The Ideal Content Management System: Drupal

The Ideal Content Management System: Drupal

Across the internet more and more websites are switching over to using content management systems. There are many different management systems available across the internet and it can be hard to pick the right one. One of the biggest competitors out there is Drupal, an open source content management system.


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Setup Time

Unlike some of the other content management systems out there Drupal isn’t always a one click install with web hosts. That means that you need to visit the Drupal website and obtain a free copy of their content management system. From there you follow the directions that involve downloading the software, uploading it to your web server and uncompressing it. Along with that there are some minor file name changes.

Once you have the files for Drupal uploaded you must create and edit the configuration file. Depending on your level of expertise this can be a really simple task or it can be a bit difficult. You then proceed to running an installation script which will walk you through the rest of the setup.

Look and Feel

Drupal offers a pretty standard look and feel when it is first installed. To change the theme that a user views when navigating to your website, you will need to go to the Drupal website and browse thier themes. Once you have found the theme that you want, you will upload it to your installation of Dupal. There are many designers out there that work with websites to create the perfect theme for you as well. Take DO CREATIVE STUDIOS for example! This can be a lot easier for the average user who does not have experience in setting up a theme.

For administrators and content creators, they are provided with a toolbar at the top of the page when logged in. This toolbar allows them to navigate to all of the administrative functions without losing any of the look and feel of the page. Some of the display settings for the look and feel of the administrative side can be changed but it lacks the ability to seriously theme how the administrators and creators view the backend of the system.

Add-Ons

Similar to themes, users who wish to add-ons must first find them on the Drupal website. From there, they download th add-on to their computer and upload it to the backend of their Drupal page. Drupal has decided to call their add-ons “Modules” and there are a fair amount of them available through Drupal or third-party websites which can enable many cool features for your Drupal account. Luckily, once you have installed a new module and it comes time to update the module you can do it through your backend without having to download anything to your computer again.


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Posting New Content

For the most part Drupal really excels at posting new content. If you go to the ‘content’ option on the menu and click ‘add content’ you are greeted with a wide array of different content types that will benefit almost any website creator. These types include articles, pages, blog posts and many more.

When you select the type of content which you wish to create, you are greeted by an editing page that is quite simple with no distraction. You can input the title and content right away and there are several easy-to-use menus at the bottom of the screen which allow you to custom tailor the content to your website. The input methods for the content creator are HTML, Filtered HTML, PHP, Plain Text, and GMAP.

Unlike many other big name content management systems, Drupal does not provide a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) content editor. This means users cannot get a live preview of the content they are creating while they are working on it. They must format content using HTML or plain text then select the preview button to see the content created.

Summary

Drupal is a great content management system. It has many advanced features and provides many features without requiring additional add-ons. The best user of the Drupal content management system will be one who has experience in creating websites or at least knows HTML so that they can easily format their content. However, learning to format the content for Drupal is not very difficult and can be achieved by almost anyone. The most difficult understanding when using Drupal is the installation. If you are interested in using Drupal and are not an advanced user, consider looking for a web host that supports one-click installation of the Drupal platform or hire a professional, such as DO CREATIVE STUDIOS, to set it up for you! This will insure that you do not run into any snags down the road!

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