When to Switch from Drupal to Headless CMS?

From Drupal to Headless CMS

What is Drupal?

Drupal is a free and open source Content Management System (CMS) aimed at professional web development teams, allowing them to create more ambitious websites than those that can be created without using code. Created by experts in the field, non-technical people prefer to bypass this CMS, as only professionals can fully appreciate it.

It currently powers more than 14% of the top 10,000 websites on the Internet. It is a powerful CMS with a history of rapid innovation, thanks to its large community of developers.

Advantages of Drupal

  • Free and open source: Free access to a tool of this level makes it very competitive with similar CMSs. 

  • Security: During its more than 20 years of existence, only two vulnerabilities have been discovered in Drupal that significantly affected the work of all its users. This high level of security and reliability is provided by the work of the Drupal community, as well as a division of web developers who are dedicated to finding and fixing bugs and potential security issues.

  • User community: Professional programmers constantly contribute to the web development of the software, leading to its improvement and growth, as well as allowing bugs to be found and corrected quickly.

  • High speed: Compared to other CMSs, due to the built-in caching, Drupal has the best speed.

  • Robust platform: Web developers have the ability to be able to create complex and original designs. Drupal provides users with a platform to build a solidly designed website.

  • Periodic updates: Migrating to a new version or installing new patches is an advantage, as it provides more stability, reliability and protection.

Limitations of Drupal

  • Steep learning curve: Drupal was designed as a software for professionals. Studying its structure and application can be difficult for ordinary people to master because its complex interface is not very intuitive. Finding a specialist can be a difficult task. However, it is necessary in order to get the most out of the technology.

  • High system requirements: Drupal uses a considerable amount of memory as it loads its large modules on every request, which makes it necessary to pay an expensive hosting fee.

  • Difficulty installing updates and modules: This system is complicated, as Drupal installation of updates and additional modules is done via FTP.

  • Few freely available themes: The collection of high quality themes provided by Drupal is insufficient. There may not be as many public domain themes as other CMSs offer.

  • Maintenance issues: Drupal requires ongoing support and maintenance. In addition, updates and integration, patches and bug fixes to the website require the assistance of the developer.

Drupal vs Headless CMS

Unlike Drupal, a Headless CMS is decoupled from the frontend or presentation layer. In Headless the backend is both the content repository in a database and the content delivery and management system, reaching out to any frontend via an API.

With this approach, the Headless CMS allows content to be selected via an API and displayed where it is needed in the desired form, not just via a template to a website.

In the Headless CMS architecture, a frontend can be developed in a completely different language and does not have to be implemented on the same server. Thus, editors can enter structured content without having to think about the presentation.

In addition, by making the data available through an API, it can be used for different forms of application publishing (such as newsletters, mobile applications, web presence, etc.)

Developing and maintaining a traditional, inflexible CMS costs time and money, while restricting users to a single delivery channel. In contrast, a cloud-based Headless CMS reduces the cost of storage and backend operations, while providing all the tools needed to scale and build the website.

When to switch from Drupal to Headless CMS?

Drupal is a good option when you just want a simple and effective web presence, with effortless content management. This route is also recommended if your budget is limited.

Drupal is not ready to deliver omni-channel digital experiences, limiting developers and marketers on how and where to deliver content. 

Although Drupal is looking to move towards a Headless architecture, it was originally created as a monolithic CMS. This means that more work and time will need to be invested in configuring it in order to use Drupal Headless. 

You should switch to a Headless CMS if you want a high degree of flexibility in the presentation layer and a clear separation between content development and content editing. With Headless, the frontend technologies can be selected and customized to the desired detail for each requirement.

Headless CMS ensures that you get more out of content marketing with less financial input. 

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