Because your Web presence could mean success or failure for a startup, choosing the right platform has to be a priority in your business planning. If you plan to have heavy content contribution requirements for an application, then a Content Management System (CMS) framework makes the most sense. When choosing between the various CMS solutions, you need to further refine your needs.
“In my opinion, Drupal provides the most flexibility in extending and implementing the framework. Some CMS options may have some advantages in ease of use for the content contributors, but the cost of that is lack of flexibility for the developers,” said Trace Cohen, Co-Founder of Launch.it, a free self-publishing news platform for PR professionals.
Cohen’s advice is just the start. Here are five reasons why a startup company should turn to Drupal as its Web platform.
Content type. Drupal makes it easy for users to customize content type. A startup will want to be able to design the content to best showcase its product. According to Linux Journal, what makes Drupal ideal in this situation is the ability to customize your site with fields: “A Field is an attribute for the content type, and these attributes are types of information associated with your content. If you have an Event content type, you might need to add date, location and link attributes. Each of those can be realized through the use of Fields.”
Navigation. You know that building your company is going to be hard. Building your company’s website shouldn’t be. Yet, some CMS platforms seem to need a PhD in computer science in order to figure them out. Within Drupal, however, easy navigation is one of its top assets. As the Promet Source blog pointed out, “Even as a complete novice, you will be able to understand the dashboard at a functional level within a few hours. For most users, the dashboard navigation in Drupal is much quicker than other content management systems and light years faster than coding by hand.”
Site security. Security can never be an afterthought. Yet, it isn’t something you want to be worrying about all the time. As Big Tuna Interactive pointed out, Drupal has top-notch security built into the platform. One of the most famous sites built with Drupal is Whitehouse.gov – and you would hope that the government wouldn’t use a platform with serious security problems for its most high-profile site. The more popular WordPress, on the other hand, has had a number of vulnerabilities and security concerns over the past year.
Open Source component. This has two advantages, said Cohen. The first of course is the cost benefits of Drupal, which is available for free. Second, and even more importantly, it is helpful to be able to get to all components of the application. “Sometimes the developer needs to get to the source of the framework to make a change or extend a feature. Full access to the code base is critical in a serious application,” Cohen said.
Scalability. You want a site that will grow with your company. Drupal provides unlimited scalability and flexibility, allowing your site to go from a few pages to a large, multi-media and e-commerce portal.
Even with these five reasons to turn to Drupal for your startup’s Web platform, your site will still need a good host provider, preferably one with plenty of Drupal experience. Your host provider should have the tools for easily installing and managing Drupal, both the beginning of the project and later as it scales, Cohen advised. “The host should provide analytics reports that provide the administrators insight into the performance and response of the application,” he added. “The final need is a hosting provider that makes it easy to scale the application over time.”
Sue Poremba is a freelance writer focusing primarily on security and technology issues and occasionally blogs for cloud hosting provider Rackspace Hosting.