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Drupal 101

September 12, 2013

The reaction most people tend to have when they hear the word Drupal is, "what is that?" I was in that group until I received Drupal Training from one of our own specialists. Drupal is a content management framework. Okay – so what does that mean? Let me give you the run down on Drupal basics.

Drupal is...

  1. Software.
  2. Community. (If you're like me you are now probably wondering how it's a community. Well, there are almost 1 million contributors that help make Drupal run because it's open source software, so it's free. The developers found that it was more efficient to collaborate than to do it alone. Makes sense, right? The Drupal platform is used in over 228 countries, so it's everywhere.)
  3. Scalable. (Which basically means it can be used for something simple like just a blog, or something complex like an enterprise level website.)
  4. Flexible.
  5. Growing.

Okay – so now that you know a few concepts that make up Drupal let's get into some more detail.

Another question people have about Drupal is, "why does it exist?" There are so many website platforms out there – what differentiates this one from any other? Drupal makes it easy for people to add and manage site content, even those who are new to content management systems. It's relatively easy to use (I now use it every single day), so I would have to say that they deliver to their target market. Yet it still is powerful enough to meet complex needs of huge sites.

Drupal was designed to solve design update problems by separating the content from the presentation. Meaning when it's time for a re-design, you don't need to throw away your site and start over. You can change the theme for a total makeover while leaving the content intact. There are also plenty of responsive Drupal themes that can make your content easily accessible to mobile users.

Because social media plays such a huge role in day-to-day business, company websites need to be much more interactive. The new expectation is that user content, not owner content, drives the site. With Drupal, users can be assigned roles with different level permissions to add or update content on the site. Some users may only be allowed to comment, while others may submit full articles that can then be moderated and published by admins.

When building your website everyone starts out the same: by installing Drupal core. Then you can choose from thousands of modules to extend features, perform new tasks, or add specific functionality; thus making it your own customized product. Pretty cool, huh?

If you don't believe how easy it is, check out the Try Drupal program, and make a site of your own – it's free!