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Feb 17 2021
Feb 17

Seeking to ultimately create a globally centralized, online presence for all of its commercial customers, Lenovo reached out to Promet Source for a range of initiatives that included a performance audit, a Drupal 8 migration, integration with the Lenovo Martech stack, consolidation of 15 separate websites from 60 markets and 87 different languages into its Lenovo Tech Today site, and ongoing support. 

The result: a cohesive brand and online presence that enables Lenovo’s commercial customers worldwide to easily explore all of Lenovo’s commercial technology solutions that include workstations, servers, storage solutions, IT management software, smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, and apps.  

The success of this massive consolidation project was due in part to Promet’s development of a component-based, drag-and-drop page-building capability leverages Drupal Paragraphs.

Read more about how we helped Lenovo drive efficiencies with a cohesive global web presence.

Promet also established clear processes for enabling content editors and site managers within multiple markets worldwide to log in and easily update content or add pages. Site updates and revisions that would have otherwise taken a week’s time and required the help of an in-house IT support team or a local agency, can now be completed by non-technical site managers within a few hours. For Lenovo’s global commercial customer base, the consolidated Lenovo Tech Today site has provided the advantage of a consistent brand presence and user experience, along with significant operational efficiencies and massive cost savings.

Commenting on the impact of Lenovo's global website consolidation initiatives and engagement with Promet, Roman Olney, Head of WW Digital Marketing, PCSD Marketing, for Lenovo said,

Over the last few years, Promet has helped us navigate some complex technology needs that have driven significant efficiencies for our global marketing organization. With their support, Tech Today continues to grow and meet the needs of our customers in new and exciting ways.

Interested in consultation and support in managing complexities, while improving user experience? Let us know how we can help!

Feb 03 2021
Feb 03

More so than ever before, government and public sector websites are called upon to multi-task,  functioning as the digital town square -- a central spot for connecting, conducting business, keeping informed, showcasing top attractions, and a lot more. 

Among government officials who are responsible for managing and making decisions concerning the right content management system (CMS), the margin for error is low and the stakes are high. Government websites need to be secure, scalable, engaging, flexible, accessible, dependable, and easy to navigate. As budgets get squeezed, websites also need to demonstrate cost effectiveness and all that factors into good governance.

Factoring in all that’s riding on getting it right, combined with our in-the-trenches perspective from hundreds of conversations and engagements with government clients, we at Promet Source rank Drupal to be the CMS that best stands up to the demands of public sector websites

We’re in good company concerning this assessment.

Drupal’s share of the government and public sector CMS market is built upon a solid foundation that includes these eight factors:

 

1. Drupal Integrates with other solutions and services.

Drupal plays well with others and this means a lot. Ease of integration with other services -- even proprietary solutions -- ensures that a government website will have the flexibility to accommodate both current and future needs. The Drupal CMS is a modular CMS, which serves as a foundation for easily integrating with other solutions. The value of this feature is compounded by the fact that Drupal is Open Source. As such, there is no controlling authority determining or limiting integration activity. Open Source also means that there are no additional costs or licensing fees associated with multiple integrations.  

2. Security is both transparent and robust.

Security is a paramount concern for government websites, and Drupal’s track record of superior security is a key factor contributing to its popularity among public sector clients. The fact that Drupal is Open Source means that government IT officials have access to the code for their sites and can exercise whatever level of due diligence they they feel that they need to in order to feel assured of the site can stand up to hacking and cyber threats. 

The 1.3 member strong Drupal community is collectively committed to eliminating potential threats with contributions of several security modules. Among them: Login Security, Password Policy, Captcha, and Security Kit. The Drupal Security Working Group is focused on ensuring that both Drupal core and the entire ecosystem of member contributions ensure both world-class security for Drupal sites.

Another factor worth noting is that Drupal is not a SAAS solution, which means that the site’s code is not commingled in a shared database.

3. Drupal accommodates multisites.

Any CMS for the government or public sector will need to accommodate a wide range of sites, and Drupal’s multisite feature streamlines the creation of multisites by enabling developers to copy the main site's code base and create as many offshoot sites as needed that leverage the same functionality. This represents a significant savings in both development costs and ongoing maintenance.

While the ability to accommodate multisites is now a standard feature among most CMS platforms, the factor that sets Drupal apart from the proprietary options is cost -- as in the absence of cost. As an Open Source CMS, there are no additional fees associated with the addition of multiple sites. 

