Review: Drupal 7 facilitates Web site management

QArea Team by QArea Team on December 8, 2011

Review: Drupal 7 facilitates Web site management
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Drupal is an open source CMS (Content Management System) that is deployed to power everything starting from personal websites and to the White’s Web site, it is just legendary for its power and flexibility. Drupal has also been known for its labyrinthine interface.

Drupal 7 has a lot of changes:

  • Improved Interface
  • Module Management
  • Theme Technology
  • Admin Functionality

Many of them are minor from the point of view of many users, really, they are appreciably invisible.It doesn’t mean that the small changes are not significant, they just aren’t on the screen for the average user.

More Improved Interface

Editing features and management options launch a light-box overlay on the page you are visiting rather than on a separate administration page. It works well and provides more in-context menu options in Drupal 7.

There is also a new menu bar that is across the top of the admin interface which gives a quick access to the dashboard, reports, content for editing, and other site-configuration options. Drupal 7 also provides a shortcut feature that allows performing common tasks with an only mouse click.

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Better Module Management

A lot of the Drupal’s power comes from the great number of modules available for adding features and functionality to the core CMS. Generally, the first module that majority of Drupal users add is the Content Construction Kit (CCK) that manage most sites content editing and creation. The most of the CCK in Drupal 7 has become a part of the CMS’s core, it was likely a long overdue step, because this functionality is essential to Web site management.

With the release of Drupal 7 its most popular modules have been upgraded to operate with the new version of the CMS as now CMS has more options for managing modules, particularly when it comes to keep them updated and install them. There is also the ability to add extensions straight from the Drupal management interface instead of through scripts and FTP.

Perfected Theme Technology

Themes facilitate to design and change the feel and look of the Web site and Drupal 7 has been upgraded a lot. Initially Drupal comes with some base themes in the core that provide easy options to get a site up and run. The new other themes can be easily found to install.

There is the underlying technology of the themes is greatly improved within Drupal 7, providing handier use of CSS and giving options for managing semantic content. Thanks to a new Render API there is much more dynamic content in Drupal.

Extended Admin Functionality

Finally Drupal has an integrated package installer that allows adding new extensions from the admin interface and without necessity to resort to FTP or the webhost’s file manager. This new installer is fast and simple and a great time-saver.

The another great change to the admin system is the addition of CCK in the core. CCK is a powerful and popular extension that if added to a Drupal site, let you to build your own content types and attach fields to existing content types. This allows developers to tailor the admin system to attend to the requirements of the particular types of content. Now the power of the CCK is built into the system, it is not necessary to add any extra modules to reach this mastery over the site’s content.

From the developer’s point of view there are plentiful essential improvements, the biggest of which are:

  • There is now the JQuery UI module in the core, which removes the necessity to install extra modules to operate around cron limitations on shared webhosts.
  • A review of the database abstraction layer which provides interacting with the database simpler. The All-new DB API makes it all out.
  • Poormanscron is integrated into the core now providing better JQuery functionality to the Drupal system.
  • Here is a second pre-processing layer now, adding the ability to make more advanced pre-processing functions which may give variables to themes and modules.
  • Now there are available more templates in the theming layer and the improved support for RDFa. Finally, the infamous box.tpl.php template has been finally retired.

Drupal 7 is both more complex and more powerful, but the increase in complexity has been made sensibly and logically.

To sum up we should say that Drupal 7 is an important step forwards the project and a great improvement over Drupal 6.

The Drupal Team has developed a system which is more flexible, more powerful and at the same time easier to deploy. For designers and developers, there is much to celebrate with the release of the Drupal 7.

QArea has been always working pace with the times and using only modern technologies to provide the best solutions for its clients. Drupal is a popular and convenient CMS and QArea is always ready to provide you with the best Drupal specialists who can realize the project of any level of complication. If you need Drupal developers for hire you should look through our Drupal services page or contact our sales department.

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