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Competencies: Drupal

by  David Dwyer on  17/07/2015

Drupal: open source, closed book.

Drupal is one of many content management platforms that Inspire can use to create websites for our clients, alongside Joomla, ModX and others.  Drupal is used for some 2.5% of sites worldwide, ranging from those of the White House, Oxford University, the BBC and Peugeot, through forums and community sites with multiple collaborators, to personal blogs.

Like WordPress and Joomla, Drupal is open-source, meaning that anyone can download and use it free.  Unlike WordPress, however, Drupal is not designed for the amateur market: you need effective coding skills if your site is to come to life (one commentator says a “barebones Drupal installation looks like a desert after a drought”).  Like WordPress, Drupal has over 2000 themes to choose from, but Drupal’s are not nearly so easy to install.  It also doesn’t have all the free plug-ins (Drupal call them modules) you’ll find with WordPress: the modules exist, they just aren’t free.  Drupal is, however, developer-friendly, offering a wide range of possibilities for developers to create their own solutions.  That makes it easy for us to build individually-tailored sites for our clients. 

Another advantage of Drupal is that it is scalable, meaning that it can grow to cope with an increase in traffic to your site.  It is also an excellent platform for users with disabilities, because many of the accepted best practices have been incorporated into the core programme code, especially since the launch of Drupal 7.  And if your site needs to be usable in a language other than English, Drupal has 111 languages to choose from, including right-to-left ones such as Arabic, Hebrew and Persian.

Being open-source, Drupal is not the work of one company but of a volunteer community of some 1.2 million developers and users. They keep Drupal up to date in terms both of the latest technologies and of security.  Indeed, Drupal’s security measures are far stronger than those of WordPress: it is a lot less likely to be hacked and responds fast to any security issues.  Security updates are sent automatically to Administrators of Drupal sites, and Drupal also has an RSS feed carrying the most recent security notices.

The developer community also provides support through a variety of forums, national communities and discussion groups covering every possible aspect of Drupal, news, training resources and so on, so it’s easy to get solutions to queries.

Yes, at Inspire we know our Drupal from our Joomla and we’re happy to use it if we think that’s what’s best for you.  But normally we prefer to follow our own content management route, using a stable, closed source platform which is more flexible than most open source ones and less likely to be hacked.  We plan each site individually, taking into account what you want to achieve now, building in flexibility for the future, and making it all as intuitive as possible.  We also make it attractive and easy to read and navigate around.  In other words, we give you our trademark combination of great design with simplicity of use.

David Dwyer is Managing Director of Inspire Web Development. He has years of experience in a range of web and IT roles plus seven years in sales and marketing in a blue-chip FMCG company. David’s academic and professional qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Business Economics (Personnel & Ergonomics) from the University of Paisley, an MSc in Information Technology (Systems) from Heriot-Watt University and PRINCE2 Practitioner-level certification. He is also an active member of the British Computer Society, Entrepreneurial Exchange and Business for Scotland.


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Blogging, CMS, Content Management, Content Management Systems, Developer SOS, Drupal, Inspire Web Development, Inspire Web Services, Security, UI, User Interface, Web Design, Website Support, Wordpress
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