Drupal has become an increasingly popular CMS platform, powering almost half a million websites today for everything from retail businesses, government contractors, nonprofit organizations, real estate, medical practices, and more.
What is Drupal?
For those new to the platform, Drupal is an open-source content management system for websites with code written in PHP. Drupal is known for its power and ability to be highly scalable, making it the preferred choice for large and complex organizations. But Drupal is not just limited to larger organizations, many other businesses choose to use the platform because of its ability to allow users to easily manage content and flexibility in how content is presented (it now has over 42,000 free modules).
Below are a few reasons to consider Drupal:
- Mobile responsiveness
- Highly scalable (great for growing businesses)
- Ability to easily integrate new applications or functionalities
- Excellent security features
- Flexible content structure
- Simple content editing features
- Drupal community support
The way you present your website has a major impact on how others perceive your organization and whether or not they will further engage with your website. This article will explore the features that we love from some top Drupal websites and offer some compelling examples to give you a bit of inspiration. Website design has seen some big changes throughout the years. Not only has the need for a responsive design become important, but effective content presentation is required in order to engage your visitors right away since many are busy and on the go, often accessing a website from a mobile device.
Some factors that make a great Drupal website include:
- A well performing and secure website
- Responsive design that looks great across any mobile or tablet device
- A website that is simple and easy to navigate
- A homepage that tells your brand’s story through compelling visuals, infographics, and informative content
- Different types of content to engage visitors, such as blog articles, a news section, case studies, and other resources
- Offering “call to action” areas throughout a website to help increase conversion rates
- Compelling visuals such as photography and video integrations
- Integration of new functionalities that help streamline business processes
- Inclusion of value statements such as competitive advantages, organization mission and vision, or description of organization culture
Performance and Security
Having a Drupal website that performs well and is secure is more important than you think. Both performance and security actually affects search engine rankings, with less secure and poor performing websites being ranked lower by search engines. Drupal is a great choice when it comes to both of these areas since it offers excellent security features and functionality for great performance.
Websites built on Drupal can offer the flexibility to organize content in a way that is simple and easy to use. Headings should be kept to a minimum and relevant to your business with hidden dropdowns for sub topics that can be further explored. Drupal also provides a platform that will allow the design to be responsive and all navigational components of the website will function seamlessly across any mobile or tablet device.
Drupal offers the ability to increase the functionality of any website. Through Drupal modules, new integrations can be made to increase the functionality of a website to augment and streamline different processes for a business. This can range from anything from a membership section to a checkout feature for a retail website. The options are endless since there are over 42,000 free modules currently available.
Having a website that is responsive across all devices is an essential component for website design. Drupal offers the ability to create a website that seamlessly transitions to any mobile or tablet device. Now more than ever, people rely on smartphones for browsing the web, and it can be frustrating if you have to zoom in and out to view website content if it is not optimized for smartphone use. This can also contribute to a high bounce rate. Responsive design is also a factor in search engine rankings, with well optimized websites ranking higher in search results.
A good website will engage visitors right away through well-presented content. Drupal offers a high level of flexibility when it comes to the way content is presented through its themes, which help develop the visual look and feel of the site. Your website should include new content that is created on a regular basis. Drupal offers a platform that gives the ability to do this with front side editing features and the ability to integrate different functionalities such as a blog or resource section of a website. Not only does new content help in telling your brand’s story, but it keeps a visitor exploring your website for longer periods of time. So what types of content should you include on your Drupal website? Below are a few examples:
- Blog posts
- Client testimonials or case studies
- A resource section
- Webinars or other online events
- Video or media gallery
- Social media
Call to Action Areas
In order to improve conversion rates on a website, you should include “call to action” areas where visitors can take an active step to further engage with your business. Drupal easily allows these types of functionalities to be integrated into a website using its built-in forms that can be added with the click of a button.
Some examples of call to action areas might include:
- Subscribe to our newsletter
- Book an appointment
- Donate now
- Sign up for a free trial
- Request a demo
Photography and Video
Any website should include great imagery and other media to capture the attention of your visitors. Drupal offers the ability to integrate eye catching, professional images that help tell your brand’s story. Since Drupal is such a powerful platform, it also easily allows for video integration as well.
Inclusion of Value Statements
It is also important to consider including value statements on your website. Value statements help support what your business is all about, how you can help, and what you see for the future.
