Why Do Educational Institutes Prefer Drupal over Other CMS?

| | 8 min read

Drupal is a popular CMS worldwide and is used regularly by prominent organizations including The White House, Twitter, IKEA and several high-profile brands and organizations. What is the CMS for educational institutes, in general, though?

Drupal has the edge over other CMS platforms owing to

  • Wide variety of modules
  • A massive community of developers helping out with new features
  • Cost-effective approach
  • Enhanced functionalities

The attributes are attractive for progressive institutions as it is one of the only platforms that has successfully addressed the intrinsic aspects of managing multi-sites effectively across departments and demographics. 

Drupal helps educational institutions to make visible their mission and vision predominantly. This part of branding is through the deliberate articulation of value and standards through myriad communications. Digital versions, including e-brochures, whitepapers, videos, webinars, newsletters, can be featured on your digital, social and email communications, as well as any promotional items you send out to interested prospective visitors to your website.

Universities repeatedly rely on the best CMS for educational institutes because they have to adhere to a consistent content strategy and remain compliant with their high standards in terms of accessibility and security. Drupal ticks all the right boxes and hence stands tall among other CMS, making it ideal for making higher education websites.

 Some of the top universities that use Drupal CMS for their websites are:

  • Harvard University
  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Yale University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Cornell University
  • University of Minnesota (UMN)
  • University of Oxford
  • Georgetown University
  • University of Surrey

How Drupal supports websites for top educational institutions and universities

1. Efficient for Case Study Publishing

Highlighting the case studies is one of the key strategies for most universities to market their courses. Hence they need to build a portal that showcases them in the best light, enabling case authors to publish value-added and thoroughly SEO optimized content required to draw users to the platform. Drupal ensures improved search of case studies with enhanced navigation and personalized recommendations. The CMS provide an efficient dashboard to access the case studies, complete control of editorial workflows, and tight integration with internal systems. One can even implement tools to execute digital marketing campaigns using the platform itself.



2. Streamlined display of Annual reports

Organizations seek to deliver annual reports to stakeholders to share details about their operations and financial progress in a year. These reports target the stakeholders in PDFs, but now many seek them in interactive formats for effortless navigation to different sections. Such depictions enhance content discovery and promote search functionality. They are easier to read on smartphones and comply with web accessibility guidelines aided by rich data visualizations. 

Drupal can deliver all this and more. It can bring forth the concept of hierarchical content organization for automating the table of contents. Reusability is its primary attribute, ensuring prompt distribution, relayed directly through internal servers and configured as required. Annual reports on Drupal could help separate content authoring and presentation while enabling stakeholders to generate reports based on their branding guidelines. Users can develop custom content workflows to source draft content and publish approved sections. Additionally, Drupal enables the generation of static pages on the cloud, thus improving performance and cost-effectiveness. One can continue to generate reports in PDF for prints as needed.

3. Integrated Artificial Intelligence

Academic institutions can leverage AI in multiple areas if embedded within their portal. Drupal offers student support like no other CMS with AI-based chatbots ideal for helping students know details about courses, faculty schedules, and more. Chatbots ensure personalized communication and also utilize previous engagement history to lead the next chat. 

Artificial intelligence on web platforms could flow through voice assistants like Alexa, aiding researchers with pertinent queries. At the same time, AI-based advanced marketing systems could reach out to students/faculty for prospecting purposes. The embedded AI could offer course recommendations based on search queries or user persona, qualification, experience etc., at different touchpoints. Also, an alumni outreach platform could coordinate the activities of associations for better engagement through a grouping of alumni members and their conversations. Last but not least, portals could leverage Drupal for integrating advanced analytic systems to collect customer data and build unified user personas. Data visualizations and interactive dashboards can be a reality in driving audience engagement and leading insights for stakeholders’ quick decision-making.

4. Seamless and Efficient Content Distribution

Drupal’s swift website loading time owing to caching modules has helped several portals to function blazingly fast. It ensures an optimized performance tuning with website loads in seconds while remaining scalable even amidst incessant traffic. 

This attribute ensures website owners can attend to a large user base without changing the content management strategy, weeding out possible threats and bugs with new code development.

