The concern about whether Drupal is dying, losing popularity, or even becoming obsolete has been probed repeatedly for years.
This question seems to reappear constantly, like a bad smell.
And so, in 2019, is Drupal dead?
I think it’s first important to note that it is not a popularity contest. Many misinformed professionals who work in the web development space hold a naive belief that there is an ongoing contest between the top three open-source content management systems.
Namely WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
There is no such competition. Neither of these content management systems aim to compete with each other, and as such, the growth in popularity of one does not impact the target audience or potential use cases of the others.
Understandably, this concept will be foreign to many. Allow me to explain.
Drupal has always dominated a specific niche space in the CMS world and is one of the most capable content management systems available today.
It’s also one of the oldest CMSs, having made its official debut in May of 2000.
Indeed, Drupal has had more time to mature than its ‘competition’. In fact, Drupal’s feature availability and potential use cases position the platform in such a way that it doesn’t really have any direct competitors.
That’s a strong argument enough against the concern or opinion that Drupal is becoming obsolete, or dying as a platform.
In fact, usage of the CMS remains strong, even 18 years since it saw its first release.
Internationally known organizations such as Fox, Johnson & Johnson, and Verizon use Drupal to deliver content to a huge audience of clients and consumers worldwide.
Alternative content management systems, the likes of WordPress for example, are not competitors to Drupal by any means.
At least, not by this point in Drupal’s lifecycle. The CMS offers an entirely different toolset for developers than any other content management framework out there.
It’s true that Drupal’s core user base has developed over time, shifting with increasing strength toward more enterprise and corporate-level clients. The CMS is much preferred (and likely better suited, admittedly) to these types of clients, rather than small or local businesses whose requirements don’t stretch far beyond a modest web presence.
Of course, this can be achieved in a plethora of ways, many of which are far simpler and less cumbersome for them than maintaining a powerful, heavyweight CMS such as Drupal 8. The likes of WordPress, a simpler blogging and website management platform, is probably much more suitable for such use cases.
Businesses who don’t require the power of Drupal shouldn’t be using it, simply put.
Drupal has always served a narrower niche in the web development and application space, with corporations such as General Electric (GE), Tesla and NBC opting to use the CMS for complex website delivery.
Indeed, the Drupal framework has a long-established history serving clients like this and is practically the best open-source offering of its nature.
The software comes pre-packaged with an abundance of built-in features and is easily extendable with virtually unlimited opportunities to further develop its capabilities.
Drupal is able to meet broader requirements than any alternative codebase of its kind.
Drupal 7 was one of the most powerful and widely-used content management systems amongst the global community of enterprise-level users, and Drupal 8’s popularity has only built further upon this strength.
Drupal’s plans to continue extending the CMS only solidifies its position as a market leader in the web development and content framework market.
Nearly two decades after its first release, Drupal is still an unwavering force to be reckoned with.