Drupal or Drufoe?
April 02, 2014

Drupal or Drufoe?

Jennifer de Spain | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 2 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Overall Satisfaction

I have used Drupal to build test sites and I used it on a project for a client of mine who had previously had their site built using Drupal. It is a CMS system, so the business problem it addresses is the necessity to have a website built quickly with a lot of control built in by default. The pre-made templates that can be customized and templates that can be created from scratch are a bonus to using this CMS.
  • Drupal allows for very detailed user access control. After installing modules, you can give specific access rights to specific user levels.
  • When new versions of Drupal come out, your website emails you. The installation only takes a couple clicks and sets up the new version securely. It makes you verify that you want the new version to override the older one, which is a great security feature. You can check to make sure everything is running correctly and verify.
  • There is very little that Drupal can do without assistance from a third party module. My experience with the modules has been pretty bad.
  • Since Drupal needs modules to run more than basic pages, the use of the module community is often necessary. The modules are free, as is the support, but the support is often very shaky, and not very many solutions are provided when problems arise. This isn't so much the core Drupal's fault, as the modules are an open source effort on the part of the community, HOWEVER, the modules are often necessary to create a function website, so the user friendliness and overall friendliness of the module developers should be taken into consideration.
  • I don't particularly like the admin layout. You log into the site from the front end and then your admin menu shows up at the top of your screen. This puts you at a disadvantage when you want to see the front end as a regular user as you are updating from the backend. You either have to log out of being an admin to view the site as a regular user, or you have to have your site up in a different browser to see the site as both the admin and the regular user in two separate browser windows. Not super efficient.
  • Drupal is slow loading, which good web developers know is not a good thing.
  • I have had a very negative experience with Drupal. In fact, my client and I decided to switch the site to Joomla because we couldn't get the PDF module to work on the Drupal site. It was a big waste of time and it was unfortunate that I couldn't get the power of Drupal to work for my client because of a bad module that didn't have a good doppelganger. Because their site had been built in Drupal previously, we ended up painting ourselves into a corner, wasting months of time trying to contact developers and get things worked out.
  • Since Drupal is inefficient as far as integrating the admin with the frontend of the site in the same page, it makes the work go much slower that with other CMS.
  • As the module community for Drupal is so poor, the customer service I end up providing to my client looks poor. If I can't get an answer from a developer of a critical module, it makes me look bad to my client. Be very aware of this issue when investigating Drupal.
Drupal cannot really compare to Joomla. Joomla is also a free CMS, is faster to set up, is faster to load for visitors, is easier to maintain, and the extensions are much more reliable - even the free ones.

Drupal and WordPress are very different, as Drupal has the power to be much more complex than WordPress, and is organized better than WordPress, but WordPress plugins are more reliable.

The only reason I used Drupal was to gain experience using it and because a client already had a site built using it. I don't recommend it, and would only work with it if I had to.
Drupal is a free CMS, so there is no renewal, however, I do not like the system and would not recommend it.
For very basic sites, it would be just fine, and it has a strong capability to handle much larger high quality sites, however, the lack of quality in the modules and the lack of maintenance on the modules creates a situation where you may be stuck without a functioning site due to a faulty module that is critical to your project. For example, I was setting up a sophisticated form creation area for my client, so they could create very complicated forms on their site at the drop of a hat. The main module I used worked great, but they needed the results of the form emailed and recorded in the form of a PDF. Well, the PDF module didn't work and there was not another one out there that could even try to do the same thing. It took a month to get a response out of the developer, and the issue persisted. This, again, is not the fault of the Drupal core, HOWEVER, when using Drupal, you must use modules that make up for what Drupal can't do on its own, and those modules often don't work, or are not maintained well.

When trying to figure out whether or not to use Drupal, you can download it and try to create a fast mockup of what you want. Drupal is free and the modules are free, so you can test anything out at no charge. Just be warned that when you use free modules, you get free support, and the developer often don't have time to maintain a module for free.

Evaluation and Selection

Yes - I would have used Joomla for the project, but my client already had their site built using Drupal.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Reputation
I had heard great things about Drupal, so I wanted to try it out to gain experience in using it. The price was great, as someone beginning, to be able to explore and learn without spend a lot of money right off the bat. It is great for learning how to set up a database and connect it to a php system.
I honestly would not consider Drupal again, because it takes far too much time to completely evaluate the modules to know that the developer will even write back when there are issues. Investigation takes time with any CMS, but it took a ridiculously long time with Drupal and is not worth my time or my client's money paying me to do research that will end up being wasted.