Drupal for Small Businesses & Universities
"Despite the rigors of Drupal, it is overwhelmingly the better framework for small businesses, colleges and universities"
For a long time I bought into the conventional wisdom that Drupal wasn't a good fit for small businesses. After all, bewilderment and frustration are usually what follow when novices download and install Drupal for the first time.
But over the years I began to notice some other things, particularly when working on projects using WordPress. Almost invariably I would be asked early in the project how the client might create a different category of page, or list both post and page content in a single display or have a widget appear in the sidebar on a few disparate pages or posts.
If you're familiar with WordPress, you'll know that what I just described is easily addressed in Drupal by custom content types, views and the very flexible blocks system respectively. And all of these tasks are a hassle in WordPress.
With colleges and universities, essentially what you have is a large group of associated small organizations, most of which have one web guy or gal and many without any full time technical resources at all. And it's in this environment that Drupal flourishes like no other.
Of course you end up with a lot of lousy websites with this arrangement, but the fact remains that the requirements of higher education aren't easily met by a platform like WordPress. It just doesn't have the necessary power or flexibility.
Oftentimes I have had small clients simply come to me and ask me to make a site similar to another one they admire. Nine times out of ten, the easiest way to provide them with what they've asked for is to build the site using Drupal.
I've worked with small organizations my entire career and I really have a passion for it. There is oftentimes so much more heart being poured into the work than at a large corporation. People just tend to care more. And when a project is successful, it makes a much bigger impact for them than it would for a larger company. So despite the rigors of Drupal, it is overwhelmingly the better frameworks for small businesses, colleges and universities.