The Biggest Drupal Myth Debunked
There’s a persistent rumor that Drupal is too complicated for the average marketer, but that’s just talk. The latest release of the open source content management system (CMS) — Drupal 10 — has gotten rave reviews from new and veteran users alike:
In fact, we at Acquia use Drupal as the base for many of our products. That choice has only helped us: For the last three years running, Gartner has recognized Acquia as a Leader in its Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms report.
So, let’s dig into why so many users of all stripes prefer Drupal and end, once and for all, the outdated blather about it being for IT teams only.
What sets Drupal apart
There are many attributes that put Drupal in a class all of its own. We’ll go through a handful that stand out.
Open source community
With more than a million members, Drupal has one of the biggest open source communities on the planet. Thousands of users from designers and content strategists to editors and developers join more than a thousand companies at work daily on the CMS, such as by adding features, improving security (more on that in a minute), or creating new extensions. The depth and breadth of that community ensures Drupal doesn’t serve a single audience of “technical users” or “site builders” but instead gives everyone the freedom to accomplish their goals.
Tablets, Apple Watches, desktop, laptop, smartphone, Alexa, and Siri — those are just some of the devices and channels through which marketers can now reach their audiences. And, given the speed at which technology is evolving today, there are sure to be more pathways ahead. Luckily, Drupal’s foundation lies in structured data, which naturally caters to the modern marketer’s need to produce multichannel interactions.
Marketers want the power to create and publish digital experiences quickly without relying on IT timelines or complex back-end coding. Drupal offers an accessible, user-friendly interface that allows them to do just that, including no-code and low-code functionality. Here are just a few of its features that facilitate that goal:
- Layout Builder lets content editors build and modify pages on the front end via drag-and-drop functionality — no coding required.
- The WYSIWYG Media Library management system features a graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easy to categorize and organize all media types. It’s customizable and allows site editors to collaborate on uploading and managing different asset types.
- The Claro Admin Theme, first introduced in Drupal 8.8, is a responsive, accessible, and user-friendly back-end administration theme that provides a clever interface for all Drupal users to navigate.
- The Automated Updates Initiative helps users maintain Drupal sites by avoiding cumbersome manual updates that eat up dev resources.
- A front-end theme, Olivero is optimized for accessibility and tailored to front-end experiences. With a huge focus on responsiveness, it’s ideal for marketers, site designers, and content editors.
Security breaches can damage brand reputation and break customer trust. In fact, according to a 2021 survey conducted by Clear Channel and JCDecaux, 81% of consumers claimed that trust factors into their purchasing decisions. Fortunately, Drupal 10 builds on the security that the previous version introduced, which involved removing deprecated code. The removal means users work with a smaller codebase, thereby lessening the chance for potential security risks or errors. Plus, Drupal’s open source model creates shared responsibility throughout the community, so security is a constant focus for all.
To connect with and offer value to a global audience, marketers need a localized content strategy. Drupal offers robust multilingual capabilities with 100+ language options available right out of the box. That means multinational companies and organizations expanding into new markets can expect a digital presence in native languages throughout their website from menus, fields, blog content, contact forms, and so on — best yet, this is the case for both internal users and site visitors. The result of this capability? A bigger audience, frictionless translation workflows, and a greater number of conversions. A 2020 study by CSA Research, for example, found that 76% of online shoppers in 29 countries across Europe, Asia, and the Americas prefer to buy products with information in their native language.
Drupal currently has more than 46,000 modules, plug-ins, and integrations available that allow marketers to connect their CMS with other systems from social scheduling to email tools and marketing automation systems. The ability to experiment quickly, evolve systems, and create a connected digital ecosystem is a must for marketers in today’s multi-screen world.
Along with the push to constantly create more and more content comes fierce competition for ensuring that content is actually seen by the right people. When customers’ attention is limited, being at the top of Google results is a critical advantage. Drupal addresses the importance of optimizing for search and regularly refines its SEO and metadata features to ensure your content ranks highly with search engines.
An enhanced, elegant user experience
We’ve provided a substantive list of the features and characteristics that make Drupal a solid choice for a CMS, but there’s another tool that complements it: Acquia Site Studio. A low-code tool, Site Studio makes Drupal easier to use than any other enterprise CMS. It offers:
- A drag-and-drop, visual interface that allows marketers to produce and evolve responsive, high-quality web pages in significantly less time than Drupal alone.
- Set and reinforce brand standards and design elements through the style guide manager that creative leaders can pre-set with design elements that can be used across sites, thus providing brand governance and creative flexibility.
- A component-based system that makes it easy to reuse content and features across various pages or sites, providing tremendous value for companies building sites at scale.
So, you see, the marriage of Drupal and Acquia Site Studio yields more than a traditional CMS.
Marketers and site editors who haven’t tried either Drupal or Site Studio, who have dusty ideas about what Drupal used to be, or who fear upgrading from old versions to the most current — don’t let the potent combination of Drupal and Site Studio (or Drupal on its own) pass you by. For the real scoop on the state of Drupal today and the opportunities it offers marketers, developers, and business leaders, download the free e-book Setting the Record Straight on Drupal Myths.