Why Governments and Institutions use Drupal?

Why Governments and Institutions use Drupal?

21Nov 2012

"My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government”
President Obama 1/21/09

1. Some facts & figures

Congratulation to President Obama on his re-election. This is actually a good news for open source community, especially Drupal community. Since his first election, the open source platform and Drupal community had the biggest boost when The White House and its associated sites have been moved to Drupal. In the next 4 years we can expect that the open source is going to stay on the booming path in Government sector.

Let’s take a look at some facts about open source community in government sectors

  • Nov 2009: Whitehouse relaunched the website and chose Drupal to deploy
  • Up to now, more than 1000 Government websites worldwide are using Drupal. Within US, there are about 270 websites, including top websites like Whitehouse, NASA, USAID, Department of Energy, Health, Education and so on.
  • The White House decided on Open Innovation, contributes back to open source community

2. Top Government websites using Drupal

The White House

This is a sparkling star that drives much attention to Drupal community. The event also lighted up an endless argument between CMS about which one is better for Government use. The argument will not be over so soon and there is a fact that a number of other websites of various US Government have migrated to Drupal. If you want to know the modules which are used for Whitehouse, here is the list.


NASA website is an example of successful migration to Drupal of US Government agencies.

Prime Minister of Australia

The Aussie is such a great Drupal supporter with more than 100 Government websites migrated to Drupal, including the online portal of Australian Prime Ministers Office.

French Government Official portal

The French Government is yet another Government agency which use Drupal to create a powerful and flexible website.

New Zealand Gov

The Kiwi land also take an interest in Drupal and have migrated a lot of Government websites to Drupal, including the Official New Zealand Government site.

3. Factors make Drupal good for Gov sector

Cost efficiency

Time of costly and licensed CMS will be over in the future. Drupal as an open source platform, along with other CMS, has its advantages that make Government agencies jump onto.

Firstly, It’s open source, it’s free. Drupal is an open source software, free to download, use and share. The big advantage in the long term that the Government save a huge cost for licensing websites.

Secondly, Drupal is developed and maintained by a community of 630,000+ users and developers. Not to mention thousands of modules and extensions available for free in the community. The technologies are contributed and updated all the time. Of course with this, our Government will not face the issue of outdated technologies.


Also, the community-driven nature of Drupal helps Government agencies break free the barrier to innovation development through collaboration. In public sector, it is possible and necessary to share the technology and innovation among Government agencies, as they will all benefit from it. This also fits to President Obama’s words - a transparent and collaborated system. I guess it is the reason for Open Innovator's Toolkit today.


The security factor is extremely important to Government website. Drupal, and open source in general, has proved to be a better security solution. With a community of hundred thousands users and developers, any security gap, issue will be updated and fixed regularly. Also, there are steps and methods that make Drupal be more secured, such as: automated code review, community review, and so on.

Flexibility and scalability

Drupal is huge. It’s flexible and scalable to fit into different projects. Even from building a site for State agencies or Department agencies, Drupal can meet all the requirements. If you need a feature, the answer is there may be a module out there in the community already. If not, you can always develop it and contribute back to the community.

4. Conclusion

With all those listed reasons, Drupal appears to be an appealing choice for Government sector projects. All the Government projects have been shared on the community, also tons of article giving strong argument around this topic. You will find it easy to convince your Government agencies to switch their old in-house CMS into Drupal

So, looking for a deal with Gov sector, Drupal is a choice to pick.


Drupal 2009, Whitehouse.gov re-launches on Drupal and engages the Drupal community at DC users meeting

Harry, 2010, Four Reasons Governments are using Drupal

Maria J., 2012, Why big sites run Drupal

Shankland S., 2009, Whitehouse Web site makes open-source move

Walpole, J, 2010, 5 Government sites using Drupal effectively for open government initiatives

Walker M., 2010, Why Whitehouse.gov chose Drupal

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