So if you have read previous posts in this series, you know we’ve moved in to the Drupal realm and seem committed to the path. We have lots of modules installed and configured. Now, even while the site is live we are looking at refining what we have and further customizing the site.
Drupal has an amazing amount of flexibility. Understanding the core features and vocabulary can take some time but is well worth the effort. The Drupal Handbooks are a great resource.
Going beyond the basics can be even more daunting. This series of articles goes into even more detail on the same process we went through in deciding what open source software to use. Also, the articles go much further in providing technical details in to creating templates (how the site looks) and modifying modules.
Finally, while I think Drupal is an excellent solution for some situations I am not convinced it works for every project. While Drupal’s flexibility and extensibility are impressive, many organizations simply want an easy to use and easy to undertand system for maintaining content. And the specific requirements for some prjects do not easily fit in to the logic and structure that an all encompassing system like Drupal offers. Drupal and other systems force you to fit your concepts to their structure. The time needed to make that happen can be extensive. We have been facing that problem with another project we’ve been struggling with for quite a while.
To satisfy the needs of some clients, we have built our own CMS that we can deploy quickly and can be modified easily to accomodate specific needs. For some clients this is a much better solution. The interface is simple and straightforward. The tools are obvious and accessible.
For yet other projects, I have found WordPress to be an ideal solution. It can be set up in 10 minutes. And, like Drupal, has a long list of add-ons that can be used to easily extend its capabilities.
My conclusion is that no single solution will work for all situations. And one of the problems with systems like Drupal is the attempt to be that single solution which means wading through pages and pages of documentation and modules to find just the right tools that meet a specific need. Sometimes simple is simply better.