Playing with Drupal

I've been looking for a FOSS CMS, and chose Drupal (v6.5) due to the good feedback.

I'll try to sum up the experiment shortly:

Disclaimer: I'm a new Drupal user and I might've missed many important features or misunderstood some. Please comment if you disagree with stuff I wrote below. Also, I'm not familiar with other CMS other than MediaWiki and WordPress.

The good

  • Flexibility:
    • a very flexible menus system; easily create "boxes" and set their location.
    • With some web development skills there are hardly any limits: raw html+javscript can be used in pages!
      and, of course, everything (themes + modules + core) is open source and can be modified as a last resort.
  • Modules: lots of modules that do anything and integrate drupal with other software (i.e. the gallery module). Drupal is very modular and even basic things are actually modules.
  • User roles, access: a mature user-access system. Admin can fine-tune users' permissions.
  • Integrated right to left: enabling the "Hebrew" language quickly loads an "rtl" CSS file (if supported by the theme; popular themes have it), thus enabling a fully RTL CMS.
  • Community: many answers to questions are available on the net.

The bad

  • Ease of use: installation was quick. Using the system for simple stuff (write pages, create menus) was really simple. But some other tasks were more complicated for first use, such as the Taxonomy (tagging) system, user roles system, protecting specific pages from anonymous users.
  • Modules: many modules haven't been ported to v6.x yet.
  • Rich text editor: by default Drupal has only a boring textarea as an editor. Some RTE modules are available out there. I tried TinyMCE which didn't work well with v6.x (still beta), and FCKEditor which is a bit too simple, but it works. Maybe I've missed some amazing editor?
  • Drupal as a blogging platform: after installing the right modules ("blogging" + some rich text editor) Drupal can be a fine blogging platform. Still, I find WordPress much more suited for blogging.

As a conclusion, I truly recommend Drupal for creating general purpose websites: both for simple and complex ones. For blogging-only needs, I find WordPress better and easier. Anyway, writing websites from scratch belongs to the past. I figured that out a bit late 🙂

One thought on “Playing with Drupal

  1. yhager

    re flexibility - don't change anything in core Drupal. That's what modules are for - they should suffice for almost anything.

    re RTE - FCKeditor is rather full featured, and TinyMCE is indeed brain-damaged. There are many other editors available, like YUIeditor, Wymeditor and many others. Recently, there have been a community effort to unite the interface of RTEs to Drupal and the result is the project. Personally, I prefer Markdown, for consistency, stability and readability.

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