Drupal is an open source content management system that consists of a project for creating web pages and a community of support and additional resources. The development of project Drupal started in the year 2000 by Dries Buytaert, a student at the University of Antwerp, who set out to create a small news site, allowing him to communicate with his friends. Today, Drupal is a well known source to programmers, supporting over 70 major brands, and has been downloaded from the internet over 1.4 million times. It acts as the structural system for many different projects ranging from small personal blogs to large political and corporate websites. The software can operate on a web server that supports PHP with a MySQL or PostgreSQL database. Although Drupal performs the basic functions common to most content management systems, there are both great features and disadvantages about using this software.
Drupal creates the opportunity to register and maintain individual accounts, customizable layouts, flexible account privileges, administration menus, RSS feeds, logging, a forum system, a blogging system, and the ability to create an interactive community website or brochureware. Little to no programming experience is required for the basic installation and administration of Drupal. However, it has the ability to extend with a multitude of add-ons that can be integrated by a person with the right programming experience or an individual who is willing to learn. Drupal also contains a taxonomy system which enables easier access of the content by tagging or categorizing the material.
On the other hand, when it comes to software development, Drupal has some issues with backwards compatibility. Sometimes a new version’s code is not compatible with the old version, creating additional work for the programmers. In addition, performance speed has also been a concern with this product. In 2006, they were determined to be 44% slower than Joomla in a comparison test. They attempted to improve this problem with caching, however, it is only beneficial until the user logs in. On larger interactive websites, users have found scalability to be a problem as well.
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Overall, Drupal is a commonly used, powerful, and flexible tool for building websites. It is sustained by a large community of users and developers with more than 550,000 accounts that have been built. Drupal is a promising option as a content management system.