So, thinking of using Drupal for your website? You’ll be in good company as Drupal powers over 1 million websites. Or are you a student wondering if using Drupal today is worth it? First, let us talk about what is Drupal exactly.

Drupal is an open-source content management software (CMS). A CMS helps users create, modify and manage content on a website without needing to know or do any code. Plus, being open-source, Drupal’s source code is freely available to the public, i.e., anyone can download it, use it, modify it and share it.

How is Drupal Used?

Drupal is used to create a wide range of digital experiences. It powers government bodies, corporate websites, educational sites, NGOs, financial services, travel and tourism sites, creative agencies, entertainment websites, and many, many more.

It is used mainly for two purposes:

(1) web content management

(2) e-commerce

Web Content Management

As a web content management software, Drupal provides its users with the ability to create content, collaborate with others and manage content without doing any programming. Here are some of the ways Drupal is being used as a web content management software:

  • Marketing portals — These feature SEO-driven landing pages and marketing automation integration for better user experience.
  • Interactive websites — These include content personalization, multi-step forms, features for logged-in users, and dynamic interfaces, such as maps.
  • Corporate and institutional websites — These use corporate branding and distributed publishing workflows.
  • Online directories — These facilitate advanced search, integrate third-party content, and display related content listings.
  • Intranets — These are private networks that house an enterprise’s private content, internal processes and other internal content meant to be securely accessed by a company’s employees.

Users love Drupal’s reliable and strong architecture, security, and flexibility or its ability to add only the features they want without the added weight of other unnecessary features. Drupal also integrates with third-party applications, so you can create the website to meet technical and business requirements.

E-Commerce

With Drupal, you can build an e-commerce website with content management capability. Or, you can integrate a third-party commerce system with Drupal’s content management software. Either way, you can be sure of its security, reliability and low maintenance requirement, so you can focus on creating an engaging and seamless experience for your customers.

Some of the e-commerce sites that run on Drupal include Lush, Krispy Kreme, Estee Lauder, Leica Geosystems, Symantec, McNally Jackson Books, Lifeguard Press, Doctors of BC, Edukame, Top Deck Travel, and many more. It’s also the e-business platform for Basel Tourism.

Who Uses Drupal?

As previously mentioned, Drupal runs a million websites, including government agencies, media companies, universities and many more.

In the U.S. government, Drupal is the platform used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Securities and Exchange Commission, USAGov, Farmers.gov, National Institute of Standards & Technology, the Smithsonian Institution, Portland.gov, City of Tampa, and many more. Aside from the U.S., many government agencies in France, London and elsewhere also use Drupal. Even the European Union’s executive body, the European Commission, is powered by Drupal.

In the media, NBC, the BBC, WarnerMedia, the Universal Music Group, and many others use Drupal to publish informative and entertaining content for the masses’ consumption.

In addition, the University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School, Princeton University, Carnegie Mellon University, and other educational institutions choose Drupal to communicate to the world.

Organizations such as Amnesty International, WWF, UNESCO, Mercy Corps, the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Federation of Teachers use Drupal to make the world a better place.

Companies such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Bayer, Princess Cruises and Weight Watchers also run their websites on Drupal. Even tech giants like Google and IBM are using Drupal.

Why Should You Use Drupal Over WordPress or Other CMS?

If you might have noticed, websites that use Drupal receive heavy organic traffic. This goes to show that you can develop a big website using Drupal, one that gets a huge volume of visitors daily.

Indeed, Drupal is a powerful CMS and the no. 1 thing that sets it apart from all the rest is its flexibility. It is a very versatile tool to create your website upon and you can basically customize it however you want. You can focus on publishing content on your website or use it to run an e-commerce site or both.

Drupal also allows you to scale your website. It features numerous modules that further expand or add on to its basic functionality. You can integrate marketing automation platforms, social media, analytics tools, CRMs and payment gateways, among others.

Another advantage to using Drupal is the ability for almost anyone—even those without knowledge of coding—to contribute to the site. Thanks to its What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) feature, Drupal allows writers, editors, website administrators and others to write, edit, and add and manage content without any hassle, no HTML know-how or experience necessary.

When Does It Make Sense to Use Drupal?

Drupal is a highly extensible framework and a very powerful blank slate whereupon you can build a truly unique, engaging and seamless digital experience for your audience.

In particular, Drupal works best for more complex projects, such as:

  • You require complex customization, including content, presentation and layout.
  • You have complex content needs, such as a course catalog or different permission levels for various user roles.
  • You need complex integrations with microservices, other web services, etc.
  • You’re developing a web application. 
  • You have a large user base that needs to log into the site, and create user-generated content and other complex tasks.
  • Your audience wants personalized access to information and applications consistently and securely across many devices and channels.
  • You require strict security for your website. While no platform is ever bereft of security issues, websites that run on Drupal are generally better protected than those that run on other CMS like WordPress.
  • Your site is growing and so do your configuration management needs. Configuration management simply means that a system functions as expected because you can make changes to your live website reliably.

So, the bottom line is: If you have the budget and a good technical partner, Drupal can be a powerful tool for the complex website you’re thinking of building. It can certainly create a very unique and customized site for your business or organization.

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