Ask Freelock: Why would I choose Drupal over Expression Web?

Mon, 03/08/2010 - 12:50 -- John Locke

Mel asks:

Why would I use Drupal instead of Microsoft Expression Web to create a website?

I actually had to look to find out what Expression Web is--I hadn't heard of it before. It looks like a successor to FrontPage, something similar to DreamWeaver for creating static web sites.

So to rephrase, why should I build a site on a content management system, instead of using a tool that lets me build a site directly?

This question has been asked, and answered many times already. Erik answered it here. I've written about why Drupal in the past--be sure to read our latest newsletter for more.

But the fundamental question remains: why build something complicated when a simple web site will suffice?

And my answer is, "I don't know." You tell me. Why do you need something more?

For somebody who has built web sites before, it's easy to go to DreamWeaver, Expression Web, or any of a number of other tools, throw together a web site, and put it up on a web server somewhere. That's fine. The question is, what does that get you?

It gets you a brochure on the web. It becomes a place your existing customers can go to find your phone number or address. But it's not going to get you new business.

Why do you need something more?

No, really, I'm asking. Go ahead and answer in the comments below. If you don't have an answer, you probably don't need more than a static web site.

But there are lots of possible reasons you need something more:

  • You want to sell something online and need a shopping cart
  • You need a non-web developer to be able to update content
  • You want to encourage a conversation with your customers, allowing them to comment on stories you write
  • You want to reach new customers on the web
  • Your business is built upon helping your customers identify and rate providers
  • You need to securely collect data from your customers, and want to protect that data on your own servers
  • You need to delegate maintenance of different parts of the site to different staff members
  • You want to mash up data from multiple sources, and show them in one place

These are just a few of the reasons our customers have for hiring us to build a site on Drupal. For some of these, there are many viable options for developing a solution. None of these can be easily solved with a web site development tool like Expression Web or DreamWeaver, at least not without a lot of additional programming or plugging in a variety of third party services.

Drupal provides a solid base for plugging in all kinds of functionality, making sites that do things rather than just sit there unchanging.

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Comments

An interesting debaate this. I for one tend to utilise a local CMS system for building websites if not to ensure total control over the design, layout and other particulary rich SEO factors. CMS systems such as Drupal and indeed Wordpress (to name just a few...) are fine as far as they go but if you are a control freak like myself you simply want to keep everything in house. This enables you to react quickly should any elements require changing as a result of search engine changes. Just my 2C..

Submitted by drizzuple4LiFE (not verified) on

(1) SUPPORT! There are so many developers (with OS coding) that will provide constant support through email and chat programs

(2) PLUG-INS! there is plugin for almost anything. Don't know anything about SEO? there's a plugin. Don't know how to program an e-commerce store? There's a plugin. Even Forex tools are available for immediate implementation... get the picture?

(3) FAST IMPLEMENTATION! You can get a website up and running overnight. This is especially important for establishing domain age/authority if you are starting from scratch.

So get on Drupal today and join the cause!!

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  1. Freelock has a deep bench in all things Drupal, but beyond the technical skills they also offer the much-appreciated ability to ask the right questions, articulate issues, and offer strong solutions. They were a true partner that went the extra mile amidst shifting priorities and deadlines. I look forward to a continued working relationship with the team at Freelock.

    Deborah Gassner
    UW Center for Reinventing Public Education

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