Archive for July 2010

The Drupal Way

by Golda Velez

Just fifteen years ago, few organizations had websites. Those that did, owed thanks to some nerdy staffers or volunteers who had heard about the web, learned HTML, and hacked something together. Fast forward to today: most organizations, millions of people as well as several dogs, cats and birds have their own websites. Such proliferation has been assisted by numerous standards and tools that have emerged to aid with creating, editing and maintaining said sites. For most organizations, the key tool is a Content Management System (CMS); others design and build their own web application using a coding framework. Drupal is a bit of both, CMS and application coding framework.

Note, Drupal is by no means the only or necessarily the best choice for site building. Choices abound: Wordpress for simplicity and elegance, CodeIgniter or Symphony for efficient PHP application coding, newcomers such as CubicWeb built on emerging semantic standards – google ‘choosing a CMS’ if looking for advice on selecting a system for a new site.

Suppose, however, that you have inherited a Drupal site or have chosen Drupal on its merits as a mature, open source platform with a thriving community of users and developers and a plethora of modules to perform nearly every conceivable web task. Then it behooves you to understand the Drupal Way of avoiding pain and achieving maintainability.
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