Drupal is a content management system automated with which the user can simply write without worrying about categorization and other aspects of site management. But considered in this way, Drupal must be installed by an experienced webmaster, because the original setup is limited to basics, there is not even a menu of categories, and it is with the addition of modules that we will provide to a site all the features of the Web 2.0: tag cloud, display of recent articles, RSS feeds, statistics of visits, etc..
Drupal is not suitable to build a site when you want to master all its aspects and you should not either expect a CMS ready to use. It provides basic components and you must learn to use them to get the site you want to build. And this will take time.
The entire contents of the site will be stored in a database which can be in MySQL or PostgreSQL.
Drupal is a collaborative CMS and has at start a management of publishing rights, complete and configurable. In fact each publisher may have its own theme and sees a different site. The same is true for registered users.
Three types of content are achievable:
- Stories are posts of blog, or articles.
- Pages are reference materials and may be managed differently from posts, with their own publishing rights in particular.
- Books are articles hierarchically structured into chapters in different pages.
Access to the site can be done through the admin panel with the rights of an administrator, or via FTP on which we can load modules and themes, or with PHPMyAdmin for the database (if the host provides this feature).
Drupal has its own vocabulary:
- Roles correspond to the types of users: registered, editor, administrator ...
- Blocks (widgets in Wordpress) are elements of the interface that are placed in predefined areas: content, left sidebar, right, header, footer ...
- Types of content: Book, Page, Story as seen.
- Modules (plug-ins under Wordpress) are third-party programs to add features.
It is a powerful CMS with a built-in cache of pages for accelerated display.
What is new in Drupal 7
This version released in January 2011 approaches the simplicity of Wordpress, Drupal, however, remains a tool for professional webmasters.
- The CCK is now part of the core software and is no longer a module.
The Content Construction Kit allows to create new types of pages.
- Like Wordpress, you can upload images and make manipulations.
- The interface is simpler, more intuitive.
A designer has been specially hired to redesign the interface.
- An update manager is added.
- Custom fields allow to extend the pages without creating new types. This comes from Wordpress.
- All databases may be used now as the software interacts with an interface layer.
- The Drupal Theme Garden is a repository of themes under the GPL, thus freely usable.
- Drupal 7 is faster due to improved access to the database.
- There is no difference between the blocks of content and blocks of side bars. A block can be placed anywhere in the page template.
- You can configure cron tasks from the admin panel, without any script on the file system.
Drupal makes use of cron for some functions that are automatic in Wordpress.
- Better handling of RSS feeds.
- Better management of multi-sites.
- The minimum requirement is now PHP 5.2 with 40 megabytes of memory, MySQL 5.0.15, PostgreSQL 8.3 or SQLite 3.
No backward compatibility
Drupal is compatible with the data but not with the code. A new version may require the webmaster or module developer to change the code he added to suit the new version.
But they may still use the contents of the database.
However, the code compatibility is maintained between minor versions. Drupal 7 becomes incompatible with Drupal 6, but Drupal 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 etc. remain consistent when the code of Drupal 6.0.
This is the name of Drupal to the so-called extension in Firefox, plugins in Wordpress.
Installing Drupal does no go through a phase of downloading of necessary modules followed a long enough phase of configuration to work more comfortably.
- Drupal. It is released under the GPL open source license.