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Buyer's Guide

Download the Web Content Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: June 2022

What is Drupal?
Drupal is an open source content management platform powering millions of websites and applications
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Archived Drupal Reviews (more than two years old)

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it_user982032 - PeerSpot reviewer
Owner at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
A good product that helps me to manage complex digital solutions
Pros and Cons
  • "The feature I find most valuable is that Drupal is a framework and not only a CMS."
  • "I think the support needs to improve, as well as the integration with tracking and analytics systems."

What is our primary use case?

We are an agency so we created a Drupal website for our customers. Our primary use case is to put a Drupal website on our hosting web. So we use the solution on the cloud and then we also have one customer that uses it on-premise. 

What is most valuable?

The feature I find most valuable is that Drupal is a framework and not only a CMS. And I like that it's a good product to manage complex digital solutions.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better pricing because Drupal is an open-source technology. And then I also think the support needs to improve, as well as the integration with tracking and analytics systems. Translation management should also improve.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for seven years now.
Buyer's Guide
Web Content Management
June 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Drupal, Microsoft, Liferay and others in Web Content Management. Updated: June 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I believe the solution is scalable. 

How are customer service and support?

We haven't used this solution's technical support yet. I do, however, think that it is good. Whenever I need technical support from Drupal due to a bug issue or some other problem, I will always ask the community first before bothering the Drupal team. I understand that Acquia has a service level agreement to contact the supporter when we have a website in the mission-critical context. But I have never used it, until now.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy and straightforward. It took us about an hour to deploy the program, but customization took a little longer.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to others would be that Drupal is not only a CMS, you need to learn the Drupal fundamentals before to start the project. Drupal is a handy tool whenever you work on a digital infrastructure broad project and not only a simple website. So if you have a big project, you can use Drupal. But if you have a small website, like a blog or simple website, my advice would be not to use Drupal, because Drupal is too complex and the cost to maintain the platform can be too high, related to the value of your website, for example. If you have a website with a big product catalog, for example, in many languages and in many countries in the world, then Drupal is good. But if you have a simple website, like a portfolio or five page-website, you can use many other technologies that'd be simple to maintain and implement. On a scale from one to 10, I will rate Drupal an eight. In the next release, I would like to see basic page buttons and better integration with the analytics platform. A drag and drop function to create simple pages will also be handy. For example, if a customer wants to create a landing page, it should be easy for him or her to do so. I would also like to see better translation management.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Consultant at sterlingIQ
Consultant
A solution that offers good personalization capabilities, as well as good stability and scalability
Pros and Cons
  • "We use a part of the solution called Acquia. The personalization portion of this is the most valuable aspect fo the solution."
  • "The user experience in designing layouts should be much easier or much more helpful."

What is most valuable?

We use a part of the solution called Acquia. The personalization portion of this is the most valuable aspect fo the solution.

What needs improvement?

The price could be adjusted. For the client, it's very expensive. if they could make an enterprise equivalent of Acquia which is somewhat cheaper, that would be very helpful.

Scalability would be another item that needs to be improved. We would love to see some form of enterprise scalability.

The user experience in designing layouts should be much easier or much more helpful.

The user interface needs some improvement. The solution should mirror WordPress in that WordPress offers a lot of end-user usability functionality. We would love to see that implemented in Drupal.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We find the solution pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. We like it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Our developers haven't really needed much help from technical support from Drupal.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of implementing Drupal, for us (the developers) it was pretty straightforward. There wasn't much of an issue.

What about the implementation team?

We have Drupal developers on staff, so we were able to implement the solution ourselves.

What other advice do I have?

At this point, we find that Drupal is great for our developers but not so great for our users.

If a company is going to implement Drupal, I would advise that the organization makes sure they have a Drupal specialist on staff.

We use the Acquia and Thunder. We'd give a very high score to the solution: 9 out of 10.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Web Content Management
June 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Drupal, Microsoft, Liferay and others in Web Content Management. Updated: June 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
it_user798423 - PeerSpot reviewer
Developer at FFW
User
It is good for big projects

What is our primary use case?

I work with it.

How has it helped my organization?

It is good for big projects.

What is most valuable?

Module system.

What needs improvement?

It is a little bit simplified.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user543960 - PeerSpot reviewer
IT at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
You can build websites on it very quickly, but its digital experience features need improvement

How has it helped my organization?

We have built a production ready, heavy content website using this product within two to three months.

What is most valuable?

  • It is very developer friendly.
  • You can build websites on it very quickly.

What needs improvement?

Overall business friendliness of the product: Digital experience features like target segmentation and campaign management have a long way to go.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Several modules which worked well on the previous version of the product have not yet been upgraded or do not work seamlessly anymore on the newer version.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not yet.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Mark Vincent Verallo - PeerSpot reviewer
Web Developer / Programmer at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Drupal undoubtedly has lots of valuable features. All of these features of Drupal work together to fortify one of its great attributes, its flexibility.

What is most valuable?

Its ability to style the article module is the most valuable feature. It gives the developer the flexibility to show the articles the way he/she wants.

How has it helped my organization?

When developing a site, it's important to have flexibility for displaying the contents the way you want. You do not have to depend on the default layouts that the theme provides. It improves the site's readability and sense of professionalism.

What needs improvement?

It has to improve the speed of the admin section. Sometimes you will get stuck while updating the configurations, especially because it uses AJAX in the interface.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for more than three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were only JavaScript conflicts. This is especially the case if you use lots of modules that utilize JavaScript.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues. This product can be scaled as much as you want.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 9/10. When you post on the Drupal module's page in the support section, you always get helpful answers from the various developers out there.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not use any other solution before.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. However, you still need to read the documentation and watch the tutorials, so you will be able to configure, use it properly, and utilize most of its features.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This product is free.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at other options, but there's no better solution than this module.

What other advice do I have?

Try it. Find out its full potential by first watching the tutorials and then think how you can implement it with your own website or project.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DrupalSo1d7c - PeerSpot reviewer
Drupal Solutions Architect at a non-tech company
Real User
Some of the valuable features include Custom distributions, localization, and analytics.

What is most valuable?

  • Custom distributions: Supports multiple sites that share functionalities
  • Localization: Provides content solutions across different regions and languages
  • Analytics: Enable page load and event tracking
  • Robust Permissioning: Facilitates different users to get different permissions
  • Organic Groups: Supports the sub-groups within an organization
  • Workbench Moderation: Supports the editorial workflow
  • Flagging: Empowers the site's audience to positively affect the content
  • Rules: Provides a framework to transparently automate tasks
  • Messaging Notifications: It is a powerful tool that supports workflows

How has it helped my organization?

The idea is to use a custom distribution. This empowers each site to do the unsexy, boring, but critical functionality. Then they can use the powerful design over it.

What needs improvement?

The classic open source pain points, such as documentation and many charlatan developers, need improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Customization, such as code introduced outside of the core and contributed functionality, that is introduced, can cause instability.

Like in most of the successful trending tools, the same things that make Drupal great also make it not-so-great.

For example, the fact that Drupal core and contributed code operates 'in the wild' and in front of so many users, it gives it, in effect, the benefit of the largest UAT for any CMS.

That coupled with the fact that its developer community is constantly making updates (e.g., security enhancements, support for new versions of libraries and standards, handling of edge cases, etc.), makes the documentation effort more problematic.

In fact, successful Drupal developers often use the code itself as the documentation. It helps to use the advanced debugging tools, in order to quickly understand how a particular piece of Drupal code works.

This is ironic, since the developer must then use the knowledge to write Drupal code which, as a rule, must be written generically and not tightly coupled to specific technologies.

The other thing to keep an eye out for, is that Drupal developers move too fast to resolve issues, especially the short-term consultants.

Often, organizations will employ short-term consultants at a much lower rate, than proven developers who maybe from a reputable agency or firm.

In these cases, the short-term issues/enhancements are implemented and the consultant moves on. However, more often than not, the work performed creates problems down the line because an unmaintainable approach was taken.

Thus, it is important to note that this phenomena is not unique to Drupal. Rather, Drupal's trending status, combined with the various options,that the developers have to implement the same functionality, seems to breed this type of situation very well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The wide number of implementation options will often cause developers without a lot of Drupal experience to paint themselves into a corner.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is below average as compared to all the other products. It is above average for open source CMSs.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, I have used a variety of solutions, including the custom ones. I switched solutions because Drupal provides all the features that I need.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was super easy. You just need to run the Wizard.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is free, but I would recommend spending the money on quality Drupal hosting, instead of cheaper solutions, such as Pantheon and AWS.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at other solutions namely WordPress, Joomla!, CakePHP, and Symfony.

What other advice do I have?

If you do not need the features that I have mentioned above, then do not use Drupal.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user685365 - PeerSpot reviewer
Drupal Developer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
Content management helps the end user to input or update the content on his own without approaching the developer.

What is most valuable?

  • Content management: It helps the end user to input/update the content on his own without approaching the developer, once the site is built.
  • Awesome community.
  • A large number of modules which help in extending the functionality.
  • An open-source solution.
  • It is a secure solution.
  • There is a constant development of new core features.

What needs improvement?

