What I’ve Learned About Drupal (So Far)

Drupal

I’ve spent most of this week documenting the requirements for a new community that will likely be using Drupal as their community platform.  So, I found myself on the Drupal website and have chased down a number of Drupal links.

Before this week, I didn’t know much about Drupal and considered myself a dyed-in-the-wool community enterprise software proponent.  However, situations change and it was good for me to get out of my comfort zone and check out a new way to deliver a community website.

What is Drupal? Drupal is an open source content management platform.  Actually, it’s more of a framework as there are a number of core modules plus a bunch of additional modules that have been contributed by the community.

What can Drupal do? Drupal can be used to develop many different types of websites including:

  • Community web portals
  • Discussion sites
  • Corporate web sites
  • Intranet applications
  • Personal web sites or blogs
  • Aficionado sites
  • E-commerce applications
  • Resource directories
  • Social Networking sites

The CMS Matrix provides a very nice summary of Drupal’s key features too.

What are some examples of Drupal sites? Here are just a few of the sites that I ran across during my research:

Is Drupal for real? I’m still a Drupal novice, so I’m going to have to rely on the experts for now.  For starters, Drupal was recently selected as the Open Source CMS Award winner for the second year in a row by Packt Publishing.  I also ran across a review of Drupal’s latest release written by the CMS Expert on the CMS Critic website which had a very positive review of the platform:

Overall, Drupal is a great framework and it’s no surprise why it keeps getting so much attention. Some very large sites run Drupal with heavy customizations.

Community 10/10 (I would dare to say it’s the largest and most active)

Expandability 10/10 (There’s not much you can’t do with Drupal)

Themability 6/10 (It’s getting there, just not at the stage it needs to be to be new user friendly and attractive without some design skills)

Useability 7/10 (Can be overwhelming but the administration interface is outstanding. Could work on renaming a few things to make them more user friendly.. and automate some tasks)

Overall Score: 8/10

So far, I like what I see about Drupal.  The platform seems very robust.  I like how extensible it is and I like that there is a huge community of people who continually contribute to the project.  Being open source is also a great cost benefit in that we will only have to pay for webhosting once the community is up and running.  We will be using a web design firm to create the Drupal community, so the jury may be out for awhile until the initial alpha site is developed.

Where can I learn more about Drupal? Here are some links where you can learn more about Drupal:

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