Drupal is an open source web content management (WCM) system that allows website owners to organize, manage and publish content with various options for customization. It offers both “out-of-the-box” and customizable web content development. Drupal 8 is the latest iteration of the software.
Because the Drupal content management system (CMS) is an open source offering, it abides by the rules of the open source community, which means that the software is licensed for free to provide universal access. The caveat is that, if users develop their custom software add-ons and choose to make their software enhancements available to others outside of their company, they must freely share it with the open source community.
The open source community is comprised of hundreds of thousands of software developers worldwide who actively collaborate with one another — but this open collaboration and communication is usually on a highly technical level. It does not necessarily translate into end-user support for web content development. For this latter purpose, it may be necessary for users to procure the services of a third-party consultant.
How does the Drupal 8 CMS support WCM tasks?
The system allows users to create content with a WYSIWYG editor or to create and edit content in place. Users can browse to a webpage, select their content and edit it directly. Drupal also tracks all changes and revisions, providing users with a history of who performed what action and when. This is especially useful for organizations that have multiple editors, as well as those that need to maintain a detailed history of content changes.
The Drupal content management system also lets users create and manage custom editorial workflows for all their content processes. At any time, users can view their content’s stage, from creation to review to publication. Users can also manage roles and actions, as well as establish user permissions.
When a user creates content, Drupal structures it by defining content elements and by tagging content based on content attributes. This enables content to be easily found, searched, used and reused. Content management personnel can also review, edit and approve content from their mobile devices, regardless of where they are and what device they are using. The Drupal 8 CMS supports responsive design best practices and ensures that end users get a seamless digital experience each session, regardless of the device they’re using.
The Drupal content management system integrates easily with a wide ecosystem of digital marketing technology and other business applications (e.g., customer relationship management software, email marketing, analytics and optimization). Drupal can also connect content to other websites and applications.
Drupal can also localize users’ web content in different languages with its built-in language handling abilities, which automate language translation. This facilitates the delivery of multilingual content that can be targeted to specific geographic locales or audiences.
Who benefits from using the Drupal content management system?
Adopters of Drupal often use the system in marketing applications for website building and management, creating multichannel digital experiences, e-commerce and shopping, and the ability to integrate web content with a wide variety of third-party digital marketing tools and technologies. Its strength is in its open interfaces, which can link into a broad ecosystem of software systems and applications.
How is the system licensed and priced?
The Drupal content management system is licensed for free under the GNU general public license. Individuals and organizations have the freedom to run and modify Drupal software (and to, of course, develop web content with it).
For organizations looking for training or support services for the system, Drupal itself does not offer these, but its network of 761 organizations does. These pay-per-use, third-party service providers consult and train users on Drupal performance tuning and optimization, website building and deployment, quality assurance, infrastructure development, and mobile application development.
Knowledge and best practices can also be obtained from direct interaction with the Drupal worldwide community, where thousands of organizations that have implemented Drupal-based web content systems contribute their work.