In the next series of blog posts, I will going through the different content management systems (CMS) that I use, and what the pros and cons are on each. Today, I will be focusing on the Big Daddy of all open source content management systems – Drupal.
What is Drupal?
Drupal is a content management system that allows the end user the option of making changes to their website without having to know any coding languages. Drupal also consists of thousands of add-ons or modules which allow you to extend your website and make it more dynamic.
- Open Source – Free to download and use. No licensing fees.
- There is a massive community of developers that create and extend Drupal
- Security – Yes Drupal is very secure. Drupal security team is constantly working with the community to address security issues as they arise.
- Regular Updates – Regular security updates and changes to the core. In Drupal 7 you can update modules from the admin area, no need for using FTP anymore.
- Search Engine Friendly – Drupal’s urls are SEO friendly. This will assist in boosting your rankings. There are also a wide range of plugins that will allow you to extend your SEO further.
- Modules – You can extend Drupal further, by adding modules to your website ie. Views, E-Commerce, Blog and Social Media etc. In Drupal 7 installing a plugin is super easy and convenient.
- Drush – Whilst developing the website in Drupal, a developer can make use of Drush to quickly install a website and add modules and much more. Drush is a command line utility for managing your Drupal website.
- Easy to maintain – Drupal is simple and easy to maintain for the end user. Once the website is installed and configured the website is easy to manage.
- Shortcuts Bar in Drupal 7 – One of the best new features in Drupal 7. This allows you to create shortcuts to some of the most used options ie. creating page, so you don’t need to navigate lists of options, just click the shortcut and you can create your page.
- Blog – Drupal comes installed with a Blog. The blog is not activated, but all that is required is clicking on a check box next to the Blog in the modules section to activate it.
- Content Management – Drupal is the best at managing your content. Content can be managed in different ways, either by taxonomy (tags) or content types. Content is also super easy to find, and you can make use of some advanced filters.
- CCK and Views – There is no other combination of modules or plugins that come close to these two modules in any of the other content management systems. CCK makes use of fields which you can add to any content type in Drupal. To display the fields in that content type you would Views. With views the possibilities are endless.
- No default WYSIWYG editor – There is no default WYSIWYG editor out of the box, however you will be able to install an editor via the modules section
- Big Learning for a Developer – For a developer that hasn’t developed in Drupal before, developing a website in Drupal is quite a big learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are endless.
- Requires a great deal of PHP memory – Drupal requires a great deal of PHP memory. Alot of hosting companies that host on shared servers cannot provide enough memory for some of the really big sites.
Examples of Drupal Websites
Check out the top 55 Drupal websites here
In summary Drupal is the best open source content management system around. It is flexible and extremely powerful. No matter what size the website is, big or small, Drupal is the first choice that I will use for a project.
For more information on Drupal go to www.drupal.org