8 Reasons: Drupal Proves Top Pick for Government Sites
More so than ever before, government and public sector websites are called upon to multi-task, functioning as the digital town square -- a central spot for connecting, conducting business, keeping informed, showcasing top attractions, and a lot more.
Among government officials who are responsible for managing and making decisions concerning the right content management system (CMS), the margin for error is low and the stakes are high. Government websites need to be secure, scalable, engaging, flexible, accessible, dependable, and easy to navigate. As budgets get squeezed, websites also need to demonstrate cost effectiveness and all that factors into good governance.
Factoring in all that’s riding on getting it right, combined with our in-the-trenches perspective from hundreds of conversations and engagements with government clients, we at Promet Source rank Drupal to be the CMS that best stands up to the demands of public sector websites.
We’re in good company concerning this assessment.
- More than 150 countries around the world rely on Drupal for government and intergovernmental agency sites.
- The majority -- 56 percent -- of the world’s government websites are on Drupal.
- Drupal powers more than 120 U.S. Federal agency websites.
Drupal’s share of the government and public sector CMS market is built upon a solid foundation that includes these eight factors:
1. Drupal Integrates with other solutions and services.
Drupal plays well with others and this means a lot. Ease of integration with other services -- even proprietary solutions -- ensures that a government website will have the flexibility to accommodate both current and future needs. The Drupal CMS is a modular CMS, which serves as a foundation for easily integrating with other solutions. The value of this feature is compounded by the fact that Drupal is Open Source. As such, there is no controlling authority determining or limiting integration activity. Open Source also means that there are no additional costs or licensing fees associated with multiple integrations.
2. Security is both transparent and robust.
Security is a paramount concern for government websites, and Drupal’s track record of superior security is a key factor contributing to its popularity among public sector clients. The fact that Drupal is Open Source means that government IT officials have access to the code for their sites and can exercise whatever level of due diligence they they feel that they need to in order to feel assured of the site can stand up to hacking and cyber threats.
The 1.3 member strong Drupal community is collectively committed to eliminating potential threats with contributions of several security modules. Among them: Login Security, Password Policy, Captcha, and Security Kit. The Drupal Security Working Group is focused on ensuring that both Drupal core and the entire ecosystem of member contributions ensure both world-class security for Drupal sites.
Another factor worth noting is that Drupal is not a SAAS solution, which means that the site’s code is not commingled in a shared database.
3. Drupal accommodates multisites.
Any CMS for the government or public sector will need to accommodate a wide range of sites, and Drupal’s multisite feature streamlines the creation of multisites by enabling developers to copy the main site's code base and create as many offshoot sites as needed that leverage the same functionality. This represents a significant savings in both development costs and ongoing maintenance.
While the ability to accommodate multisites is now a standard feature among most CMS platforms, the factor that sets Drupal apart from the proprietary options is cost -- as in the absence of cost. As an Open Source CMS, there are no additional fees associated with the addition of multiple sites.
Scalability of Drupal is intertwined with multi-site functionality, enabling brand guidelines to be be centrally maintained while individual agencies and departments can independently manage their content.
4. Drupal sites can handle millions of hits.
Drupal’s inherent scalability is another important factor in the multisite feature, as a high influx of traffic on one site affects all of the sites on the same Drupal code base.
Government websites need to be ready at any moment for a surge in traffic. Whether due to dangerous weather warnings, civic upheaval, or even a celebratory event, a government website is never more vital than when a critical mass of citizens flock to it at the same time. Drupal supports some of the most highly trafficked government websites in the world, and is built to handle both sudden surges and millions of visitors a month without crashing or breaking.
5. Hosting options can fit specific requirements.
With Drupal, site owners can select the hosting vendor that best fits their needs, they can change hosting vendors whenever they feel the need to, and they can opt to host the website internally. This is not always the case with a proprietary CMS solution.
6. Multilingual support is built in.
Drupal supports more than 100 languages out of the box. Although all major CMS solutions offer multilingual support at this point, Drupal offers extra features that facilitate translation capabilities.
- The Content Translation module in Drupal allows pages and individual content to be translated by creating a duplicate set in the translated language.
- Entity Translation module allows particular fields to be translated.
7. Drupal sites are accessible out of the box.
Drupal is fundamentally committed to compliance with web accessibility standards, which is an essential consideration for all government and public sector websites. Clients can count on the fact that Drupal is compliant with the most recent Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). This is a key advantage of Drupal, as CMS solutions that rely more heavily on external plug-ins cannot be counted on to be in compliance with web accessibility standards to anywhere near the same degree.
8. The Drupal Community is 1.3 million members strong.
The Drupal community is a huge advantage to both developers and public sector clients. As a longtime member of the Drupal community, I’ve experienced on many occasions the power of a 1.3 million member community who are invested in its success. There are no secrets in Drupal. It is built on a common OS dev stack, which means that Drupal developer talent tends to be more widely available than for proprietary CMS solutions. Help and support for whatever or question may arise within the community is freely and generously available.
At Promet Source, Drupal is in our DNA. We serve as engaged contributors to the Drupal community and embrace the spirit of open sharing of expertise and solutions, along with a strong track record of designing and developing Drupal sites for government and public sector clients. Let us know what we can do for you!