Drupal, the CMS for large, data-rich websites
Richard Davies | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 19, 2019

Drupal, the CMS for large, data-rich websites

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Drupal

Drupal has been selected as the CMS for our new city website. It was time to replace the custom, home-grown CMS we've been using for almost 20 years, and we wanted something that could power a large, enterprise-wide website. We wanted something with a large user base and healthy ecosystem so that we could ensure that the software will be supported and maintained for years to come. Drupal fit the bill as one of the most popular open-source content management systems that is used by over a million websites, many of them government websites like ours.
  • Drupal has a large support community. Many businesses and organizations have adopted it, and it has a large developer base, so it's likely to be around for a long time.
  • Drupal is designed around the concept of structured data so that the data you put into it is reusable and can easily be referenced or accessed by other pages, or exposed through APIs to other systems.
  • Drupal is well suited for building large, complex websites.
  • Drupal has a steep learning curve due to its flexibility and complexity. Because it's so flexible and customizable, sometimes it's daunting trying to figure out the best way to do something.
  • Some aspects of the system don't receive the support and attention they need, particularly contributed modules. It can take months (or years) for bugs to get resolved, or for new features to be developed. Many of the contributed modules are poorly supported. It's common to find modules that still haven't been migrated to the latest version of Drupal, even though it's been out for over 2 years. It's also common to discover a bug, only to find out that a patch was already submitted to fix that bug months ago, but hasn't been merged into the module yet.
  • Upgrading to new versions of Drupal core can sometimes be painful and challenging, depending on how you've customized it or what modules you've enabled.
  • Sometimes it's difficult to figure out how to customize a particular aspect of the system because you have to work within the framework it provides.
  • Drupal has allowed us to build our new website at a relatively quick pace. It's definitely been quicker than if we had to build a new custom CMS.
  • It's allowed our team of developers and designers to all work together simultaneously on building the new site.
  • Our new website is much improved, and will allow us to better serve our citizens.
Drupal is really the only well-supported open-source CMS that is designed for large, data-rich websites. There just really weren't any good alternatives. There are plenty of CMSs that excel at small to medium-sized websites. But for a large website with lots of structured data, Drupal was the obvious choice.
Drupal is a good choice for large, complex websites. Because it was designed with structured data in mind, it works will with data-rich websites where you need to reference data in different ways and on different pages. For example, a website acting as a music library containing a database of artists, albums, and songs. Or a large corporate website or government website.
Drupal is probably not the best choice for smaller, simpler websites. For example, it's probably overkill for a small brochure website with only a handful of pages that rarely change.

Drupal Feature Ratings

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