Since Drupal is not developed for any specific use cases, it has some learning curve and requires effort to learn. Thus, there is a need for good documentation.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for more than three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

If you purchase Drupal-specific hosting vendors like Acquia/Pantheon/Platform.sh, then you get Premium Support or else you need to go for IRC, Drupal Slack or forums.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy and straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is an open-source product, so there are no licensing fees, vendor lock-in, etc. involved.

What other advice do I have?

If you need an open-source, scalable and secure CMS, then go for Drupal.

The Drupal project is an open-source solution and is supported by an awesome community of developers. It doesn't belong to any specific vendor.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user677691 - PeerSpot reviewer
Drupal Web Developer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
The hook system makes it extensible and allows custom modules to be extensible themselves.

What is most valuable?

The hook system. This makes Drupal highly extensible and allows even custom modules to be easily extensible themselves.

How has it helped my organization?

Drupal is not an organization management system. It does not help an organization that way. Though, if I were to add a relation to that, I can say that Drupal comes with a huge community that offers their knowledge openly. Now, their professional way of thinking can help in terms of a managing the development lifecycle.

What needs improvement?

I am not able to answer this question in a few or a lot of words.

Drupal is a system compromised of a lot of modules.There is always room for improvement. The thing is though, that especially since Drupal 8, this is the only thing that it will be doing.

While Drupal had differences between major versions and modules had to be ported in order to function etc, since Drupal 8, there will only be normal upgrades by deprecating methods while introducing new features.

Drupal is now on a constant release flow that will target to only improve.
The community itself has improved quite a lot as well in terms of numbers and quality of code.

I am not saying that Drupal is perfect, it is far from perfect, but the community as an open source organization is improving constantly. Even the front end development of Drupal which was always a weak point, has improved greatly in Drupal 8 using the twig system to easily create templates.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for 1.5 years since its official release, and 4 years in Drupal 7 before that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Drupal 8 is only 1.5 years old. It has stability issues, but not major ones. Also, it is very important to note that the support from the community on fixing bugs is really good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Being one of the strong points of Drupal, I would not say I had issues with scalability! The learning curve might be a bit longer in the new version, since it has converted to OOP, but still keeps some of the old features. Scalability is certainly not affected by it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Drupal is open source software. It is supported by the huge community and the Drupal association. Out of my personal experience on their website (drupal.org), both the community and the association are extremely willing to provide help and improve the main product and their modules in total.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used multiple PHP Frameworks and CMSs like CakePHP, Laravel, Joomla, Wordpress, Magento etc. Just like the difference between frameworks and CMSs, the differences among the products is mainly the purpose.

Drupal is not really better or worse than the rest. It is all about the context. The question is 'What do you want the product for?'.

Drupal is development oriented. It is a bit heavier to build and maintain than, let's say, Wordpress, but only in the context of websites with little to none specialized functionality.

So, the reason for me choosing Drupal over the rest is mainly the context. The projects that I took up needed specialized functionalities while having all functionalities offered by a CMS so, frameworks were out, CMSs were filtered out due to their, as you mention above, scalability, extensibility, orientation towards development. I might still choose e.g. WordPress for a blog-like site etc., but you get the point.

How was the initial setup?

Drupal is a CMS and can easily be installed. The setup is as easy as any other CMS. What is different in Drupal, is that the community is very active in the packages to install. Some main features regarding the
installation are:

  • It is composer compatible. A user can use composer to quickly build and install Drupal.
  • It has its own cli tool called Drush. It can also be used to quickly build and install Drupal. Drush can also use site.make
    files in order to manage the installation of the Drupal CMS. Drush can even update the core code in a single command.
  • It has its own UI for installing and updating modules. Even for sitebuilders, Drupal is easy to extend through its module
    management UI.
  • It has a website with thousands of pages of documentation. It is really easy to find support.
  • And if all the rest are not enough, it comes with an easy UI wizard that allows to install through the interface.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Drupal is open source software. That is one of the major advantages. Pricing only comes for development and support.

What other advice do I have?

Do not be afraid. The community is eager to meet you :).

Being a community based product, the relationship with the product itself is providing back to the community. Bugs are fixed and contributed upstream to the community when possible.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user674079 - PeerSpot reviewer
PHP/Drupal developer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
Useful solution to build web applications. It requires a lot of server resources.

What is most valuable?

Views, terms, panels, and entity conception. It is a very useful and fast solution to build successful web applications.

How has it helped my organization?

We built a few powerful applications on D7 and it was very fast.

What needs improvement?

It requires a lot of server resources. It should be optimized.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had stability issues. I have a lot of 'Out of memory' issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Drupal has a very cool community, so the technical support is pretty high.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

To build more powerful apps, we switched to Symfony 3.0.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was easy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's free.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are a lot of solutions 'in the sea'. At the time, we choose Drupal because of its flexibility.

What other advice do I have?

Try it! It's free and fun.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Freelance Drupal Front End Developer at Marc Martinez at a tech vendor
Vendor
We were able to build several websites that utilize many custom content types.

What is most valuable?

Configuration API: Makes features configurable and easier to design custom applications. We were able to build several websites that utilize many custom content types. In other words, content that has many unique fields within the type. Drupal’s extensible nature allows me to easily integrate with third-party hosted systems and pull or push data to those systems.

Developing in Drupal is like constructing a custom-designed building from scratch, using all the raw materials and knowing how to put it all together.

Drupal 8 includes Twig for theming. Twig is PHP-based, flexible, fast, and secure. It's much easier to create more functional Drupal websites using Twig, as its templates are written in a syntax that's less complex than a PHP template or others while being more secure. Still, knowing how to tweak the core with PHP is a big advantage.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Easier to develop custom applications by customizing the code to build and manage websites that require custom content types and workflows.
  • It provides built-in, GUI-based, functionality for creating content types, workflow rules, and other custom content management requirements.
  • Drupal has a strong built-in user management system that is more of a framework of GUI-based tools that allow you to quickly extend it for your requirements.
  • Drupal also offers a well-developed API for extending the system. It's add-on ecosystem is also better managed then some other CMS.
  • Powerful command line tools are also available to make operational management tasks.
  • Using DRUSH as a command line to update and upgrade modules and security is a big plus.

What needs improvement?

This depends on whether Drupal wants to become user-friendlier toward non-developers. The GUI is still not as intuitive as WordPress. This is not an issue if you are comfortable with coding in PHP, JavaScript, CSS3, HTML 5, and have a basic understanding of Object Oriented Programming.

Migration of Drupal 7-based modules to Drupal 8 is still lagging behind. Many of your favorite D7 modules may not be completely migrated to a D8 format. On the plus side, the Drupal community is working hard to migrate D7-based modules to D8.

For how long have I used the solution?

I used Drupal 7 for three years, and Drupal 8 for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a high rating.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used WordPress. I switched because I learned how to code in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP. Drupal made it easier to customize a website by working directly with the API and the code.

How was the initial setup?

The initial set up was challenging as Drupal has a very steep learning curve. Drupal 8 is easier and a little more intuitive, but it is still a steep learning curve. With Drupal 8, you also have to be somewhat familiar with Object Oriented Programming if you want to understand how to extend its functionality beyond simple plug-and-play systems. This may not be the case with people not oriented toward programming or coding. In that case, OOP and the new structure of D8 will prove overwhelming.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Drupal is open source. There is no pricing and licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

  • MODX (PHP-based)
  • Rails (based on Ruby)

What other advice do I have?

Go for it! If you know how to code in PHP, CSS3, and HTML 5, your experience will be much easier and you will appreciate Drupal much more. For anyone thinking of switching to Drupal, I would recommend finding a developer or designer who is already familiar with Drupal 7 and particularly version 8.

I would rate it higher, but I also use Ruby on Rails, and MODX (PHP-based), which provide a more flexible, more code hacking, development framework. Drupal is a favorite and I will continue to support its development and will use it in situations where I feel that it will benefit a client over other solutions.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user674082 - PeerSpot reviewer
Drupal Architect with 201-500 employees
Vendor
Some of the valuable features are revisioning, workflow, translation, and API scaffolding.

What is most valuable?

As an ASA. As a primarily back-end developer, the extensible OO architecture is the most valuable, along with the CMS and related services it provides, such as revisioning, workflow, translation, and API scaffolding.

How has it helped my organization?

Drupal has made it possible to address a wide breadth of web site requirements.

What needs improvement?

The current version represents a new architecture for the product: Object-oriented sitting atop Symfony 2, rather than procedural.

The kinks are still being worked out, so there is an opportunity to improve on the current state of most of it. APIs are improved, and the originals were deprecated but were left in place. Features that weren't ready for release are completed and added, such as media handling, due in 8.3.

New features that are being considered are added as experimental modules: They come disabled, but can be enabled by the admin.

Drupal, like the Enterprise, birthed new versions from the ashes of the old. Starting with D8, it improves as it journeys.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Drupal for about 10 years. I used D8 since its release, for about a year and a half.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability. It was vetted very well in beta and it has been stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Drupal 8 has an architecture that will scale well and better than previous versions, especially given big pipe. This will allow for scaling, even with authenticated users. This is something that was not possible in earlier versions.

How is customer service and technical support?

