CMS review - Drupal (vers. 5.5)

After unzipping the archive and browsing to the site root directory the "installation" page appeared. The procedure completed smoothly and the CMS got installed. For nit-pickers: a small improvement could be an installation procedure completely managed by Drupal, at the moment the DB can't be created by Drupal's installation, it must already be present in MySQL.

Creation of an "editor" account having rights to write "story" and "pages" (Drupal's basic content containers) was easy but it required creating a role, give this role the permissions to write content, and assign this role to the newly created user.

Adding content of the defined types "Story" and "Page" with the "editor" user was easy. Text is inserted through a plain text editor, every "effect" (underlined, bold, italic, ...) requires using of HTML tags.

The admin user can also create new blocks (a block can contain some text or a menu) and positioning them in one of the five areas defined by this CMS: "header" (on page top), "footer" on page bottom, "left bar" (the left column), "right bar" (the right column) and "content" (the middle of the page).

Drupal comes with a module "taxonomy" already installed. This module allows writers to associate words to "pages" and "stories" so that content can be grouped. When this feature is used, under every page or story a word appears; clicking on it a page is shown containing all the content associated to that word.

Enabling an additional module (the forum) was also easy, it just took some minutes to me understanding how to add a thread to the forum.

There are six themes preinstalled: the default one is nice, the others doesn't compare to it. Every theme can have it's colours further customized.

The CMS has no default search capability, it must be added enabling a plugin.

Drupal can be configured (if the web server allows it) to use friendly URLs, which is a "must" if you want your site's pages indexed by search engines. The procedure is not easy: user needs to have a basic (maybe more than basic) understanding of Apache web server configuration procedures. Anyway, when eveything is properly configured and the "path" module is enabled, every page can have an URL such as


I could build a small site in five hours without reading TFM. A little disappointment came from the lack of nice themes among the ones installed by default.

Overall rating: very good