University Web Developers

University Web Developers

OK. The commerical CMS systems are hands down unbelievable but so is the price. I have installed two different Virtual Machines of Joomla and Drupal. I have a lot of experience with Joomla but I am liking Drupal because it will do more of what we want. From my reading and please users of Drupal responsed:
(1). you can create an overall template, and give users only a block on content to add to their page. They cannot touch anything else but the block you give them.
(2). You can access the admin site for administrators or authors from any PC with an Internet connection. You do not have to have any software on their individual machine.
(3). How easy it to teach others how to add simple content to their web pages in Drupal. From what I can read it is pretty easy. Anyone please explain?
(4). Basically Drupal is PHP based CMS using MySQL Databases.
(5). How much community support does Drupal have?
(6). Are there a lot of different modules or plugins for Drupal, open-source or Commercial?
(7). Is there a good place, free or pay for Drupal support?

These are questions from our website committee.
Thanks in advance for everyone that will responsed.

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1. Yes you can set things up that way. You can create different content types and assign who gets access to what. For example I create a job listing content type and only certain people can post job listings. When they create a job listing all they see is the fields that will be used to display a job (job title, job description, reports to, experience required, etc..). You'll want to look into CCK and Views for advanced functionality.

2. Correct

3. Yes it can be easy. It's related to #1. I create a news/event content type and all you can enter is a headline a story and upload a picture if you'd like - it doesn't get easier than that really. However keep in mind that you'll probably want a unique page title, a unique meta description and possibly other considerations - but there are modules to help you automate much of this.

4. Correct

5. Lots - over 300,000 posts on http://drupal.org/forum/22

6. There are tons of open source modules for Drupal. That is good and bad. You can often find more than 1 module that proposes to do what you need to do. You have to do some research to know which one to buy into.

7. There is a forum for paid Drupal support - http://drupal.org/paid-services


Drupal just won the Packt Publishing awards for Hall of Fame and Best Open Source PHP CMS - http://www.packtpub.com/award
Bradley, thank you so much for letting me pick your brain. I believe that I will be promoting Drupal over Joomla at this point.
1.) This is fairly straightforward when you begin to grasp the permissions system. Although coming from Joomla it might take a little more time to make sense out of how Drupal uses permissions.

2.) Yep, although with a little work you can limit editing to certain machines (say only from on campus) if necessary. I have been working on this for a little while and although we haven't deployed yet it seems to be working very well.

3.) I've found Drupal easier than even Wordpress with one catch. It really needs a module for tinymce or fckeditor to be installed or users get frustrated with formatting.

4.) Yep, just like Joomla

5.) From a developer point of view I've found the forums and other free support to be far above those of Joomla. However theming support is a little weak compared to Joomla and requires a little more work/time to get answers.

6.) Plenty of each. Although with CCK and Views you can perform numerous tasks without any further additions.

7.) The regular Drupal forums have answered every question I've posted.
We recently decided on Drupal and purchased support from Acquia Drupal. We've been pretty happy with them so far. Great response times and access to free webinars that have been pretty helpful.
Darren,
Having worked with both Joomla and Drupal you'll find Drupal much more flexible. The essential modules are views and cck (although they will be in the core of version 7). As far as rich text editors I've found TinyMCE to be less glitchy than FCKeditor (may change with the release of CK editor 3.0, which looks promising. For themes, get the book "Drupal 6 Themes" published by PACKT, it will take you a long way and you'll find there isn't much you can't do with themes. The Zen theme system is a good place to start.

I left education a few months ago for a position with a medical firm, we are currently redoing the intranet and utilizing drupal for much of it. It has helped me hit the ground running with my current employer and has already saved them literally thousands of $$$. Drupal plays well with others as well, you'll find many modules to help along with integration with other systems and online services. As far as community support goes there is a ton of it and it's only going to grow in the next year or two.
I cannot share any information about Drupal or Joomla because I have not used either system. However, the Web Content Managers Forum, an organization of web managers from the federal and local governments (including some universities), is hosting a free webinar that discusses ways that the federal government uses Drupal for social publishing. Information about the webinar is available here:

http://www.usa.gov/webcontent/wmu/newmedia/spring2010/drupal.shtml

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