Below are a few examples of value statements:
- Facts and statistics that support your businesses growth or ideas
- Business mission, vision, and value statement
- Diversity of service offerings
- Customer testimonials or reviews
- Awards received
- Organizational culture
Now that we know what makes a strong Drupal website, here are several examples
of strong Drupal websites that embody these features:
TeslaTesla caters to luxury car lovers through automobiles that offer the latest technology and environmentally-friendly features. The Tesla website reflects this advanced technology using a Drupal website that is sophisticated, user friendly, and visually engaging. The website is kept simple by allowing customers to view the latest models and vehicle styles, and the ability to directly order and customize a vehicle right from the website. visit site
PaychexPaychex is a massive organization offering payroll and HR solutions for a wide range of organizations, so this particular Drupal website focuses on visibility of their service offering and company culture. Depending on your business size, solutions are able to be filtered to help locate the appropriate offering quickly through the website. Since Paychex is also a massive organization with headquarters throughout the United States, the website focuses on company culture and the career section of the website. New applicants can go to the “Company” section of the website and learn not just what positions are open, but also what a day in the life at Paychex might look like. The Paychex website also focuses on increasing conversion rate for potential employers through a job alert section that visitors can subscribe to for the latest updates on open positions. visit site
NCAAThe NCAA website is a Drupal website that engages and attracts right from the homepage of the site. One particular area that we appreciate on this website is the “Our Work” section on the homepage, which incorporates statistics about the success rate of NCAA athletes and the organization as a whole. This helps develop trust in the organization by demonstrating that they want to see their athletes not only succeed on the court, but also in their academics as well. The website engages potential student athletes through an opportunity section on the website that houses video testimonials, frequently asked questions, and the ability to register as a student athlete directly on the website. visit site
New York StateThe New York State website does a nice job focusing on conversion rate of new visitors right from the start through a call to action opportunity on a landing page. New visitors are asked to enter their email address to subscribe to the latest news and updates from New York State, which allows them to regularly share content with these individuals. Other important call to action opportunities are available right on the homepage of the website, such as unemployment assistance, voter registration, and the ability to pay a parking ticket. The New York State website is also heavily focused on content and keeps visitors engaged through the news section giving updates on important topics such as COVID 19, taxpayer information, and educational resources. visit site
Harvard UniversityThe Harvard University website caters to different types of visitors, and this particular website does a good job segmenting these visitors (through headings on the homepage) and leading them to information that is relevant to them. This is important because any time a visitor has to spend too much time locating the content they are looking for, they are likely to abandon the website and go elsewhere. For a college such as Harvard that is looking to engage new students, parents, and faculty, while also keeping current staff and alumni up to date on the latest news and updates on campus, it is important that content be well organized for these different groups of individuals. visit site
LecapellThe Lecapell website focuses on developing trust through inclusion of value statements that help differentiate their brand from others. This Drupal website highlights the company’s years of experience, commitment to sustainability, and excellent production rate and response time. Value statements are a great feature to help tell your brand’s story, differentiate from competitors, and help new visitors begin to develop trust in your brand. visit site
911 MemorialThis Drupal website incorporates some interesting features to better engage its visitors. One particular feature we like on the 911 Memorial website is the virtual tours section, which allows visitors to get a full tour experience no matter what their location is and without having to leave their home. visit site
LamborghiniMuch like the Tesla website, the Lamborghini website is heavily focused on visual appeal and industry innovation. On this Drupal website, visitors can explore the latest models through inclusion of 3D imagery. The website also includes a news section that highlights the latest innovations and happenings within the company, such as improvements in sustainability, new models and technology, recent awards received, and more. visit site
AdventThe Advent website focuses on capturing attention through a combination of visual appeal and value statements. This Drupal website houses different case studies showcasing each of their 3D modeling and visual display projects where visitors can click to learn more about challenges and solutions for each individual client. We also appreciate the inclusion of testimonials right on the website that give a direct reflection on a client’s experience when partnering with Advent. visit site
Lutheran World ReliefThis nonprofit organization seeks to provide community support to West Africa and South American regions. This Drupal website includes multiple call to action opportunities, including ways to get involved, allowing new visitors to explore everything from quilt donation to joining their ambassador program. The website also includes an interactive map that allows visitors to explore different regions Lurtheran World Relief currently serves. We also appreciate that this website is focused heavily on education through content with a news and resource section including case studies, fact sheets, and reports. visit site
WWFThe World Wildlife Foundation focuses on telling their brand’s story, while also seeking opportunities to improve online conversions. This Drupal website seeks to improve membership and donation rate by appealing to visitor emotion. The website incorporates various calls to action such as “become a member” and “donate now”, which are supported by recent wildlife news and success stories. visit site
United States Conference of Catholic BishopsThe USCCB Drupal website is a great display of well-organized content for a complex organization. The organization comprises a large number of committees and subcommittees, which are housed under the “About Us” section of the website, allowing visitors to click on the ones they would like to learn more about or contact. Content on the website is organized by category — with a Bible, prayer, news, resources and issues, and action sections — allowing visitors to easily find information they need. The content structure not only makes the website easy to navigate, but also allows for easier website administration for all the employees involved in updating the website. visit site
