Drupal is used by more than 2.1 percent of all websites worldwide including major sites such as The Economist, Harvard and Sony Music. The open-source content management system (CMS) is distributed by GNU General Public License meaning it is free to download and use for anyone. The software is a three time consecutive award winner of Webmare 100 and additionally a holder of multiple Packt Open Source CMS awards.
Drupal is a content management framework written in PHP. It can be used to create a number of website types including blogs, forums, brochureware websites, portal, e-commerce sites, resource directories, community websites for user generated content and social networking sites. It has around 17,200 free add-ons contributed by a community of more than 630,000 users who are constantly developing and maintaining the software. The add-ons are used to extend on basic capabilities, customize the standard appearance of the software and add new features.
The software began as a message board created by Dries Buytaert but was converted into an open source project in 2001. The name Drupal originates from the Dutch word “druppel,” meaning drop, in reference to the site Drop.org that has now completely merged with Drupal. The standard software package includes user account registration, menu management, RSS feeds, page layout customization and system administration.
A number of features are supported in Drupal including content management, podcasts, multi user authoring, image galleries, newsletters, and file uploads and downloads among others. The software supports 55 languages although it is used in more than 180 languages and is utilized in over 220 countries.
Drupal is ready to use straight from download and involves no programming skills for basic website administration. The software is particularly popular with web designs as Drupal makes it easy to incorporate designs without needing an in depth knowledge of web development. The template and theme system included in the software makes it easy for graphic designers to focus on their creative skills and quickly and easily include their ideas on webpages.
Drupal is for Developers
The software also includes a sophisticated programming interfacing making it suitable for developers. With the release of Drupal 7 on January 5, 2011, a number of Windows issues were cleared up making it easier for Windows developers to become involved in the community. There is also a community group on the Drupal website where programmers can discuss any Windows related problems.
Since the release of version 7, only versions 6 and 7 have been maintained. Version 8 is expected for release in August 2013 and development has been split into the categories of Core initiatives, Mobile, Layouts, Web service and Configuration management. These are then divided further into individual projects including 20 sponsored by Google Summer of Code.