Drupal is a beast of a CMS.
Its framework and backend architecture are solid, well-tested, and completely water tight.
In my opinion, the best things about Drupal today are its awesome community (currently consisting of over 100,000 active contributors to the CMS), and the fact that the CMS has a very strong attitude towards open-source availability. There are in excess of 1.3 million community members on Drupal's official website, and over 7.6 million issue follow-ups and comments.
This is great, because not only is the software completely free, but there is also a huge availability of open-source contributed modules and custom patches.
Moreover, any potential query you may have about the core CMS or its contributed modules can be answered by the plethora of forum threads, articles and blog posts available online.
Help is usually just a forum post away, where you’re near guaranteed to receive fairly swift assistance via drupal.org, one of Drupal’s many IRC channels, or external forums such as StackExchange.
As of 2019, Drupal is now over 18 years old, and is still going insanely strong.
Many of the largest and highest traffic websites use Drupal to serve their growing audiences, which is just further testimony to the power of this killer CMS. Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding, right?
Drupal is often touted as the ‘most superior’ CMS, boasting an array of powerful features fuelled by its solid backend framework.
Let’s explore some of the reasons Drupal has gained this recognition and highlight the top 10 best uses for Drupal in 2019.
Drupal’s biggest strengths
Drupal is often recognised as the most superior open-source CMS for:
- High traffic websites with hundreds, thousands, or more registered users of varying privileges and access roles,
- Websites that require the ability for many users to act as contributors and publish a multitude of content, perhaps in the form of pages, articles, blog posts, support tickets, and forum posts,
- Sites with a complex structure that require a finely-tuned architecture to serve relevant content to its users,
- Organizations that demand very high security of their website,
- Websites that receive a high volume of traffic and require a solid backend in order for the site to remain functioning in spite of traffic spikes, DDoS attacks and the like.
So, baring this in mind, let’s delve into some of the best uses of the most powerful open-source CMS in 2017.
1. Creative Agencies
Digital design and other related creative agencies can benefit from Drupal’s insane speed and its ability to expertly organize a large amount of content.
The platform can be transformed into a stunning portfolio of an agency’s creative work, using Drupal’s innate AJAX functionality, which is especially prevalent in its renowned Views module.
2. Complex Digital Portfolios
We now officially live in an internet age, and there seems no sign of going back.
That’s why in this era it’s critically important to digitalize your creative business portfolio in a way that will not only attract your prospective audience visually but also functionally.
Utilizing the features of Drupal 7 or 8, in addition to the thousands of contributed modules available for both versions of the CMS, it’s possible to efficiently create a superb digital portfolio that sets your services out from the crowd.
3. Travel & Tourism Websites
Due to their intricate nature, many travel and tourism websites have taken a liking to Drupal as their platform of choice in recent years.
With Drupal’s solid backend framework and features such as Rest APIs, now especially prevalent since the release of Drupal 8, more travel agencies than ever are employing Drupal as either their primary or secondary platform for advertising their travel packages, collecting user data, and managing bookings.
Drupal 8 now makes it easier than ever to integrate external features using an API, which is probably one of the reasons, in addition to the platform’s superior security, that many travel agencies are now making use of Drupal.
4. Charities & Non-Profit Organisations
Charities and not-for-profit organisations benefit from Drupal in a variety of ways.
Since the ecosystem around the CMS is so open-source, they can access features in the way of contributed themes, modules and patches without having to shell out extortionate amounts of money in development time or the purchase of many premium plugins in a way that would be typical of completing open-source CMSs, such as WordPress or Joomla.
WordPress and Joomla, in particular, are notorious for their expensive ecosystems, which manifest in the form of limited free plugins and expensive premium extensions.
Drupal, on the contrary, allows charities and non-profit organizations to integrate endless features and functionality into a website without having to continuously shell-out expenses on premium functionality from a variety of developers.
5. Digital Service Providers
Drupal is arguably the best CMS around for handling websites with a large pool of users and a high volume of traffic.
Digital service providers, such as web-hosts, ISPs, and creative or development service agencies often choose Drupal due to its ongoing stability and high security.
Additionally, given its ability to produce websites of very complex structure, it’s very often a fit for growing digital service providers.
6. Internal Company Websites
Drupal is used by many companies for their internal websites, available only to employees and partners.
