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An Introduction to Drupal

If you’re reading this article, I suspect that you’re seriously considering using Drupal as the open source content management system for your new website, or, at the very least, you haven’t ruled it out yet. My goal with this post isn’t to make the decision for you, but to explain what Drupal is so that you can make an independent, informed decision. I hope you find the information useful.

Even a cursory glance at Drupal’s content management platform, and you’ll see that it is slightly more complex than other systems such as WordPress. But don’t let that deter you. For one thing, Drupal offers extremely comprehensive tutorials, support forums and cutely named Drupal Cookbook (for beginners). Although such useful support isn’t unique to Drupal, it is comforting to know that it’s there if you need extra assistance.

One thing that makes Drupal more complex than its competitors is that you’ll need to download multiple files in order to begin, as compared with WordPress which is compressed into one file. The good news is that by the time you complete the installation process, you’ll probably have a taste for how Drupal functional, so you should have a bit of an easier time moving forward. And I’ve got more good news – Drupal has impressive e-commerce capabilities, which sets it apart from its competitors and makes it a great option for anyone looking to sell products on their website.

Here’s a video clip that explains a bit more about what Drupal is:

Still, despite what Drupal lovers will have you believe, there are some additional disadvantages worth pointing out. For starters, Drupal uses a database to store all of its data, which can be confusing for users without database experience or those not familiar with this system (as most new users aren’t). Some users also complain that upgrading to a new version of Drupal can cause bugs and templates to break which is time consuming and difficult to fix. That being said, I’ve had similar experiences with WordPress, and I’m sure many other content management systems have similar quirks. Sadly, there are few (if any) programs that work without any technical glitches.

In the final analysis, Drupal can be a worthwhile option for you if you’ve excluded other CMS options and are willing to undertake a steep learning curve. The results are likely to be worthwhile after an initial time investment.


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