The Business Case for Drupal in Vietnam

Submitted by tomo on May 5, 2012 - 11:51pm

Today I spent the day hacking on the WordPress site for BarCampSaigon. I'm no expert on WordPress but trying to hack a theme with it makes me appreciate Drupal so much more. WordPress does have an "API" or at least some documented functions which are used internally which can also be used by developers but it's certainly not designed with developers in mind. Wordpress is great for bloggers. Drupal is great for developers and users who need something more than a blog will have to choose between working with Drupal or fighting against WordPress. :-)

Due to two recent conferences, BarCamp Hanoi and the opening of, I put together a presentation called "The Business Case for Drupal in Vietnam". I'll blog about those two events later.

I targeted two main groups: outsourcing companies based in Vietnam who want to attract more clients abroad, and any software development shop in Vietnam who is deciding what technology to use to develop websites. There is a third group, who are those companies with simpler website needs who perhaps only need one website and are not in the business of making websites.

I go over a number of common concerns that customers outside of Vietnam might have which Vietnamese companies might not expect. One point is being vendor agnostic when developing what is essentially a CMS. I make a strong point that one should never fall to the temptation of developing your own in-house CMS and as a consumer, you should stay far away from such "bespoke" solutions in the modern age where content management frameworks such as Drupal exist. I also think Drupal represents a strong brand name that is not well-known yet in Vietnam, but we all know how much Vietnamese people love brands.

On the supply side, I talk about why Drupal is a decent choice for Vietnamese developers, similar to any web developer. But the main recent news is that there is finally Drupal training being made available in Vietnam, much like for Joomla, and that PHP is widely known in Vietnam not just because there are books on it in the Vietnamese language, and that there is now a core Drupal community in Vietnam represented by (which I somehow became vice president of).

In general, I say go with your strengths. If web development is not your strength, then hire someone proper to do it for you while you focus on your core business. If web development is your business, make better use of your developers by using a CMS.

Anyways, here's the presentation.

Mark (not verified)

Hi Tomo,

I am quite impressed with your blog, I would be happy to more insight into hiring Vietnamese Drupal developers for offshore work.

In particular , what is the % of talent developers, $rates of developers in Vietnam.

Appreciate a feedback.



The problem is there aren't tons of Drupal developers yet in Vietnam, so there are some great developers but they are already taken.

Terence (not verified)

Drupal is awesome as always.

Jon (not verified)

Hmm, can't say I agree with the business case from a business' perspective.

I'll play devil's advocate.

In fact, as a designer and business guy, from my perspective you spell out why in your presentation. Drupal projects are priced higher. Why do I want to pay more for a project where my defensible position is likely not technology, but content? In which case Wordpress is a better alternative where a simple CMS will do.

There is a high cost of change associated with Drupal as well.

If your defensible position in a business you're creating is technology based, a business you want to scale or sell you want to go custom.

In this case real engineering skills are required, and if I were an engineer looking to earn more for my expertise, I would go this route rather than being tied to a niche, proprietary platform like Drupal.

Take care.



This presentation is for companies in Vietnam such as outsourcing shops. The reason they should pay attention to higher priced Drupal projects is that they can bring in more money than cheap WordPress setups. There is a reason people choose Drupal for their projects where WordPress won't cut it. And web companies in Vietnam should be prepared to take on those projects. Drupal is also a better choice for many content-based sites or businesses, although not necessarily for the common blog.

From the engineer's point of view, you want to be able to do as much as you can with as few resources as possible. This means not writing everything yourself if you can help it. That's why engineers would use an framework like Drupal rather than writing everything from scratch unless they were getting paid by the hour in which case they would try to spend as much time as possible.

What is the cost of change with a completely proprietary solution? What position are you in as a client when your solutions provider gives you a proprietary solution rather than Drupal? At least if you're given a Drupal solution and something happens and you can no longer work with the company who sold it to you, then you can hire another Drupal developer. For the company that has a completely proprietary solution or even their own CMS it's a lot riskier. You want to avoid that situation as much as possible.

ClaraL (not verified)

Drupal is amazingly useful to all those who work online. One of the best open source softwares there is

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