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June 3, 2010

Why Drupal?

Drupal, is a Content Management software in which a single or a group of users can publish their content on their website. It’s an Open source software which is built in PHP and MySQL the best combination used in the CMS world. Drupal was the “Overall Winner” at the “Open Source CMS Awards” by Packtpub.com for the year 2008 and 2007. It also got the “Best PHP Open Source Content Management System” in 2008 and came second in 2007. There is always a strong competition between Drupal and Joomla for the award every year.

Different Versions ?
Well, Drupal has 3 different versions 5.x, 6.x and the new 7.x.
It is not that 5.x and 6.x is outdated or not used. There is continuous custom development going behind doors for all the 3 versions. Some developers are happy with 5.x and some like 6.x. What matters are the modules, themes, etc used in Drupal. One module or a theme cannot work with all the 3 versions at the same time. There is no shortage of custom developed modules and themes. Every day a new module is developed by someone and shared with others for usage.

Inside Drupal:

You definitely need to have some background of any CMS to be able to understand Drupal.
At first it’s a bit scary to peep inside it. The overall file structure is well organized. It is easy to understand but at the first glance it has just one name which you get quickly in your head. That’s the “Modules”.

Modules:
And why not Important, modules play the part of the basic CMS functionality. “Node” and “Blocks” being the base of the modules for simple content display. A quick building site requires thorough knowledge of Modules and Blocks. Off course PHP has to be strong too. For the developers though the module development sometimes can be a pain. Depends if you are going for a backend or a frontend one.
There are fantastic modules available to use. One being the “Views” module which let you customize your page. You can build your own database queries and build the page.

Blocks:
Want to display some content quickly in some part of the site. Blocks are the answer. May it be some custom html code or some dynamic lists blocks can display them in no time.

Taxonomy:
You may call this as content categories also. Taxonomy seems to be just like the “tags” in wordpress.
Strong vocabularies can be built in order to classify the Drupal content.

Themes:
A theme in Drupal means the site template. Themes are very different here from other CMS templates like Joomla.
A variety of theme engines can be uses here. Some would be SMARTY, ETS (Easy Template System) and PHPTemplate.
Good knowledge of themes is necessary before you actually can build one.

Installing new modules and themes is very easy unless they are not compatible with the Drupal version.
I think for me Drupal is like Linux and Joomla is like Windows.

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