What is Drupal
In web development, many terms, languages, and products float around daily. Drupal is one of these buzzwords. Despite its heavy presence across the web, very few web developers have heard of Drupal. Many have heard of WordPress, due to its popularity. But Drupal remains a mystery.
If you haven’t investigated Drupal on your own, this article will be a companion in your journey as you learn more about the CMS. Let’s clarify what Drupal is, and what it’s not.
What Is Drupal?
Drupal is commonly defined as a CMS. For developers and non-developers, a CMS simplifies the process of creating and managing a website. A CMS provides tools such as word processors, built-in security, and a menu management system for custom content.
A database stores the custom content. This database is generally structured to allow a non-developer to add new content, various field types, and even rules to validate data-entry.
How Does Drupal Work?
Drupal uses the database method for content storage, allowing you to create custom content immediately. This is one of its more popular perks. In Drupal, these content records are known as nodes.
Additionally, you can tag your content using Drupal’s Taxonomy system. Here, you can create custom categories, known as Vocabularies. Each vocabulary has one or more terms that are applied to content. As you can see, if you start working with a system like Drupal, there’s a lot of terminology to learn.
What More Can I do With Drupal?
What else can you do with your content? You can add advanced field types to hold files, dates, addresses, currency values, media, and more. Most of these are built right into Drupal and ready for you to use out of the box.
In newer versions of Drupal, it’s easy to create content types and add custom fields. You can display your content by grouping individual pages by content nodes, or group one or more nodes in a list. You can automatically paginate long lists as well. Stumped on where to start? Check out their case studies for more project ideas.
Drupal separates content management from website design. You can safely modify the look and functionality of your environment, without affecting content you’ve created—even if that content depends on the functionality or styling to properly display. In those cases, it’s simply a matter of porting the custom functionality over to the new theme and you’re good to go.
One of the most important benefits of using Drupal is the Drupal Community. Drupal developers are well known for their willingness to help out, and several support forums have been created to enable users to ask questions and get assistance from other developers.
Your Drupal system possesses many other strengths. It’s a wrapper for creating a site that manages the storage, retrieval, and display of data that you create. It’ll give you a head-start in the race to deliver a great website.
What Drupal Is Not
Now that we’ve answered what Drupal is, let’s determine what Drupal is not:
- It’s not a one-stop solution. Drupal is the framework to build your idea. You still have to do some work, and it’s not always easy going.
- It’s not an impenetrable fortress. Yes, Drupal is secure. But it requires some level of security knowledge, as well as patches and updates.
- It’s not a pre-designed system. In fact, it’s fair to say that it will require the services of a web designer.
- It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Any great Drupal project requires customization to meet your particular needs.
Beyond these capabilities, there’s still a lot to learn about Drupal. This brief introduction to Drupal’s features shows its capabilities, even in the hands of a new user. Drupal is a tool designed to create simple or complex sites, without having to build every aspect of the site.
With Drupal, you can use the built in features of the system, or extend the system with contributed modules and custom themes. There’s much more to learn about the Drupal system if you’re looking to leverage its power. The best thing to do is head over to their website and take a look around.
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