Scalability of Drupal is intertwined with multi-site functionality, enabling brand guidelines to be be centrally maintained while individual agencies and departments can independently manage their content. 

4. Drupal sites can handle millions of hits.


Drupal’s inherent scalability is another important factor in the multisite feature, as a high influx of traffic on one site affects all of the sites on the same Drupal code base. 

Government websites need to be ready at any moment for a surge in traffic. Whether due to dangerous weather warnings, civic upheaval, or even a celebratory event, a government website is never more vital than when a critical mass of citizens flock to it at the same time. Drupal supports some of the most highly trafficked government websites in the world, and is built to handle both sudden surges and millions of visitors a month without crashing or breaking. 
 

5. Hosting options can fit specific requirements.

With Drupal, site owners can select the hosting vendor that best fits their needs, they can change hosting vendors whenever they feel the need to, and they can opt to host the website internally. This is not always the case with a proprietary CMS solution.


6. Multilingual support is built in.

Drupal supports more than 100 languages out of the box. Although all major CMS solutions offer multilingual support at this point, Drupal offers extra features that facilitate translation capabilities. 

  • The Content Translation module in Drupal allows pages and individual content to be translated by creating a duplicate set in the translated language. 
  • Entity Translation module allows particular fields to be translated.

7. Drupal sites are accessible out of the box.

Drupal is fundamentally committed to compliance with web accessibility standards, which is an essential consideration for all government and public sector websites. Clients can count on the fact that Drupal is compliant with the most recent Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). This is a key advantage of Drupal, as CMS solutions that rely more heavily on external plug-ins cannot be counted on to be in compliance with web accessibility standards to anywhere near the same degree. 

8. The Drupal Community is 1.3 million members strong.

The Drupal community is a huge advantage to both developers and public sector clients. As a longtime member of the Drupal community, I’ve experienced on many occasions the power of a 1.3 million member community who are invested in its success. There are no secrets in Drupal. It is built on a common OS dev stack, which means that Drupal developer talent tends to be more widely available than for proprietary CMS solutions. Help and support for whatever or question may arise within the community is freely and generously available. 

At Promet Source, Drupal is in our DNA. We serve as engaged contributors to the Drupal community and embrace the spirit of open sharing of expertise and solutions, along with a strong track record of designing and developing Drupal sites for government and public sector clients. Let us know what we can do for you!

Subscribe to Promet Insights
 

Jan 12 2021
Jan 12

2020 was hard.

At Promet Source, we’re planning for and counting on 2021 being easier and better in many ways.

We realized last year that there actually was something we could do to raise the bar for 2021 and make life easier and better for everyone who manages a Drupal website. 

We developed Provus.
 

What is Provus?

The brainchild of Aaron Couch, Promet’s Lead Solutions Architect, Provus is Promet’s newly launched Drupal platform. Utilizing Atomic Design principles, Provus combines the latest drag-and-drop page building tools in Drupal with a curated library of design components, enabling content editors to easily layer designs, add functionality, and rearrange layouts.  

An essential differentiator from other drag-and-drop tools is the degree to which Provus empowers content creators, while at the same time adhering to an organization’s brand guidelines to ensure consistency and aesthetic alignment. 

From a development perspective, Provus is allowing for vast new efficiencies as we work toward eliminating the wall that had previously existed between easy-to-create and manage SAAS solutions, and scalable Drupal solutions, for websites that have complex data models and a depth of content.
 

New Perspectives and Possibilities

Provus was inspired by the realization that nearly every website consists of various combinations of roughly 15-20 types of features or patterns. By organizing a library of high-quality components that can be repurposed for low-code, no-code site building, we create a foundation for:

  • Easier content editing capabilities with drag and drop functionality
  • Greater design flexibility within defined brand standards
  • Streamlined development using Drupal’s proven content models

The Provus Technology Stack

Provus Technology Stack Promet’s Open Source Provus starter kit for component-based Drupal sites is based on Atomic Design principles using Emulsify as the base theme and leveraging Storybook to create a library from which the newly themed components are mapped into Drupal Layout Builder for a flexible, dynamic, drag-and-drop CMS. 

