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Introduction to Drupal

Classic Ridge Designs often uses the Drupal CMS (Content Management System) to build web sites for our clients. Drupal provides a myriad of benefits including:

  1. Modular and extensible - You can easily add functionality to your site now or in the future, such a Image Gallery, Shopping Cart system, etc., without having to purchase it all up front.
  2. Standards and Security - Your site will use the latest web standards and security measures. This helps ensure that your site will work properly in all standards-compliant web browsers, and is up-to-date with the current security threats to your data, as well as being easily updated to address future security threats. 
  3. Open source - There are no ongoing costs for using the software, and collaboration provides a wide variety of input and hopefully better software.
  4. Collaboration - You can assign roles and permissions to users and allow them to create and edit content. Drupal's permissions allow for a high level of complexity and the ability for Classic Ridge Designs to tailor those roles to your needs. This can also add important interactivity to your web site, allowing users to post comments, questions and answers, reviews, and interact in many other ways.
  5. Performance - Drupal CMS is built on the concept of minimizing resource demands on your server.
  6. Widely used - Drupal is used by many individuals, companies, and nonprofit organizations, so you will be in good company.

Drupal works by storing your web site content inside a database on your web server. In it's simplest form, the content is displayed on the page and is formatted based on the URL, or web address. Classic Ridge Designs will create a custom PHP template to format these web pages in exactly the way you want. Using a database allows the content to be accessible in a wide variety of ways, not just on a certain page or format. For example, you may want to have an event calendar that displays upcoming events. In Drupal, the exact same event record can be displayed on an overview calendar page, as well as on an event-specific page, and be accessible to a search tool on your web site. 

After your web site is built, a user with administrative permissions (usually a select group of individuals) can log in to your site and make changes or create new web site content. Each web site is a little different, but usually a "Log In" link will exist somewhere on the home page, or you can try the following: http://www.example.com/user, or http://www.example.com/login. Be sure to replace "example.com" with your web site domain name!

Now you are ready to learn how Drupal manages content.

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