- Content Management
- Document and Media Management
- SEO Management
- API Integration
- Easy to manage updates
- User management
- Can be extremely difficult to ramp up to production
- If built poorly, nearly impossible to fix without a full rebuild
- Drupal core updates can be a pain in the butt.
- Drupal integrates very well with all of our technology, ie. Salesforce, Marketo, etc.
- Drupal's interface allows us to easily update and push out new material with ease.
- Drupal is a very well known technology that has made it easy for us to find talent that is familiar with it.
- There are certain limitations in the amount of information that can be passed from Drupal to Salesforce, specifically in areas of how long viewers are on a particular page.
- Drupal uses up a ton of memory space, due to how large our sites are, it has been costly to add in the required hardware.
- Drupal is an open source CMS and has a vibrant community supporting it.
- Drupal's core package offers a great out-of-box product that can easily be modified to meet any business need.
- The community dedication to contrib modules is second to none. There's a module for just about everything you could imagine, want, or need on a website.
- Excellent administrative framework and user-based interface allows for custom role creation and specific access levels based on credentials.
- Being open source, there isn't a company solely dedicated to it, which can sometimes represent challenges for bugs associated with specific modules.
- Frequent releases require upgrading to maintain support for active components.
- Flexibility and options are vast, but not necessarily intuitive for the non-experienced or web novices.
- Requires a developer.
- Drupal separates data from presentation, which is very important when you are trying to build a website. It is great at letting the back end developers focus on data structure and the front end focus on presentation.
- You can change anything you need to, or find someone who already has. Since its open source you can find a developer who can help you with a problem.
- Its been around for a long time and there are many mods that have been created to solve many problems.
- It can be daunting to a developer who has no experience with Drupal at first. There is a learning curve and it may not be for everyone.
- Because there are so many choices for mods and add-ons its hard to pick which ones are the best.
- There are not as many people with Drupal 8 experience out there even though its been over a year since its release.
I think it's less appropriate if you do not have developer support for it. Drupal isn't for the faint of heart or people who are used to something like Wordpress.
- User management was great in Drupal, we were able to create custom roles for users and assign them special permissions based on their roles.
- Customization of Drupal was a real strength, we were able to customer our site to look exactly the way we wanted and mocked up in our early brainstorming sessions. There is a vast array of add-ons available to Drupal for themes and customization that anyone can take advantage of.
- Add-on modules were the real strength of drupal, because anyone in the world could develop and offer new add-on functionality for drupal and those developers could share it with the whole drupal community and help each other advance the add-on module together.
- The community is really the best part of Drupal, there is a huge pool of developers all contributing and helping each other to advance Drupal with new features and better security all the time.
- The one thing that Drupal could improve on are the upgrade paths for updating the system between each major release of the software, when drupal moved from version 7 to version 8, most people could not do the upgrade for many months, while they waited on the add-on modules they used to be updated to work with version 8 as well. I think involving the module developers earlier on, on new major update releases could help fix this.
- Add-on modules can sometimes be slow to update or fix problems because some developers aren't that active in updating their add-on modules
- Some module developers build modules that only serve their own immediate need and are not willing to update or advance their modules to expand its functionality to serve others similar needs. Other developers are usually offered to take over and customize the project for their own needs but sometimes the documentation for existing modules can be lacking, depending on the developer.
Drupal may not be the best option for a company looking for a really simple and easy to update website with minimal functionality though, those companies may want to look into a WordPress site instead.
- Easy access and more often than not, our student's are able to navigate through our webpage and find exactly what information they need.
- Drupal Customer Service agents are extremely helpful, polite and knowledgeable.
- Direct communication on edits/updates to software to the customer (myself, etc.) rather than our IT department that doesn't always relay information.
- Drupal has the most flexible and robust site building tools available for quick site-building; it is possible to have a Drupal site up and running in your local development environment within a minute and immediately get to work.