One of the main reasons for this is the unparalleled security of the framework, but additionally the powerful user roles and permissions allow institutions to create solid, efficient internal websites for their employees.
7. Community Websites
Many community websites use Drupal for its innate user management functionality. Drupal provides far more functionality in the realm of user management than its competing CMS counterparts.
Coupled with the wide range of contributed modules for community websites available on drupal.org, it only makes sense to seriously consider Drupal as an option for a high traffic community site.
8. Support Websites
Given its ability to handle high volumes of traffic and complex site structure, Drupal makes for a perfect support platform in a variety of ways.
The CMS is prized in this area for its flexible access roles and privileges, which allows for a large number of contributors to add to the website in different ways.
Drupal can make for a stunning support platform, which can handle features such as forums, a knowledge base, and support tickets. Its ability to handle varying content types and user privileges means that large support and customer service sites often make use of this powerful platform.
9. Educational Websites
Many educational websites, particularly those in the field of higher education, such as colleges and universities, make use of Drupal for its open-source ecosystem and solid security.
It also proves critically useful in terms of assigning varying access privileges to a large number of registered users. Other prized bonuses of the CMS for educational websites include its ability to handle high traffic and many users simultaneously.
10. Governmental Websites
Some of the world’s largest government websites are powered by Drupal, and rightly so.
The CMS boasts what is possibly the most air-tight security that can be found in a CMS today, which is one of the reasons it makes for the perfect choice for any type of governmental website.
Who Uses Drupal?
Some of the world's largest international corporations utilize Drupal for both their consumer-facing and business-to-business websites:
- The BBC
- General Electric
News and Entertainment Websites
Some of the world's best-known entertainers and leisure organizations use Drupal to power their websites. Here are just a few of them:
- Warner Music Group
- Turner Broadcasting
- The Economist
- BBC Store
- Al Jazeera
- Lady Gaga
- Bruno Mars
- The Roman Baths
- The Beatles Official Website
- The Weather Channel
- Princeton University Press
- The Telegraph Travel Guides
Higher Education Websites
Given its power, it's no surprise that many educational institutions choose Drupal as their content management system. Amongst them are:
- University of Colorado
- University of Minnesota
- Oregon State University
- University of Surrey
- CSU Long Beach
- Rutgers University
- Georgetown University
- George Washington University
- University of Chicago
- UCSF (University of California San Francisco)
- Cal State LA
- Dartmouth College
- Bentley University
- Stanford University
- Oxford University
- Brown University
- The OSU Student Union Multi-Site
- Cornell University
- Colombo Americano
- Erasmus University Rotterdam
- University of Maryland (College of Education)
- The Universities at Shady Grove
- Georgia Tech
- University of Berkeley, California
- The Royal College of Occupational Therapists
- Roger Williams University
- Norwich University Online
- Saint Martin's University
- The College of The Holy Cross
- Hiroshima University
- The Student Room
- American University, Cairo
- South Dakota State University
- The University of Sydney
- Royal Military College of Canada
- University of Northern British Columbia
- Toronto School of Theology
- California State University, San Bernadino
- University of California DC
Healthcare & Non-Profit Organizations
Many businesses in healthcare, as well as non-profits, use Drupal to power their online solutions, too. Like these:
- Great Ormond Street Hospital
- University of Missouri Health Care
- Children's Hospital of Los Angeles
- The British Medical Journal
- The Wildlife Trusts
- American Councils for International Education
- Imperial War Museums
- Rainforest Alliance
- Youth Hostels Association
- The Stroke Association
- The Prince of Wales
- The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum
A plethora of government websites utilize Drupal for their front-facing content. Here are some of the top ones:
- State of Colorado
- Government of Bermuda
- State Revenue Office Victoria
- World Economic Forum
- City of Austin
- London Government
- City of LA
- Government of Australia
- New York State
- Department of Commerce
- State of Georgia
- Action Fraud
- US Department of Transportation
- US Department of Energy
- Hong Kong Trade Development Council
Drupal is arguably the most powerful content management system available today.
For good reason, some of the world’s largest and highest traffic websites use Drupal to power their websites.
As of 2019, the platform is still going strong, and with each release continues to outdo itself in terms of feature availability, functionality, integration, and security.
And that’s a wrap! Let us know whether you use Drupal in the comments!