Drupal for single hierarchy corporate website

We needed a content management system (CMS) for a website at work for 3 reasons:

  • So the developers could be out of the content maintenance loop.
  • So the developers could be out of the content maintenance loop.
  • So the developers could be out of the content maintenance loop.

I remember when I first started web development years ago (gosh, has it been 10 years already?), that the “web guy” was called upon to make every little edit to the website. It could be a typo, a broken link, or an add-on to an existing application. Obviously, some of these things are not like the others. Fixing typos and broken links shouldn’t really be done by the programmers. They’re making too much money to deal with such minor issues. The people in charge of creating that content should be in charge of that stuff (ie, the marketing people).

There are a lot of companies where this is still the norm, the web development folks have to take care of a lot of minor issues like this. My current company was like that. But I’m trying to change the culture there. I’m trying to make the content creators responsible for the content and the programmers responsible for the programming. Enter stage left… use of a CMS for our new website.

After looking at a bunch of open source CMS apps (in PHP if you please) and also a handful of commercial CMS apps, I’ve come to the conclusion that CMS apps suck. ;-) No, really they do. Well, it’s not that they suck, it’s that you are never going to find one CMS that does every single thing that you want it to do. You’re just not. So give up now. I did.

So instead, putting my open source hat on, I tried to find the CMS that looked to be the most extensible or hackable. Drupal won this round hands down. There aren’t a lot of of examples out there about using Drupal for a fairly static corporate website, so I had to create some new modules to do things that I wanted but all in all the coding on the project went very quickly and we launched a successful site. I’ll be posting a few things that we learned along the way about using Drupal in this way in subsequent entries.

But for now, just know that we did keep the developers out of the content maintenance loop. And if you have any specific questions about the process, just holler.

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