Is Drupal the right platform for your small business?

A powerful option

So you’re at that point where you’re trying to decide whether it’s time to upgrade your site – perhaps you’ve had enough of depending on a webmaster to add a comma here and a photo there. Taking your operation to the next level requires you to raise your digital game.

You’ve heard about all the awesome things Drupal can do, but is Drupal right for your growing business or organization?

Drupal IconDrupal is considered by many to be the Ferrari of open-source content management systems. In the hands of a knowledgeable developer, the sky’s the limit in terms of what it can do. Because it’s open source, Drupal has a large and ever-growing community that continually looks to give back to developing the CMS and its modules.

Understanding how Drupal fits into your business’s needs, expectations and budget is crucial for successful deployment, ongoing maintenance and growth.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve encountered my share of prospective clients who are struggling to manage their current site because it doesn’t meet their growing needs. They are considering Drupal because they have ambitious plans for increasingly more complex features on their site.

Here are some things to think about when evaluating whether Drupal is right for your small business:

Business-friendly performance?

Drupal offers a number of features designed to maximize productivity, visibility and integration with other systems so that you can focus on growing your business:

Improved SEO. Drupal’s suite of search engine modules help to make your website more search engine friendly.

Look and feel. Drupal’s extensive templating engine provides the ability to achieve the look and feel you desire to enhance and reflect your brand image.

Easy API integration. Drupal makes it very easy to connect content and APIs to your website, so your business can leverage the wide ecosystem of online digital APIs.

Search. Drupals’ powerful search options and taxonomy system enable categorization of content so you and your users can access quickly and easily.

Plenty of modules?

When it comes to modules and Drupal, the sky’s the limit. Drupal is open source, which means that there’s a global community of Drupal developers modifying and creating new modules all the time. This provides infinite possibilities for custom functionality to be integrated into your site — quickly and efficiently.

While it might be tempting to try to implement as many features as possible into your Drupal site quickly, consider taking a progressive approach by adding new features slowly and methodically, expanding the complexity of your site as your business grows.

This allows you to identify the features that provide the most ROI. This type of approach can also help to prevent conflicts and regressions.

Top-notch content management?

Whether it’s videos, testimonials, news stories, products or people, Drupal’s ability to manage large amounts of data makes it a powerful tool for many businesses. If your business involves categorizing data, products or people in diverse ways, Drupal provides the enterprise-level horsepower to manage your content.

Easy content creation?

With Drupal, you’re no longer bound to a third party for content creation. Drupal’s user-friendly interface allows you and members of your staff — even if they have little to no knowledge of HTML — to enter content and render it correctly. This is a great tool for small businesses where everyone on staff (including you) has to wear many hats.

Solid permissions admin?

The Drupal permissions module allows you to create a customized experience for your users. With Drupal’s flexible content workflows, organizations can easily create roles for team members to review, edit and approve content. Make your roles as simple or complex as you like — but if your resources for maintenance are limited, try to keep roles as simple as possible. This user role/permission system also provides added security and protection from hackers, and who doesn’t want to keep them out?

Drupal: Maintain it

Much like that Ferrari we were talking about earlier or your trusty Japanese hatchback, a website requires regular maintenance in order to run smoothly.

Many businesses put all their money into the build without planning appropriately for ongoing maintenance.

 

Open source means your website will need regular security updates, fixing modules and improving functionality from time to time. Some of Kanopi’s smaller client accounts are maintained on as little as 10 hours a month. The trick is to manage the growth of your site — implementing and increasing the complexity of features as your business grows.

Part of a healthy maintenance plan includes scheduling regular backups. It’s about more than peace of mind. Whether it’s through contributed modules or a scheduled server backup process, backups can help you retrieve legacy data and recover from a malicious attack. Backups are also good should you ever want to move servers, or to recover data in the event of a server crash.

In short, Drupal can be instrumental in the growth of your small business. If you are looking for a website platform that can grow with your business and budget, Drupal’s highly scalable CMS can be as simple or complex as your need it to be. And because it’s open source, it provides unlimited opportunities to customize for your specific digital business needs.

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