In the week of Drupal 9 launch, we at Wunder thought that a reminder of what makes Drupal so great would be the right topic to talk about! Wunder has been using Drupal since day one, and during these 10 years together, we have established a strong bond. True, as in all relationships our friendship hasn’t always been easy and sometimes it has been on the edge of love and hatred at the same time. But that’s life, each of us has its ups and downs, but in the end, we all live happily ever after… same story with Drupal and us.
For this article, we have gathered five good reasons why we love and have chosen Drupal to be our companion in the IT business. For someone, this list might seem self-evident and clear, but this time we aim to those who still have questions like “Why to choose Drupal as a content management system?”, “How does Drupal differ from other technologies?” or “What are the benefits of using Drupal as the backbone of digital experience?”
Reason #1: It’s free and open-source
The benefits of the “free” aspect are pretty straightforward and clear. We believe that one main advantage of Drupal is that it has no licence costs, and there is no vendor lock-in when using it to create a superior digital experience. That is because Drupal is a community-driven open source project.
The most significant benefit of using an open-source project is that compared to a proprietary one-vendor solution, Drupal is developed and maintained by a community which includes over one million people around the globe. One of the biggest open source communities is maintaining, developing and keeping the system secure and making sure that new reliable digital experiences can be built upon a solid content management system.
The community is also extending Drupal with add-ons, the project has over a thousand free modules, themes and distributions to help get started with a solution. Drupal has also proven to be reliable and secure. It has an active and dedicated team to find and fix any security issues, together with the help of a broader community and contributors.
Reason #2: It’s multilingual from the start
One of the main benefits of being multilingual is that your digital experience can reach a wider audience and serve it’s users better. When it comes to creating multilingual experiences, Drupal is definitely one of the leaders in this field. Drupal 8 was built with multilingual aspects in mind straight from the start, and the vital work continues still in Drupal 9.
Drupal boasts an impressive number of over 100 languages supported out of the box. And more importantly, the multilingual aspect is taken into account in all matters of the site building, including configurations and content editor workflows.
Reason #3: It’s mobile-friendly and accessible
Drupal 8 user interface is built with the mobile-first approach. Even the content editor side is designed so that editing can be easily made with any device the content manager might be using. Drupal is the perfect tool to create responsive digital experiences.
Drupal also leads the way to create a more accessible content management system and is working hard to adopt best practises for web accessibility. The work started ten years ago, and it continues still today. Drupal helps to create accessible content, but it also concentrates on enhancing its internal accessibility.
Reason #4: It gives a smooth content editor experience
Content editing in Drupal has come a long way since it was initially published, and there have been significant improvements during the last years. The new admin theme “Claro” is being developed as we speak (already included as an experimental admin theme in the core) and it will set a new standard to clean, clear and accessible editor experience.
Another thing Drupal provides out-of-the-box is an extensive interface for user roles and permissions that can be developed further to meet specific client needs. Drupal also has a built-in workflow manager so that content editing can be extended with custom workflows to support different use cases. And not less important, Drupal can be extended to integrate with existing authentication systems, which can provide single sign-on and multi-factor authentication.
Reason #5: It’s flexible to integrate
When it comes to building a superior digital experience, it is usually not a single monolithic content base that serves all the content. Nowadays, it is more and more common that different systems regularly integrate to exchange and gather data. And also the front-end application – the actual interface an end-user is interacting with – can be a separate system optimised for performance and user experience. How is Drupal helping with that?
Drupal has a robust and powerful built-in migration API to help to migrate data from other services to Drupal. That means that you can bring content to Drupal from almost anywhere: other websites built with different content management systems, various databases, feeds, older Drupal versions etc. These can then be migrated into standard Drupal content.
On the other hand, Drupal spent last years developing its readiness to be the leading content management tool also for the headless/decoupled projects, where it can serve as a content backend. Drupal has made a strategic decision to focus on “API first” architecture, meaning that Drupal can interact with other applications to exchange data with them through API’s. And with the API-first approach, Drupal can serve as a centralised backend content hub that exposes the content to other systems. You can read more about our decoupled solutions and microservices in the article “How can medium sized companies benefit from microservice architecture?” by our Patric Ojala.
So with both migrations and “decoupled-readiness” in its core, Drupal truly is flexible in all directions.
With this list of benefits in mind, for 10 years already, we have been delivering high-quality digital solutions to our clients. We are happy that along with the work we do daily, we can as well contribute to Drupal development. Numerous modules and applications have been developed, and many events have been organised by, and in close collaboration with our Wunderers, so this is not only a list of Drupal benefits, it is a list of Wunder benefits as well.