As a popular platform for educational websites, Drupal ensures efficient content management and distribution with a robust environment, meeting different shared content preferences. Drupal caters to high content demands, offering multiple content sharing approaches while maintaining stringent security, swift speed, and immense scalability. The platform includes the ability to oversee security features, thus fortifying the educational portal, in the long run, preventing information leaks and malicious attacks.



5. Hassle-free Recruitment and Admissions

Drupal is an ideal platform for educational institutes owing to its ease of access, especially during recruitment and admissions. Every role is assigned specific accessibility of modules based on their assignments. The nature of such websites is that they can withstand high amounts of traffic with comprehensive data collection, email campaigns, and automation of SMS tasks possible.

Admins can create, modify, and publish a wide variety of university-based content swiftly, while HR managers can quickly post jobs, position updates, and other content. Drupal can also handle multi-sites related to the university departments through a single backend for admins to efficiently work and serve each site. Shortlisting candidates through the portal or a CSV file is a breeze, while applicants can also log in and save their information without hassles through predefined and secured forms. No wonder the Drupal-based portals are popular among Ivy-league universities, as mentioned above.

6. Ensuring Accessible Digital Experience from Admissions to Graduation

Students who come to multi-site schools have diverse education needs, accommodation requirements, access to technology, and native know-how. High schools have to ensure their web content is understandable and accessible to the intended users. Based on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), higher education institutions are expected to adhere to specific parameters and standards that fit their reputation. Making websites accessible to all students, even the physically challenged kids is a tough ask for universities. But it makes sense to update universities with accessible web content and learning management systems. 

Drupal is one CMS with support features aligned with accessibility standards, allowing readers to choose font styles and colours and easily add alt text and tags to images. 

Drupal development companies now leverage the platform to create ready-made content types for easy management of web pages, including faculty profiles, managing workflows, diverse layouts, and prompt media handling sections consistent with the brand.

7. Better Personalization Features for Brand-Worthy Presentation

As well-known institutions are keen to host study abroad programs for foreigners, they have to work harder to differentiate themselves from the rest and connect intrinsically with prospective students. An exceptional personalized experience hence is the need of the hour. 

Drupal is one of the best CMS for educational institutions to introduce a new personalization strategy that suits universities that want to target their student population to boost yearly enrollment rates. Personalization tactics could help drive the percentage of enrolled applicants, especially attracting more women. Through Drupal’s centralized platform, one could streamline all current digital stuff and academic programs to a single site, allowing the option to capture the attention of prospective students during their journey. The site should better realize the education experience and pool success stories for new readers and interested students. You can even complete your post-grad when you deem fit while ensuring relevant content to the prospect’s interests.

Since today’s students are locking their curiosity out of fear or intense pressure, especially to find a place that could be holistic in a social, academic, and financial context. Drupal’s CMS easily integrates personalization tools to render the site fit enough for prospective students based on their interests and inclination.

8. Ensure Safety and Security with Efficient Multi-site Management

The landscape of higher education could be intimidating for millions of families whose sons and daughters struggle to stay in touch with their intended education options. Meanwhile, universities struggle to connect and keep track of multiple sites operated by their specific departments and board members. Drupal’s multi-site functionality allows users to gain content independence efficiently, thereby enabling higher reach for the institution. Drupal enables site owners to add, update, and edit sites hosted by a single Drupal codebase, thus ensuring harmony and utilization of time to handle code across multi-sites.

Modules for Higher Education

Drupal, the best choice for educational institutes, earns top marks for implementing higher education digital experiences consistently through their sites. 

  • Bibliography + Citation: This module provides an API to render comprehensive bibliography citation, detailed reference data and specific keywords derived from academic sources. 
  • Entity Registration: This module helps institutions announce events and showcases of their campus, allowing multiple cross-department events at any point in time, right through the platform. 
  • Quizzes and Surveys: This module enables educators to design multiple question formats for students, with automated scores based on responses. 

About Zyxware’s Drupal Development Services

Zyxware Technologies is a global IT solutions and services company that can help you build websites leveraging the Drupal platform. We help you create an intuitive user flow for the portal, with a multi-channel strategy for different institutional modules, and even time your marketing strategy with a robust website that enhances your brand before the admissions start. Our websites are SEO-centric and social media-friendly, with integrated links to share, discuss, and spread information everywhere.