Drupal is a good and versatile open CMS, that enjoys a large community of developers and enthusiasts. Elmine and I are currently learning how to adapt and administer Drupal. This because Drupal will be the new basis for my corporate web presence, as well as the community platform for one of Elmine’s clients.
We are happy to know people like Roland Tanglao and Boris Mann (of the Vancouver based Bryght company. Check them out if you are looking for Drupal hosting services) as well as Gunnar Langemark, so that if we have questions concerning Drupal help in finding pointers to a solution is only a Skype-call away.
The learning path is not without obstacles though, as can be expected.
Installation is a breeze, no problems there. But finding your way around the CMS takes some getting used, as you have to familiarize yourself with the implicit structure in the CMS. Finding your way around the likes of Modules, Blocks, Nodes and especially how they correlate to eachother. One thing I find is that the documentation on the Drupal.org site is mostly geared towards the developing communities, and there seems to be little along the lines of a ‘How To’ geared towards a ‘normal’ CMS user.
Another part of the learning that is not very easy, is creating themes. And again there is not much in the way of accessible documentation for finding your way as a CMS user. And what is there is mostly text. So an overview of how CSS lay-out blocks are nested, for e.g. the Zen theme I started out with, is not available. Or at least it wasn’t until we drew one ourselves to serve as a reference while tinkering with the style of my testing-site:
I am slowly getting the hang of it though. It is that way with all tools, and probably once I am past this initial stage of confusion I will soon forget how awkward those first steps were. That is why I will be trying to chronicle some of it before I forget there were such things as difficult first steps.