Despite being open source, Drupal has a large and active community. Support, though voluntary, is rarely hard to find.

How was the initial setup?

Drupal 8 can be somewhat complex to set up because of the supporting technologies that should be installed, such as Composer, Drush, and Drupal Console.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's free.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other options.

What other advice do I have?

Drupal for end users is fairly straightforward. For developers, the learning curve to be proficient is about two years.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Drupal developer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Data is well-structured and controlled from any part of the code.

What is most valuable?

Its scalability, content management practices, security and the community are valuable features.

The product is very well-supported. Every day, the Drupal community all over the world posts new updates along with the bug fixes and security updates. So, the product is getting better and better each day.

After many years of development (it has already reached version 8), Drupal gets great content management schemes and processes. Data is well-structured and controlled from any part of the code.

In the case of the required changes in some part of the functionality, you can apply changes without rewriting the features from scratch.

What needs improvement?

Developing more profiles easily and fast would really help. With the minimum profile functionalities, there is a need for supported functions like commerce or a new website.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Drupal 8 for 2 two years, I have used Drupal for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were some stability issues, i.e., only with the new version, the main changes are not stable. However, now it is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues. You can scale any part of the project. You can replace some features if you need to.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support a 9/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have some experience with Java Spring MVC Framework. Drupal allows us to work much faster but as a counter part, it is slower.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup in the new version is extremely easy and fast with Drupal VM or Docker. In drupal.org you can find a lot of other possible solutions.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Drupal is open-source and free. You will pay only for the developers to get your unique project.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated other commonly used CMS solutions such as WordPress and Magento, but Drupal has many more features and it is more scalable.

What other advice do I have?

You should definitely use this product.

After so many years of development, it has already lots of developed APIs with the third products like CRM and ERP.

You can integrate it easily with your other IT infrastructure.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user677715 - PeerSpot reviewer
Drupal Lead Developer at a marketing services firm with 201-500 employees
Vendor
It provides a tailored website by using the same CMS and framework.

What is most valuable?

The ability to create a complex website with a few developments is the most valuable feature, that's what got me started. Of course, a lot of other things are valuable such as the use of Symfony as a framework, the user management system, Internationalization, community and so on.

How has it helped my organization?

Creating websites with Drupal allows us to meet our customer needs. It provides a tailored website by using the same CMS and framework. In the end, our goal is to give autonomy for the contributors and to make them feel it's easy to manage their website.

What needs improvement?

The UI can, probably, be improved as well as the documentation.

For the UI, as WordPress is the biggest challenger of Drupal, we can observe some sort of lacking in that domain, even though it has been largely improved over time. Although, what we have tried to do, is always to create the best UI for contribution and most of the times, the way that the fields are displayed have so much logic behind them, that there is no need for any training. That's one of our primary goals and what satisfies me in the end, is when we deliver to the client.

As it's an open-source project, sometimes it's hard to find any documentation; although it has been improved over time as well. For instance, Symfony on which Drupal 8 is based, has very good documentation. Sometimes, you just have to read the code to understand how it works or how to use an API, which is not the best way to learn for everyone.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for seven years and am still counting.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did sometimes encounter stability issues with a few modules, but hardly ever with the core of Drupal itself.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I never thought that there was anything that we couldn't do with Drupal.

How are customer service and technical support?

Since it's an open-source solution, I'd say that you have to get involved and be able to ask the right person.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I tried WordPress but it seems too limited for me.

How was the initial setup?

The learning curve is rather complex but once you reach a certain level, then there is no limit.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Just invest in a good server, you can use Drupal for free :-)

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

At the time I started using Drupal, I looked into Joomla, eZ Publish and WordPress.

Due to the community and orientation of Drupal (thanks to Dries Buytaert who is the creator of Drupal), it was a more reasonable choice to make.

What other advice do I have?

Find the right project and just start using it. There is no other way than just jumping into Drupal to know how powerful it is and to learn how to use it. If you have any question, look into drupal.stackexchange.com. If you don't find the answer, just ask.

Frankly, besides WordPress, no other CMS can compete with Drupal.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user669366 - PeerSpot reviewer
Drupal Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
It is a framework integrated with CMS, making the software useful for both the developer teams and the content editors.

What is most valuable?

It is a very powerful tool for the developer's hands and also, it's very easy for the content editors to use.

It's a framework integrated with CMS. The advantage of having a framework with CMS is that you make the software useful for both the developer teams and the content editors, at the same time. You can create rich experiences by allowing the developers to extend what is already provided and at the same time, making the CMS experience even richer.

How has it helped my organization?

Drupal 8 did a great step by integrating with the Symfony Framework. Now, the documentation is easier to read through and it's more intuitive.

What needs improvement?

There is need for better organization of the documentation on the drupal.org site.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Drupal versions 6, 7 and 8 for around eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We encountered some stability issues, only when the modules/profiles/themes are on the development version (but not always).

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far, Drupal 8 has been doing an excellent job with all the integrations that it provides. So the answer is, so far, there were no scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is a community, so it goes from the junior to senior consultants.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have used WordPress before, but not for so long, so I can't really compare.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is pretty simple and intuitive. It, of course, involves a little bit of technical knowledge, such as how to set up the DB and giving some folders a special writing permission.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is an open-source project; it is totally free.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It was more like Drupal chose me, I was working for J&J and this was its framework.

What other advice do I have?

Read about it, ask the community and NEVER EVER change the Drupal core.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user669345 - PeerSpot reviewer
Drupal Developer at a media company with 201-500 employees
Vendor
Provides content-rich web sites that combine article presentation with back-end admin functionality.

What is most valuable?

  • Flexibility
  • A vast number of contributed modules
  • Good support

How has it helped my organization?

Drupal CMS helped in the realization of content-rich web sites that combine article presentation with sophisticated, back-end admin functionality.

What needs improvement?

The documentation needs improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Drupal for one month.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven’t had stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been no scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good, but it needs improvement.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I didn’t use a different solution before using Drupal.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very complex, due to the lack of proper documentation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Drupal CMS is an open-source product and it’s free of charge. Some of the contributed modules may use different licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I didn’t evaluate other options.

What other advice do I have?

You should hire an expert, or at least get familiar with the large number of Drupal based distributions.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user666759 - PeerSpot reviewer
Drupal Web Developer at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees
Vendor
The new component-based content management is very helpful.

What is most valuable?

The new component-based content management is very helpful. It is cludgy at first, but maintenance is very nice among many content contributors.

How has it helped my organization?

It makes it easier for multiple people to contribute content and handle who has access to what. Very few CMS systems have such granular, controllable access permissions.

What needs improvement?

I liked the configuration being more database oriented. The file-based configuration is nicer for deployment and makes it quicker. However, the other 99% of the time, it's a pain in the butt.

They drew the line between what is "config" and what is "content". What is config is file passed, is exported, pushed to the server and imported as configuration.

This make a large deployment much easier, quicker and cleaner. However, when you want to add a permission to a user role, something as simple as that checkbox, forces a config push, which annoys me.

At a certain point that takes away from what a CMS should be. I get the
file based for some basic config storage, but at a certain point it really
gets in the way of productivity.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Drupal for many years, starting with, I believe, version 5. I used version 6, for sure, and now I am getting into version 8. I am about ready to take some certification courses.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been no scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

There is no support other than the user community, which tends to be far better than most paid support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've used many solutions over the years. Some are easier, but they tend to be less scalable. Drupal is a great balance.

How was the initial setup?

It is pretty simple to install, but more complex to configure and get going.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I have no advice. It's free!

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've always looked at many alternatives and Drupal always rises above for a large scale contributor base, general security, and lack of vulnerabilities.

What other advice do I have?

Educate yourself and take your time.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user667677 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Drupal Developer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
My favorite feature is its ability to create content types using the field system.

What is most valuable?

Drupal is one of the most robust content management systems. My favorite features are:

  • The ability to create content types using Drupal's field system
  • A robust categorization tool provided by Drupal's taxonomy system
  • Access control using the user roles and permissions
  • Extensibility using thousands of contributed modules

What needs improvement?

  • Admin Interface: You'll often hear that Drupal has a pretty high learning curve. I attribute that to its admin interface. New users can find it pretty difficult to understand. It's rarely intuitive and lacks hints/suggestions.
  • Example Content: Drupal doesn't come with any default content. When you set up and start using Drupal, you'll find that it's pretty empty. With the addition of the example content (preferably with guides/tours), it would be possible to make Drupal easier to understand.
  • Lack of good and ready-to-use themes: Drupal.org provides thousands of themes, but most of the time, they are not ready-to-use. Most of these themes are what we call "base themes", i.e., you need to extend (using sub-themes) or modify (in code) to get exactly what you need.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Drupal for the past five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Until now, we have not experienced any stability issues. Drupal has regular security, feature updates, and the Drupal community is always there for any kind of support that you might need.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Verbatim from Drupal.org (https://www.drupal.org/docs/7/managing-site-performance-and-scalability):

Drupal is a complex application. A well-configured Drupal site can be highly performant and can scale to many millions of visitors per day. Conversely, a poorly optimized site can be frustratingly slow for its users.

