Here, in no particular order, are my very favorite features of Drupal 6.4.
- The administrative interface is built in. This is huge, coming from Rails projects. Most CMS projects come with an admin interface, and even some frameworks (such as Django), but Drupal’s is excellent and comprehensive.
- There are hundreds of high quality, well-maintained “modules” for Drupal, which provide nearly everything you could want. They are easy to install, take care of database updates automatically, and integrate seamlessly with the rest of the website.
- It’s easy for a designer to work with. A designer can build a “theme” for a website, including all images, CSS, and HTML, while someone else is setting up the site and adding content.
- The Devel module gives you a heads-up display like Firebug, but shows you which PHP functions are being called to generate the part of the page you’re looking at.
- It’s well vetted. There’s a huge community, and the software is well understood and runs surprisingly fast, considering all that it’s capable of.
- It’s much easier to find an affordable programmer to help with a Drupal project, and it’s much easier for them to get started, since the bulk of the application framework is always the same. They can focus on writing single modules, rather than digging through your whole project.
Drupal isn’t perfect. Nothing is. But Drupal 6 is an amazing piece of software. It’s come a long way since we last used it, addressing pretty much every concern I’ve had. I think you’ll be hearing quite a bit more from us about this fabulous system!