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Defining Drupal - What is Drupal, anyway?

ryancmcconnell profile image Ryan McConnell ・2 min read

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Drupal is an open-source content management system, similar to Wordpress. It allows you to easily make changes to content on your website, and allows for non-technical users to make these changes too. You can add modules (like a Wordpress plugin) for a variety of user-created features. For the more technical user, you can use Drupal’s API to create your own custom module to add needed features or applications using PHP.

Drupal’s flexibility is key to its success and allows both low-tech users and high-tech users to create highly successful websites. It’s ideal for large corporations, educational institutions and government agencies that have a lot of information to organize and often a number of low-tech employees that manage these pages.

As a Drupal developer, you have direct control over how the site looks, functions and connects with other API. It’s a great way to create, maintain and manage your website.

History of Drupal

Drupal was created by two Dutch students in 2000 as a very basic content framework. In 2001, they released their framework on the web. Since then, there have been 8 significant releases, with two current Drupal versions that are commonly used: Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. You can read more here: https://www.drupal.org/about/history
Drupal 9 is due to be released in June 2020.

Why use Drupal?

Because it’s awesome! But seriously, this is a question I get regularly from people who primarily use Wordpress and find Drupal difficult to use. I won’t dispute that! Compared to the accessibility of Wordpress, Drupal can be tricky to set up and maintain. It doesn’t help that Drupal 7 and 8 are significantly different and it can take a little while to understand how everything works together. But Drupal is also super powerful and customizable right out of the box. As a developer, I also feel like the sites you can create are a lot less cookie-cutter than Wordpress. Ultimately it comes down to what you’re comfortable with. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging about the basics of Drupal, how to set up a site, how to get around the administration menus, some module recommendations, and more. Overall I hope to show you that there’s nothing to fear with Drupal; it’s just one more (powerful) tool for your web developer toolbox.

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