Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, gave great session this year at Drupalcon Vienna. Watch the part where he talks about who is Drupal for. Instead of focusing on big and small websites, or SME and enterprise clients, Dries describes the type of a website Drupal is made for as ambitious.
What is not an ambitious website
A business that used to have a simple brochure website is now better off being served by SaaS (software as a service) solutions like Wix and Squarespace. Facebook, Google, and Amazon are providing services that not only cover what a good-old-website did in the past, but they also drive traffic to their client's sites.
Last couple of years we are reading about how people making websites will soon lose their jobs due to self-service solutions. However, there are cases when a simple brochure site could be more sophisticated than it first seems.
If an enterprise client wants to build a simple website for a new service, does this website fall into the same category as a site for a hairdresser? Or how can you compare a personal blog with media website, where the content is similar, but the later has a sophisticated editorial flow. It's not just about the size of the client and the market it serves. Any website can be ambitious, and based on this we have to choose what will be the underlining technology we are going to build on.
So what makes a website ambitious?
Custom business logic
All successful businesses I've seen have one thing in common: they have a unique business model. Since those companies are ambitious, they usually move part of their operations online. As they introduce an innovative way of doing things, they often can't be served by a SaaS provider and have to look for people who build websites.
Branding, design, and UX
From my perspective, a bespoke interface design is not a priority, but for many people looking to build a website this is the only thing they can understand, so they put a lot of attention to it. When it comes to design is more than just picking a color palette. When custom business logic is introduced, we also need to look at user experience. To customise the UX, we need the support of the technology and a team that can go through the process.
Integrating with a 3rd party application is always underrated feature of a website. E.g., if you are collecting inquiries for your product on a site and you also have a CRM, your number one priority should be integrating those two to save time on data entry and reducing errors. Many SaaS firms support only the most adopted 3rd party systems, or they have it integrated in a way that does not help the business.
Data protection and IP
When looking at TOS of service companies mentioned above, you can learn that the data your clients collect and content they create is not necessarily theirs. For some businesses, this is not acceptable as their either deal with private data or their model can not allow giving away content to the 3rd party.
Where does Drupal come in?
It's not only Drupal that is struggling with market share in the non-ambitious websites sector. Wordpress, market leader by far, is seeing a drop in usage due to SaaS services and platforms. Fortunately for Drupal, we had people and companies pushing towards enterprise market for some time now. Drupal is positioned next to solutions like Sitecore and Adobe Experience Manager.
With Drupal, we can build ambitious websites. I believe we have more advantages in this fields than our competitors. We should not be looking at the stats like how many Drupal sites we build. The CMS is growing very slowly now, and it will soon hit the plateau. Instead, we should focus on getting a more significant piece of the pie from the ambitious website's market which is growing.
If you are a digital agency struggling with delivering ambitious websites for your clients reach out and I will see how I can help you.