Why Drupal is No Longer the Preferred CMS for Medium-to-Large Organizations

Drupal has been a reputable content management system since the early 2000’s. The original purpose was to provide users new ways of exploring website development; it has also been dubbed the “community publishing system” and prides itself on collaborative development. Of course, Drupal is a powerhouse in offering multiple functionalities such as wikis, blogs, and e-commerce options, even powering whitehouse.gov. As impressive as it may be, there are distinct downfalls that are causing users to turn to other CMS platforms. Digital markets and trends have changed significantly, and unfortunately the CMS is not keeping up with expectations.

As the creation of websites began making waves, companies hired specific people to handle the digital infrastructure. Individuals with IT backgrounds were highly valuable to have on payroll, as no one else knew what to do with HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. They had both the training and background to code and manage all things foreign to non-developers. This work was therefore often left in the hands of a small group or a single person who managed entire web development projects from start to finish.

In an ever-changing market of consumer trends, it was only a matter of time before marketing teams  wanted to learn about content management systems in order to more easily and feasibly sustain their online communication strategies. Those with IT backgrounds were no longer the only administrators behind site creation and maintenance. The need for a powerful CMS was stronger than ever, but the need to manage websites with limited or no technical experience was increasingly in demand.

In fact, more and more clients are turning to seemingly popular solutions such as WordPress, Craft, or Kentico. WordPress is the leading platform that hosts nearly 25% of all websites across the world, while Drupal hosts 12%. WordPress is a user-friendly dashboard that is easier for both the creator and editor. For many medium-to-large organizations with agile marketing communication teams, this is the ideal platform because it eliminates the more detailed intricacies of website development and maintenance.

Drupal was created with the developer in mind. Even with the release of the new Drupal 8, the complexity remains the same. It does claim to meet the needs of the non-technical user, but many clients have already been using other platforms that better serve these needs. Though Gartner Magic Quadrant deems Drupal to be a powerful content management system and ranks it high as a competitive platform, it still does not provide the simplicity needed to support accelerating digital trends.

Reasons Why Drupal is Slowing Down in Comparison to WordPress:

Drupal 8

The release of this beta was supposed to be more seamless for the user, even for the master of 7. However, the upgraded processes and modules have proved to be more difficult to transition than anticipated. Because this version was created to be more powerful, it also comes with a large learning curve and tons of extensions to manage. The new solutions that were added make it even more difficult for users to tackle and maintain without a technical background. When it comes to the use of Drupal 8 modules, not all existing Drupal 7 modules have been converted or enhanced for 8. There is gap in the learning curve as certain terminologies have also changed, which makes migration and development on 8 slower.  

Complexity

Putting a site together should no longer feel like rocket science. All the coding and technical aspects should be left to the IT folks, while creators and editors need to have something more conducive to their level of technology experience. With that said, it’s website builder is much more complex than what WordPress can provide. Although it has great configuration and adaptations, content-heavy websites are easily achieved through other platforms. Drupal was created by engineers, and was therefore developed with engineers in mind. With this type of marketing as the business goal, Drupal will continue to fall short of the demands of current market clientele. We believe this is one of the primary reasons it is lagging in the ongoing CMS race.

Time Consumption

With the amount of time and work it takes to build a website, this CMS requires even more effort to create and build content than other platforms. Even after initial launch and preparation of the website,  post launch maintenance demands ample time and even money. Without the proper training or background, you will be stuck sifting through endless blogs and tutorials to figure out the interface. What would take a few minutes to do on WordPress can literally take hours on Drupal. In such a fast-paced digital world, time is money, and clients can’t afford to waste either of them.

Why is this important?

Many writers, developers, editors, and business owners are steering towards using platforms such as WordPress and Craft. Their main purpose is to distribute content and showcase their work and/or products. They want the best mediums that gauge a good amount of traffic and target specific audiences effectively. However, they do not possess extensive IT backgrounds, nor do they have the time to invest in learning development practices. In order to save both money and time while sustaining their own websites, clients need platforms that are easy to use and that seamlessly deliver entire bodies of content.

This is not to say that Drupal will completely disappear, but its decline will continue with the rise of other competitive CMS platforms. Yes, all CMS platforms provide users with tools for content management. However, clients need faster, easier, and more agile solutions. Unfortunately, with the release of Drupal 8,  it will no longer be a viable choice if it does not shift its thinking to meet the needs of the current trends.

 

Related articles:

Should your association migrate to WordPress:

https://www.webdevelopmentgroup.com/2017/06/should-your-association-migrate-to-wordpress/

Why organizations are redesigning their websites:

https://www.webdevelopmentgroup.com/2017/06/why-associations-and-nonprofits-are-redesigning-their-websites/

How to create a successful online resource center:

https://www.webdevelopmentgroup.com/2017/06/how-to-create-a-successful-online-resource-center

 

 

 

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