Drupal, the swiss army knife of CMS’es

I just completed another site called ‘Picture Your Rights‘ for the Dutch NGO Loesje whose international HQ is now in Berlin. Its a Photo & Slogan completion about Human Rights and anyone can upload a picture or post a slogan. There will be 4 rounds each with a different theme.

I decided to do the project in Drupal and I managed to build the whole site without writing any PHP code! There was some CSS fiddling and the “design” was a Drupal theme called Ad Agency. The replaced graphics where done by Julia at Loesje with a pen and scanner. This was a fast site to do and most of all: the easiest I’ve ever done!

For a quick break down, we’re using Drupal 5 as verson 6 is still to green for most modules to be supporting yet. The module used where:

  • CCK’s

    • Content
    • EMail
    • Image
    • Option Widgets (for the terms of the license)
    • Text
  • Imagecache
  • Views
  • Bonus: grid view

And I basically made a custom content type with the CCK for Photo and Slogans using the ‘Option Widgets’ to make the CC license agreement checkbox. To create the Photo and Slogan galleries I made a view for each filtering to only allow my custom types respectively. These can be passed a taxonomy term and automatically filter nodes out by it. Most of this came from a tutorial on the Drupal site which walks you though the process.

There are a few compromises on the database side of things, like trying to export the metadata from the CCK mess of tables but this method follows the principle of ‘Path of least resistance’ wonderfully and is prof of the Drupal node based data designs flexibility.

13 thoughts on “Drupal, the swiss army knife of CMS’es”

  1. I ‘ve written community modules for Ubercart! Maybe we can collaborate on some projects or something. I was going to redo the Loesje homepage in Drupal as its currently a mess and it gets a couple of thousand hits a week which could go higher if there was more interesting stuff on it.

  2. Hi there,
    So Drupal sounds very tempting to give it a run but what do you think would be a good CMS to start on besides WordPress? I worked with WordPress for a while and since there are a few interesting ideas about Magazine themes or expanding the system towards portal like uses, I wonder have you tested any other CMSes and what do you think about them (Typo3 anyone?)?

    Greez,
    Karl

  3. Yes, I’ve done some research for a course I was teaching in Berlin on CMS’s generally. I’ve used WordPress and Drupal and have gripes about each but they seem to the best PHP based CMSs I’ve seen.

    Druapl is very flexable and has a better database design but its admin interface has had almost no thought or design put into it.

    WordPress is much less flexible and anything you do it it outside of blogging is usually a wrestle and results in some sort of compromise. It does have a much better admin interface (designed by Happy Cog) and its online community seems more cohesive and less scattered than Drupals.

    If you want to get the feeling other PHP CMSs there is OpenSourceCMS that has most of them setup for you and you can login as admin and play with them. Also a good list of whats out there.

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