What is Drupal?

Advanced Content Management System

Large Scale Content Sites Love Drupal

Drupal is an open-source content management system, founded upon PHP & MySQL, with a huge community of developers supporting it.

It is similar to WordPress in its core function as a CMS, but architecturally is quite different. It’s data structure is more generalized and flexible. With Drupal, you can define many difference document types and the unique fields of data that should exist within each document type. With WordPress, in contrast, you essentially have just Posts and Pages, and attempts to customize the site into new taxonomies is a bit more kludgy than it is with Drupal.

Drupal also has a more sophisticated user management system, out-of-the-box, compared with WordPress. You can control user types and privileges with relatively fine-grained tools.

Other similarities include a plugin architecture and a theming / templating system. However, in general, Drupal is a more complicated CMS, being a bit more difficult for the lay person to get started compared with WordPress. The complexity is what delivers the more flexible data structures however, which is why Drupal is often favored for large-scale information sites within large institutions like the government and academia.

Should I use Drupal for my site?

As usual, it depends on an analysis of your site’s purpose and goals. If it’s a simple content site or business marketing site, we’d probably tend to steer you towards WordPress. If it’s a custom business application or brilliant new startup idea, we’d tend towards Symfony. However, if you’re planning a large scale content site, with many types of articles, many types of users (editors by category, subscriber levels, etc), and possibly a smattering of custom features, then Drupal may be the ideal choice.

Drupal delivers a very robust content management platform, with all the standard editing tools and media management tools you’d expect, plus a document architecture that enables you to create very flexible document types, and therefore unique pages & sections based upon the type of content that section is managing.

Couple these features with the huge community behind the project that has delivered numerous plugins and themes, and you have a foundation to quickly put together a robust content management platform for your organization.

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