Today, more than 1 million sites are built on Drupal including Princess Cruises, NBC Sports, The Economist and Commonwealth Financial Network. Drupal is one of the largest open source projects and one of the most widely adopted content management systems, powering digital experiences and driving business digitalization for organizations and their brands worldwide.
The latest, most advanced version of Drupal, Drupal 8, offers a powerful tools with more than 200 new features and improvements – it’s the most flexible version of Drupal ever, built for a new generation of content-centric experiences. New “minor” releases (8.x) are issued every six months to roll out new features and functional improvements to help organizations deliver their experiences faster. Drupal is able to respond incredibly fast to market needs because of this.
Standardizing on Drupal certainly doesn't mean every single site needs to be on Drupal. Drupal “plays nice” in heterogeneous environments lowering the impact on IT in terms of integration support, migration strategy and overall support.
But what’s really behind the success of Drupal 8? It’s impossible to pin down just one factor, so let’s take a look at a Dave Letterman list style “Drupal 8’s Unfair Advantage: 10 Reasons to Standardize on Drupal.”
10. Scalability: Drupal scales from simple to complex sites. You can manage a corporate website (like Xerox.com), a commerce site (like Wilson.com), a site that experiences extreme traffic bursts (like Grammys.com), an intranet, or even multiple sites on the same platform (like SABMiller). Drupal 8, the latest version of Drupal, powers huge sites like Nasdaq’s investor relations, in addition to Oregon State University, Hubert Burda Media, and YMCA of Greater Twin Cities, just to name a few. Additionally, Drupal offers out-of-the-box integration with OAuth, Salesforce, Oracle, LDAP and AD for starters.
9. Multilingual: Drupal was built with multilingual use in mind so you can easily create digital experiences for your audiences in their native languages worldwide. And its interface is translatable into nearly any language you want, so almost anyone can use Drupal to create and publish content and manage digital experiences. From a publishing standpoint, Drupal supports an ever-expanding list of languages including right-to-left languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. The Drupal install will auto-detect the language of the browser and offer to set the site to that language.
8. Drupal Community: Drupal is one of the largest open source projects in the world, with a community of more than 1 million members providing organizations with every functionality, module, and distribution needed to deliver any kind of digital experience imaginable. More than 4,500 people, companies, and organizations contributed to the development of Drupal 8. The Drupal community is also truly global, so finding Drupal expertise and help is easy. Plus because Drupal 8 is object-oriented and built on Symfony components using PHP libraries, it further expands the developer base to any PHP developer, which means you no longer need a Drupal specific developer.
7. Get going FAST(er): To quickly assemble experiences, Acquia has built and delivered a free open source Drupal 8 starter kit called Acquia Lightning. While Drupal 8’s installation is relatively straightforward, Drupal Lightning distribution puts you ahead of the game right away by offering the best of Drupal 8 with 20-plus key modules that accelerate most Drupal development by 20 percent or more, and enables developers to build sites and great authoring experiences quickly.
6. Authoring Experience for Non-techies: You shouldn’t need to know HTML codes to create great content. Drupal 8’s built-in CKEditor gives authors an intuitive WYSIWYG editor that includes the expected styling capabilities, and extras like a new widgets feature and image caption editing. All of Drupal 8’s built-in themes are responsive and admin capabilities can be accessed directly from a mobile device for managing sites, content and experiences from anywhere. If you’re using Acquia Lightning, you also have access to drag-and-drop layout and content management.
5. Responsive Out of the Box: Drupal 8 incorporates responsive design into everything, built for internet-enabled devices. It can support content and experience delivery to any channel, device, screen. All core themes are responsive out of the box and automatically reflow elements to fit the size of the mobile device.
4. Security: Website security is paramount to protect your site from attacks. Drupal has many security features built-in and offers guidance for the community to protect sites. For instance Drupal 8 offers security best practices for writing code, generated PHP files and configuration for site builders. Drupal also has a security team in place. If someone discovers vulnerabilities, patches can be quickly released. Stable modules that have a security review also have a shield icon to differentiate them from the rest. Acquia Lightning in particular goes through additional security checks by Acquia's security team.
3. Workflow Management: Drupal has built-in workflow management with different access permissions levels to follow proper review and approvals before content is published. Drupal is constantly improving workflow capabilities for its users and has an established Drupal 8 workflow initiative in place.
2. Flexible Content Architecture: Content architecture in Drupal 8 has changed in a few ways for the better. Drupal provides a superior data modeling experience that supports reusable, structured content that can be displayed in multiple view modes. Content creators can reuse this data and select which view mode to use for any particular display. Developers can make use of this data model by using the tools directly in Drupal, importing data from external sources, or even using an external data store to make that information available. Further, what sets Drupal apart from other CMSs is its flexibility. Drupal allows you to publish content once and access it everywhere. Content can be reused across multiple channels and applications and delivered to any device with minimal effort. Drupal also makes it easy to connect third party content into your environment.
1. API-first: Digital experiences designed today need to be future ready. They need to be designed with omnichannel in mind, and be able to interact with many applications and extend experiences to multiple devices such as mobile applications, wearables and IoT. This requires an API-first architecture. Drupal is built API-first, which means the sky’s the limit for developers who want to build the most flexible, creative digital experiences no matter the technical obstacle.
By standardizing on Drupal, organizations can simplify training, reduce maintenance costs, streamline security and optimize internal resources–all without sacrificing quality or requirements–and still create exceptional digital experiences.