What is Drupal?
Drupal is a free, open source content management system or “CMS” based on the PHP scripting language. Drupal began in 2001 as a project of developer Dries Buytaert and has since grown into one of the most popular and robust web frameworks available. As of July 2010, it is estimated that over 7 million websites use Drupal.
Drupal has become a favorite of web developers and programers for its versatility and easy customization. There are thousands of custom modules available for Drupal, including image galleries, custom navigation menus, tracking and analytics tools, and ecommerce integration. In addition to modules that provide enhanced functionality, there are a wide range of themes available to customize the appearance of a Drupal website. Of course, more advanced users are creating their own custom modules and custom themes every day.
Drupal has come a long way since 2001 and now directly competes with expensive, enterprise-level competitors. The Economist, Sony Music, Penn State University and Whitehouse.gov are among the respected companies and institutions who have chosen Drupal as a CMS solution for their websites.
While Drupal is incredibly popular with web developers, it is sometimes criticized by beginners for its steep learning curve. Users with little or no understanding of PHP and web programming often find customizing Drupal to be overwhelming and difficult. With each new release Drupal is addressing these issues and seeking to craft an easier user experience for beginners and advanced programmers alike.