If there is one element you can always count on when it comes to website technology, it is having plenty of different choices to pick from. For example, right now you have several choices for the type of web hosting you select. Rather than categorising these choices as “good” or “bad,” it makes more sense to simply weigh the pros and cons to determine what type of CMS (content management system) makes the most sense for your website hosting needs.
In this post, you can learn more about what Drupal web hosting has to offer you through exploring its strengths (pros) and weaknesses (cons). This will help you decide if Drupal web hosting is the right choice for your business needs and goals.
Drupal itself is the name given to a certain type of software that is designed to be accessible to all through a free and open source platform (i.e. a platform that is constantly evolving through contributions by more than a million website developers around the world).
Drupal is now available in more than 100 languages and is used to power some of the largest sites in the world, including the BBC, NBC, the United States citizen website and more.
How to Use Drupal
Because Drupal is a free, open-source software that has no licensing fees, it is free to anyone who wants to download and use it. You can also customize the Drupal core API freely. You can use modules developed by other designers or create your own (or both). You can hire a Drupal expert or purchase a package from your Drupal web host or you can design your site yourself if you know how to program using PHP and MYSQL.
Because Drupal has been in use since its official launch in 2001, it has had time to grow into one of the most consistent, secure and trusted web hosting platform in the world.
The Pros of Choosing Drupal
But Drupal is not the only web hosting option you have – far from it. So you will need to make your choice based on whether Drupal has the best features for your business website needs and goals.
Here is an overview of just some of the major strengths Drupal can offer you:
Easy to download and install
Many web hosts today will offer a seamless download of the Drupal software and others may have it pre-installed for you to opt into. Even if you need to install Drupal on your own, it is easy to do and there are many user guides in the forums to help you.
Designed to use less server space
Drupal is a lean, mean programmable machine, and has been designed as such to require less bandwidth and occupy less server storage space than many of its competitors. For space-limited servers with limited bandwidth, Drupal is definitely the right choice to make.
Fast load times
In part because of its low bandwidth and storage requirements, Drupal delivers reliably fast page load times, which is a necessity to compete for high SEO page rankings, especially with Google’s ever-evolving algorithm updates.
High site responsiveness
Drupal’s high degree of customisability combined with its programming leanness means your site will deliver a high degree of responsiveness on both traditional and mobile devices. This is another absolute essential to successfully compete in the online e-commerce community today and especially on the Google browser platform.
Flexible and customizable
With some programming knowledge, there is pretty much nothing you cannot do with the Drupal software. There are thousands of different modules that already exist and there is also the freedom to create and contribute your own to the growing body of knowledge.
Extremely powerful CMS
Drupal is “the” software for many programmers and developers today because it is designed to deliver nearly effortless access to the API and the software core itself in a way that is safe and secure.
The Cons of Choosing Drupal
Of course every web hosting platform will also have its weaknesses or drawbacks depending on what your specific web functionality needs may be.
Here is an overview of some of Drupal’s most commonly acknowledged drawbacks:
Less easy to customize without programming skills
Unless you have an IT person on your staff who is Drupal-savvy or you have these skills yourself, you will need to hire someone to build and customise your Drupal site for you. Not every business owner has the budget right out of the box to choose Drupal and hire a specialist to build their site.
Takes more time to create, edit and update your website
Unlike with more user-friendly hosts (WordPress is an example), you will need to work directly with the programming code to make edits and updates to your site (or you will need to put in a request and wait for your expert to do it for you).
No CMS WYSIWYG editor or in-house templates
Because there are no drop-down menus, WYSIWYG interfaces or in-house templates, everything in Drupal must be built from scratch. Unless you are someone who has a very clear vision of precisely what you want your site to look and function like, the lack of built-in options can cause frustration.
Requires more training for the site administrator
If you will be relying on someone else to monitor, maintain, secure and update your website, it may take more training time to ensure that staff person is competent for the task and receives refresher training as needed when updates are released.
If you have sufficient lead time for your project to provide extra time for testing and training, you can’t go wrong with choosing Drupal as the software base for your website. Similarly, selecting a Drupal-based web hosting service ensures you will be joining together with a community of avid creators and developers who are collaborating in service to making Drupal the best it can be.