Provus in Action

Traditional Drupal theming includes CSS and JavaScript selectors that are intertwined with their context, connecting them to the backend implementation. The result of this “theme for the page,” approach is that assets that can’t be repurposed across projects.
Having identified that component-based theming tools are key to next-level efficiencies in website building, our next step was to single out an optimal approach for delivering reusable components. 

Promet’s strategy for achieving this new UI and content management paradigm incorporates the Emulsify® design system, which is a component-driven Drupal theme and gives us a huge lift in building repurposable components. Emulsify functions as both a starter component library with Storybook, which contains the Atomic Design library and is a tool for building user interface components. Storybook can be turned on from within the Emulsify theme, resulting in a highly efficient new workflow.
 
With Provus, components built using JavaScript and CSS are curated int o a library. If the backend implementation changes or we want to move it to another project, the component itself is not changed, allowing us to efficiently redesign and reuse it.

What Sets Provus Apart?

Content editor empowerment, combined with the robust guidance and governance are key factors fueling the success of Provus. More specifically:

  • Self-adjusting features within components create a foundation for both readability and ADA accessibility, by ensuring, for example, adequate contrast between fonts and background colors. 
  • Design governance offers the assurance that content editor empowerment does not translate into mismatched, crowded, or sub-par page designs. Customization options are presented within an expertly calibrated design framework for ensuring the highest quality designs and user experiences on all devices, without breaking layouts or straying from an organization’s brand guidelines. 
  • Content editors are able to seamlessly edit components and change patterns within the view mode, eliminating time-consuming processes of reentering content and switching back and forth between edit and publish modes.

As a thought leader on how humans interact with technology, Promet Source has enthusiastically pursued component-based design systems for their potential to drive high velocity capabilities that drive consistency and collaboration. 

While Provus provides for game-changing advantages on multiple levels, we’re most excited about the amazing new capabilities that we are now able to offer our clients. In blending a formal design system that ensures brand consistency across the site with the flexibility of drag-and-drop site building tools within Drupal core, we are reducing the cost of ownership and empowering clients with a site that’s designed to flex and expand to fit evolving needs and new priorities. 

Interested in learning more about Provus or seeing a demo of Provus in action? Let us know how we can help and we'll be in touch!

                 Stay in-in-the-know with what's new and next for Drupal. Subscribe to the Promet Source newsletter.


 

Dec 05 2020
Dec 05

All of us in the Open Source CMS world are asked, from time to time, variations on the question of: “Which is better, Drupal or WordPress?” 

Of course, there’s not a simple answer to the WordPress vs. Drupal question. Many have a strong bias towards one content management system or the other, but often, staunch opinions on the subject are based on a few cursory facts or outdated information.

Both WordPress and Drupal have evolved a lot since their introductions in the early 2000s. In some ways, this evolution has brought them into closer alignment with each other, evidenced by developments such as the porting of WordPress’s Gutenberg content editor over to Drupal in 2018. In other ways, WordPress and Drupal evolutions have clarified distinctions. 

Generally speaking though, in the current environment, the majority of sites can be supported equally well by either option. 

Fierce Loyalists in Both Camps

That’s not to say that the WordPress vs. Drupal debate doesn’t still spark strong opinions. Both have their devotees. As for me, I go way back with WordPress, and dove into the Drupal world about seven years ago. Promet Source has deep ties to Drupal, and over the past two years, we have broadened our perspectives and talent base to include WordPress advocates and experts. As such, I believe I’m well positioned to objectively cover both. 

Let's start with a few key stats and facts about Drupal and WordPress.

Drupal Advantages: The Internet's Heavy Lifter

A modular CMS written in PHP, Drupal enables developers to leverage a flexible taxonomy system that’s designed to organize complex content types, set highly customizable user permission levels, and ensure web accessibility compliance with enhanced testing and tracking capabilities.

Launched in 2000, Drupal now stands as the third most popular CMS in terms of market share.

Drupal’s enterprise-level trajectory was launched in November of 2015 with the release of Drupal 8, which resulted in a complete architectural overhaul and the creation of an enterprise-level CMS. Subsequent versions, such as the June 2020 release of Drupal 9, are now intended to be incremental, more of a point release than anything resembling the total CMS rewrite that occurred with the upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. 

As of February 2020, there were an estimated 1.3 billion websites on the Internet and Drupal accounted for: 

  • Roughly 2 percent of total websites and
  • An estimated 3 percent of the CMS market, with 
  • 560,000 live, active Drupal sites.