- It makes user management a breeze with the ability to easily create new user accounts and assign roles that govern access to content types and overall site management. It is therefore much easier to hand off a Drupal site to your customers and be confident they won't break it, while still finding it easy to manage their content.
- Drupal has many dependencies that can conflict with your local development environment at times and it can therefore be cumbersome to set up a Drupal site on a new machine or one that has other development environments on it that may use different PHP versions or paths to the PHP executable.
- Drupal lags behind WordPress in terms of the number of themes and modules available, due to its smaller user base.
- It has a much higher learning curve than WordPress, and to use it to the utmost you will need to pick up some degree of understanding about SQL, PHP, CSS, and Drupal components.
- The Drupal core ships with a granular, field level content construction toolset. The very popular views module is now part of the core Drupal CMS and enables the creation of complex content types, it's way more than a blogging tool.
- Drupal is especially adept at integration with enterprise grade CRM and ERP systems. Because all of the data in Drupal is naturally available for mapping at the field level, there is a ready environment for connecting to restful API systems.
- Drupal scales exceptionally well with multisite and multiuser environments. Large universities can standardize on a common codebase of Drupal and then roll it out to the entire campus. Individual colleges can customize their themes and content but do not need to worry about figuring out their own module stack.
- Drupal is complex, it will take time and expertise to shape it into the tool you need it to be for your use case. WordPress can be installed and is ready to go for blogging out-of-the-box, but Drupal will need more setup up front to build out the functionality needed.
- Finding strong Drupal expertise can be challenging for companies. Although the developer community is over a million strong, there are still few companies that truly have an expert Drupal developer on staff.
- Drupal can be overkill for small websites with just a few pages or limited functionality. Many new flat file responsive tools can do well to build a basic brochure site without the overhead of a CMS like Drupal.
- Security is an ongoing struggle for all users of opensource CMS solutions. If you choose Drupal for your website, you will need a plan for security updates to ensure you are one step ahead of the hackers.
- Databases. Drupal is a great choice for building an online database. It has great tools for creating advanced data structures out of the box. With help of a few contributed modules the possibilities are limitless.
- Digital Libraries. Drupal is also a perfect solution for digital libraries. With integration with search engines such as Solr, faceted search, and document preview we can build searchable and filterable digital libraries of any scale.
- Websites. Being a content management system in the first place Drupal is a perfect platform for websites - large to small. It's extendable with more than 12,000 open source modules that can do almost anything. There is a famous answer to almost any question in Drupal community - "there is a module for that".
- Content management. Content management is perhaps the strongest part of Drupal. You can easily create and place your content anywhere on your website, reuse and aggregate it in many different ways.
- There are not many areas where Drupal needs improvement that haven't been already address in Drupal 8. However there is one feature I want to mention that could have been implemented better -- the Forum (or discussion board). Although with a few contrib modules and a little of custom code the forum functionality in Drupal can be fine tuned to be almost as powerful as Google Groups, it requires a lot of effort to make it work as expected.
- Out of the box theme in Drupal does not look professional enough. Most of developers will want to replace it with something else. Thankfully there are hundreds of free themes available for Drupal for free, and many more can be purchased online.
- You don't need to be a developer to use Drupal. You just need to learn its functions.
- We were able to train people with various non-computer backgrounds to use Drupal. It can be learned by a range of people who are not "technical".
- Drupal sites can include APIs, webforms, slideshows, parent and child pages, and more.
- The option to compare older site page versions with the current version could be easier to decipher from a visual standpoint.
- It would be great if the various customizable features included descriptions of how they function for the many non-technical users who work on Drupal.
- It can be tough for users to find previously added slides (in the slideshow carousel) to edit them.
- Drupal provides a robust and powerful open source CMS platform. Due to this, it has a wide community of supporters and contributors and a vast library of modules that have already been produced.
- Drupal is free to use, which makes it a great choice for our clients that need something more powerful than WordPress, but cannot afford the licensing fees of system like Sitecore.
