An Open-Source, Low-Code Solution for Drupal Websites

Echidna looking at a desktop monitor

A few weeks ago, we partnered with Acquia to deliver this informative webinar on using Cohesion, the new low-code way to build Drupal websites faster and in a way that gives more control over to your marketing or communications team.

Why are low-code platforms important? For one, low barrier to entry. A recent Salesforce.com survey found that IT-related skill gaps are a big problem for most organizations, noting that 52 per cent of marketing leaders said their internal IT can’t respond to requests fast enough. Though this survey is not only to web-related tasks, it does underline the issue that there is a skill gap between marketing and tech, that low-code web platforms can bridge. 

Enabling non-developers to do some development

A successful website is not a destination, but a journey that requires effective collaboration from diverse skill sets. 

During a typical website development project, it is common that developers and project managers work with a client to determine a site’s functionality and design requirements at the start of the project in what is called the ‘discovery phase’. The project is then built through the course of several weeks to months, and through several steps and check-ins with the client. 

Time is dedicated to content after the web development agency shows the client team how to use the site, web workflows, and content editing experience. Perhaps the developer makes a few tweaks based on the client’s feedback, but ultimately, the site is ready to go. 

This is a very watered-down explanation of the actual process, but enough to illustrate my point. 

Getting to market sooner

Cohesion more or less turns the typical project process around. Aligned with Agile Marketing, a marketing and communications execution team start making data-driven decisions and will see a working design featuring their own content and brand, so that the implications of decisions being made around Drupal content types, fields, and other minutiae that require technical decisions - are addressed early enough not to cause change request issues down the line, or worse, after launch. 

In the recorded webinar you hear my colleague Martin, a trained Cohesion expert, give marketers and designers three tips for clients using Cohesion:

  • Focus on a primary target audience for “Foundational Launch”, and then add features and content for secondary and tertiary audiences over time and with more input, content, from the client
  • Include at least one “quick win” that will get all users excited about the new site, such as optimized for wearables, faster checkout, social login, etc.
  • Recognize “scope creep” and get it into the backlog for future roadmap planning (when a developer is working with a marketing team in Cohesion, scope creep is much easier to recognize)!

Sounds good, what’s next?

If you are interested in using Cohesion for your next Drupal project, look for a web development firm that employs Acquia-approved Cohesion experts or one with developers who have received Cohesion Site Builder Awards. 

While it is true that Cohesion is built to help create a world-class admin experience and components are powerful and easy to use without requiring training or knowledge transfer. Cohesion can also support modular reuse of configuration and content, within a site and between sites. Only a Cohesion-trained expert will be able to use the platform far beyond simple or single use cases, and even on complex programming and applications that really make a solution excel.

Follow this blog and/or subscribe to our e-newsletter to stay updated with Echidna’s Cohesion-related thought leadership, and thoughts on all things digital. 

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