What is Drupal?

What is Drupal?



so you're getting ready to put up that website or you've got one already but you're looking here for help hey that's a great thing no matter which scenario is yours you probably feel a little bit like the people in this next video it's crazy it's confusing but you know what Web Design is a lot like building a plane in the sky some people like to climb mountains I like to build planes in the air I grew up wanting to be on a plane wanting to be up this high sometimes the temperature up an altitude or reach 60 below it's brisk it's refreshing you never know what you're gonna come across up here AMD's mallards owls these people back here that's why I come to work airplanes in the sky this plane here we're building a dream I love this job I look over there and I see that little kid now look in his eyes I saw the thanks I need to really understand the process of building or maintaining your website then you really need to start at the beginning so we won't be building planes in the sky for too long in this session we're going to give you some of definitions that are important again if you come from a Dreamweaver or a front page background content management systems are really different all right let's dive in so what is Drupal well when you ask that question you're really asking the question what is a content management system or CMS for short in its most basic form it's a software platform that aids in the management of content on a website a slightly better definition is a software application that makes it possible for non-technical users to publish content to a website it serves as a store for wide range of information assets text images databases videos etc etc let's take a look at what a content management system looks like a CMS splits all of your website into basically three different aspects or three different areas first is content it's what you put into your site the creative writing the editing maybe some HTML maybe some PHP CSS whatever goes into your content items those are all stored in a database you have to think of it like three almost separate entities instead of the old way of writing HTML where each page was constructed and was contained in a single file there are no pages in a Drupal website there are content items that are stored in a database the next area is the creative design the site design page layout all of those kinds of things those are actually separate from the content itself the advantage that this gives us is that when you want to change the look and feel of your site it's just a matter of uploading and enabling a new theme and your entire site or any portion of it changes without you ever editing the content or the actual pages of your site which if you remember don't actually exist they're stored in a database the last thing that a content management system gives you is the technical design this is the programming the database the PHP Ajax JavaScript and this is what Drupal gives you Drupal creates all the necessary code to produce the webpages that access your content and deliver it with your design but all three of these things are separate so when Drupal has an update you don't have to worry about your content or your design because it's only the core files that are being updated when you want to change your design you don't have to actually physically change any code because the two are separate similarly when you want to change your content you don't need to change your design and Drupal creates brand new pages or nodes every time somebody loads your website so in its very essence that's what a content management system is the advantages are endless but again just to recap one you don't have to change your design when you change your content you don't have to change your content when you change your design and when you update your software that runs your website it does so without changing either of the others a CMS gives you incredible flexibility in your web design alright so how does Drupal work well it's free and that's possible because of all of the volunteers that work for Drupal businesses that contribute to Drupal and this is really an amazing thing in today's world Drupal is free but Drupal sites are often not in fact you can pay a lot of money for a Drupal site simply because of how awesome how extensible how scalable and how incredible Drupal is as a content management system well who are the businesses behind Drupal Drupal is still led by its founder and his company Acquia runs much of Drupal's product services and support Drupal is a misspelling of drop in Dutch and that explains the really cool logos well who uses Drupal the White House uses Drupal the Department of Commerce uses Drupal the Department of Education uses Drupal the US House of Representatives are starting to use Drupal as of this recording the Grammy Awards Christina Aguilera major league soccer stars and sports of all kinds use Drupal and as you've seen from these slides that we just showed a Drupal site can look just about any way you want it well there's no false promises with Drupal it is easier than starting from scratch it's easier than some of the crazies difficult content management systems that are out there but it has a steep learning curve in fact somebody depicted it this way if mod X WordPress and Joomla are at the bottom 12 n Drupal is definitely more difficult to learn bodies falling off of cliffs by the end of this course you're going to have a pretty good handle on the basics of Drupal but when you go beyond that say developing modules or developing complex Drupal sites the learning curve gets pretty steep now we talk more about that in our live intermediate class and I'd encourage you to look at that possibility once you finish this course the sites can be done more quickly but good sites still take time Drupal sites can be cheaper than other content management systems and building a site from scratch but they can still be quite expensive because there are so many more options and the ability to do custom work is really built-in to Drupal Drupal isn't right for every site if you're running a simple blog let me encourage you to stop and just go use WordPress WordPress is by far the best blogging platform on the planet and it's the most easy one to use if that's all you're doing Joomla is easier but it offers a lot less flexibility than Drupal does so if you're not running a blog and you need content items or nodes or pages that have different content types in them so a title and a body isn't going to do it for you then really Drupal is exactly what you need why Drupal 7 well five was launched in 2007 and it's pretty much done Drupal 6 launched in 2008 about 95 percent of the Drupal sites out there are using 6 but it's the past not the future Drupal 7 was launched in early 2011 and it's really becoming the de facto standard well that's it for what is a CMS and what is Drupal one last thing if you run into questions if you have thoughts if you get confused don't forget use the forums here at OS training that's what we're here for