Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Choosing Drupal

From: Drupal 6 Essential Training

Video: Choosing Drupal

Out of all the CMSs out there, is Drupal right for you? Here is a general overview of what Drupal does best, as well some things that are more appropriate for other website creation systems. First, let's start with Drupal's advantages. First of all it's somewhere in the middle between ultimate customizability and the out of the box ease that you get from some content management systems, that is, you don't have to program everything, but you can do a lot. Second of all, Drupal has proven insecure, it's been around for several years and it's been used by thousands of different sites. Although it does occasionally have security updates it is generally a secure enough system to use for pretty much anything.

Choosing Drupal

Out of all the CMSs out there, is Drupal right for you? Here is a general overview of what Drupal does best, as well some things that are more appropriate for other website creation systems. First, let's start with Drupal's advantages. First of all it's somewhere in the middle between ultimate customizability and the out of the box ease that you get from some content management systems, that is, you don't have to program everything, but you can do a lot. Second of all, Drupal has proven insecure, it's been around for several years and it's been used by thousands of different sites. Although it does occasionally have security updates it is generally a secure enough system to use for pretty much anything.

Third of all, Drupal has very strong community support and we will show you little bit of that community support now. First of all, Drupal has many pieces of software that are available as plug-ins to the main Drupal program. These are called Modules and they add additional functionality beyond what the core Drupal program provides. These are divided into many categories, for example, there are content categories which lets you display the things that you write and produce in different ways. There are all sorts of administration plug-ins, which let you change the way that you manage your site.

All the way down to e-Commerce modules which lets you connect to existing systems you might have for credit cards for example or PayPal. Another part of the Drupal community is in its themes, themes let you change the way that your Drupal website looks, and as you go through this page which is at drupal.org/project/themes, you can see snapshots of many of the different kinds of pages that you can make your Drupal website look like. These are all provided by people from outside in the Drupal community and almost without exception they are available for free.

Thirdly, the Drupal community is very active in talking with itself, so that if you have any problems with your Drupal installation or after your Drupal installation you can go in and you can get your answers very quickly for free from other people who have faced the same problems. Fourth, Drupal is an open source project, which means it's built by many people in the community. In this case it's built on two additional open source projects PHP as the programming language and SQL, which is the database language.

Finally, there are numerous commercial companies out there supporting Drupal. One of those companies is Lullabot, which offers workshops and training, writes articles and blog posts that will teach you more about Drupal and so forth. They also do commercial support for Drupal. Another commercial support company for Drupal is Acquia. This is a company that was actually founded by the original person who wrote Drupal. There are numerous sites out there that are built on Drupal. Some of the largest ones are The Onion at theonion.com, Amnesty International at amnesty.org and Popular Science at popsci.com, so you can see a great variety there. The first one is a humorous magazine, the second one is an international organization and the third one is a popular magazine that's been around for dozens-and-dozens of years and has made the move online using Drupal.

Now that we have talked about some of the good things about Drupal, let's talk about some of its disadvantages. First of all Drupal has greater technical knowledge requirements than you would have if you were just writing a website by scratch in HTML. You need to have access to the server and you need to have certain permissions on that server. In addition that server has to have certain programs already installed, most notably PHP and SQL database, preferably MySQL and the cron program. Finally although you don't need to know HTML or any of the other traditional web skills to customize your Drupal site, it does help to have HTML, CSS and certain graphics editing skills in order to bring your Drupal site to its full flower.

Drupal has certain design biases. If you go and take a look at sites that are built under, well, you'll notice the very often there will be a left column and a right column and a content in center and a header at the top and it tends to be the same from theme-to-theme. The good news is that all of that can be customized; the bad news is you may have to do a certain amount of work to make that customization happen. So when shouldn't you use Drupal? First of all, if it's going to be overkill, there is no need to use Drupal. A site that doesn't change much doesn't really need Drupal, because what Drupal is good at is letting you bring in new information at any time and change what's already there.

Sites that are just plain static sites that don't have any sort of community interaction don't really need Drupal. You can build sites like those in Drupal, but you don't need to. Drupal is also overkilled when you have solid simpler alternatives or once that are built more specifically to your purpose. For example, there is a Wiki plug-in, a Wiki module for Drupal, but if you are going to build just a Wiki, you might as well use MediaWiki, which is built specifically for that purpose. You shouldn't use Drupal when you don't have the technical help or abilities that you will need to install and run it, and we will talk more about what you need to run Drupal throughout the course.

