3 Things You Should Know When Considering Drupal

Drupal is a reliable open-source platform designers and developers use to build websites. Originally launched in 2000, Drupal powers 2.3 percent of all websites and has a 4.6 share of the content management system market.

While WordPress powers more sites, Drupal powers larger sites such as The Economist and NASA. Universities and libraries use Drupal because of its exceptional content organization and hierarchy. With its configuration options, developers spend less time writing code and more time strategically developing websites. Drupal also allows for more flexibility than options like WordPress because it can be extensively customized without writing code while WordPress uses plugins to extend its capabilities. Having said that, Drupal is not for those looking for a quick fix — it does take time to learn and requires a savvy site builder but not necessarily a developer.

We use Drupal for our clients that have more complex data or content types that need to be incorporated into their site. Drupal is much more flexible in this sense than other web content management systems.

For us, Drupal is the middle ground between WordPress and custom-built websites.

Dries Buytaert, known as the father of Drupal, states: “Drupal 8.6 marks the sixth consecutive Drupal 8 release that has been delivered on time. Compared to one year ago, we have 46 percent more stable Drupal 8 modules. We also have 10 percent more contributors working on Drupal 8 Core in comparison to last year. All of these milestones indicate that Drupal 8 is healthy and growing.”

Thinking about Drupal? Here is what you need to know:

As you think about building your new site or revamping your current site, here are three things you should know about Drupal.

  1. Right now, there are two supported versions of Drupal – Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 (which is pretty much a total rewrite of Drupal 7). Based on timelines we have seen, support for Drupal 7 could end soon so if you are going to develop your website using Drupal, choose version 8.
  2. From a development standpoint, Drupal 8 is a much more robust platform and provides a better developer experience. For example, integrating Apache Solr (an open-source search platform) is easier and provides a heftier and more powerful search including the ability to search inside documents.
  3. Twig templates offer the ability to develop more custom components. This allows you to override core templates and gives you more design control. Consider Twig as an alternative to straight PHP template files.

Acquia offers ideas as to how you can quickly start using Drupal. In a previous blog post, we’ve outlined Drupal for beginners that will give you an overview of Drupal. And in another post, we give you some additional fun facts about Drupal!

Drupal has made a positive difference in the work that we offer to our clients. It can make a positive difference for your site, too.