In our project, we've followed guidelines from drupal.org as to how to optimize its performance for scalability. It has helped us to serve our site from tens to thousands of regular users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Drupal has pretty good documentation for reference. You can always find support from the Drupal community via drupal.org, drupal.stackexchange.com, or on Drupal IRC channels, if you're into that kind of thing.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I started my career in Drupal. I didn't use any other solution before.

How was the initial setup?

To set up Drupal, you need a web server with PHP and DBMS. This is supported by Drupal. MySQL is the most common one, but Drupal supports others as well.

There are various tools for local setup (Acquia Dev Desktop), for hosting services and for the cloud setup (Pantheon, Platform.sh). These are preconfigured for Drupal and are really easy to set up.

In case you want to setup Drupal from scratch, you need basic information about the servers and file permissions. In that case, you'll find that Drupal is pretty easy to set up.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Drupal is a free and open-source product, which is always a plus point in my opinion.

What other advice do I have?

Drupal is a fantastic tool for content management, but it has a pretty high learning curve.

For very simple solutions, such as for setting up a blog or a static informational website, you might find that Drupal is overkill. There are other, better tools available for such tasks. However, if you want something robust and secure, Drupal is a good choice.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
IT Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
We use it to build and maintain a web page. Modifying themes could be easier.

What is most valuable?

It is easy to build and maintain a web page.

How has it helped my organization?

I sell car cameras (dash cameras) and I decided to build a site where the customers can publish their interesting recordings. The site was built on Drupal in three hours.

What needs improvement?

Modifying the themes (colors, dimensions, and pictures) could be easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Drupal for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have had no problems with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have had no problems with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

If technical support includes the on-line forums, then it is perfect.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Before Drupal, I used static HTML web pages.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was not complex. Step-by-step instructions help you during the setup.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is a free product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not evaluate other options.

What other advice do I have?

Check the free templates first. Check how you can create a database on your web admin page. Then start.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user637827 - PeerSpot reviewer
Drupal Backend Developer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Has provided us with a modular framework where we can develop our own modules to give a required feature to the client.

What is most valuable?

  • I appreciate the free software.
  • This gives us the possibility to search deep in the core of the system in case of bugs.
  • In addition, it enables you to improve the core functionality. This feature also helped the framework to be more secure because the Drupal community around the world is always checking, verifying, and fixing bugs in the Drupal core and in the contributed modules and themes.
  • I am also grateful to the extensible framework. In some cases, just the Drupal and the contributed modules are not enough to build the client requirements.
  • Drupal has provided us with a modular framework that we can enhance, where we can develop our own modules to give a required feature to the client.
  • We can also contribute back with our module to the wider Drupal community.
  • We also really value API documentation because if we need to develop some custom functionality or simply understand what Drupal is doing, we can go to the Drupal API documentation page,
    (https://api.drupal.org/api/drupal), or do a simple search in Google.
  • The Drupal community is one of the biggest free software communities around the world. It is so valuable because it is responsible for organizing events around the world, training new developers, providing maintenance to the core, and contributed modules. We have a popular saying in the Drupal community, ”Come for the software, stay for the community”.

How has it helped my organization?

We use Drupal to develop most of our clients' sites because the CMS features and the development framework give us the possibility to expend less time in the repetitive functionality, such as the user login or in the content management administration/creation.

We now have more time to focus on crucial features that our client needs, like custom mail notifications, statistics, or other features that can give our clients business value.

What needs improvement?

I think Drupal has to improve the UX for some administrative pages, such as the modules list page.

When I talk about improvements in user experience of the administration page, specifically in the modules list page, I mean that this page is annoying. It is annoying because the default interface gives us a list of all the modules in the site, uncategorized, and without the possibility to filter by text and to complete the activation of one specific module. Instead, we have to scroll down the whole page.

This is a problem because in live sites, the average number of installed modules is around 30 for mid-complex sites.

A module filter would resolve this problem. It would improve the Drupal modules interface, but an optimal solution would be to add UX improvements to the Drupal core.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this product for around four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not really experienced any stability issues with the Drupal core. In some cases, we found some issues in the contributed modules. However, these bugs usually already have a patch available. If a patch doesn't exist, then we try to fix it and contribute back.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any scalability issues. The scalability/modularity is one of the principle features of this CMS.

How is customer service and technical support?

The Drupal community gives excellent support to the Drupal core. Usually a reported bug does not last more than a week before it is attended to.

How was the initial setup?

This is very relative. If you are using other contributed projects like the DrupalVM or Kalabox, the initial setup is less complex, because you don't have to configure all of the web stack (which is usually LAMP).

On the other hand, if you want to have your custom environment self-configured, you have to organize all the system requirements to run Drupal properly. This will include a web server (Apache, Nginx), a SQL database (MySQL, PostgreSQL), the PHP language, and helper tools like Drush.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

As I said before, Drupal is free software and is covered by GNU General Public License, version 2 or later. You can find more information here:

https://www.drupal.org/about/l...

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Every time prior to commencing a new project, we always evaluated the viability of the development of the project with Drupal. In one case, Drupal did not meet the requirements for the front-end of the site, but it met the backend requirements.

In that case, we developed two products, one front end developed in Angular JS and one Drupal as backend with custom web services to feed the Angular App.

What other advice do I have?

I think the best advice is to be patient and persevering. Drupal is a very large tool and you will need to read a lot documentation and view some examples to start with it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user635487 - PeerSpot reviewer
Application Developer, Sr at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Being free to extend or alter it is important for us.

What is most valuable?

The open source nature of Drupal, being free to extend or alter it is massively important for us. We also use it to build communications. Not being tied to a single vendor means that we can have scale for developers.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives the company the ability to quickly spin up ideas, and the scalability to take them further if required.

What needs improvement?

Drupal could always have more developers. However, with recent announcements for backwards compatibility in the future, we are hoping to be able to leverage Drupal in the future, too.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Drupal since 2008. However, I believe that my company has been using since 2011.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Generally, we don’t have stability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

We gain technical support from a number of external vendors as well as internal teams. In general, this is excellent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have used a number of frameworks. However, due to its flexibility and community size, at the moment it is the preferred proof-of-concept platform.

How was the initial setup?

Unfortunately, with Drupal, there is a number of learning paradigms that you have to discover, which can make it difficult to understand as a newcomer. However, once these have been crossed, the value grows exponentially.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

As with a good proportion of open-source software, it is provided without cost. It uses the GPLv2 license, so that is needed to be understood to use the software.

Drupal is not provided by a Vendor, it is open source software, and therefore, doesn't have direct support or suchlike by any one vendor, but in general by the community of developers who work on it. This makes it similar to Joomla (not exactly like WordPress, as it is open-sourced, but controlled by Automattic).

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have some other frameworks that we use and some other software. It is a matter of choosing the correct software for the job and Drupal's flexibility and scalability mean that it is a useful, multi-purpose software for web applications.

What other advice do I have?

Find a trusted partner and make sure that you engage with the community. There are hundreds of meetups for Drupal enthusiasts around the world.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user628050 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Drupal developer at a non-profit with 51-200 employees
Vendor
The best features are its extensibility and plug-ability. It has a very good authentication/authorization system.

What is most valuable?

The best things about Drupal are its extensibility and plug-ability. You can get something going quite fast that’s feasible for clients to see.

It has a very good authentication/authorization system. For a few years, the application had a dedicated security team who took care of reported security issues with the Drupal core and even contributed modules. The vast user base is a big bonus. You have plenty people collaborating on many modules/plugins, so if you have issues, someone will step in quite fast to help you.

A lot of functionality has been added to the core since Drupal Version 6 allows for people who don’t have a strong technical background to build complex displays of data and pages just by using a WYSIWYG editor.

How has it helped my organization?

We have rebuilt a few websites in Drupal. Due to the way Drupal is built, it usually allows us to have new functionality ready in a sprint, where before it could take several months to get into production.

What needs improvement?

The learning curve is the thing that scares most people away from using Drupal. With Drupal Version 8, it has taken a more standardized way by teaming up with the Symfony framework.

This, however, is a double-edged sword. It takes you a step further away from the typical front-end developers that had found their gem in Drupal Versions 6 and 7. By its procedural nature, they were able to build semi-complex websites without any real programming and object oriented programming knowledge.

Everything below Drupal 8 was aimed at being a procedural application where you can make changes by using hooks they provide in their code (a small amount were Object Oriented, but most people would never touch this). This allows for an easy way to modify existing pages for the non-programmers who know how to write scripts a little. But these hooks are very specific to Drupal itself (hence the steep learning curve) and aren’t very intuitive if you look at PHP frameworks/applications as a whole. The documentation on how to do things as a complete novice is only subpar in both Drupal 7 & 8. By now there are plenty how-to tutorials on how to do things in Drupal 7 luckily.

With Drupal 8 they decided to use Symphony2 as the base framework for the system. This allows for best practices in that framework to be used and allow the vast community of symphony2 programmers to make a switch to Drupal since it leans closer to home than the procedural approach from the previous version. Almost everything is now Object Oriented and the amount of hooks (the old procedural approach) has been pushed back to a minimum. This makes it more difficult for the previously mentioned non-programmers. They are now looking at a huge time-investment to learn OO Programming to get started in Drupal 8. I believe this is the reason why Drupal 8 is making such a slow start compared to Drupal 6 & 7. It’s a good product but they made it so much harder for the people who can write basic PHP scripts.