                              Drupal Share of CMS Market

Drupal stats for 2020         Source:  Website Builder: 67 Amazing Drupal Statistics,  Jan 2020

For reasons that include core support for multilingual sites, Drupal is often the CMS of choice for government, higher ed, large enterprises, and health care institutions. The NASA site is on Drupal site, as is Portland State University, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, and Martin County Florida. The White House website was on Drupal during the Obama administration.

Drupal has a diverse and dedicated community of contributors, as evidenced by 42,650 free modules that are available for download. 

WordPress Advantages: A Pervasive Internet Presence

While websites with complex content models and data requirements gravitate towards Drupal, WordPress sites cover a wide spectrum of needs. WordPress accounts for roughly 60 percent of the total CMS market, primarily among small to mid-range sites, but a number of enterprise sites are on WordPress, as well. 

Originally developed as a blogging platform, WordPress has maintained its appeal for non-tech types with a low barrier to entry. While it’s possible to set up a WordPress site without development or coding expertise, experienced developers frequently work within WordPress and leverage their knowledge of HTML, CSS, and PHP to build sizable sites with a greater range of capabilities for business clients. 

Making steady inroads into the enterprise CMS space, WordPress is now the CMS for Time the New Yorker, and BBC America

Beyond the basics, WordPress offers thousands of plug-ins to expand functionality, outranking Drupal for ready-to-go themes that serve to fast-track development without the need for custom development work.

As of February 2020, of the 1.3 billion websites on the Internet. WordPress accounted for: 

  • More than 35 percent of total websites and
  • 61.7 percent of the CMS market, with 
  • 455 million websites currently on WordPress.

For more WordPress stats, check out this recent post in WPCity.

                              WordPress Share of CMS Market

WordPress stats 2020          Source:   Who is Hosting This?: 2020’s Most Surprising WordPress Statistics,  Feb, 2020

One conclusion to be drawn from WordPress’s impressive internet saturation: it’s a CMS that has proven to be the right fit for a wide range of different needs and has gotten many things right, from a wide ranging selection of plugins to an easy-to-use CMS. 
 

Convergence of Features

As more and more Drupal developers realize the advantages within Wordpress, and other user-friendly CMS platforms such as consumer-focused SquareSpace and WIX that offer an easier to use back end, we are seeing new frameworks and features being added to the default editor within Drupal. A multitude of no-code/low-code solutions, such as drag-and-drop functionality or component-based design, are finding their way into Drupal, due to the flexibility of the platform and providing marketers and content editors with greater flexibility and possibilities for making revisions to their sites. 

Core Distinctions

Both Drupal and WordPress offer a depth and breadth of add-ons that extend functionality. These are called “modules” in Drupal, and ”plugins” in WordPress. “Themes” that refer to a site’s aesthetics and user experience, such as design, layout, colors and navigation, is a term that applies to both Drupal and WordPress.

Unlike Drupal’s 2015 architectural realignment with the launch of the enterprise-ready Drupal 8, WordPress has never undergone that same kind of overhaul. The resulting difference is that expanded functionality for WordPress occurs at the theme/plugin layer. Much of Drupal’s functionality, on the other hand, is centralized within the ever-increasing core level, as the most frequently used and widely accepted Drupal modules are continuously incorporated into core. 

WordPress functionality relies heavily upon themes and plugins, and many contend that this represents a strength. WordPress modules tend to be more complete applications, and the vast WordPress collection of themes and plugins provides a high degree of flexibility. 

The flipside of this argument, and key factor that tends to fuel the appeal of Drupal for complex enterprise, higher ed, and government sites, is that there is an inherently a higher level of security and stability associated with working in core. Continued support for themes, plugins, or modules is not always guaranteed in either Drupal or WordPress, and their track record is not necessarily established.

Scalability vs. Complexity

WordPress has proven itself to be extremely scalable and the right fit for some notable sites such as time.com, which I mentioned earlier. The essential distinction which is often missed is not so much size or scalability, but complexity. Even though there are hundreds and hundreds of pages, on time.com, for example, the site consists primarily of articles. When a greater range of content types and complex data models are required, WordPress falls short and Drupal shines.

Acknowledging that both Drupal and WordPress are solid content management systems, and that there’s considerable overlap in the types of sites for which either would provide an excellent solution, Promet recently developed the following matrix in an effort to highlight the relative strengths of both options and open a dialog among our teams.

