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A beginner’s guide to Drupal

Drupal is a piece of software first developed by a Belgian student, Dries Buytaert, to communicate with his friends at university. He called it ‘Dorp’, which is the Dutch word for village; however, he accidentally spelt it wrong when registering the domain and it became ‘Drop’ instead. When he decided to release his software into the public domain, the name became ‘Drupal’, which is Dutch for ‘drop’.

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What does Drupal do?

At its core, Drupal is a content management system (CMS) that enables non-technically minded people to manage website content. This means most people can quickly learn how to alter website content, insert photographs and images, and update onsite information without having to wait for a web designer to enact the changes.

This puts Drupal in the same category as WordPress and Joomla, which both offer a similar service; however, Drupal software if more flexible and powerful. This means it can be used to create anything from small brochure websites through to large and complex sites; for example, the official White House website in the States is powered by Drupal. According to Entrepreneur, over 1.1 million websites are now running on Drupal, making it the third most-popular CMS on the internet.

Open source programming

As Drupal is open source, it is completely free to use, redistribute and modify, with a huge online community of enthusiastic professionals and amateur programmers creating add-ons and extra features. The online community is one of the most important aspects of the software, as there is always someone on hand to help with queries or problems. You can also find web designers and developers that specialise in the software, such as the Drupal design agency www.website-express.co.uk. These offer a specialist service for anyone experiencing problems with their Drupal website.

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As the software is safe and secure, it has become a popular choice for website owners to use Drupal in a wide variety of ways to facilitate their businesses. The software can be used to create large e-commerce platforms, to control and manage orders, to update products, and even to offer payment gateways. You can use it for stock management, shipping information, and you can even use it to take bookings. This makes it an increasingly popular option for a wide spectrum of users, giving customers real value in one single package.

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