The main area of improvement would be better/more documentation and tutorials on how to do things in Drupal 8 at this moment. It’s a leap of faith for the non-programmers out there and some of them just completely thrown off by it. This is what incites projects like https://backdropcms.org/ where they fork Drupal 7 to keep it going after it reaches EOL.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve been a Drupal developer for eight years. Drupal Version 6 is what I used when I first started with Drupal development. For legacy reasons, I still actively develop some applications in this version. I have used Drupal Version 7 for five years and it is still the most used to date. I have used Drupal Version 8 only for a year, but for nothing overly complex yet.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven’t had any real stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

When we built an application reaching 200k unique hits, we were suffering from severe slowness. We had to change our approach to caching and the use of a load-balanced setup.

We made a load-balanced setup consisting of four nodes and added a Varnish and Memcache dedicated instance per node.

This allowed us to have a response time of less than a second, even with 200k unique hits per hour.

How are customer service and technical support?

As mentioned before, the real strength of Drupal is the vast community who the product really relies on.

You will have to learn most things yourself, but if you have any questions, most of the community members are willing to help you with your problems.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have used many different systems before, ranging from TYPO3, Umbraco, and even a custom CMS. The reasons to change to Drupal were:

  • Ease of deployment
  • One-sprint releases
  • Security
  • Out-of-the-box support for a good load-balanced solution
  • No stale cache problems

How was the initial setup?

The basic setup of Drupal is easy and straightforward. The learning curve to make complex changes or modules is quite steep in Drupal. This learning curve is even steeper in Drupal Version 8 than it was in Drupal Versions 6 and 7.

They use a specific set of hooks to process your code in the application that takes some time to get used to.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The product itself is free and open source, as well as the contributed modules available on the main website. You have a lot of possibility at hand, free of charge.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We tried a few alternatives, such as Umbraco, TYPO3, and WordPress.

What other advice do I have?

While the learning curve is steep and may seem scary, if you invest time in it, it is well worth it.

It may be a good idea to invest in training and/or literature about development in Drupal. It will teach your best practices and will shorten the learning curve.

I think they are on the right track though. They listen to the community about a lot of things and they try to improve the application itself and the modules by giving coding and security feedback/guidelines.

Drupal Version 7 is mature and will not change. Out-of-the-box, it’s still incomplete as a full-blown CMS.

There is no easy way of building structured pages and a general how-to flow.

All these features have been made available by community-contributed modules afterwards. This makes it a great product, but you depend on a third party’s time and money.

Luckily, they have taken feedback from this version and funneled it in the next version.

I haven’t done enough large-scale projects in Drupal Version 8.

So far, it’s a great product, but the configuration management makes it difficult to work on a single project with multiple developers.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Developer at Appnovation Technologies
MSP
The key differentiator to other solutions is the way that content is structured and managed.

What is most valuable?

  • Content type definitions: One of the best features of Drupal, and maybe the key differentiator to other solutions, is the way that content is structured and managed. In Drupal Version 8, this was improved. The global process of creating a content type with fields, relations, and translations is more refined and advanced than before.
  • Views: In the Drupal Core, views are a quick and advanced way to create listings of content. When using the UI, it is possible to query contents and have the results sorted and filtered by any element. Combined with the template engine, the output can be easily transformed into whatever is required from the design.
  • Inclusion of symphony framework: Drupal Version 8 shifted to a full OOP API. The inclusion of pieces from the symphony framework provided some modern patterns in the Drupal core.
  • Configuration management: A CMI was implemented for Drupal Version 8, a centralized place to handle and store configurations. This is a huge improvement when compared to Drupal Version 7.
  • Content moderation: This wasn’t included in the original 8 version but was incorporated later as an experimental module and will be released as stable on Drupal 8.3. The possibility to have custom workflow around the contents and different states (e.g. draft, published, pending, etc..) is critical for any medium/big website.

How has it helped my organization?

My organization sells services around Drupal Version 8.

What needs improvement?

The admin interface could be improved. Compared to Version 7, it was a huge improvement. I think it is not enough for current user needs. Creating complex content types (involving translations), is still a very slow and painful process.

I believe that a new admin interface that stands up with modern UI patterns is critical. A good example is what WordPress did by replacing the old admin interface with a JavaScript based one.

All API functionality is covered by the documentation, but in most cases, it is very limited and lacks good examples. Mostly, it is required to debug into the core of the CMS to understand how to solve some more complex issues.

Drupal 8 lacks a media manager where all assets like pictures, videos, and other media files, can be managed. This is present on other solutions and is a core need for any CMS. There are some contributed solutions but they are unstable or do not meet all the required functionalities. In such case the community is aware and the media initiative (https://www.drupalmedia.org) is in progress with the promise to solve that soon in next updates of Drupal.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Drupal Version 8 is a more or less mature product, since it was launched more than one year ago.

However, when combined with custom implementations and contributed modules, some things seem not stable. Being an open source solution with a large community, it is easy to find a patch or a workaround. However, this requires some knowledge.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is something that can be related to many factors, depending on your needs and the budget you have. It is also related to the way you architect your solution and therefore how you implement your Drupal website. A bad architecture, in terms of content, can drastically reduce it.

Drupal Version 8 is based on a typical PHP + MySQL/MariaDB + Apache/NGiNX stack. These have been in the market for some time. They are hosting providers who are selling Drupal cloud services with promises of scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Drupal version 8 is an open source solution, so the support is focused on the Drupal community itself.

In most cases, help is present in the form of forums, discussion groups, chats, etc. However, when entering enterprise grade, it is recommended to obtain support from a Drupal specialized company.

There are several available in the market. Some include people who are involved in maintaining the core of Drupal.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I worked in the past with different CMS solutions. Perhaps Vignette was the most relevant. I believe, at that time, it was the most complete and advanced CMS. However, It faced the same issues as many other solutions. It was heavy, lacking in flexibility, and slow to adopt new tech trends.

Drupal is the opposite, since it is not closed software and it does not rely on only one company.

How was the initial setup?

The Drupal Version 8 setup is pretty straightforward. You can do it on the cloud without any technical knowledge or you can do it on your local environment.

To test on the local environment I recommend using:

  • DrupalVM (https://www.drupalvm.com)

For a quick test, you can use https://simplytest.me. (You can virtually test any version and most of the main modules.)

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There is no cost regarding licensing. Costs should be calculated based on the required support and training efforts.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I started with Drupal in 2009. I was working with Vignette and investigated other open source solutions, such as WordPress, Joomla!, and TYPO3.

What other advice do I have?

First invest in internal knowledge and your way to handle strategic decisions, and then find a good provider/partner who can support you when you need it.

Free your mind from other concepts that may be related. This is mostly relevant for people who are quite accustomed to SharePoint and/or other commercial solutions. This is a shift in the paradigm. Embracing Drupal while trying to achieve similar results as these other solutions will never work.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user627033 - PeerSpot reviewer
Web Developer at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
The most valuable features are a customizable web platform and community support.

What is most valuable?

  • The most valuable features are flexibility, robustness, and community support.
  • Has a very customizable web platform. You can build a lot of different solutions on top of it.
  • It is robust, secure, and maintained by a very large community of developers.
  • Community: The most important feature. The Drupal community is awesome and will provide you with all the support, training, and answers you might need when using it.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows your web site or web application to grow along with your business. You don’t have to rebuild your technical solution every time your business changes. You can just extend its functionality.

What needs improvement?

They can improve their migration tools and processes. Migrating from one version to another can be very complex.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Drupal for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had some stability issues. Some modules are not production-ready. This is the case specifically with the most recent version of Drupal.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If custom development follows the best practices and standards, it shouldn’t be any problem. However, when custom parts don’t follow the standards, there could be room for scalability problems.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is given by the community itself. It gets a rating of 4.5/5.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I’ve used WordPress as well. They are usually compared with each other. However, they are both good at solving different problems. You can achieve similar results, but they are better depending on your project.

WordPress is usually simpler and less expensive. It’s ideal for marketing websites, landing pages, blogs, and small e-commerce sites.

Drupal is better for larger and more enterprise-type sites. It can be expensive, but it provides more security and better scalability than WordPress.

How was the initial setup?

The Drupal installation is simple. However, it is complex to start because you don’t get an out-of-the-box working website with all of what you need. You get a web platform with a lot of great tools and pieces to start building.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Drupal is an open source platform, so it doesn’t require any payment for the license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I evaluated WordPress and I used it for several projects. I evaluated Joomla! and Magento.

What other advice do I have?

Check if Drupal is the right tool for your project and business. Drupal projects can be expensive. Sometimes finding good developers is a hard task and the learning curve is very steep.

But it is worth it if you require an enterprise level web platform with great scalability, support, and security.

If you need a simpler website, and your budget is limited, it might be a good idea to check other tools like WordPress.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user627036 - PeerSpot reviewer
Drupal Developer at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Offers a wide array of modules to add functionality to a website. The community is a very passionate and helpful one.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable are the security features and a wide array of available modules, or extensions, that can be used to add functionality to a Drupal website.

