. No programming required. For free.
- Passionate and active community. Drupal has a large community of users and developers who are very active and passionate about the CMS. More than 650,000 user accounts have been created on Drupal.org, and more than 2,000 people have registered developer accounts. You can find hundreds of community-contributed modules that help make Drupal a better experience. Drupal forums offer support and you can find other Drupal users in Drupal Groups.
- Free as in beer. Unlike other platforms, Drupal modules (what we call plug-ins, add-ins, or widgets – modular pieces of code that you can easily add to your site) are free. That’s right. You don’t need a license or even a credit card to install any of the functionality that I’ve mentioned in this article. Just go to Drupal.org, click on the “download” tab, and grab anything you need.
- Getting started with Drupal SEO is easy. Just download the Drupal SEO checklist module, drop it into your sites/all/modules folder on your server, and turn it on from the modules admin page. Go through the simple, step-by-step instructions, and you’re well on your way to the best SEO experience you’ve ever had on a CMS.
Drupal and the future release of Drupal 8
Drupal 8, which has been in beta for a few months now, is causing plenty of excitement. In the beginning, Drupal made confident claims that it would be a major step forward:
Drupal 8 will set a new standard for ease of use, while offering countless new ways to tailor and deploy your content to the Web. Easily customize data structures, listings, and pages, and take advantage of new capabilities for displaying data on mobile devices, building APIs, and adapting to multilingual needs.
Drupal 8 is Mobile-First, Not Just Mobile-Friendly
Drupal 8, not surprisingly, will be mobile-first. It’s a good thing too. According to SmartInsights.com, 80% of Internet users now own a smart phone, and the majority of digital media consumption is now done on mobile devices. Mobile-first is the new standard for web design, and Drupal 8 is embracing that trend. For example, Drupal 8’s built-in themes are all responsive, and the administration toolbar is mobile-first.
Drupal 8 Multilingual features
Drupal has its eyes on the global prize, and Drupal 8 is clear evidence of this. It has powerful multilingual features: it has built-in interfaces that can translate anything in the system, it will grab software translation updated automatically from Drupal, and, according to Drupal, it can “build pages with Views language filtering and block visibility.”