Is Drupal the Linux of the Web Content Management World?

The guys over at Lullabot just posted a series of FREE videos from their Do it with Drupal conference late part of last year where they redo 37Signal’s Basecamp in Drupal. Last time they did a Flickr clone in Drupal and also did a Twitter-like microblogging website in Drupal.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Drupal is slowly going beyond just being an open source web CMS and is becoming a web application platform in its own right. It works great as malleable, customizable, collaborative/social networking application platform for the web. Core members want Drupal to be a de facto platform for the Internet–just as Apache and Linux are now. Not bad for a completely community-supported project.

Recently Drupal project author Dries Butaert started a company called Acquia to provide commercial support for the project. A channel program for ISVs and Integrators has also been launched middle of last year. Its interesting to see what the future will bring for Drupal. Can Drupal become the next Linux and will Acquia be the next Red Hat of the web content management world?

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8 Responses to Is Drupal the Linux of the Web Content Management World?

  1. Pingback: Webmaster Crap » Blog Archive » Is Drupal the Linux of the Web Content Management World? « The …

  2. Pingback: Is Drupal the Linux of the Web Content Management World? Video

  3. Jason Barone says:

    They absolutely have my vote. I think Drupal is an amazing piece of software, BUT the learning curve is high, and it is quite difficult to get something “presentable” together unless you’re a designer or programmer. I’ve worked with Drupal for a few months putting together simple little sites, but trying to get something together that actually looks great and works great is far out of reach. Developing something that functions like Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network would takes an enormous amount of time. Yes you can download plugins that do a lot of social network functions, but making everything look good to the visitor is a huge feat in itself.

    I think Drupal is great for companies who can afford to hire developers or designers to put together a web project, but for the average do-it-yourselfer, Drupal isn’t quite there yet. I think the potential is so great and with some tweaks and additions, Drupal may become the golden standard of CMS. Heck, right now it probably is the “Linux of content management”. Linux is great for enterprise applications and very technical people, but Linux just isn’t right for the average person. I’d love to see Drupal as the CMS platform for everyone from developers all the way down to the average user who wants to build a website.

    Drupal has that whole “build the website from the inside-out” feel. It’s a shame that Drupal gets overlooked in favor of Joomla and the rest of the flashy user interface CMS programs… Hopefully this will improve in 09. I think if developers and designers made Drupal easier for the average person to use, by cleaning up the user interface and getting some designers to come up with more modern-looking themes, it would probably catch on faster. Heck, look at the Acquia Drupal situation, Acquia released a fantastic looking theme, that was easy to customize, and it turned in the one of the most downloaded themes ever for Drupal.

  4. jpabellon says:

    Hi Jason

    Have used Drupal myself–and agree completely. While no doubt Drupal is an extensible and powerful platform–there is a high learning curve. Have used other CMSes as well such as Joomla–but have nt been happy with the hoops you have to jump through to really customize and add functionality to it. Lately have been toying with Concrete5 though–and find that its light, easy to use, has a nice UI, but extensible enough to meet most of my needs. Check it out at http://www.concrete5.org.

  5. Daniel says:

    jpabellon: I’d love to see this video, but the video neither displays here nor on the Kaltura website. Could you upload this somewhere else for us to see it?

  6. Derek Brown says:

    I’d be interested what people are thinking about WordPress as a CMS platform. Not just for blogs but company websites.

  7. Derek Brown says:

    We are moving to WordPress now as our CMS for network of client websites. (from DotNetNuke). Or to be more accurate WordPress MU. We spent a lot of time looking at all the alternatives because we are scaling a business of hundreds of websites and WordPress came up the winner for a number of reasons. It doesn’t have perhaps the depth that a Drupal or other CMS might, there are areas that are week today such as ecommerce, but overall it’s a great platform, with wide community support and lots of 3rd party add-ons.

    While Drupal is great the idea that it would be a platform on par with Linux or Apache is a bit far fetched. There’s a lot of diversity out there for good reason on how you build and maintain a website.

  8. jpabellon says:

    Hi Derek! Nice to see you here. My take is that Drupal seems to be a a box of legos for general purpose content management that you can assemble and configure to pretty much do anything (has breadth). Some applications are single purpose and have more depth. If it had entered the scene possibly earlier than it may have gotten wider adoption. Otherwise you are right that there’s too many options on how to build and maintain a website today. On a related note, check out my blog post on Google’s approach to unify content management, collaboration and communication:
    https://webwonker.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/does-google-wave-represent-the-next-wave-in-communication-and-collaboration/ and their grander dream and vision (replace email?!?).

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