Drupal CMS – First Overview

A first look at the installation and use of drupal CMS green logoDrupal 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 ?
Content Creation 7 9 ?
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 ?
 Documentation 2 2 5
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.


About Mike

Web Developer and Techno-geek Saltwater fishing nut Blogger

Posted on July 28, 2011, in Product Review, Projects In Progress, Websites and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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