What do Tesla cars, Nokia and the European Commission have in common? They all use the Drupal framework to create their online presence. In this blog post, you will learn why Drupal development can boost your business.
#1 Build almost everything with Drupal
In a nutshell, Drupal is an open-source web content management system (CMS) written in PHP. It is very flexible, allowing you to build pretty much anything you can imagine: personal websites, one-pagers, corporate web portals with many functionalities, social networks, web applications, e-commerce stores or APIs.
There are government pages built in Drupal. Soccer clubs have built their online presence with Drupal. Big enterprises such as IKEA use Drupal. Quite a few non-profit organizations, including Greenpeace, do this too. There is even a special community section helping to build non-profit websites and stimulate the use of Drupal in this area.
#2 Everyone can build using Drupal
Drupal is pretty easy to use for people with different skill levels. Even an inexperienced Drupal developer can build something. Therefore, Drupal fits in well with the low code trend, i.e., creating applications or business processes with little or no coding skills.
For example, you can play the role of a site builder and build complex systems without actually writing the code. Thanks to its virtually infinite configuration possibilities, Drupal offers scope for people who can focus on customization and adjustment of the web application mechanism.
#3 Drupal is already a mature technology
Drupal is a CMS with 20 years of history, but is still alive and widely used. Originally, Drupal was a PHP script that contained many ready-made solutions we know from websites and web applications, as well as APIs that deliver data to various places and devices connected to the Internet on a daily basis.
As user requirements change, so does Drupal. Some time ago, someone coined the term “content management framework,” but it’s not just about content. Currently, the focus is on digital experience, and Drupal meets these challenges both on a technical level and in terms of business goals.
#4 Drupal is a modern technology
Since version 8, the Drupal Association—an organization that supports the Drupal software project, the community and its growth—has decided to follow the best proven practices available in the PHP environment while taking care of stability and backward compatibility. Its module system is integrated with Composer, the main package manager available in this technology. Successive versions of Drupal are dependent on the Symfony framework, and therefore, Drupal’s release cycles are linked to long-term versions of this framework.
Additionally, with each major release, a so-called initiative is created to prepare developers and their scripts for upcoming changes. In the case of version 9, this has gone so far that there is a robot that successively checks the sources of modules and proposes changes to their maintainers that solve compatibility issues with new versions of the framework.
#5 Get more leads for your business
Switching to Drupal can considerably increase the number of leads you get through your website. This can happen thanks to the many possibilities to build forms with the webform module and a number of ways to build landing pages either with the paragraphs module or the built-in layout manager. Thanks to a rich module ecosystem, you can build any architecture you want and replace existing solutions on your old website.
Additionally, there are plenty of modules that help to automate and provide insights about the website itself and users’ behavior on it. Some modules will make your site more secure, others make self-audits. Even without Google Analytics, you can turn on built-in modules for simple statistics or track down the users filling your forms. This allows you to check if the content available on your website brings new conversions.
#6 Personalize it to your needs
Drupal allows you to personalize user experience based on different factors including gender, geolocation, previous browsing history, the user’s device, etc. Additionally, an ecosystem of modules provides different experiences for new and returning users and for anonymous ones.
For example, if you have a shopping website, you can use Commerce Recommender. If a user looks at certain product, this Drupal module allows you to show similar products that have been purchased by other users. Personalization Module, on the other hand, shows content depending on user behavior, geolocation, and browsing history. If a user is looking for a specific type of content (e.g., on e-commerce), you can suggest to him/her such content. This module can be also used for advertising on sites.
It goes without saying that a personalized user experience is what every marketing department is craving for. It means more conversions and higher profit for your business.
#7 Ensure high performance
To get performance at the right level in the core Drupal, the Big Pipe technique invented by Facebook engineers was used. Each part of the application displayed by Drupal can have independent storage properties and be sent in parallel by the server to the browser, which speeds up the appearance of the content.
There is zero configuration. The functionality has been placed in the core and you don’t need to do anything to run it. In addition, the system takes care of the rendering order of individual elements, so that no overlapping occurs.
Performance is a crucial factor for your business website. In Q1 2021, mobile devices accounted for 54.8% of web traffic. These devices often use a slower Internet connection, and a low page load speed can lead to a high bounce rate. Better performance also impacts the website SEO: the higher the performance, the higher the website is located in the search results.
#8 Get support from the large Drupal developer community
Drupal is open-source. This means that it is free and everyone is welcome to contribute to its code. In fact, as of March 2019 its community numbered 1.39 million users, with 121,000 users actively contributing to its development.
Smooth cooperation in the community is regulated by the Code of Conduct. Furthermore, there is a Community Working Group on the Internet that is aware of healthcare problems and even leads well-being workshops for those interested.
From a business perspective, the big community around Drupal allows you to quickly find Drupal experts that will help you with your Drupal-based problems. In case of problems, you can also count on the community support. Almost every country has a Drupal developers group.
#9 API goes first
Building a website that refresh could be considered a not very wise solution, if you can use a modern frontend framework like React. But in this way, you will be missing out on a lot of opportunities that Drupal offers you for free. Don’t worry though, the Drupal community has got you covered.
In 2016, the Drupal community launched an API-first initiative in order to make the data stored in the CMS more open and available to other software. The programmers around the community took steps to integrate the latest API standards into Drupal. The standards that have landed inside core are REST and JSON API. Others are available in the module ecosystem. Among the modules you can find integrations for GraphQL and modules providing authentication with OAuth or any other system you can imagine.
Why Drupal development is something to consider
To sum up, the advantages of using Drupal in web development are as follows:
- High flexibility allows you to build different solutions: from a simple website to a huge corporate web service.
- You can start small as a startup or go big as an enterprise—a variety of approaches is possible as Drupal fits well with existing solutions, whether it is an Intranet space or e-commerce backend.
- Drupal is a battle-proven, mature technology that keeps pace with the newest digital trends.
- You get high performance and security.
- Drupal has many modules with lots of ready-to-use solutions and integrations.
- It is supported by a large community of Drupal experts.
- It has many successful implementations in many industries.