Oklahoma is a pretty small environment in which to run a Web Design & Development shop. Having been around in some form for the last 25 years gives us an edge in that department as we have lots of history, and track record to fall back upon, but that doesn't mean that some of our competitors don't do equally well. The difference, I think, is how we go about keeping our customers.
Here at The Worx Company, we think it's important that our clients do business with us because they want to, not because they have to. That's a big part of why we choose to do business in open source technologies like Drupal, and a happy benefit of these technologies is that they allow us to compete/cooperate on a much more global scale... But this article was suppose to be about Oklahoma Web Design & Development.
The primary battle I find myself fighting every day is the battle of educating the average consumer. Most people see a content management system, and assume that they're comparing apples to apples. The thing about Drupal though is that it's not primarily a content management system. That's not to say that it doesn't do content management (in fact it's arguably one of the best in the industry) that's just to say, that's not its primary focus. The great thing about Drupal is that it's really a Rapid Development Framework that happens to do content management out of the box. A great example of this is the Star Wars Artists Guild.
SWAG is a great example for a number of reasons, primarily the fact that the website is devoted to the handling of high-quality images, and displaying those images in a friendly manner. SWAG is one of my personal sites, and as of this writing if you were to search on google for "Star Wars Art" SWAG would actually come up number one in the results. Now the reasons for this vary, but having a community of 2400 individuals, 90 of which are constantly submitting star wars art, certainly doesn't hurt any. The point of this however is to mention the blogging section of SWAG. When I relaunched SWAG after an extended period of down-time, I had a desire to make a blogging section where my users could display a piece of artwork in the process of being developed. Getting the blogging system up and running was the easy part, but displaying the images in an easily scalable manner... that wasn't quite as easy. Suffice it to say that Drupal made this process something that I could abstract out and reuse again and again, and this work resulted in the imagefield_gallery module at drupal.org.
Drupal was built with this sort of extensible functionality in mind. With each new release of Drupal, they enhance the functionality that we can leverage for use in our customers websites and modular extensions and every day, some new company somewhere sponsors the creations of a new module. There are lots of really great examples of high end websites using Drupal out there today, the following is just a very cursory example of some of those you might recognize most easily:
Drupal has all these fantastic examples to show what it can really do, and the caliber of development that is being done for it. None of our local competition can even begin to hold an example up of a website that approaches these, on pure prestige alone, much less capabilities. To be able to show this level of work, and functionality and explain to our customers that the same content management system that runs Fox's Searchlight is going to be what we're proposing to put in place to run their website, is quite a boon.
Ultimately we want to do what's best for our customers, using Open Source technologies, like Drupal, has given us that ability.