For many small (and big) business owners, finding a way to manage content and create a beautiful website can be a daunting and cumbersome task. Because of these reasons, projects like Drupal exist. Drupal is an open source software that is free to use, and it’s maintained by a huge community of developing experts that keep this resource at the top of its game every day.
Operated mostly by a group of volunteers, the Drupal platform is an open source content management system that is designed to help you create beautiful and functional websites with ease. Pre-created themes, modules, and portals give you the ability to have a professional website that speaks volumes about your and your business without spending enormous amounts of money on a web developer.
The benefits of the Drupal Project are big and nearly endless. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Cost. As with all things in life, staying under budget is a vital part of the equation. Fortunately, Drupal is free to use. Because this software package is free for you to use, you can put the money you would have spent on expensive web design elsewhere in your business, and you’re already off to a great start!
- Continuous Improvement. With a community of over 630,000 users and developers constantly contributing to the improvement of Drupal, the platform is continually being improved. A phenomenal group of really smart folks works to ensure that this content management system stays cutting-edge. At Optimum Systems Online, we’ve had clients ask for very obscure functionality, like a pizza-topping feature for a pizza place in Westport, and been surprised to find a script that could be adapted to our needs.
- Community Support. The volunteers, developers, users, and contributors of the Drupal community want to see everyone who uses the platform have positive experiences. As such, there is a nearly endless opportunity for you to gain the support you need to make your experience a success, too. Documentation has been created if you wish to be self-taught. There are forums and face-to-face Drupal events where you can interact with members of the community and get help from the volunteers who make everything happen. With a globe full of users, someone is bound to have the answers to whatever questions you may come up with.
- Commercial Services. Having a website is just the beginning. Having a great website that is highly functional and user-friendly is the imperative next step. Drupal’s Marketplace provides you with web hosting, spam blocking, and theming. The support available for commercial services includes the training you might need to help you get everything up and running.
- Content. From content management to content scheduling, Drupal has the tools you’ll need to entice your customers’ eyes. Once you’ve built out your initial static content that tells viewers who you are, what you do, and what you’re all about, you’ll have the ability to keep a blog going that helps to ensure that your content stays fresh. The Drupal system is built with a content scheduling feature, which means you can load boatloads of blogs, and tell the system when you want them posted. At the click of a button, you’ll have instantly fresh content that you won’t even need to keep up with until the blogs run out.
- Clean Design. The ready-made themes and easy-to-build system allows you to create a website that contains a clean design, free of annoying advertisements and the headaches that can go into more complex content management systems. Responsive designs help to ensure that your users will be able to access your site from tablets, computers, phones, and whatever technology the future may bring.
- Carts & Such. Features such as the registration/ login button may be essential to you, depending on your business and industry. Drupal makes integrating this type of feature simple. E-commerce, craft, and retail sites can benefit from the add-on features such as a shopping cart and checkout. An enormous assortment of customizable options are available through both the Drupal core themes and add-on modules.
- Case Studies. If you’re not sure where to start, Drupal has no shortage of case studies that you can browse for ideas and inspiration. Here, you can take a look at what other companies have done to design beautiful websites from the Drupal system. You might be surprised to find that the community includes government sites, small businesses, local news organizations, and a wide assortment of other industries and company sizes. By reviewing some of the case studies, you’ll have the advantage of learning why that business chose Drupal and which options they chose to have to benefit their business. By doing a little homework and seeing what others have done, you’ll be giving yourself a leg up when it comes to building out your website!
Optimum Systems Online has grown to appreciate the finer parts of Drupal. If you’ve also experienced the ease of Drupal, we’d love to hear what you think about it. Feel free to share your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below!