Drupal is a fantastic platform for websites in multiple sectors. It works beautifully for enterprise organisations, quirky SMEs and everything in between. But it has become particularly popular with local government, with over 60 local government sites currently live. Here are five reasons why Drupal is a council favourite.
1. Everyone’s a publisher
Local authorities’ websites are increasingly becoming publishing platforms above all – that is, they are online sources of advice and information for citizens – advice and information that needs to be continually updated. Just like newspaper and magazine websites, then, it is vital for local authorities to be able to add new content quickly and easily, and for multiple members of staff to be able to do this without highly technical knowledge. Drupal, with its intuitive back-end and focus on point-and-click and drag-and-drop functionality, fits the bill perfectly.
2. Power in numbers
Because so many local authorities are already using Drupal, they are in an advantageous position when it comes to creating joint offerings and sharing resources. As Drupal is open source, once a set of functionalities has been built it can be shared with the rest of the Drupal community. This creates great opportunities for local authorities to work together and can prevent each one duplicating the same piece of work.
3. Safe and secure
Local authorities have to process and protect a great deal of highly sensitive data, including personally identifiable information and possibly financial data. In an increasingly dynamic cybercrime landscape, where new threats are evolving daily and public sector organisations have become high-profile victims of cybercrime, it is vital for local authorities to be able to trust that the technology underpinning their websites is robust and resilient.
Drupal has a strong security record and a highly proactive security team, which continually creates new patches and upgrades for the CMS. Provided that they keep their site’s patches up-to-date, local authorities can shore up their security posture by using Drupal.
4. Easy migrations
No matter what CMS they have been using in the past, most local authorities find migrating to Drupal an easier proposition than other platforms. Resources are available to assist with the migration process, and while some knowledge of PHP and SQL is usually required, migrations are rarely problematic.
5. Freedom and flexibility
And now perhaps the biggest one of all; Drupal is an open source platform, meaning that the original source code is freely available for anyone to use. In turn, this means that countless developers have taken Drupal in different directions, building a wealth of innovative plug-ins that can be used to carry out an enormous range of functions. Whatever service local authorities want to develop, whatever their objectives for the coming months and years, Drupal will almost certainly have a module that can give them a push in the right direction. This is particularly important in a sector with strict budget constraints and the possibility of moving goalposts due to wide policy changes.