Why the Wine Industry Needs Drupal
Drupal meet wine industry. Wine industry meet Drupal.
Drupal is an Open Source Content Management System originally developed as a community website by students of the University of Antwerp, in Belgium. As a Content Management System, or CMS, it allows a web developer to easily build a simple to sophisticated website, and at the same time lets a client manage that website without extensive knowledge of its inner workings. It has grown from its humble beginnings into one of the predominant platforms in the world, powering such enterprise-level websites as The White House and Popular Science. Here is a regularly updated list of Drupal projects from their founder, Dries Buytaert. Being Open Source means that it was developed and given over to the community to be maintained and evolve. Thousands of independent developers throughout the world contribute functionality, testing and security to the Drupal project. And as the needs of the community changes, so too does Drupal. And did I mention that all of this is free?
Most people know a little about the wine industry. We have been working with wineries for the last couple of years, so we can only say we know a little too. It is old. It is established. It has a lot of pride, craftmanship and attention to detail. The people who make wine come from a lot of different backgrounds, and have to mix good business sense and a passion to create the best product with a lot of hard work and luck. We love working with people from the wine world because of this.
A few things people in the wine industry don't have:
- a high level of knowledge about the internet and the tools available for them,
- large amounts of time to devote to researching and learning these tools, and
- huge budgets to spend on expensive technology and software.
When we were setting up shop (and even beforehand), we considered a few ways in which we would approach web design. We came from a world of proprietary systems. That is to say, we build sites and tools in-house and sold the tools or the rights to use the tools (licensing). This was an option if we wanted to spend a bunch of our time building these tools and lock our clients into long-term obligations with us to make our money. This just did not sit well with us. We could use someone else's tools, paying them, and making a cut off the top to earn our money. Again, this just didn't seem like our style. And then we found the Open Source world.
Unlike the closed models of proprietary systems, that keep all of their secrets close to their chest, the Open Source world embraces transparency. Whether it is the Google Android Operating System running on dozens of models of cell phones, or the Mozilla Firefox web browser possibly rendering this page, Open Source is everywhere and powers technology you may not even know about. And it is free. Did I mention it is free?
This brings us to Drupal. There are dozens of Open Source CMS's out there, each with their own features and community of developers and supporters. In researching all of them, it became quickly obvious that one shone above the rest: Drupal. Here are a few reasons:
- It has arguably the largest and most active (and supportive) development community. Patches are made within days or hours instead of weeks or months.
- It has a extremely flexible framework. Off the shelf it has the capacity to build a huge array of different web solutions.
- It has a huge library of well supported and very modular add-ons. A trained web developer can easily use these to add advanced functionality such as private social networking, a community events calendar, or e-commerce.
- It features optimizations for security, performance, search engine rankings and ease of use.
- And again, all for free.
So, aside from these points why does the wine industry need Drupal? Well, the wine industry needs Drupal because wine makers need to be freed from the tasks of writing HTML and logging into their web host using FTP to upload files and images. They need an easy to use, effective, flexible and scalable system that cuts down on the hours spent in front of a glowing screen, letting them instead be among their vines and in their cellars. They need something inexpensive and reliable. And Drupal fits this bill.
About Hired Guns Creative
We are an elite branding, graphic design and web design agency. We create logos, identities, wine label designs, signage, brochures, rack cards, packaging designs, and anything else related to print. We are a Drupal shop and can build everything from a splash page all the way up to an enterprise-level website or web application. We run a small, efficient crew of professionals, and pride ourselves on exemplary work, attention to details and short turnaround times. Contact us to give your business the edge.