Getting Started with the Drupal CMS
How successful is the open source content management system (CMS) Drupal? Well, in a recent interview, Drupal founder Dries Buytaert noted that nearly 790,000 people in 228 countries contribute to the platform, and it powers more than a million online sites. The White House, NASA and Twitter use it, and OStatic is also built on Drupal. In an interview we did with Buytaert, he described the core contributors to the project as on the "same scale as the Linux kernel."
Getting started with Drupal can be daunting at first, but there are a lot of free resources for it. Here several good ways to get going with this powerful CMS.
Dude, Where's My Drupal? If you're just getting started with Drupal, DrupalDude.com is worth visiting for the many posts on specific tasks that you'll find there. Via the site, you can also get to droo-puhl 101HD on the Apple App Store, which provides hundred of Drupal tutorial videos in an iPad app for $1.99--fun stuff. Check out many more free tutorial videos found at DrupalDude.com here.
Free Tips and More. If you're getting into Drupal, also get into Lullabot, which we wrote about here. A provider of training and consulting for Drupal, Lullabot has consulted with such companies as MTV, Sony BMG Records, Lifetime Television, IBM, and Fast Company in building and growing their Drupal sites. The best news is that they provide a lot of free, educational content about Drupal, including excellent podcasts. You can also get educational DVDs and more from Lullabot.
Multimedia in Drupal. Drupal happens to be very good at handling video, audio and multimedia assets but it can a bit difficult to get started with multimedia in the CMS. FLOSS Manuals has a good, easy guide to getting started with these tasks, available here.
Is Drupal Right for Me? If you're planning a web site, whether it's a database-driven site, a blog, a combination of the two (which OStatic is), or something else, you may want to evaluate whether Drupal is right for you. A good first step would be to to try OpenSourceCMS, which we wrote about here. It lets you function as an administrator of Drupal and other CMS offerings for hours, so you get a strong sense of all capabilities.
Finally, don't ignore Drupal.org's own documentation and tutorials, including the well-known "Drupal Cookbook." You may also be interested in some of the interviews with movers and shakers in the Drupal arena that we've done. You can find them here, here, here and here.