How has it helped my organization?

Our website, debugacademy.com, was built in Drupal. We use it to review student applications to our Drupal Development Course.

What needs improvement?

It needs better and more themes available for download, like you have in WordPress.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this for 16 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any stability issues. Another good thing about Drupal is that it gets a lot of updates.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had scalability issues. Drupal is designed for complex and large websites.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 5/5. The Drupal community is a very passionate and helpful one.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not have a previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is definitely complex. In order to develop a Drupal website, you have to set up a local development environment or server.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Drupal is free to use since it is open source software. However, Drupal developers are expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn’t look at any alternatives.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you know Drupal before getting into it. Take a Drupal course like the one we have.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: The founder of my company works for the company that invented Drupal (Acquia). (You can find more information at debugacademy.com.)
it_user627042 - PeerSpot reviewer
Sales Development at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Creates authoring workflows, content architecture, and allows you to publish content on a single site.

What is most valuable?

  • Ease of use: Drupal creates easy authoring workflows, flexible content architecture, and allows you to publish content on a single site. You can also publish across multiple sites, with multilingual and multi-device support.
  • Flexibility: With Drupal, unlike proprietary CMSs, you are not restricted to a fixed set of features. You have the freedom to choose from numerous plug and play modules. You can create a CMS with the exact feature set that’s relevant to your digital strategy.
  • Scalability: Drupal is built to scale up with your business requirements, with seamless additions of new features and functionalities as you grow. Unlike proprietary CMSs, you will not pay a heavy license fee for usage and upgrade.
  • Security: Drupal is a proven, secure CMS, with a global team of security experts who validate and respond to security issues. This, coupled with an active, open source community, ensures that you will have a security patch available, even before you know of vulnerability.
  • Community: The open source community drives Drupal. With over 23,000 contributed modules, there’s a high chance that any feature you want has already been built, and is available for you to use at no cost.

How has it helped my organization?

Since adopting Drupal as our flagship technology offering, we've gone on to service some of the largest corporations, non-profits, and agencies globally. We're Asia's largest boutique Drupal consulting firm.

What needs improvement?

It needs a better UI for the back-end user.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Drupal since 2007.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not have any stability issues that were very serious.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is one of the key factors that make Drupal so widely accepted.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are fastidious in ensuring our enterprise users have all the support they need to be successful.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We switched from TYPO3 to Drupal consulting, as Drupal offers better value to our customers.

How was the initial setup?

Being open source, Drupal can be set up by just about anybody. It’s the customization and integrations that require technical skills.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Drupal is open source. There is no licensing fee.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate any alternatives.

What other advice do I have?

If Drupal meets your specific requirements, please go right ahead.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're Asia's largest boutique Drupal consulting firm.
PeerSpot user
Senior IT Officer at a non-profit with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
The themes and modules are valuable features. We can enhance the application's performance.

What is most valuable?

The themes and modules are valuable features of this product. We can easily enhance the application's performance.

What needs improvement?

The modules need to be improved. It would be great if we could add custom PHP codes to some regions on the template. This would be used for adding and retrieving data from the database.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for about one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did encounter some scalability issues when I tried to add custom PHP codes. I searched Google for a solution, but I couldn't find anything.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 8/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I was not using any other product previously. I started web development with Drupal, Version 7.

What other advice do I have?

I encourage others to use this product. It is a very powerful CMS tool with a lot of themes and modules. It is great for enterprise use.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user626082 - PeerSpot reviewer
Web Developer at Themelize.me
Real User
The key contributing modules are views, panels, Ctools, token, and Pathauto.

What is most valuable?

  • The robust API and the large number of contributed modules created by the community
  • The API uses a consistent hook system to allow you to build custom modules which "hook" into Drupal seamlessly. For example, these could be used to add new user permissions, page blocks, or to simply alter the text on a form button.
  • The Drupal contributed modules are those that are built and maintained by the community members. There's a saying in the Drupal community "There's a module for that." Quite often, there is already a module for the functionality that you need, or one very close to it.
  • The key contributing modules are views, panels, Ctools, token, and Pathauto. A number of key contributing modules have ended up in the Drupal core in recent years.

How has it helped my organization?

It has cut down the development time and given us a great base to build out any type of site that is needed.

What needs improvement?

The admin interface has been lacking in usability. They have made improvements in the new versions.

In the previous versions of Drupal, the admin UI was confusing to non-technical users. This has improved, but it probably isn't as user-friendly as WordPress, for example.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for over ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Drupal, Version 8, which was released a few months back, still has some blocking bugs. However, the stability of Drupal, in general, is very solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Drupal may require a lot of resources for certain types of sites, but hosting and well-architected codes can get around this.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is entirely community-based, i.e., via Stack Overflow or Drupal.org. It could be better.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I worked with the Joomla!, but the product reached its limits. We switched to Drupal.

How was the initial setup?

The initial installation process is much more improved and relatively straightforward. It’s still a bit developer-orientated, which can be confusing for non-developers.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Drupal is open source software, so it can be used for free.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Joomla!

What other advice do I have?

Be patient and expect a learning curve. In the end, you’ll have a solid CMS platform with which to work.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user622752 - PeerSpot reviewer
Expert Drupal, SEO at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Offers community created modules for website building.

What is most valuable?

I have been convinced since the start that Drupal's greatest asset is its community. Drupal's motto is "Come for the software, stay for the community".

But the community has, from the start, created modules that are now a deep part of Drupal core. They continue to innovate in a lot of different areas.

The web moves fast. Having a big community allows the software to be on top of things in a lot of different areas, such as technical and marketing areas.

How has it helped my organization?

By using the open source and free modules provided by the community, you can jumpstart a website project really quickly.

You can concentrate on developing the business part specific to the client, bringing the most added value as fast as possible.

By having a large base of available functionalities, we can guide the client to align his needs with what the product can offer directly.

There is a lot more collaboration between the development team and the client.

What needs improvement?

The main complaints of the clients or newcomers to Drupal are about the UX of the admin interface.

Compared to WordPress, Drupal is hard to use. It is a lot more powerful as a site building tool.

In Drupal 8, the UX is now a clear focus with a dedicated team (https://www.drupal.org/communi...-initiatives/drupal-core/usability). Each major version adds a lot in this regard.

I'm really enthusiastic to see what Drupal will become in one year or so. I have already seen what has been made in Drupal 8.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Drupal for almost 10 years. I started using Drupal, Version 4.7, and have consistently used every version since.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The Drupal core is really stable. Depending on the community modules you are using, you may encounter some stability issues.

As a free product, you have to look for a solution to an issue yourself. The community is big. You often see that someone else has found the solution and posted it publicly. Everything is integrated into the product very fast.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Drupal, especially the recent versions, is built to easily integrate with systems like Varnish. Scalability is not an issue, provided that you know how to use this kind of setup.

Drupal 8 goes further. It uses a new cache system which allows integration with a lot of existing performance techniques:

  • BigPipe from Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/notes...-engineering/bigpipe-pipelining-web-pages-for-high-performance/389414033919/): Now bundled into the Drupal core
  • Turbolinks from Ruby on Rails (https://github.com/turbolinks/turbolinks): Can be integrated using a community module

How are customer service and technical support?

It entirely depends on what modules you are using for building your website. Some are well-maintained, but a few are less well-maintained. But there are issue queues for each module where you can find solutions and often patches.

You may also find a lot of Drupal developers in IRC channels at any hour of the day, willing to help for free in a lot of cases.

Some companies, like Acquia, offer full-time support, provided by experienced site builders and developers.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I was a Java developer, developing mostly backend stuff. I switched when the company I was in at the time switched. Drupal was getting some traction in 2007, and it was time for us to try it for building websites.

How was the initial setup?

We are talking 10 years ago, and the product was not what it is today, especially regarding the UX. It was a bit complex. It had no integrated rich text editor, nor native media handling. It is easier today.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Drupal is absolutely free of charge, as are the community modules. So the price entirely depends on the functionalities you want on your website.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not involved in the choice.

What other advice do I have?

The first website you build with Drupal will have a lot of mistakes. I would recommend a training session to grasp the basic principles. Use Drupal, Version 8, when you are starting.

The UX keeps getting better and better. Drupal is now a lot easier to start with than a few years back. You will need help to build complex websites, especially regarding what community module you choose and for what situation.

Drupal is currently working on "workspaces", which allow for the revisioning of a whole website. This means having a draft version of the website and a live one. They plan to add that to the core in about a year.

A team is working on allowing deployment of content and configuration from one website instance, like staging, to another instance, such as production. This is based on this workspace feature.

Once both these features are in, Drupal could be chosen not only for its adaptability and ability to tackle big website projects, but for its core functionalities. They are unmatched in the free software CMS world. This is providing that Drupal continues to evolve like it has been doing these past months regarding the UX, especially media integration and the ease of contribution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user621027 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Software Engineer at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The velocity of its extensibility and prototyping is a valuable feature.

What is most valuable?

The velocity of its extensibility and prototyping is a valuable feature. I can quickly take a concept and have a working prototype within several days, rather than in several weeks.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows for fewer developers, by leveraging community-built, community-approved modules.

