Firstly, what is Drupal I hear you ask? According to Drupal.org, "Drupal is a free software package that allows you to easily organize, manage and publish your content, with an endless variety of customization." In other words, its a kick ass content management system.
My first exposure to Drupal came back in 2006 when I was looking to build a social network style site for a Not For Profit I was working for. We looked at a bunch of both Open Source and commercial options and a general sense of confusion was settling in. The meetings were horrendous. The money people were obnoxious. The ASP developers were nervous. One quiet afteroon whilst I was researching I had a Damascus Road experience. I found Drupal. Wow - user registration, user profiles, blogs, comments, aggregated news and groups. It felt a little rough but it was all in there. That night I went home and and whipped up a prototype of the site covering nearly all of the functionality we had been talkng about. I showed it around and the decision was made. While the project still had its challenges Drupal proved to be right choice and the experience paved the way for the organisation to adopt Drupal for all of its existing websites. Drupal for the win!
So why Drupal then?
1) There is so much handy stuff baked in. Why would you bother building a site or web app from scratch these days? So much of the basic feature set for most sites is so similar and can be achieved out of the box with Drupal.
2) It doesn't put all of the knowledge in one dev's head. In the olden days of web development you'd have one dev or agency building a site in their own special way and keeping a site alive. If they got hit by a bus or headhunted there would be a mad scramble to figure out what to do. If you want to change agency or bring in a new developer just find someone else out there that is building good Drupal stuff.
3) Everybody's doing it. Well lots of serious people anyways including NowPublic, Popular Science, Economist, Harvard, MIT, MTV UK, Sony Music, Warner Brothers Records, Fast Company and The Whitehouse.
4) Its kinda free. There is no software licence cost. There will be a cost in terms of learning curve and professional services (eg development and support) but you remember what they said about free lunches right?
5) Its powerful and it scales. So you have a really complex set of requirements. Great! Between Drupal core and contributed modules the world is at your feet.
6) You can drive it. Content authors can login and manage content easily. After all thats kind of the point isn't it?
Feeling the Drupal love? Interested to know more? Contact us to discuss if Drupal is a good match for your next project.