Drupal to the rescue

When I decided to build my personal web page I wanted to do it very quickly using free software with great community support. Fortunately I had already experience with Drupal 7 so choice was simple.

Drupal is an open source content management platform powering millions of websites and applications. It’s built, used, and supported by an active and diverse community of people around the world.

I downloaded standard distribution from download page (version 7.22). Installation was very quick and straightforward. Then I spent some time experimenting with appearance, configuration and website structure. For new user it will be probably biggest issue to get familiar with key concepts like content, menus, blocks, views and modules.

Beside standard modules I used also modules developed by community. Below I list those that I can recommend:

  • Disqus – comments block enhanced by DISQUS platform.
  • Easy Social – adds share button to node pages (article and page so far), depends on Variable module.
  • Pathauto – provides a mechanism for modules to automatically generate aliases for pages, depends on Token module.
  • Twitter – provides API integration with the Twitter microblogging service. Block with latest tweets in right side panel is rendered using this module.
  • CKEditor – enables WYSIWYG HTML editor for use instead of plain text fields for content management.

Initial setup I described took me in total about 4 hours. I highly recommend Drupal to build simple dynamic web applications. You got complete system for free, that is easy to customise and extend. Huge community is the biggest advantage as most of common use cases are already coded, common issues already resolved and described on the web.


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