What needs improvement?

Most areas of improvement were resolved in Drupal 8. The stability and infusion of certain elements in Drupal 7 are still absent.

For specific use cases, there are bugs with its DB Query UI tables (Drupal Views). Most of the configurations in Drupal 7 are done in the database, which makes Version Control API much more challenging.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for around 4-5 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It depends entirely upon the developers. Well-written code and well-cached displays seldom have performance or display issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Bottlenecks exist only at the highest levels. The standard version of Drupal is slightly more demanding than the other baseline platforms, with a hunger for >512MB of memory for rendering heavier scripts.

How are customer service and technical support?

There is a very active community for occasional issues/questions. Depending on the budget, there is an agency that maintains Drupal core, i.e., Acquia Cloud. This has a similar model that Red Hat uses, which is open-source software with consulting support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Between the years 2006-2009, I had used SilverStripe as well as WordPress for CMS solutions.

However, SilverStripe had a much smaller community and didn't scale as well for the enterprise solutions.

WordPress was quick to theme, but a pain for add-ons.

How was the initial setup?

The setup of the Hello World module is pretty vanilla. Drupal takes a lot more of customization to make it something your clients seek to use.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Another benefit is that Drupal and its modules are all open-source. There were no upfront concerns about the costs. It makes starting a Drupal site relatively low risk.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

WordPress and Joomla! are the current market equivalent competitors. Historically, WordPress is very pretty on the outside, but very ugly/rigid to make large scale customization.

Joomla! is decent. However, it doesn't have the same community/module size.

What other advice do I have?

Drupal developers are in high demand. This makes finding and securing another developer more time consuming and costly.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Web Application Developer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
It is a flexible CMS and initial setup is straightforward.

What is most valuable?

Drupal is the most powerful and flexible CMS. We can extend it to any level of complexity. 

What needs improvement?

The version upgrading process is very painful. Moving to a new Drupal version involves much more than building and configuring the new site. Drupal really needs an easy solution for the major version upgrade process, like the one-click WordPress version upgrades.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution since 2005.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is straightforward and simple.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
IT Consultant, Business Owner, Lecturer at a tech consulting company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Through my different companies, we have developed many Drupal sites, from simple ones to complex E-commerce sites and custom made applications. The UI could be improved, though.

Valuable Features:

Drupal is an open source content management system which provides an easy installation process, a good range of modules for features' expansion, as well as a supportive community that will help resolve issues that you face with Drupal.

Improvements to My Organization:

We have been using Drupal for more than 7 years now. Through my different companies we have developed many Drupal sites, from simple ones to complex E-commerce sites and custom made applications.

Drupal 7.x if combined with the appropriate modules and cache mechanisms can provide a robust, fully featured and secure website with endless capabilities. However, for these optimizations to be made, a Drupal expert may be required. It is not as easy to use as Wordpress for example - although Drupal 7.x is vastly improved to Drupal 6.x and Drupal 8.x will be even better.

We have also tried Wordpress and Joomla in various occasions, and while Wordpress is our choice for simple projects, Drupal is always our cost-effective choice for complex projects. It provides flexibility, robust framework, excellent modules for easy expansion and a very good support community.

Room for Improvement:

One of the things that Drupal needs to improve is the interface. It needs to become more user friendly. It is not as rich in terms of modules as Wordpress is, but it is getting there.

If you have a high traffic site and speed is important, to optimize Drupal you will probably need an expert. 

In regards to the interface it needs to become more user friendly like for example Wordpress or Joomla, so that simple users can administer the site in an easy way and not get lost in menus and options that they don’t understand that may even break the site. Although the interface has improved in comparison to Drupal 6, there are still many things to be done.

The number of modules that Drupal has although adequate, is not nearly as good as the number of modules that Wordpress has. There are times that you cannot find a functionality in Drupal while you can find plenty of options in Wordpress. For example Drupal integration with mailers, the only reliable plugin is for Mailchimp. So if you want to integrate with another platform like Aweber, emma, getresponse etc, you have almost zero choices. While most of the platforms integrate perfectly with Wordpress.

Optimizing Drupal as a high performance site, is not an easy task. You have many options but the most effective ones require server and settings’ modifications, which can be done by experts. However once you have the proper setup, Drupal flies!

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Online Websites Advertising at a marketing services firm with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Its environment allows for rapid prototyping, but it needs a shorter learning curve.

Valuable Features:

  • It's extensible with so many modules.
  • The environment allows for rapid prototyping.
  • It provides security updates more often.
  • It has a huge community and support from all over the web.

Room for Improvement:

  • It needs a shorter learning curve.
  • It needs to improve resources usage.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Web Administrator at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It's your CMS if you're concerned with enterprise-level security, but the existing plugins don't cover all areas.

What is most valuable?

- Ease of Customization

- Expandability

How has it helped my organization?

- Company website build in Drupal

What needs improvement?

- Drupal Community and Forums not as easy and straightforward as Wordpress

- The number of areas covered by existing plugins should be larger

- Resource Hungry, compared to Wordpress

For how long have I used the solution?

2 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Not needed

Technical Support:

Not needed

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Joomla, Wordpress. I typically use Wordpress for smaller websites, with less customization required and Drupal for larger websites that may need to expand in the future.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward

What about the implementation team?

In house

What was our ROI?

-

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Drupal is Free.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Joomla, Wordpress

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you know what kind of website you want to build and who will be using it.

It is good to note the following:

- Drupal has enterprise level security. Numerous government websites are build on Drupal so if security is a number one priority Drupal is your CMS

- As far as SEO is concerned, things can go really bad for Drupal if the developer does not know what he/she is doing, or does not understand customer needs. If SEO is done correctly Drupal is as good for SEO as any other CMS

- Use Drupal if expandability is a must or if you are building a large website with various kinds of functionality. For smaller websites and blogs, Wordpress is king.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Senior Manager of IT with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Migration from one version to the next requires significant effort, but our key metrics have improved dramatically.

What is most valuable?

<ol> <li>Feature-rich</li> <li>Open source </li> <li>Highly extendable</li> <li>Being actively developed</li> <li>Helpful, collaborative community</li> <li>free</li> </ol>

How has it helped my organization?

Significantly less time spent on production issues and maintaining existing functionality, translating into significantly more time adding new and enhanced functionality.

What needs improvement?

Migration from one major version to the next major version requires significant effort.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for 5 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Initially, yes. Help from experienced consultants ameliorated this.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: Excellent. There are always people in the community online and willing to have discussions. Each individual “module” (i.e., extension) has an issue queue where questions and issues can be brought up, discussed, and resolved. And there are consultancies available for contracted support.Technical Support: Excellent. The technical level of the community is high, as is that of consultancies.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Yes, several. Moved one site from flat files and homegrown systems, and others from Microsoft CMS 2002, all to enhance our ability to provide new and improved features and to decrease risk. Moved another from a customized (and therefore unmaintainable) version of Xoops. Moved others from hosted services to improve supportability.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up Drupal itself is straightforward. Implementing all the functionality required for a large, complex site becomes a large work effort. There are thousands of community modules available to add functionality, so determining the best way to add functionality (if you do not have trusted, experienced Drupal developers in-house) becomes a multi-pronged activity of discussions with the community, searching and comparing existing modules, and decisions about using them versus building custom modules.

What about the implementation team?

Our largest sites have been implemented using blended teams of consultancies and in-house developers. Our smaller sites have been implemented by in-house developers. The vendors we have used have high levels of expertise.

What was our ROI?

I can’t provide numbers, but I can say that our key metrics have improved dramatically.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Zero setup cost for most of our sites. We acquired servers to ensure our largest sites could handle large volumes of visitors. Our ongoing day-to-day cost is just the cost of employee time. We have a small devops team managing the infrastructure and several small teams of developers creating new and improved functionality.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated hundreds of other options.

What other advice do I have?

Do NOT implement your first site without the aid of an experienced, collaborative expert. It is very easy to build a Drupal site extremely poorly, and an expert will guide you toward using Drupal the way it works best.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Senior Manager of IT with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The amount of functionality provided is valuable but upgrading to new major versions has been complex and difficult

What is most valuable?

  1. The amount of functionality provided, both in the core product and in the thousands of community-developed modules.
  2. The ability to review – and edit -- the code when needed.
  3. The ability to find independent organizations and individuals who provide Drupal services.
  4. The community, and its helpful, collaborative nature.

How has it helped my organization?

Because of Drupal, we now have the ability to provide our customers with multilingual, multi-regional content to an extent that would not have been possible otherwise.

What needs improvement?

  1. There are not enough Drupal developers to satisfy demand.
  2. Upgrading to new major versions has historically been complex and difficult. Hopefully the migration functionality being built for Drupal 8 will ease this work.

For how long have I used the solution?

