Drupal

Content Management Systems – A Look at Drupal

It is generally held that there is a “big three” of content management systems: WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Each one of these platforms is open source, built from PHP, easy to install on a host or web server, and is extensible with themes and third-party extensions. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, but out of the three the award for greatest out-of-the box customizability goes to Drupal. A designer or administrator that is skilled in Drupal can provide a great deal of quality and features in a relatively short time. This CMS also has a bit of a learning curve but it has much value as a flexible and powerful platform that it is well worth mastering.

Drupal started out as a message board backend made by a Belgian developer named Dries Buytaert but became an open source project in 2003. Since then it has evolved due to a very dedicated developer community. It is used by roughly 808,000 sites worldwid e, including www.whitehouse.gov.

Development and administration for Drupal does not take formal programming experience, though it may help because much can be done with a knowledge of the Drupal API and the administrator can place “blocks” that define the regions of the webpage and embed them with HTML and even straight PHP code. Anyone who is familiar with open source communities such as Linux, Perl, and Python would feel at home within the large and dynamic community of Drupal developers that are always providing fixes, improvements, and modules that extend the power of the system and reduce need for new development.

Thanks to the 20,100 modules developed by the community, common functions such as eCommerce, social media, email subscriptions, and many more can be easily integrated into a website with just a quick download and install. Better yet, the administrator dashboard for Drupal lists all dependencies and versions needed for the modules and displays which require updates. This helps with securing a Drupal site because it is easy to stay up to date with security patches.

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