Drupal Review

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.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

7.x
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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