Myths about Open Source Drupal Website Development
Many companies choose a proprietary web development platform because it is viewed as more secure than other options. These days, the gap between open source and proprietary CMS is not as wide as it used to be, but in fact growing in a new way. In a lot of cases, open source is actually more flexible and has more of the latest technology. Some reasons that a lot of companies are refusing to make the switch to open source software are common misunderstandings that we will cover.
Myths of Open Source
- Security. If something is defined as open source, the assumption is to think that it must not be secure. While sometimes that may be true, Drupal is actually more secure because the community working on it has tested it hundreds of thousands of times. The same is true for third-party integrations; these are often more secure because Drupal has been reviewed so many times.
- Software Updates. The Drupal community may be open source and largely dependent on volunteers, but this does not mean a lack of project management. Software is managed in much the same way with a solid, public roadmap for revisions. Drupal is usually ahead of proprietary companies because of the community of talent available. There are, often, fewer restrictions surrounding implementation, so new technology is more likely to reach Drupal users first before the rest of the market.
- LDAP Integration. Drupal provides different permission levels for users to restrict access when necessary for various users. This makes it easy for a system administrator to limit the functionality for someone only qualified to edit and publish content, but not graphics or modules built into the back end.
- Qualified Employees. Open source can bring with it the assumption that there aren't any qualified people to work on it because there is no paid certification to obtain. While more people have access to it, these people are some of the best programmers in the industry. Once a new module is updated or developed, it is reviewed thoroughly before deployment so the product you interact with is robust and secure.
Perks of Using Drupal
- CCK Editor. This makes it easy for non-technical users to add content because this module presents a Microsoft Word-like interface, so people feel like they are just editing a document instead of a webpage.
- Dynamic Website Design. Having a website pull information from one, central database, makes populating the same information on multiple pages faster than doing it by hand. Text that commonly appears on the bottom of every page, like a privacy statement link or a submit form, will populate on every page with one command.
- Permissions. As stated above, users can be given different levels of access to a particular website. Users that know how to configure features and edit content blocks can do so, while others who only need to access the content workflow can be given this option.
- Customizable Framework. Drupal comes with a core framework which can then be added onto and customized. The ability to have a flexible framework to build on according to your business goals provides you with the skills to optimize your web strategy.
- Code Design. Because of the many thousands of developers in the Drupal Community, best practices are followed because there is always a second and third set of eyes for every module and core feature. Every piece of functionality is tested time and time again to ensure it follows the strict standards upheld in the review process.
While it used to be uncommon for open source software to be good quality, Drupal has put strict standards in place. This software, and every separate module, is secure and updated to mitigate risk. The product you download, even before any customization takes place, is designed to provide a solid framework to give you a simpler way to manage your content.
If you have worked with Drupal before, what are your favorite aspects?