The latest market share data posted on various websites indicate that Drupal is currently one of the top 10 content management systems of 2017. At present, WordPress and Joomla have a larger market share than Drupal. But Drupal still has a larger market share than other content management systems including Magento, Blogger, Bitrix, TYPO3, Squarespace and Shopify. Also, Drupal is currently being used by several large and high-traffic websites including the FedEx’s news site, AT&T’s app beta website, Sun Microsystems Java.net, Reuter’s Lab Website, CNN’s CNNgo website, Grammy, and ConsumerSearch.
Like other open source content management systems, Drupal also helps users to create, publish, store, and manage digital content without spending more money. At the same time, Drupal accelerates custom website development by providing a simple admin interface and various modules. In addition to making Drupal user-friendly, the admin interface also helps users to manage websites with a lot of pages efficiently. At the same time, the modules developed and maintained by professional developers help users to enhance the website’s functionality without writing additional code. Its core features and extensions affect the future of Drupal directly. Also, they contribute towards making Drupal a widely used content management systems.
Features That Will Directly Affect the Future of Drupal
Over 38000 Modules
While developing custom web applications, developers have to make many changes to the content management system (CMS) to meet business needs precisely. In addition to being open source, Drupal is also designed as a customizable and extensible CMS. The developers can easily extend and customize Drupal’s core functionality by using specific modules. At present, a developer has option to choose from over 38000 contributed modules for Drupal. At the same time, he also has option to write and share custom modules according to specific requirements.
Over 2500 Themes
Like other content management systems, Drupal also enables developers to customize the look and feel of a website by using themes. At present, a web developer has option to choose from over 2500 contributed themes according precise needs of each project. In addition to using the themes shared by other Drupal developers, he also has option to create and share new themes. At the same time, Drupal allows web developers to create sub-themes of an existing theme. Hence, a developer can easily optimize the source code or core functionality of an existing theme by creating sub-themes that inherit all resources of the parent theme.
Easy to Use Features and Simple Installation Process
Many developers even find it easier to install and configure Drupal than other content management systems. Unlike other content management systems, Drupal can be installed without dealing with complex configuration options. At the same time, a user can take advantage of a feature called distributions to add features or functionality to a website according to precise business requirements.
Simplifies Digital Content Management
Nowadays, developers have to combine a variety of digital content to keep website visitors engaged. Drupal accelerates content-driven website development by supporting various types of digital content – text, blogs, podcasts, statistics and polls. At the same time, the CMS allows developers to categorize the website content based on a number of parameters including path and URL address. The developers even have option to organize and reuse digital content by creating custom lists.
Features to Facilitate Multilingual Website Development
Along with supporting different types of digital content, Drupal also accelerates multilingual website development through contributed modules. A web application developer can use the contributed module to choose, apply, and configure multiple languages. Also, he can speed up website content translation by using specific modules and tools. Drupal 8.x enables developers to accelerate website content translation using a robust translation tool like Entity Translation.
Facilitates Rapid Prototyping
Most enterprises nowadays require developers to create website and web applications according to their precise business needs. But the needs and objectives of individual enterprises differ. Hence, web developers have to create prototype models to check if the website meets predefined business requirements precisely. Drupal comes with features to simplify and accelerate web application prototyping. The developers can use Drupal create prototype of the complex website rapidly according to varying business needs.
Advanced User Management
In addition to combining a variety of website content, enterprises also manage the website content through multiple employees. Drupal makes it easier for enterprises to manage digital content quickly and efficiently by defining custom user roles. The website administrator has option to create multiple users and create custom user roles. The custom role of a specific user defines his access level and controls. The administrator can further add or remove users and modify user roles without any hassle.
Mobile First Approach
Most users nowadays access websites and web application on their mobile devices. While developing a website, developers have to explore ways to improve its mobile user experience. Drupal allows developers to adopt a mobile first approach. Hence, it becomes easier for users to create responsive and mobile friendly websites accessible on both computers and mobile devices with a single code base. Drupal further enhances the website’s friendliness by using HTML5 as the standard web markup language, and providing mobile-optimized admin themes and toolbar.
Enterprise Grade Security
Many enterprises prefer Drupal due to its advanced and enterprise grade security features. The built-in security features provided by the CMS enable web developers keep the website secure without using additional plug-ins or modules. The Drupal developers can enhance the website’s security simply through security configuration. The developers can further keep track of new vulnerabilities by visiting the Drupal website and reading the vulnerabilities posted by members of the Drupal community.
Despite being an open source content management system, Drupal has been evolving consistently. The latest version (8.4.0) of Drupal comes with several new modules and under-the-hood improvements. But Drupal, like other content management systems, has its own shortcomings. A developer has to put extra time and effort to learn Drupal. Also, they have to use third-party Drupal modules to accelerate enterprise web application development. These shortcomings will have a direct impact on the future of Drupal in the longer run.