Are you limited by your CMS?

Written by Hercules  |  December 9, 2020

The main purpose of a content management system (CMS) is… well… to manage content, of course. So, why is it that you are often limited when trying to do exactly that?

How often do you ask yourself these things:

  • "I wish I could change this image (or text) to..."
  • "I wish I could just change the layout of this page to..."
  • "I wish I could show this page to just this specific group of users..."

Chances are, if you’re having issues with your CMS then that list could go on to include many more bullets. It’s a sad (but realistic) fact, many development agencies which have been tasked with building content management systems for clients have done so with two things in mind:

  1. Let’s sell the client on a CMS with which we are familiar. So, we can build something we know how to work with [not giving much thought to what is best for the client’s needs].
  2. Let’s make it difficult [or at least, non-intuitive] for the client to make changes to the content on their own. Thereby, ensuring the client needs to come to us repeatedly [and ensure ourselves a constant revenue stream] to make any changes.

Well, there is one answer which applies to the above bullets (and probably any other bullets you could come up with in the same vein)… “You can.” In fact, such issues are one of the main reasons why Drupal 8 and above are a sea change in the evolution of Drupal. Several years ago (beginning with Drupal 8), the Drupal community began to feel as though its beloved CMS was more cumbersome than it needed to be (insofar as allowing content managers and site administrators to change all types of content (among other things)).

So, engineers, designers, developers (and all other ilk of Drupalists) got together and decided to do something about it… they decided the next iteration of Drupal (Drupal 8) would be re-worked from the ground up to be different. It would be the CMS to end all CMSs. [However, this is not an article about how different Drupal 8 is from prior versions (from an engineering point of view).] This is an article about how different Drupal 8 (and above) is from a content management point of view.

[From this point forward, when we talk about Drupal we will be referring to Drupal eight and above.] As far as Drupal is concerned, a content management system should allow users and administrators to do exactly that – manage content, any content… all content. It should do everything but allow content managers to do their jobs – manage content. Drupal allows for nearly infinite flexibility in managing content… and it is this flexibility (along with scalability and security) for which Thinkbean has been waiting (ever sense it decided to become a Drupal-only agency nearly a decade ago).

"We did not select Drupal on a whim. We evaluated every CMS available at the time [and we continue to evaluate CMSs regularly] and we made a conscious decision as an agency to focus on Drupal… not because Drupal was popular (although it certainly became popular over time)… not because Drupal was interesting to our software engineers (and/or the rest of the staff)… not for any other reason other than the fact Drupal was (and remains) the most flexible, scalable and secure content management framework (or “content management system” if you like) available and appropriate for large-scale, enterprise-level, web-based applications. We chose to focus on Drupal (to the exclusion of every other content management framework available at the time – and to this day) in order to be the best choice for organizations looking for the best agencies to build them the most robust (and intuitive) web-based applications needed to meet their needs… both for today and for the future."

- Hercules Haseotes (President & Co-Founder, Thinkbean)

Drupal is nothing if not flexible

Drupal is nothing if not flexible. It allows your organization to have a CMS customized to your specific needs, rather than picking something off the shelf of which having baked in limitations may be one of its less-annoying flaws. God save he (or she) who chooses a proprietary CMS… of which there are many. One of the most annoying factors of a proprietary CMS (e.g. Adobe experience manager, ASP.NET, etc.) is the fact that if you want (or need) a new feature or capability, you have to request it of the “CMS owner”. One of the most frustrating factors of a proprietary CMS is the fact that if there is a security vulnerability in the CMS, you have to wait for the “CMS owner” to publish an update which includes the fix for the security vulnerability

Drupal has neither of these very significant issues. If you want (or need) a new feature or capability for a Drupal-based CMS, all you need to do is ask the agency with whom you’re working to make it so. Again, Drupal is nothing if not infinitely customizable. If there is a security vulnerability in the CMS… well, you needn’t wait long. Drupal has something called the DST (“Drupal Security Team”). Every Wednesday of every week of every year, the DST publishes a list of known security issues. Any Drupal agency worth its salt will be monitoring that list on a weekly basis and will have the security patches in place within (at the most) hours of publication. These are but two of the myriad reasons why Drupal is the CMS of choice for almost every government agency and every enterprise-level organization of any type which is “in the know”.

As was previously stated, Drupal is nothing if not supremely flexible. It allows your organization to have a CMS customized to your specific needs.

  • Want to create custom layouts for your content but not have to know HTML/CSS?
    You can do that with Drupal.
  • Want to restrict content to specific users?
    You can do that with Drupal.
  • Want to create a piece of content once and have it shared across hundreds of pages in an instant?
    You can do that with Drupal.
  • Want to have forms submitted to Salesforce, Hubspot, or any other CRM?
    You can do that with Drupal.
  • Want your content shared in your iOS or Android app?
    You can do that with Drupal.
  • Want baked in Search Engine Optimization?
    You can do that with Drupal.
  • Want a custom product builder?
    You can do that with Drupal.
  • Want (fill in the blank here...)?
    You can also do that with Drupal!

Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Hopefully, the laundry list (above) outlines the fact Drupal is an “out-of-the-box CMS”. It is, also, a platform in which you can achieve whatever your organization desires with your web presence. There are dozens of “Drupal versus… [other CMSs]” articles out there. However, they are often comparing apples to oranges. The key take-away is with Drupal you get a superior content management framework which allows you to do whatever you want with your website. Any limitations are not defined by the CMS (unlike so many other “competing” content management systems). In fact, there are no limitations (save for the bounds of your imagination)

If you are part of (or head of) a marketing department  and you are currently frustrated with your web-based application, we would invite you to speak with our team of Drupal experts to discuss strategy, design, development, and site management services which will allow your organization to create the internet presence for which you have been waiting long enough.

You can do that in Drupal, and we can help! Contact us today.