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  • Drupal?

    I think I may be directing this at Drazan, as I know she's got a wealth of knowledge in this area, but doesn't hurt to see if there are any other wize ones out there.

    Technically this isn't something that I'm going to be doing myself, but I have close ties with a charity organisation that has just said they want to rebuild thier website with Drupal. They are clueless as to what is involved and are going to be relying on volunteer work to set it up and get it going and transfer info from the original static site.

    They made the choice to use Drupal before I was informed, so there's no point in discussing the merits of various cms at this point.

    I was hoping that someone here could give a rough idea of how involved setting something like this up can be. They were discussing the idea of getting a group of people to work on different aspects of set up and maintenance. I just have this horrible feeling that they may be setting themselves up for a giant headache by trying to find multiple volunteers to pitch in. If there's anyone who's set up a site using Drupal, or similar cms, could you give a rough idea of effort, knowledge and time involved? I'd like to be able to give these guys some kind of heads up, as I think they are expecting it to be a quick and easy process as well as a free one. It's not something that I'm going to be getting involved with, as it's not where my skills lie, but I am curious and I don't want them to end up in a mess.
    at best my spelling *and grammar* is crap and at worst it are be carp

  • #2
    Drupal is a very powerful CMS. however you do need to know how to code a bit to customize it. And you'll need a knowlegable person who knows how to work with a CMS, installing modules, uploading, permissions and even a little bit about database wouldn't hurt.

    Drupal is a core where many "plugins" are available. The plugins are what makes this CMS work. You can give permissions to the modules on who to work on what. There are hundreds of modules available. Drupal is also one of the oldest, most stable CMS projects out there.

    When installed you get nothing but a front page (with no content) and an admin panel.

    Here's source for looking at sites that have used it.
    http://www.drupalsites.net/

    I've installed it once to play with, but haven't really used it for a full site. The only other experience I've had is when Gallery was integrated as a module and the coder had questions about the CSS themes.

    Not recommended for anyone who has no coding, or website abilities.

    My last CMS site used Joomla/Virtue Mart - more for the cart than the CMS part. Joomla is more user friendly for setup, and actual using it.

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    • #3
      Well, Drazan just said exactly what I would have about Drupal.

      It really is very powerful, but not exactly the easiest to use.

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      • #4
        Drazan,
        Is there something similar for ASP.NET?
        I think Drupal just work with PHP
        anitalavalatina

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        • #5
          Thanks for the responses. It's good to know that they have at least chosen a robust and flexible system. I think what I'm most concerned about is that they have no one who knows how to set it all up to look how they want and do what they need. They are asking about for volunteers to put time and effort into the set up, but are asking for:

          "ideally you will have experience of setting up or specifying a website, but we would also welcome people with no experience who are interested in learning by doing."

          Are they being overly optimistic thinking they will find someone who is capable and will work for free on such a project? (what sort of amount of time would they be requiring roughly? hours/days/weeks) and if someone comes along with no experience at all are they going to be in for a nightmare? I only ever do one off short pro bono jobs for them and even if I had the skills and available time I think I'd be reluctant to take on something where I could wind up being called on over and over again to help in the long term.

          They are a sweet bunch of people trying to make a difference, but I'm worried about how they are approaching the project I guess. What's your take on it?
          at best my spelling *and grammar* is crap and at worst it are be carp

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          • #6
            Building a site with Drupal is a fairly large amount of work. I look at it not so much as a content management system - it's more like a CMS construction kit. You pick and choose the pieces you need to make the CMS you want. That's a big job.

            How much long-term maintenance is involved largely depends on which of those pieces they choose. But the odds are the answer is also quite a bit.

            While Drupal is an excellent CMS, given your description of the project, it wouldn't have been my first choice.

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            • #7
              Ok, so you've kind of confirmed my fears. The only cms system I have worked with was a proprietery one constructed by the company that I used to work at about 5 years ago. We built clients sites using it and although it could do a lot, it was a bit of a beast to handle and I have no idea how similar it would be to others. Drupal sounds similar from what you've said and that might wind up being a big problem for this charity group. My php skills are rusty to say the least and I certainly have no desire to wrestle another php seamonster any time soon.
              at best my spelling *and grammar* is crap and at worst it are be carp

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              • #8
                Point them towards Joomla. Much more user friendly and will get them going faster.

                Drupal would easily be 40 to 60 hours to set up, template, and install modules as well as first permissions. And that would be with a person who knows what they are doing.

                Joomla will probably be 1/2 to 1/3 that time. Plus there are already a slew of fairly decent templates to chose from - and templates are fairly easy to modify.

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                • #9
                  From what I can gather they require several forums as the charity serves as an umbrella for a lot of smaller initiatives and they are looking for a way to allow those people to conect with each other and colaborate through the main charity's website. They also need to organise all the content they have strewn about a currently very large static website, so that employees of the main charity can update information easily. On top of that I suspect they will want to customize an online store at some point as they have a few products currently being sold through a basic oscommerce store that someone set up for them. They will definately need someone who know's some php to set up forms and other data handling stuff. I think they might be asking for the moon on a stick right now, when there is no money to put into it. Hm. Bum.
                  at best my spelling *and grammar* is crap and at worst it are be carp

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                  • #10
                    No matter which CMS you use, that's a huge job.

                    With the best will in the world, they'll be lucky to get that done properly for free.

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                    • #11
                      Some time ago I made a design run on cms engine (datalife) for a blog.
                      I'ts a huge task, it took me a week to implement the design to the point it is at now. (podval.ee if you are interested)
                      Being quite functional blog cms, it has many files I had to re-write or adopt to make it all work with my skin.
                      Also it has it's own variables and tags which you have to know how to use and make sure not to forget to use them. Else you can loose some functionality.

                      Also some html is sourced from conditions in php files. This is in the engine part of the system, so unless you know php (i don't) you'll never get a site that will validate as strict html, being quiet about perfecting it to xhtml.

                      Basically after making it work (and having to change some engine files in addition to template stuff) I got it working and decided not to attempt to make design and coding/implementation for cms all by myself unless I have no choice.
                      My website: http://ilyatitov.com/

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                      • #12
                        ps, Installed drupal once, but never spent enough time to figure out the system)
                        My website: http://ilyatitov.com/

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                        • #13
                          What are the advantages and disadvantages of building a site with Drupal or starting from scratch with MYSQL and PHP?

                          Michael

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                          • #14
                            From scratch - you have to know security. In my opinion and experience - no one person can create a secure and multifunctional application.

                            Drupal and other CMS are built by a team of people who not only code for usability and security, but also test that code against a series of benchmarks to ensure that running it won't take down a server. If you look in the documentation of the application you will see that many will warn against installing many extra modules into the CMS. This causes more mysql and CPU usage that many shared host do not allow past a certain limit.

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