Two weeks back, I was over at eBay when one of the product managers we work with interjected "I will be really sad if 3 years from now, you are still stuck in Drupal."
As a company, we do have plans and ambition of expanding to other technologies. But was such an extreme statement warranted? The first question that came to my mind is what's so wrong with Drupal? "It's so 20th century!" was his response. He continued "You guys should look into forward-looking technologies such as node.js." For me, technology is just a means to an end and in my experience, if a solution is fit to be developed in Drupal, it will take at least 2 to 3 times more time and money to be developed in node.js. So why not Drupal? His answer taught me a few things about business:
- VP doesn't really know which technology is better. They have to demonstrate within eBay that their department did something cool with a technology that is hot. And node.js is hot right now.
- It's much easier to find node.js developers who are willing to work on-site than drupal developers. So from long-term maintenance perspective, it makes sense to go with node.js.
He added that Drupal is going down in Google Trends. And sure enough, here is the graph. According to Google Trends, 2009 was the peak for interest in Drupal and then it has steadily gone down.
At this point of time, I was left wondering whether Drupal is indeed dying. As of now, I don't have an answer to it but here are some of my observations:
- I am seeing more clients considering switching from Drupal to Wordpress than the other way around (although my observation here could be biased since we only deal with Drupal clients so we'll only know if they are thinking of switching from Drupal to Wordpress, not the other way around).
- Some of you may argue that people are waiting for Drupal 8, but the Google Trends graph is showing down-trend since 2009 so it's way before Drupal 8.
- It's possible that Drupal is becoming more of an enterprise CMS so a lot of small and medium sized businesses are not opting for it. This is probably true. Among large corporations, I have seen IT supporting Drupal way more than IT supporting Wordpress but again, I could be biased here because we work with Drupal only.
- If Drupal is indeed dying, what will it be replaced with? Certainly not node.js. Is Wordpress good enough now?
- Will Drupal 8 revive Drupal and make it hot again? I doubt it. Momentum is not in its favor.
I know that I am leaving this post in an ambiguous state because frankly, I don't have an answer myself. Let me know you thoughts by sharing them in comments below.