If you’ve stumbled upon this blog, you probably already know the basics about Drupal. The sales pitch I usually hear starts with: it’s a powerful CMS, free, open source, and has a great community of developers powering it. Those statements are all true, but I like to believe that Drupal is much more than that. So I started researching, interviewing the team here at Mediacurrent, and came up with this list of 15 cool things you (probably) don’t know about Drupal - especially if you're new to the community.
1. Build Facebook landing pages in Drupal.
You can pull in any Drupal page on your website into Facebook and set it as a landing page. You’ll have to adjust the page settings to fit the size of the box available in Facebook, but that’s significantly better than building a landing page from scratch. Much easier to update too! You just have to log in to your Drupal site, make the adjustments you want, click save, and you're done.
2. Build Facebook applications in Drupal.
Looking for something meatier than a landing page in Facebook? Drupal has you covered. You can make an entire application in Facebook using Drupal.
3. Let users log in to your site with their Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounts.
Instead of forcing users to create and remember another username/password, you can let them log in to your website using a social account that they already have, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google. Better yet, there are systems in place that will automatically create accounts for your users in Drupal. That way if one of these social giants goes away or changes the rules, you don’t lose your community.
4. Make your website mobile responsive.
A mobile strategy is no longer a suggestion - it’s a requirement for business owners. Check out your website’s mobile analytics if you don’t believe me. The great thing is that Drupal makes it easier to create and maintain a responsive, mobile-friendly website right from the beginning. We use responsive base themes like Omega or AdaptiveTheme to get started, and let our front end developers customize the mobile experience from there.
5. Search Engine Optimization Nirvana.
Drupal gives you control over everything you need to optimize your website for search engines. That includes custom page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, copy, and it plays well with Google Analytics.
Mediacurrent SEO facts:
- One of our senior developers, Damien McKenna maintains two of the main Drupal SEO modules: Meta tags & Nodewords
- Adam Waid and I just released an eBook about creating an SEO Keyword strategy.
6. Really cool mapping features.
Check out the map feature we created for the Florida Department of Children and Families. On the map, users can filter office locations by the service provided, zip code, and/or by interacting with the map itself. Since it’s from us, you know it’s Drupal powered. There are a ton of ways to customize this for your company’s needs. Read: The Power of Maps and Drupal 7.
7. Very customizable e-commerce solutions.
Need to sell something? There are Drupal modules for that! Your online store could almost do backflips because it’s that customizable. You can also integrate with shipping services like USPS and UPS to make the end to end store experience seamless for your users and the people in your company filling the orders.
All code on drupal.org gets scrutinized by a public community of incredibly smart developers (including Chris Hales from our team at Mediacurrent). Which is part of the contributing reasons why open source software, like Drupal, is often just as secure, if not more secure, than commercial software. It’s not just our opinion either - increased security was one of the reasons The White House cited when they switched to Drupal.
9. It has serious scale.
I already mentioned that The White House runs on Drupal, but that’s not all. Other humongous sites include:
10. Seamless video and photo integration with Youtube and social photo sites.
Drupal can accept video uploads and then prepare them to display on any device. You can also have the videos automatically upload to Youtube. It works in reverse too! Your Drupal site can pull down Youtube videos and photos from places like TwitPic, and then automatically display them on your website.
- Run a contest or sweepstakes.
- Order pizza. Online orders from Domenica Pizzeria go straight into the kitchen via an iPad.
- Create community websites where each group has its own separate area. You can also create sub-communities, complete with homepage and rosters.
- Integrate with CRMs like Salesforce or create your own.
- Make your site multi-lingual.
If you’re familiar with Drupal, then you know this is just the beginning. What else would you add to this list?