What is Drupal?
Drupal is a free open source framework and Content Management System (CMS) created with the programming language PHP. It has been utilized in building many different types of websites, ranging from small personal blogs to large corporate and political web portals.
The standard release of Drupal, known as 'Drupal core', contains all the basic features present in most CMSs. These include the ability to register and maintain individual user accounts, administration menus, RSS-feeds, customizable layout, flexible account privileges, logging, a blogging system, an Internet forum, and options to create a brochure website or an interactive community website.
Drupal has the inbuilt facility by-design, to allow new features and custom behavior to be added by third parties. For this reason, Drupal is sometimes described as a "Content Management Framework". It would be worth pointing out that although Drupal offers a sophisticated programming interface for developers, no programming skills are required for basic website installation and administration.
Drupal can run on any computing platform that supports PHP and MySQL.
Drupal core can be optionally extended by third party contributions. In Drupal's default configuration, website content can be contributed by either registered or anonymous users (at the discretion of the administrator) and made accessible to web visitors by a variety of selectable criteria including by date, category, searches, etc. Drupal core also includes a hierarchical taxonomy system, which allows content to be categorized with key words for easier access.
Drupal maintains a detailed change-log of core feature updates by version.
Drupal core includes 'core modules' which can be enabled by the administrator to extend the functionality of the core website.
The core Drupal distribution provides a number of features including:
- Access statistics and logging
- Advanced search functions
- Caching and feature throttling for improved performance under load
- Comments, forums, polls
- Descriptive URLs (for example, "www.aliyayasir.com/contact" rather than "www.aliyayasir.com/?q=node/32")
- Multi-level menu system
- Multi-site support
- Multi-user content creation and editing
- OpenID support
- RSS Feed and Feed Aggregator
- Security/new release updates notification
- User profiles
- Various access control restrictions (user roles, IP addresses, email)
- Workflow tools (Triggers and Actions)
Extending Drupal core
Drupal core is designed to be modular. This design allows third-party contributed modules and themes to extend or override Drupal's default behaviors without changing Drupal core's code.
Contributed Drupal modules offer a variety of features including image galleries, custom content types and content listings, WYSIWYG editors, private messaging, 3rd-party integration tools, and more. The official Drupal website lists free modules written and contributed to by the Drupal community.
Two modules are particularly important to typical Drupal installations…
Content Construction Kit (CCK)
Allows site administrators to dynamically create content types. A content type describes any kind of information to be stored in the website's database. These include events, invitations, reviews, articles, products and much more.
Facilitate the retrieval and presentation of content to site visitors.
Drupal is a very powerful Content Management System with a brilliant future ahead.
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