What is Drupal?

Next on our list of content management systems in Drupal. While Drupal isn’t near WordPress’ popularity, it is still used by a lot a major companies and has a great community around it. And if you’re looking to do complicated things or want better scalability, it might be the CMS to use. But what is…

If you’re just not into WordPress or you want to explore your content management system options, you’re probably going to end up next at Drupal.

According to w3techs, Drupal powers about 1.7 percent of all websites, which is good enough for second in the list of content management systems.

But even with that smaller user base, Drupal still sees usage by top companies. And if you run medium-to-large size website or want to create web apps, Drupal really excels in those areas.

So today, let’s dive in a bit on Drupal to see what it is, what it offers and how it can help your business.

What is Drupal?

So, what exactly is Drupal, anyway? Well, it’s a lot like WordPress in that it’s a content management system and that you can create and run a website without touching any lines of code.

Technically it is a bit older than WordPress since it’s beginnings can be traced back to 2000. Actually, it was intended to be a message board, but quickly transitioned into an open source CMS. And the name actually comes from a typo that the founder made when trying to use the Dutch word for village, dorp.

Like WordPress, there are themes and modules that you can install to change the display of your website and extend its functionality. But unlike WordPress, there’s more of a focus on being a web application framework. And this allows developers to build more complex things than other CMSs.

And today, around 1.37 Million people are a part of the Drupal community.

Top features

So, now that we know a little bit about what Drupal is, let’s take a look at some of the top features that will help you decide whether it’s a right fit for you or not.

Flexibility and scalability

Drupal is basically built to run medium to large-ish websites. Everything from the backend database to the code it’s built with those large enterprise websites in mind. If you end up growing unexpectedly and quickly, your website will be able to handle that increase in growth.

While WordPress also does that, it can be a bit of a challenge if that happens where your business grows unexpectedly. The database isn’t written for that sort of thing. To be honest, Drupal is a little bit better at handling that.

So if you happen to grow at a crazy rate all of the sudden, as long as your web hosting is fine, you’re going to be okay. That’s great peace of mind.

Easy to make web apps

Also, for people who want to have more than just have a website, Drupal makes easy to do that. Or at least, they make it easy if you know what you’re doing.

The Drupal REST API in core is extremely flexible to work with other services. And that compared to WordPress’ relatively new REST API, is a night and day difference. And the way the code is structured in the backend, using object-oriented programming as opposed to procedural programming, makes it easier to build complex things with.

So if you know what you’re doing or bring in someone who knows what they’re doing, you’re going to be able to build more complex things that you want. And that’s always a plus.

Decent user base

As I mentioned earlier, about 1.7 percent of all websites use Drupal. This obviously pales in comparison to WordPress’ 34 percent. But sometimes it’s about the quality and not the quantity.

There are still some pretty big names that use Drupal over other CMSs. If you go with Drupal, you’ll be using the same system as the NCAA, Billboard Magazine and even Harvard. That’s not bad company at all.

And from what I’ve seen from the outside looking in, the Drupal community is very active, welcoming and helping. You’re going to get the help when and where you need it. There’s no need for you to worry that you’re not going to be able to get that help when you need it or you’re not going to be able to learn just how to use the CMS because nobody is talking about it.

If that low usage number has your attention, rest assured that sometimes there’s more to it than meets the eye.

How can Drupal help your business?

So, how can Drupal help your business? Well, again like WordPress, it helps you build and maintain a website without touching and code. While I haven’t had a chance to play around with Drupal websites, I know a lot of web hosts have one click installs the same they do with WordPress.

Also, it’s structured in a way that helps you scale up if your business suddenly starts to grow. I mean I love WordPress, but the backend database can quickly become a mess if that happens to you. Drupal doesn’t really have those issues, which makes it more appealing to the medium and large size businesses that are selling a lot.

And, while it doesn’t have the same following as WordPress, there is still an active community around it. Like WordPress has WordCamps, Drupal has Drupal Camps. And you can also find meet ups across the world.

Next up

So that wraps up our look into Drupal. I know this was a very quick overview of what Drupal is, and honestly, I’m not as well versed in Drupal as I am WordPress. But I’ve put links down in the description below to help you do more research to figure out if it’s right for you.

Also, if you have any questions about Drupal and how it might help your business, or even how it compares to WordPress, leave them in comments below or reach out on social media, and I’ll do my best to help answer them.

Next time we’ll be taking a look into Joomla. And as always, I wish you and your business the best of luck.

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