When to use Drupal?

Is Drupal the right solution for my project?

Drupal is a Content Management System (CMS), but the community prefers to call it Content Management Framework because of its versatility and the wide range of use cases it can cover.

What do you want to build?

We will stay in the PHP world to answer this question.

A word about decoupled CMS as a service

SaaS Solutions are all the rage since a few years (Contentful, Prismic, ...) so why should we use Drupal instead? Indeed, depending on the content model and requirement, that might be a good fit for your project.

Some key points are still making Drupal a good candidate for a decoupled CMS

  • It is mature (to not say "boring") technology, there are more than 20 years of edge case debugging behind. This comes with the luxury of having a stable, well tested and predictable ecosystem
  • Content is king
    • Flexible content models is its strength, no matter which use case you throw at it, there is a solution
    • Content moderation and complex Workflows are customizable easily
    • Content can be delivered to several Drupal instances
    • With JSON:API or GraphQL, you can deliver to any frontend
  • The access control layer is one of the most fine grained and complete
  • It is fully multilingual, and translation sync is possible at a field level
  • It easily enables integration to translation jobs automation (machine translation, ...) or third party systems
  • There is freedom of choice, with multiple editorial approaches (CKEditor 5, Layout Builder, Paragraphs, Gutenberg, ...)
  • There is no licence to pay by user, page, ...
  • It has a powerful migration system if you are coming from another solution

Why Drupal?

Drupal makes the difference with other systems on the following points.
They are exposed from a persona perspective.

The project manager

  • Flexibility
    Never get stucked again. If your Drupal projects grows in terms of features and data model, Drupal has the flexibility of a good friend.
  • Fully multilingual
  • Community features
    Fine grained permission system and publication workflow.
  • Third party integration
    With web services, spread your content on several channels or applications (Drupal frontend, React, Apple watch, ...). It also allows you to integrate it with third parties applications (CRM, ERP, …).
  • Security
    The Drupal Security team (opens in a new tab) is working hard to keep the Drupal core and contributed projects secure.
  • Scalability
    Your project can also grow in terms of traffic and content, Drupal comes out of the box with progressive solutions of caching.
    For small projects, just enable the page and blocks caching + the CSS/JS aggregation in two clicks. For more advanced projects, use cache tags, lazy builder or a Varnish proxy. For performance, have a look at the Big Pipe module that is now stable in core.

The author

  • Content authoring and workflow
    Out of the box CKEditor 5 (WYSIWYG), Media handler, content revision, publication workflow, scheduled publication, … All that you can imagine as an author is just waiting for you.
  • Multilingual
    Drupal is fully multilingual. You can translate everything (content, configuration, …) in any language.
    You can also translate your content in several languages and switch between them easily.
  • Multiple editorial experiences Drupal is not a one size fits all solution. You can choose between several editorial experiences (CKEditor 5, Layout Builder, Paragraphs, Gutenberg, ...).
    Check out the Editorial solutions.

The frontender

  • Mobile-first
    Drupal comes out of the box ("in core") with a responsive administration UI and frontend theme, Responsive images and Breakpoint modules.
  • Divitis and classitis free
    These are (almost) things from the past. Drupal comes with clean semantic markup out of the box.
  • Accessibility
    Drupal is committed to accessibility. The Accessibility Statement (opens in a new tab) is a good starting point.
  • Frontend and backend themes Drupal comes with a default frontend theme (Bartik) and a default backend theme (Seven).
    The frontend theme is a good starting point for your own theme.
    The backend theme can be used as a base theme for your own administration theme.
    Both are responsive and mobile-first.
  • Decoupling Drupal can be API first. It means that you can use Drupal as a backend with any frontend technology.
    There are also several contributed modules to help you to build a decoupled Drupal website.
    Have a look at the Web services and decoupling modules.

The backender

Continue reading on (opens in a new tab)

And tell me about version 7

Drupal 7 EOL is January 5, 2025 (opens in a new tab).

Two Drupal modules help you move your Drupal 7 site to Drupal 10 but Retrofit (opens in a new tab) is the star. Keeping 400,000 Drupal Sites in the Family (opens in a new tab) - The Drop Times.

Test Drupal 10 (opens in a new tab) or Install it now