The Drupal Challenge
Out of the box, Drupal is not what we would call user friendly. In fact, a default installation of Drupal doesn't really do much of anything. It doesn't even have a user friendly content editor or a built in way to upload images to the server. That doesn't mean it is not powerful, it's incredibly powerful and, more importantly, extensible. We consider it to be more like a CMS operating system than a full CMS application. Drupal just needs to be extended and configured to do what you want it to. Once configured, a well architected Drupal website is user friendly, easy to administer, and infinitely extensible.
That said, The learning curve is steep and requires a fair amount of technical expertise. Website design companies just want to focus on making things look great. End users just want to be able to add and edit content. The reason the Internet has seen a huge growth in sites built on WordPress is that it is incredibly easy to get started building websites and theming them. That is why most website design companies are now building sites in WordPress. But WordPress (and other CMS's) are pretty simplistic all around and easy to outgrow. They are also not (in our opinion) great platforms for building complex web applications.
ISG's Drupal Solution
In order to address what we consider to be challenging aspects of Drupal, and make it easier for businesses to adopt Drupal as their platform of choice, ISG has taken years of experience to create a fully managed Drupal offering. ISG Drupal CMS consists of:
- Off the shelf Drupal Core
There is nothing proprietary about it. We start with the standard Drupal 7 core product from drupal.org
- Lots of 3rd party modules
In order to make Drupal as user friendly as possible, and to enable us to build powerful business website solutions, we have cherry picked the best modules. We have performed extensive testing to ensure they all work well together. We pick modules which are actively maintained and have recent releases. We custom configure each module to meet specific business requirements based on our experience building Drupal websites and applications.
- Some ISG developed modules
Over the years, we have had many commonly requested website features. We have developed our own solutions for these features so they are reusable and easy to deploy. We offer them on an ala-carte basis for a reasonable fee. There is nothing proprietary about them other than the thought and experience they are based on.
- Git version control
Any modifications to the environment are carefully tested in our staging environment and tracked via version control.
Our specialized Drupal multi-tenant hosting environment makes it simple to deploy new sites and keep them all up to date. Each site is given its own dedicated storage for site files, custom themes, and additional/custom modules. Each site also benefits from the shared Drupal core and our carefully selected set of 3rd party modules.
- Ongoing Management
ISG takes care of ongoing updates and upgrades to Drupal core and each of the shared 3rd party modules. The customer does not have to incur costs for this maintenance.
Since our platform, and its configuration, are standardized, we offer regularly scheduled training events so our customers can learn how to get the most from their website. Our customers also receive a document which explains common use cases for the basics of editing their site content. All of this is included for our customers.