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April 13, 2017

Drupal Licensing and the Benefits of Open Source

Thought by Leigh Anderson, Marketing Content Writer
Abstract Drupal logo on a purple background

Here at FFW, we work with a lot of clients who either have never heard of Drupal before, or who have lots of questions about the software, and what the Drupal licensing fees are. People want to know: what’s the cost of running a Drupal site?

The answer isn’t simple, but we’re always happy to tell people that since Drupal doesn’t have licensing fees, it’s less expensive than going with a proprietary closed source CMS. That’s one of the reasons we often turn to open source software at FFW as the right solution for our clients: not only is it less expensive, but it’s more secure, and much more flexible than most proprietary solutions.

Wait, what’s open source?

Open source software is software that’s built collaboratively by a community of volunteers. Closed source software, on the other hand, is proprietary software that is owned and developed by a company or organization that doesn’t make the source code visible or open to modifications. Open source software is free in every sense of the word: not only are there no licensing fees associated with it, but users are truly free to customize their sites as much or as little as they need.

Drupal and security

While it might seem like closed source software would be more secure because the code isn’t visible, that’s actually not the case. Open source projects like Drupal have thousands of people working on the project, building new solutions, and reviewing existing code to make sure it’s secure. If there’s a vulnerability or security flaw in open source code, it’s certain someone will catch it; but with closed source code, the contribution and development teams are smaller, which means there’s more of a chance for mistakes to slip through.

The cost of Drupal

Additionally, since open source software is built for free, it’s available for free. The only costs associated with Drupal are the costs of building a website, and the costs of hosting the site on a server. There’s no such thing as Drupal licensing fees, which greatly reduces the cost of running a world-class site.

We’ve had numerous clients switch from proprietary solutions to Drupal, and the lack of fees associated with the software is one big reason why we see nonprofits like the YMCA, municipalities in places like Denmark, or even big companies like NBC and LUSH using Drupal to run their digital platforms. And it’s not just affordable: it’s scalable, easy to personalize for visitors, and is a great hub for integrating digital tools.

Want to learn more about switching to Drupal or how to build a new Drupal site? Check out our eBook, 10 Drupal Project Pitfalls to Avoid, to learn about the quirks and benefits of building your platforms on Drupal.

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