Why You Should Build Your Website on Drupal


We love Drupal.

The name Drupal is the English rendering of the Dutch word "druppel", which means "drop" (as in "a water droplet").

Drupal (pronounced drú-pəl) is a free and open-source content-management framework written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License.  It is used as a back-end framework for at least 2.1% of all Web sites worldwide ranging from personal blogs to corporate, political, and government sites including The White House.

Drupal got its start in January of 2001 when Dries Buytaert wrote a PHP script for an online message board.  Today, there are over a million users and developers in the Drupal open source community.

We like to liken Drupal to Legos.  You can choose which pieces to utilize and build something small or gargantuan.

Below are pictured the logos of some of the more popular websites built on the Drupal platform:

Top Websites Built with Drupal

(For a more extensive listing, view TopDrops.com)

Here at On Fire Media, we develop most of our clients' websites upon Drupal for 5 reasons.  Every reason flows from the value of the open source community of developers that constantly work on and improve the Drupal ecosystem.

Reason #1 - Tons of Awesome Features

Due to Drupal's large open source developer community, there are literally thousands of modules available at our fingertips, instantly, with zero licensing costs.

This means that we can select and choose those pieces that make the most sense for a given project.  Then, we can put those pieces together to fashion awesome solutions that meet a particular client's immediate goals.

(One of our favorite features is the ability for our clients to easily update their own content, without having to know or touch any code.)

Reason #2 - Speed of Development = Lower Cost

Following from Drupal's breadth of features, development is considerably sped up.  What would otherwise need to be developed from scratch is now immediately available in plug-and-play fashion.  This isn't always the case, however,  There are often times when a considerable amount of custom development, configuration, and patching still needs to take place... but the foundation is there.

Below are some examples:

Need: To integrate a beautiful responsive mobile-friendly carousel
Solution: The Owl Carousel module

Need: To aggregate and minify CSS and JS to speed up webpage load times
Solution: The Advanced CSS/JS Aggregation module

Need: To provide the ability to easily drag and drop content to re-arrange the order in which it appears
Solution: The DraggableViews module

Need: To provide the site administer to easily add a Google Map for event locations
Solution: The Simple Google Maps module

This increase in development speed allows for projects to roll along much faster than if we were starting from scratch.  It also saves our clients a heap of cash, at the end of the day.

Also, it is worth mentioning that Drupal's shell interface - named Drush - allows for us to download, install, and even update modules in a matter of seconds.

Reason #3 - Design Agnostic

Drupal is design agnostic.  This means that we can take any mockup or design and execute it in Drupal.  Take, for example, this website.  We first developed the concept / the design.  Then, we implemented it as a custom theme in Drupal.  Drupal is the unseen engine that powers the content, but the custom theme wraps around Drupal, making each website its own unique visible creation.

Take, for example, a sampling of the multitude of websites listed above: Whitehouse.gov, Economist.com, Weather.com, and PGA.com.  No two are alike.

Reason #4 - Sustainability

Websites and web applications are investments of time and money.  Like any other investment or capital expenditure, it's important to invest wisely, so that the investment is sustainable.

Drupal's community equals longevity. It's not going anywhere.  Its codebase is constantly being improved upon, as code and database updates are released regularly by the community... with no licensing costs attached.

If an error or bug is encountered in a particular module, the community responds accordingly through the various issue queues on Drupal.org.  This systematic, orderly process allows us to quickly find and apply solutions to problems that arise.

For example: Just today, we were experiencing a javascript error with a particular module.  A quick search in the module's issue queue led us to a patch, which, when applied, fixed the problem instantly.  That patch will then be included in the next major update for the module, so everyone will benefit from the fix, when the update is released.

Reason #5 - Uber Secure

Drupal has an excellent track record for security.  It has its own security team that handles reported security issues, and security updates/released are announced as soon as they become available.  It's as if you have thousands of eyes looking at the security of your website's code.  If even the tiniest crack is discovered, it's resolved quickly.  All we have to do is apply the update.

The amazing reputation Drupal has earned for its secure code is the reason it is the platform of choice for government agencies (e.g., Whitehouse.gov) and extremely large outfits, in which security concerns are forefront on everyone's minds.



Do you need an overhaul of your website, so that it achieves your goals? Do you need Drupal design, development, maintenance, or hosting?  Get in touch with us today!