Since 2009

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We did not have enough knowledge of how Drupal-specific development practices affect site performance. Fortunately, Acquia had consultants on board who quickly identified the areas that needed to be addressed.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: 5 starsTechnical Support: 5 stars

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Yes. One site was built on a home-grown content management system. A second was built on Xoops. Others were built on Microsoft Content Management Server. We switched the first to lower risk and to enhance our ability to provide new functionality. We switched the second because we were unable to continue supporting our forked installation of Xoops. We switched from the others to improve productivity and enable us to provide new functionality.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

Both. We augmented our internal team with Drupal experts. I would rate the experts’ level of expertise as a 4.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

No licensing fees, no annual maintenance fees. Original implementation cost (for our first site) was several hundred thousands of dollars, and day-to-day cost is the cost of employees and contractors to maintain and enhance the sites.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Hundreds, including both commercial and open source. Name them, and we probably evaluated them.

What other advice do I have?

If you plan on implementing it yourself, and you don’t already have Drupal experts on your team, don’t. Even if you believe you have the smartest developers in the world, you need to have experienced Drupal developers for technical guidance and to help ensure that your team uses Drupal development best practices.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Developer with 51-200 employees
MSP
Do your research, play around with it yourself, figure out if it’s the right fit for you and if so, welcome to Drupal

Valuable Features:

Content creation and management is highly robust with the ability to add any content type you could think of whether it be text, video, imagery, or more functional content like polls or forums.

Improvements to My Organization:

At Appnovation Technologies we leverage Drupal’s out of the box features and functionality in order to speed up development and delivery time for our clients. This allows us to focus more on creating high quality customizations and custom front end development which in the end produces an incredibly high quality and robust content management system.

Room for Improvement:

As with most if not all web technologies, theres always an initial learning curve that can seem daunting. These days however there are excellent online resources such as buildamodule.com that provides video training for Drupal which can be a lot easier to digest than reading documentation sometimes. That being said, there is some great documentation over at Drupal.org that would be a must-read for anyone considering Drupal for their next project.

Use of Solution:

I have been designing and developing using the Drupal CMS for the last 8 years.

Deployment Issues:

Your hosting will likely determine how easy the deployment process is since Drupal relies on various versions of PHP-5.x and above, as well as various extensions. More often than not, starting up Drupal on your local environment will introduce you to some of these dependencies before they would pop up in a production environment. There are various solutions out there for hosting, but the folks over at Acquia definitely have a great setup that is incredibly easy to use, which makes deployment an absolute breeze. Taking this a bit further, knowledge in Git also helps deploying between various environments if you’re in need of a development/staging/production environment stack.

Stability Issues:

Stability is often a concern for large scale deployments, and Drupal can handle those - but expertise in Drupal coding standards, and front end performance are at the forefront of creating a stable environment. Outside of human knowledge, Drupal itself has some great caching functionality included in its core. Page caching and compression, CSS and JavaScript compression and aggregation are also included in core functionality as well.

Initial Setup:

For your first time, you’ll need to read up on the Drupal.org documentation on how to set up a site locally. As you go through that process yourself, if you run into any issues Drupal will show you error messages pointing you in the right direction to troubleshoot. You should be able to do a quick google search for anything that looks foreign to you, just make sure you add ‘Drupal 7’ (or whatever version you’re using) to your search query to narrow down the results. A base understanding of MySQL will be required in order to set up a database, or at the very least you’ll need to know how to use tools such as PHPmyAdmin or other apps like Sequel Pro will definitely come in handy.

Other Advice:

My advice would be to get your hands on an installation of Drupal, get it going and play around with creating content, using modules and just generally exploring the various settings that are part of Drupal core. After that, it’s up to you to determine whether Drupal can meet your goals or use cases. If you’re still unsure, there are various case studies out there to read up on which may help your decision making process. On top of all of that, if you’re really serious about implementing Drupal, finding a good web development team with a strong understanding of Drupal standards is a must have. There are a lot of individuals and agencies out there doing incredible work with Drupal, so I would definitely recommend leveraging that if at all possible.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user8925 - PeerSpot reviewer
Developer with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Comparing the Social Business Platforms: Drupal Commons, Sharepoint and Jive

In our first two posts we reviewed two of the most popular platforms for social business portals, Jive and Sharepoint. We found that Jive is feature-rich, user friendly, but also expensive. Sharepoint on the other hand is less user friendly, but a powerful tool nonetheless, particularly for businesses that use Microsoft products extensively. In this review we will examine Drupal Commons 3.0, an open-source Drupal-based platform.

For the Drupal Commons review, I went to the official website and downloaded a copy to try it out on my local box. Acquia, the parent company behind Drupal, offers services around this product. Commons, like Drupal, is an open-source product that is installed just like a normal Drupal site.

I have played with previous versions before but this version has been completely rebuilt in Drupal 7 and appears to be much improved.

1. Cost

Commons is distributed under the GNU general public license meaning that this product is fully open-source. The costs come from the labor required to install and customize the Commons site (Acquia has an article advocating their product pricing competitiveness here). One of the great things about Drupal is that you have thousands of developers and hundreds of companies available to support the product. That means organizations of any size can find labor to support their site. This is not always the case with some commercial products.

As I will detail in the review, Commons is not as fully featured out of the box as some competing products, but it does act as a solid base to build upon. So it’s value is really going to be determined based on an organization’s comparison of how much it costs to build a Commons-based site with desired customizations vs. how much the cost would be to use a competing product that provides more functionality out of the box.

2. Ability to Customize

The ability to customize Commons or any Drupal site is really one of it’s biggest selling points. Drupal’s flexibility and power make it one of the premier platforms in the CMS space. So having both a solid platform like Commons, plus the ability to customize for the needs of an organization is a really big selling point.

Commons like many other platforms, gives you several tools for customizing the platform from within the site itself.

Theme settings page layout options
Theme settings page layout options

This aspect alone does not differentiate Commons from other platforms in and of itself. Many platforms will allow you make changes from within the site itself. Some products will be much more user-friendly than Commons/Drupal.

The real strength with Drupal of course is the ability to download thousands of modules, i.e. plugins, as well as themes to extend it’s functionality. You are not limited to only these modules because you can create and deploy custom modules as well.

As I alluded to in cost, the value of this platform is really tied directly to a company’s desire to customize the site to fit their specific organizational needs. At the moment, Mediacurrent is using Yammer for intra-office communication which provides very little customization. On the other hand we use Open Atrium for project management as we have a strong need for customization. This is a key factor when evaluating this product against all others.

3. Overall features

One of the key features of Commons is simply that it can be used as an intranet or a public social business platform, like https://dev.twitter.com/. Or both. With groups-based permissions you could have some private and public groups, depending on what your organization is trying to accomplish. This is certainly an advantage. As with any Drupal site you could run a multi-site off of the same platform, which means that you could have a network of sites similar to what Sharepoint offers.

Another big selling point for Commons is that it is responsive out of the box.

Screengrab of the events page resized to mobile view
Screengrab of the events page resized to mobile view

The downside is that there are no out of the box apps that I am aware of.

You will see a typical list of content features such as groups, events, wiki, polls, questions etc. that you see across most platforms. I will not go into detail other than to say that you can read about the latest features here. Otherwise the best way to get a feel for Commons is to try it out yourself.

Screenshot of groups page in my local Commons install
Screenshot of groups page in my local Commons install

One way to try out Commons is to find a trial online if you do not how to install it locally yourself. I believe that Acquia has a way to try out their web hosting services which would include the ability to install Commons. You can also use WebEnabled which is easy as well as getpantheon.com to install Commons for free.

I personally feel that Commons is pretty intuitive, but I am also biased as a long time Drupal developer. As far as user-friendliness goes I do not think it can match the likes of Jive. I really think that for many organizations if you log into a Commons site and play around with it, you will either like the way it is organized or you won’t. Every competing product has ways to add groups, discussions, polls, blogs, etc. but they all organize the content differently.

The first decision each organization has to make when evaluating these platforms - “Do I like the way this works?” For our customers, who generally like Drupal to begin with, I would have no hesitation recommending Commons. For companies that don’t already use Drupal, it’s really about their impression of how Drupal operates that will drive whether or not they seriously evaluate Commons as the best solution for their site.

The biggest selling point that Acquia promotes is the ability for an organization to use one platform for all of their sites. They go in-depth in their Commons 3.0 webinar which can be found on Youtube. This means essentially that you can run Drupal for both your main website as well as your intranet. Being able to develop and customize one platform is going to be easier than potentially pairing multiple systems together. To be clear, I would agree that Commons is going to be more attractive if a company wants to use Drupal for all of their sites, as opposed to a company that would only be using Drupal for their intranet. So this factor should be considered.

Conclusion

To summarize, I would evaluate Commons as being suited best for organizations that want to leverage one platform uniquely tailored for their organizational needs. Commons will have more up-front costs than some online platforms, which use monthly billing; so it is not always the best fit compared to a free or cheaper online-only product which has more functionality out of the box.

Final Thoughts

My goal for this 3-part blog series was to give a fair comparison of three of the leading tools in the “Social Business Platform” space. At Mediacurrent we have built several intranet sites and are often asked to compare Drupal-based platforms with other products. I realize there are several platforms out there that I did not mention and several additional features that were left out in this roundup comparison.

Feedback is welcome! If you feel like I left out some critical features or other leading products that we should evaluate against these platforms, let me know in the comments section. I am also available on Twitter at https://twitter.com/drupalninja.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Updated: June 2022
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