Drupal might be the biggest competitor of DNN. Not because it is in .NET because it's not. And not because it is user friendly for editors because it is not. In fact, it really is pretty hard to look at and even harder to work with. So, why is it popular?
What they do
- Drupal is versatile. It can be the engine for regular websites, intranets, custom applications and even webshops have been created with Drupal.
- Drupal is secure. At least much more than Wordpress or Joomla.
- Drupal is created with very small building blocks (nodes). Because of that, you can really create anything.
- There are a lot of free modules available
- There is a large community of developers
Strong points of Drupal
- There have been successful projects in Drupal. Managers like low risk projects so, this means a lot to them.
- There is a lot of attention for compliance (accessibility and other regulatory rules like Single Digital Gateway)
- Wishes of editors can be fulfilled. Not always in an elegant way but there is no "this can not be done"
Weak points of Drupal
- Because the building blocks are small, you can never just install an extension. If you install one, most of the time, you have to install several other extensions because there are dependencies. For example, if you install Webforms (an enterprise Form module) and you want to have a mail send on submit, that's another extension. If you want to create a PDF, that's another extension.You want to send an atachment in the mail? Or you want the PDF to be an attachment...every single time, you find yourself installing extra extensions
- There is no Drupal market place. If you don't want to created it all by yourself, you have to find what you're looking for in the community. Because there is no one making a living of creating modules, things can be rough, unstable, poorly tested etc.
- When looking for modules...if you check 'stable', 'secure' and 'Drupal 8', you find the true value of the extensions. Suddenly the number of 20.000+ extensions, shrinks to a couple of dozen. Currently, Drupal 9 is still in beta. If you would select that version as well, the number of modules is terribly low
- Drupal is not multi site by design. You can choose for a multi site setup but this has to be a choice from the get go. You have to fully understand the consequences and you can not revert later.
- The editing interface is not really on page editing. Yes, there is an 'edit' button but this leads to the admin back end.
- The community is not as big as it seems. Only 10 developers have been involved in Drupal 8 core in the last year.
- Upgrading has proven to be a nightmare. Drupal developers say "Reserve 50% of the project costs for upgrades".
- There are not a lot of Drupal developers to work with. Most agencies hire contractors. And very likely that 5 agencies all use that same contractor.
- The auto detect and auto load functionality of the hook system is very resource intensive. Every module has to be loaded on every single request to see if there are hooks. As Drupal runs on php it is process based and doesn't have long running threads. The mitigation needed is a caching specialist.
How to win
- Demo DNN. Every single editor will prefer DNN over Drupal. Addin multiple pages, adding a module to a page, sorting modules on a page, setting permissions on module level (HR can manage their jobs section on Home), setting publish date/time on module level, creating a new site...all is done in a breeze.
- Show strong vendors like DNN Sharp, Mandeeps, DNNGo, EasyDNNSolutions etc.
- Show 2SXC and switch views instantly
- Show high profile clients. If they trust DNN, so can you
- Strong, documented, mature API
- *** More input needed for developers ***
- Strong community, show the dnncommunity website (forum, extensions etc)