Drupal excels at providing a solid foundation for Rapid Application Development (RAD) features. Web developers sometimes debate if Drupal is more of an Application Framework, with its own application programming interface (API) or a Content Management System (CMS). We think Drupal is uniquely positioned to be both. This has important advantages and disadvantages.
- You can get up and running in a matter of minutes with a cutting-edge, feature-rich, open-source, free (as in "free beer"), free (as in "free speech"), CMS-powered website.
- You can quickly add uniquely custom features to any Drupal website, often without writing a line of code.
- Because Drupal includes a complex API, and a vast collection of optional modules, it is harder to use than a basic CMS or blogging system, such as WordPress,
- Because Drupal comes preloaded with a working CMS, it is not a pure application framework, and must make some assumptions about how your website operates that a pure framework would not make.
Why should I care?
Picking the underlying technology for a project is fundamental to its success. The wrong choice might mean scarce or expensive developers, additional server costs, and orphaned or abandoned core infrastructure.
- Drupal is ideal for projects that need to "go live yesterday," and require custom features beyond what is easily accomplished in a basic CMS.
- A pure framework, such as Laravel, Ruby or Rails, or Django, may be preferable if achieving your goals requires extensive refactoring of the default Drupal installation.
- A simple CMS, such as WordPress, may be preferable if your needs are limited to blogging or basic content management.