Finally you shouldn't use Drupal if it's going to be an extremely high-traffic or mission-critical site. If it's necessary to have this site online in order to save lives you should probably use something else or at least use something else as a backup. If you are going to run something that's going to have millions and millions and millions of page views probably Drupal is not the right solution. Although I should mention, Drupal does run very popular sites. I hope this video has given you a sense of when Drupal is best for you and when to look for a simpler or more heavy-duty solution.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Drupal 6 Essential Training
Drupal 6 Essential Training

66 video lessons · 31658 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 38s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the example files
      3m 48s
  2. 28m 55s
    1. Drupal is a CMS
      7m 43s
    2. Choosing Drupal
      5m 32s
    3. Checking Drupal's requirements
      4m 26s
    4. Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
      4m 35s
    5. Meeting the Drupal community
      6m 39s
  3. 11m 28s
    1. Learning key terms in Drupal
      5m 20s
    2. Touring Drupal's interface
      6m 8s
  4. 34m 35s
    1. Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows
      9m 41s
    2. Installing MAMP
      4m 34s
    3. Setting up the database on a Mac
      2m 2s
    4. Downloading and installing Drupal on a Mac
      6m 37s
    5. Troubleshooting installation problems
      3m 49s
    6. Automating updates with cron
      7m 52s
  5. 25m 37s
    1. Setting up clean URLs
      5m 52s
    2. Backing up your Drupal site
      3m 31s
    3. Restoring your Drupal site from backup
      4m 19s
    4. Wiping your Drupal installation clean
      2m 7s
    5. Updating Drupal
      9m 48s
  6. 15m 37s
    1. Using the Administration menu
      6m 21s
    2. Setting site information
      4m 50s
    3. Setting the theme
      4m 26s
  7. 35m 8s
    1. Understanding security and permissions
      7m 2s
    2. Controlling site access with user management
      3m 39s
    3. Creating users
      7m 58s
    4. Setting user profiles
      9m 40s
    5. Creating contact forms
      6m 49s
  8. 19m 19s
    1. Creating your site's basic info pages
      7m 13s
    2. Understanding page layout
      5m 40s
    3. Creating a flexible layout with blocks
      6m 26s
  9. 15m 35s
    1. Monitoring performance
      4m 52s
    2. Recovering from disasters
      7m 37s
    3. Improving administration skills
      3m 6s
  10. 41m 3s
    1. Understanding nodes
      6m 50s
    2. Creating basic content: Stories and pages
      7m 9s
    3. Enabling other content types
      9m 22s
    4. Adding blogs
      3m 49s
    5. Adding forums
      6m 56s
    6. Adding polls
      6m 57s
  11. 34m 50s
    1. Exploring content categories
      7m 45s
    2. Exchanging content via RSS
      9m 47s
    3. Using input filters
      7m 41s
    4. Managing comments
      9m 37s
  12. 38m 5s
    1. Configuring your theme
      11m 27s
    2. Changing your theme's graphics
      4m 59s
    3. Finding and installing a new theme
      8m 56s
    4. Understanding Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
      5m 56s
    5. Deciphering CSS files
      6m 47s
  13. 22m 41s
    1. Finding modules
      6m 53s
    2. Unpacking and installing modules
      6m 30s
    3. Configuring modules
      3m 50s
    4. Implementing complex modules
      5m 28s
  14. 32m 12s
    1. Ensuring automated updates with poormanscron
      3m 11s
    2. Defining custom content types with CCK
      12m 54s
    3. Stopping spam using a CAPTCHA
      10m 43s
    4. Using a WYSIWYG text editor
      5m 24s
  15. 22m 18s
    1. Getting around with multilevel menus
      7m 26s
    2. Building custom menus
      5m 42s
    3. Creating easy-to-navigate books
      9m 10s
  16. 20m 19s
    1. Changing page templates with PHP
      8m 15s
    2. Using PHP in content
      5m 20s
    3. Implementing PHP snippets
      6m 44s
  17. 10m 15s
    1. Launching your site
      5m 52s
    2. Joining the Drupal community
      4m 23s
  18. 14s
    1. Goodbye
      14s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Drupal 6 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.