If you find Wordpress, Wix or Squarespace too limiting
First off: Many sites can be easily (and better) built with simpler tools such as Wordpress or website building apps like Wix or Squarespace. Using Drupal for a basic five page corporate website is overkill. Setting up Drupal correctly requires time. The tools mentioned above are better suited straight out of the box.
That being said, these tools are also one size fits all. If you want to do just that little bit extra you’re bound to hit a wall. I’m talking about things like:
- Creating a space for user to login and view private content
- Community functionality where users can share content
- Easily creating content types and extend them with custom fields
Drupal is modular from the start. This means there are less limits when building a website, but there is also a steeper learning curve. And you need to know what modules are available and how to use them. Which brings me to my next point.
If you use what Drupal gives you
If you start your project with a very detailed document which specifies every functionality, and demand it will be exactly as you describe, you will be paying through the nose to get it done. Chipping in your budget, which can be better spent elsewhere.
If you want to experience the real power of Drupal you will need to use what it gives you. Don’t try to mould it to your specific needs but rather let it guide you. Have a global idea of what your site has to do and see how you can use core functionality and existing modules to get close to your ideal website.
It probably won’t be 100% like you want it, but what I've learned developing Drupal sites for 10+ years, is that you can come pretty close, like 95%. Close enough to test it out with real users. If you still require that remaining 5% you can always ask a developer to write some custom code, but this should be a last resort.
If you can find the right person or agency to build your website
When you have limited resources you don’t want to waste any time or money with a freelancer or agency that really doesn’t know Drupal. Extensive knowledge of Drupal and available Drupal modules is very important if you want to get the best bang for your buck. Learn how to pick the right agency for your next Drupal project.
If you have time to learn
Drupal is known for its steep learning curve. You will need to figure out a lot on your own, even if you have an external party build your Drupal website. Because Drupal is so modular there is no definitive guide covering all the parts of your specific Drupal configuration. Luckily there are lots of resources available to help you. Such as the issue queue which is available for every Drupal module. Or Drupal Answers, where you can find solutions for the most common Drupal problems and you can also post a question yourself.
Drupal can be a perfect fit for smaller organizations who have limited resources but you first have to check if you really need Drupal, then you need to assess if the Drupal core and available modules are sufficient for your needs. After that you can choose the right freelancer or agency to build your Drupal website. Finally clear up some space in your schedule to start learning Drupal.