Here’s what we came up with relative to 10 key criteria.

                    Open Source CMS Comparison

Drupal vs WordPress  Open Source CMS Comparison

  1. Open Source. Yes. Both Drupal and WordPress are solid Open Source solutions with great track records. 
  2. Lamp Stack (PHP). Yes. Both use Lamp Stack PHP equally. Five stars for both.
  3. Enterprise Ready. Drupal: Yes. That’s where this CMS shines. WordPress: Yes and No. It’s applicable for some, not all, enterprise applications. 
  4. Dedicated Hosting Partners. Yes. Both Drupal and WordPress have dedicated hosting partners, allowing for proactive maintenance, as well as heightened security, speed, and reliability. 
  5. Available/Accessible to Novices. No for Drupal. Developing a Drupal site and understanding how to work within the Drupal interface requires distinct expertise and training. Yes for WordPress. A non-technical hobbyist or small business owner with a touch of know-how can find a theme that fits their needs and figure out how to build and manage a WordPress site, often within a few hours.
  6. Appropriate for a Brochure Site. No for Drupal. While it’s possible to create a straightforward brochure site on Drupal, there’s not much point in doing so when other, simpler options are available. Yes for WordPress. WordPress is ideal for a brochure and blog site. That’s what it was originally developed for. 
  7. Has a Complex Content Model. Yes for Drupal. Complex taxonomy content models are where Drupal thrives. Not so much for WordPress, which best serves sites that don’t require the organization of high levels of complexity. 
  8. Works for a Tight Budget. (under $10,000). No for Drupal. The flipside of Drupal’s ability to navigate complexity tends to be the requirement of considerable developer legwork and ramping up. Yes for WordPress. WordPress offers a greater range of out-of-the box solutions and, depending on requirements, it’s quite possible to build a respectable Drupal site for under $10,000. 
  9. Design Theme Availability. Drupal: Somewhat. Drupal has a limited number of design themes that are ready out of the box. Promet has created a Drupal theme as part its upcoming launch of a component-based, drag-and-drop capability for Drupal. WordPress: Yes. WordPress has an extensive and robust design theme capability
  10. Community. Drupal: Absolutely. Drupal has a great professional community of dedicated developers, who regularly gather for training and information exchange (now virtually) at events, camps, and meetups all over the world. This is less the case for WordPress. While there are many professional WordPress developers, the WordPress community is more diverse and less cohesive. 

 

Tracking the Evolution

Among those of us whose history in the CMS trenches dates back many years, it’s been very interesting to witness the evolutions of both Drupal and WordPress. At one time, Drupal and WordPress accounted for the vast majority of the open source CMS world. Together, they still account for a whopping 65 percent of the CMS market, but newcomers such as Wix and Squarespace are gaining ground among their respective niches, and GoDaddy has also just introduced a drag-and-drop CMS. At the same time, multiple closed-source website creations options have emerged that weren’t around as recently as a few years ago. 

To an increasing degree, Drupal and WordPress are viewed less as competitors, and more so as members of the same family.

One big indicator of this trend: in May of 2020, Drupaldelphia, the annual camp held in Philadelphia for Drupal developers, site-builders, content administrators, and designers, was renamed CMS Philly. The event was largely dominated largely by Drupal and WordPress. 

High Stakes Solutions  

When the stakes are high (and when are they not), selecting the right CMS calls for careful consideration and expert analysis. The Drupal vs. WordPress conversation does not lend itself toward across-the-board rules or easy answers.

That said, the judgment and expertise of anyone who suggests that Drupal is always the answer or that WordPress is always the answer should be considered highly suspect. As the saying goes: “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

WordPress and Drupal each have a definite place at their respective ends of the spectrum, with hobbyist or small business sites on one end and complex, enterprise-level digital experiences at the other. The vast middle ground between these two ends can be highly nuanced with no easy answers, but there’s a likelihood that either Drupal or WordPress would work equally well.

The main thing is the assurance that true experts with a depth of perspective and commitment to client success are doing the work. 
Interested in an expert analysis of the CMS that stands to represent the right fit for your organization’s distinct objectives? At Promet Source, we have all the right people to help with that. Contact us today. 

Source for Drupal Stats:

https://websitebuilder.org/drupal-statistics

Source for WordPress Stats:

https://www.whoishostingthis.com/compare/wordpress/stats/

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web