- As of Drupal 8, Drupal provides good admin tools for configure data and content architecture and relationships.
- Drupal's admin section, especially before Drupal 8, can be fairly confusing to navigate. This is tough for developers as well as content authors.
- Drupal traditionally has been a little constrictive with regards to front end templating, although it has gotten easier over the years.
- Extendability. The hook system available keeps the code clean, maintainable between teams and projects, even bringing in contrib modules to use and extend.
- Prototyping. With such a large degree of community modules I'm often able to built up a feature prototype, by myself, in 4-16 hours.
- Community. Drupal has a large community for Q+A, as well as quality modules to extend your site functionality with minimal effort.
- Theming. Drupal as a system is well engineered, however the number and quality of the out-of-the-box themes (In comparison to WordPress) is smaller and lower-quality than I'd like.
- Learning Curve. Drupal education on use is a necessity when training new users, it isn't as intuitive as it could be and can often be a barrier to entry.
- Drupal has a large user base which means that there is plenty of supporting documentation available for learning its usage.
- Drupal has a large user base which means finding a developer to customize Drupal functionality is going to be easier because more talent is available and that talent is already familiar with the code.
- Drupal is fully customizable because it is open source and written in PHP, which is easily one of the most popular programming languages for web.
- Some users may find the interface complicated to use.
- Some users may not understand how to backup their Drupal instance properly or how to restore it if something bad were to happen.
- Some users will not understand the importance of keeping the software up to date and may be at risk for a hacked web site. Note: This is not a Drupal specific issue, all open source and arguable all software that does not get updated regularly may become vulnerable. However, automation in updates and backups is something most all modern pre-fab web apps have room for improvement. Most users just want to turn on their web site administration and generate content, not worrying about updates or backups.
- Enabled rapid feature development due to a mature community offering free extension modules. The scope of plugins is well balanced for focused purpose without bloat.
- Carefully configured permission/role structure allows people to manage content and publish live, keeping marketing fast paced.
- A suite of solutions allows deployment of code and configuration safely.
- Advanced staff is able to make changes via UI that might require developers in other systems.
- The platform is written in PHP, which is a ubiquitous/commodity service for web servers administrators and hosting providers.
- Native features like taxonomy vocabularies, content types, field structures, and permissions architecture are very mature.
- Admin user interfaces for installed modules are created by a wide-array of open-source developers. These can therefor be less cohesive than if they were all developed together.
- The Drupal platform allows live editing and configuration, so in order to be performant several layers of caching are required. These exist within Drupal but take time/expertise to setup properly.
- A very large and strong community. There are modules available for almost everything, and a great deal of knowledge shared by individuals on different forums.
- Expandability to the highest scale. The way the entities such as Users, Nodes and Taxonomy are designed, there is no limit to stretch the bar, and connect entities to each other.
- Regular security updates prevents you from any vulnerability.
- I haven't been able to test Drupal 8 yet, and most of the things we had wished for has been added to Drupal 8, so I am unable to comment.
- Integrations with third party systems either through contrib modules directly addressing the integration, or a rich API and services model that supports simple extension.
- Team abstraction - The architecture of the platform lends itself well to a separation of concerns aligned with many different corporate organizations (separate frontend/backend/theming/services).
- Multi-site/tenant - While the platform has some hiccups to implementation of a multi-tenant solution it is fully possible to make any solution work.
- Theme integration is limited to PHPTemplate in Drupal 7, which can cause a number of issues with team composition.
- A mySQL backend represents a scalability bottleneck.
- Drupal is extremely customizable. If you have a little bit of programming know how, the root files can be edited to fit the need of a project. The modules (plug-ins) off modular expansion.
- Drupal is fast and loads pages faster than WordPress or Joomla. It also uses less system resources than the other two CMS platforms.
- Drupal is technically advanced. Many find this intimidating, but in reality, if you want more out of the CMS instead of loading it down with plugins, programming directly in pages, the logical, modular layout of building the site is amazing.