BoxThe Box website offers digital collaboration solutions for businesses. This Drupal website caters to a number of different types of businesses and does a nice job segmenting these individuals by segmenting solutions by industry. In addition to a well-organized website for new visitors, the Box website also allows for effective membership management through a members-only portal where they can access account information and update payment information directly from the website. visit site
NokiaThe Nokia website also focuses on engaging visitors by showcasing the brand’s latest innovations in mobile development. Since this market is highly competitive, showcasing company innovation is a great way to help stand out as a brand. The Nokia website also helps attract potential inventors with whom they are looking to partner through this section by allowing these individuals to register and get evaluated directly through the website. visit site
AudubonThe Audubon website focuses on environmental needs and protection of different types of birds. This Drupal website does a nice job incorporating statistics to help back up their work and showcase their brand’s impact. We also appreciate the ways they approach visitor engagement by linking content they can use off the website, such as a full guide to North American Birds as well as an interactive bird guide application for smartphone use. visit site
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterThe MSKCC website makes great use of all the modules Drupal has to offer. Upon entering this website, visitors have the ability to virtually book an appointment, locate a doctor, and find a location near them. The website also offers telemedicine services, so visitors can interact with cancer specialists without even having to leave their home. visit site
Restore Public HouseThis restaurant goes above and beyond your typical food service restaurant through engaging imagery, additional functionalities, and value statements. Right from the homepage, visitors can get a glimpse of the restaurant’s unique dishes using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. We also appreciate the ability to order to or book a reservation right from the website. visit site
Pact WorldPact is a nonprofit organization that seeks to eliminate poverty and marginalization. This Drupal website highlights different regions the organization is involved in including Asia, Europe, and America through an interactive map. The website also focuses on important call to action areas for visitors through a section dedicated on getting involved through donation, events, and partnerships. Pact also includes a promise section on the website where visitors can view information relating to different areas of impact that help support their mission. visit site
George Washington UniversityThe George Washington University website is another great example of a Drupal website that focuses highly on driving online conversions. On the homepage of the website, visitors are offered the opportunity to find a GWU program, visit the campus, or apply right from the website. The university is also heavily focused on research, and offers a full resource section for visitors to check out. visit site
Rice UniversityThe Rice Drupal website provides a nice example of a well-organized website layout. The homepage focuses mostly on engagement, with recent news and updates, and interesting facts and statistics about the university. The rest of the website content is hidden on the menu sidebar, where visitors can click to learn more about the university, academic offering, research, campus life, and more. visit site
Brown UniversityThis Drupal website does a nice job of engaging prospective students, which they need to make a good impression in order to drive applications. The Brown University website offers a full “Life at Brown” section, where visitors can get a glimpse at athletics offered, housing and dining, university events, and more. visit site
Energy.GovThis Drupal website is a great example of how to include content sharing to improve visitor experience. The website offers a section dedicated to “Energy News”, where visitors can view updates from the Department of Energy, as well as read more about energy innovations through their online blog. Adding new content to a website on a consistent basis is a great way to engage visitors and keep them coming back to the website. visit site
RotaryThe Rotary Drupal website provides visitors an engaging experience by telling the brand’s story right from the homepage. As a visitor scrolls through the homepage, they get a glimpse of Rotary’s membership reach, challenges solved, and different causes they stand behind. Each cause has a link that the visitor can then click on to view a short summary and featured story. visit site
Baker HughesThis energy technology company has a Drupal website that does a nice job building trust in the brand. We appreciate that Baker Hughes chose to include a testimonial as well as case study section on their website, which helps provide real life examples of the impact they have been able to make on others through their solutions. visit site
Transcona RoofingThis Drupal website does a nice job not only presenting their solutions, but also engaging prospective applicants. The Transcona Roofing website features a full careers section, highlighting the company culture and values and giving detailed descriptions of different job opportunities. visit site
Colorado General AssemblyThis Drupal website is all about promoting advocacy, and is a great example of how to effectively incorporate calls to action to better drive online engagement. Right from the homepage of the website, visitors are provided with the opportunity to find a legislator or bill, explore the budget, or listen to live legislative video or audio. visit site
Silver DinerThe Silver Diner Drupal website does a great job engaging their audience right from the homepage of the website. The website features a great call to action with full online ordering functionality so visitors can grab their favorite dishes without having to call a location. The website also emphasizes some of their unique offerings, such as a new “flexitarian menu” with healthier options to cater to a new group of customers and provide better meal options for children. The “About Us” section on the Silver Diner website also incorporates short bios of the Silver Diner’s top executives, which adds a nice personal element to a corporate website. visit site
Each of the websites mentioned in this article focuses on how the Drupal platform can provide endless options for design, but also the ability to integrate new functionality that will help improve conversion rates and visitor engagement. By using some of the techniques mentioned throughout this article, such as new content creation, inclusion of statistics, focus on calls to action, and better visuals, Drupal can provide a great platform for a website that not only looks great but can help achieve business goals.