Drupal as a framework
Armen Danielyan, PMP | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 23, 2016

Drupal as a framework

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Drupal

We are a small department (in a big non-profit organization) that supports organization's international and domestic development projects through consulting and implementation of ICT solutions. We develop websites and web applications such as online databases, digital libraries, data collection and visualization platforms, communities of practice and many more for these projects. We switched to Drupal in 2011 and never looked back. For most of the websites and applications we develop Drupal is a perfect fit. The development on Drupal is very efficient and most of the time is as easy as selecting right modules and configuring them to work together. In 90% of cases we don't have to write a single line of custom code. We do create custom themes based on custom design though.
  • 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.
  • The Development with Drupal sped up our web development time dramatically. Most of the features that we would have to custom code otherwise are already available in Drupal out of the box or in form of modules.
  • The security of websites we build improved significantly.
  • Thanks to Drupal's great community there is always someone who can answer our questions or help to solve a technical problem we may face during the implementation of our projects.
There are many content management systems available these days. However all of them have their cons and pros. Previously we used Liferay for big projects and WordPress for smaller ones. Although great out of the box Liferay's functionality doesn't extend as easily as Drupal's and the number of available open source plugins for Liferay is far fewer than Drupal's.
WordPress on the other hand has tons of plugins, but the quality of those oftentimes suffers.
So far my positive experience way outweighs the negative. Most of the issues we faced were solvable with a little to medium effort. Many people complain about a steep learning curve of Drupal. However I think it is not always true, especially if you are a professional developer. In any case the effort you make to learn Drupal will pay off in full.

Drupal Feature Ratings

WYSIWYG editor
10
Code quality / cleanliness
10
Admin section
9
Page templates
8
Library of website themes
8
Mobile optimization / responsive design
8
Publishing workflow
7
Form generator
10
Content taxonomy
10
SEO support
7
Bulk management
6
Availability / breadth of extensions
10
Community / comment management
10
API
10
Internationalization / multi-language
9
Role-based user permissions
10