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Why Drupal is Dominating the Higher Education Sector

Cross-posted with permission from Imagex Media

Drupal web technology is increasingly being adopted across the globe and is currently in use by massive organizations including The White House, McDonald’s, Twitter, IKEA and many more*. We can assume that big guys like these have taken the time to vet it. The reasons to choose Drupal are literally endless: pick n' choose modules, an army of developers contributing worldwide, cost effectiveness, always evolving, etc, etc. There’s no doubt why progressive institutions in higher education wouldn’t want the same. In fact, schools such as Harvard and MIT have been leading the charge with Drupal for over seven years.

The Drupal content management system is successful in the higher education space because it's been able to address key pain points that come along with managing and maintaining complex sites with hundreds of different "contributors" from various departments and schools. Managing a university's entire web presence, maintaining and implementing a current content strategy, and keeping compliant with campus-wide standards and accessibility guidelines isn't easy. Thankfully, Drupal addresses these challenges and is quickly becoming the top choice for higher education websites.

Quick facts about Drupal in higher education*:

  • Harvard, MIT, and every Ivy League school currently uses Drupal
  • 71 out of the top 100 universities use Drupal
  • 28% of all .EDU sites use Drupal

It's really exciting to see the impact Drupal has had with higher education. We're huge fans of the education sector because it's filled with brilliant people with great ideas. Unfortunately, it's also filled with bad websites. Luckily, school’s are beginning to recognize this and more and more are making the switch to Drupal as their CMS.
With Drupal, schools can attain big cost savings and time efficiencies while making their (web) lives easier. Drupal is backed by a community of over 600,000 users and developers worldwide, who collaborate and work daily to ensure that the software is super easy to use, that it's always up to date and that it's always evolving as fast as the web is.

Here's a few instances why Drupal is appealing for higher education websites:

Content Generation:

If you are in charge of generating content, you don't have to be a web expert. Drupal has a user-friendly interface that easily allows administrators to upload content, manage any media and even spin up a brand new additional site in minutes. Drupal at its core is a CMS - updating and creating new content is what it's built to do.

Reusable Content (Content Syndication):

Being able to create and edit content is one thing, but reusing content and disseminating it across different department and sub sites is another. With this key module for content sharing, creating and editing content that can be published and shared throughout different sections of the institutions site is simple. You can share specific news, events, media and information with any site within your network. You also get access to a library of already generated content.

Branding & Design:

Staying on brand, being compliant with campus-wide standards and having the ability to adapt quickly has proved to be a hassle with other proprietary web platforms. Being able to have a consistent brand messaging throughout all web presences is key to reaching a wide range of audiences.

Mobile & Accessibility:

Once you have your website, you’ll want it to perform well too. Feel confident knowing that every article you've created will be Search Engine Optimized from the start with meta-tags, page titles, descriptions and more. More students are viewing school websites from their phone or tablet than their personal computer, so Drupal’s ‘mobile first’ approach ensures that your site is going to look just as good on a small screen as it does on a laptop without having to develop a separate mobile site.

It’s more clear now than ever that Drupal will save you a ton of headaches down the road, save you some money, keep you from being another "bad website", and show that your school values its diversity but stands together unified.

*Resources:
Drupal Showcase - IKEA. Retrieved from http://www.drupalshowcase.com/drupal-showcase/ikea
Drupal Showcase - McDonalds. Retrieved from http://www.drupalshowcase.com/drupal-showcase/mcdonalds-0
Drupal Showcase - Twitter. Retrieved from http://www.drupalshowcase.com/drupal-showcase/twitter
Drupal Showcase - The White House. Retrieved from http://www.drupalshowcase.com/drupal-showcase/white-house
Acquia - Drupal in Education. Retreived from https://www.acquia.com/drupal-education

Brett Burns is the Marketing and Sales Coordinator for ImageX Media, a company that help brands create beautiful, meaningful and cost-effective websites using the most advanced web platform available today: Drupal. For more information about what they do and their Website Accelerator Package for higher education click here

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