Drupal CMS – First Overview
A first look at the installation and use of Drupal CMS;
set up on our website as a development platform, and called The Zone, Although I am thinking about changing the title to Zone 7. (UPDATE: The development site is now our primary web site interface)
Version Installed: 7.4 Upgraded today to v7.7
(Also installed on a LAN Apache Server, along with V6 which will also be installed on a live site in the near future)
Status of Installation:
Live ‘in development’
Security update completed today
Restricted access due to a pending major configuration and feature update. (Completed)
The following is a quick(ish) look at how I felt about the installation procedures and features of the CMS. Rated on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being the least favourable, and 10 the most)
|Feature/Aspect||Drupal 7||Drupal 6||WordPress|
|Ease of Installation (local)||10||10||?|
|Ease of Installation (manual)||10||10||?|
|Ease of Basic Configuration||5||5||?|
|Available Features (Modules)||5||10||?|
|New Features in Dev or Beta||6||9||?|
|Available Themes (Free)||4||6||7|
|Available Themes (Commercial)||5||7||8|
|Ease of Advanced Configuration||2||2||?|
|Layout Customisation Level||10||10||?|
|Ease of Customisation||2||2||?|
|Wysiwig Text Input||6||6||8|
|Image Inclusion in Body Content||2||2||5|
|Language Input (English – UK)||0||0||?|
|Ease of Customisation||2||2||?|
|For System Developers (Written)||10||10||10|
|For Users (Written)||8||8||?|
|For Users (Video Tutorials)||8||8||?|
|Required Learning Curve||10||10||?|
- Installation: Both manual and Fantastico tested on live site server… Both easy and trouble free.
- Configuration: Rating based on how intuitive it is for a first time user (with technical background) to set up For anyone without any technical ability or familiarity with web design – DON’T – get someone to do it for you.
- Available Features: Optional add-ons available. A comprehensive range for v6 with many in development for v7. Hopefully some of these development projects for v7 will be in stable release shortly.
- Themes: While many themes are available, there is much similarity between most of them.
- Customising Appearance: Highly customisable, but not at all easy for a first timer.
- Content Entry. A fair selection of Wysiwig content editors, some are lousy, and some are very difficult to get working satisfactorily.
- Image use. Awkward! With a lot of configuration settings it gets easier.
- Documentation: Excellent reference material for the system manager, (a pure user will have to give their opinion on docs for users – I’m a tech-head) A very full range of video tutorials (Usually I dislike these things, but have found several useful.)
- Finally, Learning curve… I rated this from a very personal viewpoint – IT IS STEEP! Many readers may want to replace the 10 with a 0. Learning the ropes has been and continues to be totally absorbing, and thoroughly enjoyable. A good exercise for the grey matter!
Comparing to WordPress (The ratings refer to WordPress.org self hosted installations) All the “?” are there as I have not yet undertaken the installation. So any ratings refer to WordPress.com hosted system. I am really looking forward to installing WP on my domain server.
Finally, Comparing v6 to v7. v6 has a far wider range of stable features, especially workflow functions, which are still totally lacking in v7. But then v6 has been around a lot longer. Inevitably, I will probably have to use 6 to build one of the projects in the pipeline, hence the dual installations on a local LAN testing server.
In fact, v6 is somewhat easier to configure than 7!
Well, thats all so far. As the build proceeds no doubt further comments will be relevant.