- Drupal is flexible. It can be used for a simple blog or an enterprise ecommerce store. Drupal has the power and sophistication to do it all.
- With Drupal 8, a lot of the issues with Drupal have been fixed or moving in the right direction. Examples were mobile readiness, responsive design, more user friendly building of websites.
In my opinion, Drupal is best suited for:
- Corporate websites
- Multi site setups
Drupal is less appropriate for:
- Simple, one page sites
- Anyone who wants to put up a site in 5 mins and call it a day
- Anyone who does not want to take the time to learn about their CMS
- User management and roles.
- Open source with tons of available modules.
- Drupal 7 is not responsive by nature but can be addressed by adding responsive themes.
- Large learning curve to get the configuration and development practices down.
- Needs too many additional modules to be on par with some of the other CMSs available.
I was a Web Analyst at the University of Edinburgh. The Web Interfaces team develop bespoke web solutions for individuals and departments for the University of Edinburgh, and servicing external clients. This development team had a portfolio of over 30 website projects. My main tasks were to patch, backup, and deploy drupal instances. I also was involved in some back end development and configuration.
From my experience:
Drupal will create a secure and scalable website without prioritising aesthetics. Ease of Use and design is often sacrificed for speed, security and performance.
- Drupal's has built-in tools for automating SEO
- Large organisations and governments (White House) will use it for their content - it is trusted and secure.
- Correct Drupal development allows for custom content and extra features without too many complications
- Drupal makes performance a priority by having built-in caching.
- Users often find design to be problematic.
- Drupal’s themes sometimes do not offer mobile compatibility.
- Drupal has a steep learning curve. It developed for developers and therefore not user-friendly for the end-user or customer without training.
Therefore if a popular garden area wanted to have a website, listing all their plants, then Drupal would be suitable.
However for a simple blog or 5-page website, Drupal is overkill. And users will find it difficult taming this beast to perform simple duties
- The community of developers is Drupal's biggest strength. The ability to reach out to others to get help and advice is invaluable.
- Form creation. Building forms to enter content is really straightforward and simple. The system does most of the work.
- It's highly extensible. The sky is the limit with Drupal. The question is not can we do something, the questions are when do you need it and how much are you willing to pay for it.
- The biggest issue Drupal has is that the rendering engines are slow. You almost certainly have to have a CDN if you want any type of user registration on your site.
- The second issue for me is that there are many ways to do things. There are of course the standard ways, but there are no real ways to enforce those standards. I feel like sometimes people build inefficient code and then blame Drupal for the slowness.
- Displays content effortlessly.
- Has a huge community that supports the platform.
- Easy to transport database features from one environment to the next.
- Resource intensive.
- Learning curve isn't easy for beginners.
- Takes a long time to set up. Everything isn't out of the box.
- Drupal is robust in terms of a content management system. It's easy and anyone can set up a basic commercial site within a small amount of time.
- Drupal's community is huge. Help is available with code snippets and blogs available all over the internet.
- IRC Chat is available for drupal community developers. We can get help from other drupal developers anytime.
- Drupal contrib modules needs some major work in terms of documentation. Some modules in the community do not have documentation and it's difficult to have them configured.
- Drupal at any given point of time, runs 60-70 queries on a page. This can be reduced to improve performance.
- Error handling can be improved, sometimes drupal just throws white screen of death, with no error message. This can be done in a better way.
Drupal Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
Drupal is a free and open source content management system written in PHP that competes primarily with Joomla and Plone. The standard release of Drupal, known as Drupal core, contains basic features common to content management systems. These include a dashboard with a menu management system, RSS feeds, page layout customization and themes to aid this, and system administration tools. Drupal offers access statistics, more advanced search features, caching and feature throttling (to improve performance if needed), descriptive URLs, multiple users with controllable privileges, access control and restrictions, and workflow tools (triggers). There are over 30,000 addons or modules to expand Drupal's functionality.
Drupal Technical Details